Not with boat business unfortunately. It seems family business is getting in the way quite a bit recently.
I did stick to my guns and made the annual pilgrimage to the Beaulieu boat jumble yesterday, but wished I hadn't.
I just feel that every year for the past 2 or 3 years it's been getting worse: very samey across a lot of the stalls (how many fenders or how much rope can you possibly want?).
Maybe it's because I'm looking for very specific things like the correct size gudgeon and pintle for Jim's boat, or a chunk of hardwood to replace the mast beam, but there was nothing there yesterday that I could class as "must have" purchases.
When I first went to Beaulieu back in 2007 there were quite a few of the big traders with stalls doing pretty good deals (that year I got 5 new lifejackets at a bulk discount) but over time the bigger traders seem to have pulled out leaving the normal traders you can see at "normal" boat jumbles. But normal boat jumbles charge half the price or less to get in. And you don't pay the "Beaulieu premium" for bits either as traders recoup the costs of actually attending Beaulieu.
I think I'll be giving it a miss from now on. I can't afford to pay nearly £10 to get in and come away with nothing.
Anyway, I've paid up my mooring fee for another year, Sprite 2 gets to stay at Eastney for another year.
The last time I was on board the mast beam was looking rather odd, with a distinct sag on the port side. I think it has finally lost it's structural strength. I was toying with replacing it with something impervious to water ingress, like carbon fibre poles but I think I'll go old school and chuck in a cheap lump of hardwood (if such a thing can be found).
I'm told the job is a bit of a pig, so may take a while. Certainly the mast has to come down and it might be prudent while it's down to swap the lighting for LEDS and renew the wiring in the mast.
I think 2018 will be a maintenace year, rather than a sailing year. A bit like 2013 and 2014 were when I was getting Sprite 2 to a state I could sail her.
2018 will be a mast step and window fixing year I think.
As long as I can get the time to do it all I will as ever blog about it.
The next 2 weeks I'm on babysitting duty. Grandchild number 10 has been announced and due in the Autumn, so there seems no end to the list of little mites requiring a bit of Grandaddery. Gawd help me.
Updated to add: Thank heavens for the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth and especially Action Stations! the activity centre. We got year long family tickets at Christmas for us and each of the individual family units and so far I've been there at least half a dozen times with various combinations of kids and grandkids. It's great for allowing the grandkids to let off steam and climb and jump to their hearts content while parents and grandparents nod and smile and wipe the sweat off the poor mites as they exhaust themselves....
Grandad gets to look at very old boats and not so old submarines, so everyone's happy! :-)