There’s nearly always something that can be done by way of caring for a boat. Why should I care for ‘Sandpiper’? I should look after her because am her custodian. She was manufactured in 1972, and she would be considered to be a classic trailer sailer. I expect I shall not own her for much longer, because I seldom keep my boats for more than two or three years, but I have the responsibility of preserving and improving her for the next custodian who, hopefully will carry on the good work.
It’s obvious that not all owners have cared for her. The evidence is plainly seen; for example, there is a brown stain in the cockpit obviously caused by rainwater trapped there for a long time. She could have been propped up, bow the air, and left in the open uncovered, perhaps neglected in a farmer’s field or a garden of someone who lost interest in her.
All of that was in the past. She now rests undercover in my garage until I feel the urge to take her sailing again or maybe to sell her.
Today I gave her rudder stock another coat of varnish, and I resealed the slots where the chainplates pass through the side decks – not that this was absolutely necessary, because they were not leaking, but I did it to make sure water will not enter the hull in future. I also filled a small crevice between the tack plate at the bow and the foredeck.
Attention to such detail pays off. There is no joy in having a boat that leaks, either through the hull or the deck. I was grateful during my recent escapade sailing along the South Coast of England that ‘Sandpiper’ remained absolutely watertight. Even the tiny drains at the aft end of the cockpit worked to perfection. I was expecting they would not cope, and that rainwater would overflow into the lazarette, but it never did - despite times when the rain came down by the bucketful.