Running a non-profit is a difficult undertaking: you have to follow by-laws, keep your members happy, raise money, run board meetings, and figure out the most efficient ways to spend your members’ dollars. One way the Inverness Yacht Club keeps costs down is by encouraging members to help with a good deal of the facilities maintenance. Once a year, the community gathers for a day of cleaning, fixing, and generally getting the club ready for another season of sailing and use.
Past work day projects included replacing rotten portions of the dock, fixing rotting 4x4s in the Laser rack, weed-whacking the entire yard, trimming ivy on a fence, and cleaning motorboats. This last weekend saw the 2010 edition of work day, as well as several dozen members ranging in age from eight to 80 showing up, wielding paintbrushes, screwdrivers, and reciprocating saws.
I was initially given the task of removing deck hardware from the aging Blue Bonnet, a venerable Flying Scot with a very soft hull, deemed unfit for continued usage by both the adult and youth sailing programs. The treasurer, a staff commodore, another member, and I spent the better part of the morning unscrewing racing-grade blocks and cleats, ripping out foam flotation, and contending with cotter pins.
On the other side of the yard, two more crews were cleaning off dirt and stripping old blocks and cleats from the boats that would replace Blue Bonnet. Eventually, they began upgrading the “new” boats with the hardware from Blue Bonnet and even managed to tune the replacement boats a bit in preparation for the upcoming racing season. What’s to come of Blue Bonnet? Rumor has it that it’ll turn up at Burning Man as a traveling art boat. Banshee‘s set for the landfill.
In other parts of the yard and club, folks painted dollies, cleaned windows, removed cobwebs, painted the hoists, trimmed (not nuked) the infamous ivy, cut weeds, and made lunch for the small army of conscripts. After lunch, I headed to the kitchen to 409 as many levels surfaces as I could, bleach drawers, and make the stove hood a little more appetizing.
Other folks continued to work in the blazing sun: the commodore, his crew, and my father removed a centerboard from a boat slated for the dump. Sawzalls emerged and various boats and their trailers met their demise.
After most club members had retreated home, a few intrepid souls continued tuning the new Flying Scots and pulling weeds. Their reward: 200 fresh oysters retrieved via motorboat from the farm across the bay. All and all, a great day of work and helping the club keep maintenance costs down.