Best Day On The Water: Wax On, Wax Off

By Jerry Woznicki

Best day on the water buffing illustrationIllustration: Gary Hovland

It may sound funny, but my best boating day each year does not involve floating at all. Every spring, as my winterized 1995 Hunter 336 sailboat rests on the hard, I wait for the first warm day. Although I have many other blessings for which to be thankful (good health, family, retirement), this first yearly boating event provides a feeling of total satisfaction and is like the starting gun for another season.

The day begins with waxing my lower hull. I back my truck right up to my boat. In my truck bed I'm equipped with a Honda generator, power cord, electric buffer, ladder, bucket of water, compound, wax, towels, a roast beef sub, potato chips, and ice tea, along with a small radio tuned to the local sports-talk station.

Eight hours of outside labor in total solitude turns the once-drab boat exterior into a gleaming spectacle now worthy of the rest of the commissioning duties. Bottom painting, remounting sails and installing interior cushions and all the other removed boat stuff goes on, but the feeling just can't match that project satisfaction from waxing and polishing the old ship's sides.  

— Published: April/May 2018

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