Boating Spring Fever

hull staging

The cover may be off and the staging set, but who will really be ready to get the boat ready until spring fever hits?

My friends and sailing buddies are calling to see if I can give them a hand as they prep their boats for the spring launch. Bottom painting, rigging, waxing, installing batteries, canvas, whatever it is, I’ve always lent a hand to people I sail with.

My own boat is another story.

I’m waiting for that annual case of spring fever that propels me into a frenzy. The kind of energy and drive that doesn’t just eat up the list of chores related to boat prep, but obliterates them.

I’m still waiting… and waiting.

The cover is still on, I’ve peeked inside and I’ve completed a few winter projects: a new companionway ladder, a teak trim ring for my compass, new staging planks to work on the topsides. But these seem more like chores, and the rest of the list is way too long to complete without spring fever and a few friends to make it manageable.

Must be the quirky weather this year. I’m always infected with spring fever by March, April at the latest—but not this year. I’m plugging away, working diligently, making myself do at least one boat-chore a day, but it is not the same. I don’t have the fever yet and for something that has always been automatic, looked for, and anticipated, I’m at a loss.

Perhaps a really warm day will trigger it, maybe the smell of varnish will, or maybe a ride to the boatyard for contact with those already infected. Hopefully it’s contagious, maybe it’s just anticipation that propels the mind and drives the body to boating nirvana.

If you are looking forward to the boating season with a touch of fever, try to bottle it—it is a most precious and necessary thing. Triumphant during launch, full of pride and energy, spring fever has been known to last well into summer. You’ll know it when you have it, miss it if you don’t, and welcome it gladly whenever it arrives.

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