Ah, ‘tis the season…yes, for holiday cheer and all that 😊 but also for finally having Wild Horses shrink-wrapped and officially put to bed for the winter.
Wild Horses had her winter cover put on during the first week of December and she is looking very cozy as temperatures along Lake Ontario dip below freezing. The good news for us is that although the boat is fully wrapped, we had a door added at the stern boarding gate so that we could go on and off the boat throughout the winter.
Go through a few freeze-thaw cycles with this trapped water and your boat can develop blisters or delamination that can seriously compromise the hull. These are not problems we want to have!
Why go on board when all the systems are off and it is cold, cold, cold?
Primarily we want to check for any issues that might result in damage to the inside of the boat or its contents. We check for rips or tears in the shrink wrap and for evidence of water intrusion where the mast and stays (steel wires that hold up the mast) enter the boat. We also check for any signs of pests or rodents. We have never had any critters take up the yachting life on Wild Horses and we want to keep it that way! The battery levels as well as the batteries themselves are also part of our monthly checks. Our solar panels should keep the battery levels topped up all winter but piled up snow or a loose wire (or one chewed through by a critter), can mean dead batteries. Catching issues early can save lots of boat dollars!
In addition to damage checks, we have been going to Wild Horses quite often to test some of the things Mike has been building in my dad’s workshop. The shelves for the hanging lockers, for example, required lots of back and forth from workshop to boat. Mike has also almost finished the stern mount for our dinghy motor and we will do the final fitting directly on the boat.
The biggest project, however, will be our boat garage. We are refitting one of our stern cabins into organized and easily accessible storage space. Our starboard stern cabin has always been where we put our recycling, shore bag, extra gear, extra boat cushions, extra shoes, extra dog food, extra kitchen supplies, extra, extra, extra… everything. The plan is to make this makeshift storage area official and build a dedicated spot for each of those extras. It isn’t a big job to execute once we have our design but getting the design nailed down is very time-consuming. It is definitely a typical “lotta stuff” versus “little space” boat problem to solve.
When will we unwrap Wild Horses?
We are hoping that Spring comes early in 2021 and we can remove the shrink wrapping at the beginning of April. Once unwrapped, we will start the spring commissioning process and prepare for a late April launch. On board will be one happy crew ready to set off for the Caribbean!
For now, we are looking forward to Christmas with a little bubble of six. Have a safe and happy holiday season!
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.