Thursday, March 27, 2014

Perks of Marathon

Not only were we racing weather to arrive here in Marathon… we were also trying to get here in time to attend our first Cruiser Seminars.  We had heard about two presentations offered by the Marathon Boat Yard Marine Center from the Book Key Harbor Cruisers Facebook page.  If you have plans to be in the area, take a look at the page for information about what’s going on.  

Bob presenting Diesel Engine Maintenance 101
Now I would imagine that anyone who has made it this far in Cruising, might already know a thing or two about the first subject… Maintaining Your Diesel Engine.  But for myself, that has always been Bruce’s domain and anything I can learn about it would be welcome.  Plus, if Bruce picked up a tidbit or two, it wouldn’t be time wasted… and it was FREE! And there were donuts!  

Blogger reunion!  McKissick Journey and Lahowind
We arrived early, and it was a good thing too.  Lots of people began filling the chairs and lining the walls.  There were mostly men, but several women as well.  The talk began with some announcements from Sherry, including a little about the company.  Of course this is a business, and they couldn’t do things like this for the community without making a living first, but I was most impressed by the fact that this facility is one of only a few boatyards designated as a Clean Marine Retailer and Boat Yard by the Department of Environmental Protection.  I think that, and the fact that they do so much for the community is a good reason for buying here.

I will admit that I wasn’t expecting much from the presentation in the way of entertainment.  I could not have been more wrong.  I won’t boor you with the geeky things I learned about maintaining engines, except for saying that I can keep an eye on Bruce now to make sure he’s keeping us lined out… But I will tell you that our presenter, Bob, deserves to have a stand-up comedy spot of his own... he might even be able to quit his day job!  He kept things lively with anecdotes, well timed funnies and the greatest facial expressions.  There was a lot of laughter, which I think, opens the mind for learning in such an enjoyable way!  I think Bob even told us a few trade secrets that could create more do-it-yourselfers and maybe even reduce the number of calls the Boat Yard gets.  Way to go Bob!

Joe demonstrates fiberglass repair... a bullet hole!
The next day we had (more donuts) a slightly different venue.  We grabbed our donuts and headed out to the yard where chairs were set up beneath one of the huge paint tents.  A mixed crowd took seats around a table set up with a myriad of products used in the repair of fiberglass.  Today’s talk would be just that… Fiberglass Repair 101.  Our presenter, Joe got right down to business after Sherry’s introductions.  

Before we left home to Cruise, we had a long list of projects to do.  One of the projects that never got done, was to repair several cracked spots and a few chunks in the gelcoat that mar Dos Libras’ fine body.  They were pre-existing when we bought her so don’t go pointing those fingers at ME!  Fixing them had seemed so important when we first got the boat, but after a while, with all the other more pressing jobs… this somehow fell to the bottom of the heap.  Maybe we’ll be re-energized into getting on it after today!

Joe had obviously done quite a lot of prep to give this talk.  It was compared to one of those TV cooking shows where they have the food in several stages of prep already done so that they could move from one stage to the next…  Well Joe had several pieces of fiberglass that represented a boat in need of repair… from a bullet hole!  He made it all seem so easy as he walked us through the various stages, working quickly and efficiently… He is obviously an artist and I am SURE it would not go so well for us… But, he gave us hope, and the names of his favorite products for use in many different scenarios.  

Armed with this information hastily jotted down, we may have a chance in doing some of our repairs ourselves…  And if it goes badly, we sure know who to call for a professional job.  I would imagine Marathon Boat Yard has plenty of work with major jobs without our piddly little projects.  

To wrap it all up, we got a lot of valuable tips and maybe learned some tricks.  We met some people and made some new friends.  And we eased, no… jumped with both feet into the Cruiser community here in Boot Key Harbor as we hit the ground running.  We plan to take advantage of any and all of the Perks of being in the one place I know of that is so rich in the sharing of Cruiser knowledge…. Marathon, Fl. and Boot Key Harbor.  Thanks Marathon Boat Yard and Marine Services for your community support!

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