Is COVID-19 Keeping You Off The Water?

It’s still a little early here in the northwestern US but some brave skippers are beginning to go sailing. For you folks on the coasts and more to the south, the weather shouldn’t be keeping you off the water but the novel Corona virus outbreak might. Mrs. $tingy and I have been self isolating for 6 weeks by the time you read this and we’re both getting a little cabin fever. I normally work from home and she doesn’t work outside the home so it’s not a big change in our routines. We do miss meeting with family and friends in person, though.

Now is a great time to be making repairs, upgrades, and recommissioning your sailboat before the summer sailing season. That can help to pass the time at home while also getting around to those projects you’ve been putting off all winter.

What are the rest of you stingy sailors out there doing to cope with this pandemic? Are you going out or are you under restrictions? Has COVID-19 affected your family directly? Have you been tested or have you contracted the virus? Add your comments below to share your situation with the rest of us.

And everybody, please observe the recommended mitigation procedures so we can all get through this safely and as soon as possible.

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. Rob Welsh says:

    Lucky you to be able to get access to your boat. In Ontario we can’t even access while on the hard, I have a huge list of items to repair and the parts and materials to do it.

  2. Tom van Aalst says:

    I accidentally bought a 23′ Paceship last summer. Paid the slip fee in November for this season. All the harbours are now closed. Even the launch ramps are closed. In the mean time, I’ll finish recoring a section of cockpit sole, grind out and refair the keel joint. Sand the bottom, barrier coat and bottom paint the bottom. Modify the used stern rail I bought to replace the missing stern rain. Install new radio, chart plotter/depth sounder/fish finder. Rewire the trailer, add a second axle to it. . . . . . Well, I’ll just keep putting untill I’m allowed to launch. It’s a touch cool up here in Georgian Bay, but I would have it in the water if I could!

  3. Pam Cowart says:

    Using the extra time at home to make 9 new hatch covers. Looking forward to seeing how they look hopefully soon!

  4. anningham says:

    Yes. I’m in Lancashire UK and subject to covid lockdown. Walking, running and cycling once a day are allowed, but the sailing is off. The boat is parked on its trailer outside the house and varnishing and gardening are on.

  5. Charlie Barlow says:

    To get ready for the season , I want to refinish the bright work around the companion way on my 1986 Cat 22. I seem to remember a post of yours about that. I’ll have to look it up.

  6. Bob says:

    I’m in the same boat as you, Stingy, working on renovations for my O’Day Mariner 2+2. Garage is full of varnished pieces. In progress. Need to buy an outboard but Washington state “Stay home, stay healthy” guidelines keep me from getting out there (even though folks are advertising online)! I’m looking forward to summer!

  7. Diego Flores says:

    Well Stingy, since you asked, let me tell you. A little background is in order. I’m a retired law enforcement officer and after nearly 30-years in the business, I was already practicing “social distancing” prior to this pandemic, so the transition was rather seamless. After the Wuhan Virus hit our shores and people went “crazy,” (or should I say…crazier!) I have been very skeptical about locking-down the nation with stay-at-home orders. Well, as you know, we are currently under these “orders” here in California. Obviously being retired has made our situation far easier than most folks who are still in the workforce, and my prayers go out to them.

    My wife and I were very supportive of the initial 14-day self-quarantine, and were in the midst of them, when “Big Brother” shifted to a 15-day, then a 30-day self-quarantine with a lockdown on “non-essential” business. I don’t believe this is the answer. (See article in the Wall Street Journal on 9-April, titled “Lockdowns Won’t Stop the Spread” by Joseph A. Ladapo)

    What concerns me more than this is how people have reacted to this pandemic. With probably the highest mortality rate in modern history, the public’s response has been predominantly fearful after being reminded of our own mortality. The vast majority of the discussion around this pandemic has been mostly “doom and gloom” and overall despair.

    In my opinion, we need to get away from this victim-based standpoint. My faith-based views inform me that nobody knows when our time on this planet is “up.” Don’t get me wrong. I don’t support being reckless, but instead of living in fear, I try to live each day in the hope that “God’s will be done…not my own.” God wants us to trust completely in Him. We need to get on with our lives and trust in God’s Master Plan, whatever that may be! God bless America! Stay safe and stay strong!

