Many of our friends wished us a nice holiday when we went back to our boat in Greece at the end of May. In the many years we have sailed on charter boats, this has been a good fit. When you charter, you take over a boat that is at best well maintained for a short period of time. Most of the time, some tools are missing and the pantry is minimally equipped for proper cooking and baking. But apart from that, everything is ready for the trip to begin.
Being a boat owner is something completely different. We are just learning that. We are not mechanics, electricians, gas and water fitters or metal workers. So we have the feeling we are just at the end of the first year of apprenticeship. Last year the main topic was the electrics, this year it's the engine. After that comes the underwater hull and the seacocks, which probably need to be renewed. We know the sails and rigging best from our many years of sailing. But there are also boat-specific details that we have learned about this year. So you have to familiarise yourself with all the systems in the boat.
For the winter, it is important to find a good berth. Where can the boat go ashore? Can we work on the boat ourselves there? What can we trust ourselves to do? Where can we get professional support and a good service? Especially when wintering out and wintering in, maintenance work is necessary every time and everything on board needs to be looked after. But we also want to make sure that we look after ourselves and enjoy ourselves.
We have already received many good tips from other boat owners. They are all very helpful. But everyone has their own approach.
So being an owner also involves work, it's not a permanent holiday. Sometimes we worry whether we are doing everything right. We learn a lot, and that in retirement. That is often exhausting, but also nice. Because we have time. Σιγά-σιγά - as they say in Greece. And we are not alone.