Karisma came out of the water about ten days ago for her annual servicing. For the last couple of years I’ve tried to get all her winter work done before Christmas, because it means she is ready to go for the season and we don’t get caught up in the hullabaloo when other owners are desperately trying to get their work scheduled in the mad rush of March and April. Next year I am hoping to take her directly to Milford Haven close to the start of the season, but as we are expecting a new baby at exactly the same time (due date of March 14th!!) I do not want to be trying to organise the boat when I should be doing other things in the late winter/early spring.
So she’s been out, had her saildrive and engine serviced, been antifouled and polished, and tomorrow she will go back in the water with her engine winterised until the end of February. All we’ll have to do when the nights start drawing out is recommission it (about an hour’s work) and off we go. The sails came off in November and will be laundered and checked by Peter Sanders in January, too. It’s an excuse for another winter trip to the Solent and a night or two at Buckler’s Hard.
The only extra work has been to have a couple of gelcoat repairs done. One I knew about- back in the spring a newbie boat owner had kindly scraped his anchor along a metre’s worth of our bow and without putting his hand up about it (despite being our then-pontoon neighbour and us being firmly tied to our pontoon at the time he did it) and another small scuff amidships that I was responsible for, coming alongside on a windy day in Swansea. However the yard found another, quite substantial bit of gelcoat damage on the sugar scoop when she was lifted out- they made a repair around 40cm long on her transom, which I was pretty shocked about. I am always very aware of how vulnerable the sugar scoop is and I can certainly say we haven’t made contact with anything at all on the stern of the boat this season. Have to put it down to “OPBs” (Other People’s Boats) once again. It’s a bit like a supermarket ding, but dinging boats is a whole lot more expensive than dinging cars and I’m not expecting to get much change out of four hundred quid for sorting these things out. I like to think if I dinged somebody else’s boat I’d leave a word with the Marina, or just post a note through their washboards.
Still it is the season to be jolly, and I think you’ll agree, Karisma is looking absolutely great, so I really can’t be moaning! Merry Christmas to all of you out there, and bring on the New Year!