If there is one thing a sailing cruiser learns, it is how to make repairs; often with creative solutions.
Frank decided to put cruiser know-how to work and organize a volunteer repair day for the BSSA (Bonaire Sailing School Association) sunfish sail boats. He posted a plea for help on the Bonaire Cruisers FB page and went from boat to boat in the anchorage asking cruisers if they would help with some simple repairs needed on the local sailing school boats.
Patrick, Lawrence, Dave, John, Sue, Malcolm, Ernest, Derek, Mary Grace, Dave and Frank
The result was that on January 23rd, 11 cruisers volunteered and spent about 3.5 hours working on the sunfish owned by BSSA. Twenty two hands were busy with all kinds of maintenance that the working BSSA parents don’t have time to do.
Boats were cleaned and polished.
Sue polished until the sunfish shone!
Malcolm and Dave passing off the new bungee.
Main sheet tie downs were replaced with spliced dyneema and bungee cords for centerboards were replaced.
Derek and John fixed a dozen tires.
Attachments for loose tires on hand trailers were replaced and there was even a little gel coat work done.
Ernest removes a hiking strap.
Frayed and fragmented hiking straps were removed.
And replaced with new straps.
Derek and Frank making sure all the water is out.
There were a few sails that needed some repair and Frank brought those back to LIB. Since we don’t have a sewing machine, Frank asked our friend, Barb, to help us out. Barb pulled out her sewing machine and made the needed repairs and now BSSA has two more sails in working order and another repaired hiking strap!
In just a few short hours, cruisers were able to make a decent impact on the boats used by BSSA. We worked on 11 sunfish. Seven were in use but needed a little maintenance. Three were not being used because they needed attention and the cruising volunteers were able to address the issues. (Those three boats are now in use.) One boat we worked on still needs a little more TLC before it is useable.
Frank did a great job of organizing the volunteers and the sailors were fabulous to spend their time contributing to the sailing youngsters of Bonaire.
It is pretty cool to see the kids out sailing and know their boats are working a little better because of our efforts. Plus BSSA had an open house a few weekends ago and added 10 or so kids to their ranks. I think they will need those extra working boats!
A very special thank you to Anneka, a BSSA mom and board member, who met us to unlock and lock the storage area and give us access to water and power. Anneka has been a warm and welcoming liaison for BSSA!
Thanks for reading our blog. Feel free to visit our FB page for more regular postings.