By Jay Lloyd

April signals that slow migration of cruising boats from high-and-dry to the launching lift.  But there’s a lot of work to be done before that first sail-away.

It’s that time when boat owners spend weekends working — painting, rigging, messing about with engines –- just getting ready for the new season.

For non-boat owners who are hoping for invitations to a summer cruise, volunteering to lend a hand now is sure to get the skipper’s attention.

Even if you don’t know bow from stern, captains can typically find something even a neophyte to do during the spring spruce-up.

“Offer to stay to clean up at the end,” advises a colleague, Cap’n Bill, to anyone trying to curry the favor of a boat owner.

And while the more skilled work is going on, an observant extra hand can learn essential parts of the boat and how they function.

And there’s always a need for someone to wear out a path to the ship’s store for supplies, or run into town for sandwiches and beer.

Then there’s the added bonus of enjoying a weekend at the shore or bay, at the end of a workday, when tops pop and salty yarns start to spin.


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