A Pro New Year

A Pro New Year

We wonder how many of you anarchists share this perspective? We’d guess a lot of you have quite the opposite opinion.

Have you sent Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, or other holiday wishes to your boatyard and other marine professionals this year? 

I, for one, appreciate the hell out of the team in my boatyard, and their efforts each year that help my family, racing crew, and me receive the most out of our recreation time our boating dollar. A banner similar to the above was displayed at season’s end on my boat for the last three years running. This year, we delivered a huge framed photograph of this year’s banner to my yard to underscore our appreciation for their contribution to a great season, which included a hyperactive racing scene on our local waters – something they support completely.

Owning and maintaining a boat is expensive, and despite how much we might dread our boat yard invoices in the mail, it’s not the people that make the cost – it’s the mechanical issues, complexity, and  corrosion challenges that require experience to manage – experience beyond most of our abilities to deal with. Plus, boat yards that care for our boats often have all their customers needing the same services at the same time in an environment where very few boats are similar, making every effort a custom job.

I thank my boatyard each season for helping to control costs so that each time my boat consumes another thousand dollars, it doesn’t become $1,500 instead; for matching up my used parts to other owners saving them money while defraying some of my costs, and for being so quick to get parts ordered and installed for the crippling problems that we all experience.  

Then there is all the thankless work they do maintaining a safe environment for us to get to and from our boats, for combating corrosion and neglect in the facilities we use, for chasing down warranty issues, and much, much more. Beyond our boatyards, many of us have the sail lofts to thank for turning around sail repairs before the next race or cruising weekend, and we have all the specialty service providers that either supplement parts not available from West Marine or provide engine and other services that we only consume six months a year while they pay rent all year long. These are the companies that form the backbone of our ability to go racing, to go sailing, and to enjoy our time on the water.

My boatyard goes an extra mile in their support for racing clubs and ‘saving sailing’ locally. They provide direct leadership as well as constant volunteer participation in our local yacht clubs, they encourage new and existing sailboat owners to participate in our regional racing programs, and they race themselves against us whenever they can – they are, in fact, an integral part of our racing community, and in many ways have brought a great sailing season to myself and others.

For myself and all the Sailing Anarchy readers who’ve slacked on their gratitude, thanks to all the boat yards, marine stores, and marine professionals that support our sailing and racing addiction, and may you all have a wonderful New Year – You’ve earned it! Comments?

– b393capt