Much like everything in 2020 so far, the Victoria Day long weekend 2020 has been a very different one for us. Saturday was the first day we were allowed access to Wild Horses in two months. We had last visited her in January 2020 for a quick mid-winter check. Now, two months later, we were hoping for more of the same and were thrilled that she still looked perfect, although I am sure she had an air of “where the heck have you guys been?” about her. 😊
Traditionally, this is the weekend we launch Wild Horses. In past years, we would have been watching the weather like hawks, looking for the clearest, least windy day to have the marina set Wild Horses in the water, and for us to attach her sails, ready for the 10 hour journey up the St. Lawrence River, through the beautiful Thousand Islands and, finally, docking at Trident Yacht Club in the Bateau Channel near Kingston.
But not this year. Right now, it looks like our launch date will be closer to the middle of June, when our boat club will have their docks in place. But that is okay as we have lots of work to do on the boat this year! In addition to our regular commissioning checklist, we also have a HUGE boat project that will take several weeks to complete (more on that in the next post).
What the heck is a commissioning checklist?
These are the steps we undertake every spring to ensure we have a safe and well-maintained boat before she hits the water. Forgetting an important task or step could have disastrous results on the water, the ultimate being that the boat takes on water and sinks (yikes!). We have LOTS of “on-purpose” holes in the boat called thru hulls (because they go through the boat…genius!) that need to be checked for exactly this reason. Less dramatic but still in the “important” zone is not having running water, or a working toilet and being in need of one or the other…
The commissioning checklist also helps us use our time efficiently, just in case rainy weather steals several working days from us. Critical items get scheduled first, followed by important items and then the “nice-to-have-done-while-we-are-in-work-mode” items.
Every possible task is detailed and scheduled in the commissioning checklist including the most mundane tasks that clearly have to be done. For example, “remove winter boat cover”. Duh, obviously this has to be done before you can start any prep work and definitely before the boat hits the water (now THAT would be an interesting sight!).
We do this for two reasons: (1) to remove assumptions. It is far too easy to forget a small but critical item. And when you have two crew members, being clear on what has been completed and what still needs to get done becomes even more important. (2) to make you think of the task execution. What tools will you need? Are they on the boat already? Can you do this task in cold weather? If its windy? Etc.
What is on our commissioning checklist? Check it out below.
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.