Painting the boat

In fall of the year, we all pulled our boats up on the beach, and turned them upside down for winter.  Typically this became somewhat of a social event, as one man can’t pull a boat up by himself.  We’d put down some time washed round sticks, and some wet slippery slabs and get a few people on each side and pull it up, and then most people on one side, with a couple on the back to brace it as we’d turn it over onto some supports.  Often we’d pull up several boats at once, and a few beer would be drunk, drank, drinked, whatever the right derivation is, and a few yarns would be told.

Once spring came, preparations began to get the boat in the water again.  This involved scraping the flaked paint off, adding oakum where necessary, and repainting with marine paint.  This chore often fell to the kids of the family, and really wasn’t that hard, nor onerous so, I at least, didn’t mind it.

However paining a boat does involve one piece of knowledge that apparently for one year at least I forgot.  I took the paint and oakum down to the beach, and proceeded to scrape the boat, and give it a nice new white coat of paint.  Dad went down later that day or the next to check on my work, and came back laughing his head off.  I of course asked him what was so funny.  He said “Well you did a good job on the boat! Too bad it was Ralph’s!”

While Dad is gone now, he never let me forget that, nor will Eric I’m sure, as its his favorite story.  Maybe someday I’ll get a boat back home and Vince can return the favour!  Miss you Dad, and Ralph too!