    1. Faith always triumphs over fear.

  8. maryjane41 says:

    Dear $tingy and Mrs. $tingy,
    My family here in Northern Minnesota is doing well. We are distancing, washing, sanitizing, masking, etc. but we do visit each other’s households now and then. We need each other.

    I lost my first mate of 46 years this winter. I need my time on the water more than ever now.

    I am anxious to deoxidize my RED sailboat (what WAS I thinking when I painted her red?) with my new high speed buffer. Hopefully, I’ll get her out of the garage and gleaming soon.

    I’m interested to hear your take on sailing in the midst of a virus crisis. Sailing with household member seems like a safe activity. I think we can maintain a safe distance from our dock mates and gather in small, distant groups with our yardarm drinking buddies.

    Maryjane in MN
    Skipper of SV Abigail Susan (Erickson) and SV Zvakanaka (Cape Dory Typhoon)

    1. Hello, Maryjane

      Please accept my condolences on your terrible loss. I cannot imagine how my life would change if I lost my wife of 43 years. You are a strong and courageous woman.

      If Summer Dance were in her slip right now, I’d be taking her out as often as I could, either alone or with family that I know have been self-isolating and while observing the guidelines as much as possible. Where I sail, it’s unusual to get within 600 yards of another boat. Common sense can go a long way toward keeping us safe in virtually any situation.


    2. Miles says:

      Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

  9. Stingy: We’re on the water as we have no choice. We live on a cruising sailboat with our Great Dane and two kids, currently in the Sea of Cortez. We have few safe options for getting home but had planned on spending this hurricane season in Baja anyways, so we’re sticking to our plan with a few modifications. There’s lots of changes down here right now and of course the folks taking off for the long haul across to the South Pacific didn’t go this season. I read your blog and love your great advice, thanks for writing.
    We write on and would love to have you come by sometime and check us out. Stay Stingy- Chad

  10. TOM R. LUQUE says:

    The Panama Canal is closed to yachters. I have been following a young couple’s YouTube travels. Stopped too long on east side of Panama, then found out they were not allowed to make the crossing due to virus event.

  11. MarkusK says:

    Before things got serious, I removed my two deadlights on my Tanzer 8.5 intending to replace the Lexan and gaskets. Now I have to wait until the non-essential businesses can open in order to get my parts. And wait for the marina to open.

    Normally we splash ~mid May (when our season starts). Not feeling warm and fuzzy that will happen. I hope the curve flattens soon.

  12. fpw3457 says:

    First time sailor! Purchased 77 Chrysler 22 in January as retirement hobby to learn. Spent first two months refinishing the teak trim, deep cleaning the interior, and rebedding deck hardware. Thank you Stingy Sailor for the informative posts. Last two weeks with boat in my driveway I’ve entertained neighbors by practicing “gin polling” the mast and raising the sails. Great way to dry sail and learn the terms and rigging. (Even had a couple happy hours on board!). Anxiously awaiting my first opportunity to be on the water while continuing to learn from the stingy sailor site!

  13. Anderson Eric says:

    Hey all, good info here. I’m lucky to have my 81 Cat-22 next to the garage. It’s been a blessing to be able to work on her. Installed the auto-tiller, scraped all the bottom paint off, ordered a quick disconnect for the mast wiring, clam for the antenna wire. Replacing the cable, turning ball, hose. Have to buff her out (blue hull) and replace the brake head/coupler and go through the brakes.
    With the paint off of the bottom, what is the thinking on barrier coat/vc17 or just going with the ablative paint that seems to work well enough. She hasn’t shown any signs of blisters even though she sits on a mooring for a few months a year on Lake Michigan. I’ve heard that applying a barrier coat on an old boat could actually cause blisters to form should the hull not be very dry. I’m curious as to the thoughts on this as now is the time because the old paint is off. Here is to the ultimate social distancing activity, can’t wait to launch!

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