If you’re lucky, family and friends may be willing or even volunteer to help you with boat work. If they have skills, they’re welcome, but what do you do with willing hands who don’t have particular skills? Make a list of what you can delegate to these people and have things for dry days and rainy days. Some tasks may require a little explanation and/or supervision, but the extra help makes things go faster. Have a supply of dust masks and work gloves/rubber gloves for your volunteers. Food and beverages are appreciated, either while they’re working or afterwards. Almost anyone can hand sand and roll antifouling paint on the bottom of a boat; scrubbing the deck and cleaning, waxing or polishing the hull isn’t a skilled job once the person knows the basics, but these jobs require some care and stamina. Carrying things to and from the car to the boat is a snap with a group of people. Filling a water tank is easy (just make sure the person puts the water into the correct deck fill). Most people are capable of cleaning and vacuuming below decks or stowing things, if they’re told where to put items. Running errands can be a big help and time-saver. Slightly more complicated tasks may take a little explaining, but those can be added to the list. Get someone started on a job and check back occasionally to see how it’s going. People feel good when they accomplish a task on their own and someone says “thanks, that really helped.” It’s a waste of talent when a willing friend turns up and asks “What can I do to help?” and you don’t have anything for him or her to do. There’s never nothing to do on a boat.
Priscilla Travis spends more than 110 days each year on the water, takes photos, and writes about nautical topics.