There are few moments so rewarding as completing a complex or difficult task. And when that task is completed to expectation or above, we are rewarded with a big exhale of relief and accomplishment…and maybe even a cold beer. I know it’s already May and the time for bellyaching about getting the boat ready should be well behind us, but as we often experience here in the Northeast, our weather this spring was less than predictable; Mother Nature despondently holding onto the cold and wet far too long. But, as soon as the needle on the seasonal barometer rises and the temp on the thermometer signals a green light, it’s time to exhale, pull the sails and summer clothes out of the closet and chuck the skis and sweaters to the back. I would normally be sharing these sentiments in our April issue, but this year we seemed to be mired down in winter well into commissioning season and go-time hurried in quickly. No time to exhale (or have that cold beer) yet!

During commissioning season, the boatyard is normally a pretty social place. Folks putter about, work on the bottom, wax a section of the hull, then take a break to walk the yard. They chat about the upcoming weeknight series or plans for cruising, then mosey on back to the task at hand knowing a few more weekends’ worth and she’ll be ready. I’ve seen little of that boatyard banter this spring, with many heads down and noses to the grindstone as owners push hard in an effort to catch up to the splash clock.

I can truly exhale and let the stress of winter melt away once my boat hits the water, knowing all of the important stuff has been addressed. Each year we launch, I get a great sense of pleasure while motoring the short distance from the lift well to the dock for final fit out…it’s a day off from work for me to focus solely on the boat; to clean out the last of the cobwebs. There is much joy to be realized while simply rolling on fresh rigging tape and hooking up electronics. It’s certainly not yeoman’s work, but enough pitter-patter to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day and usher in a change of season!

I remember last fall, when I recommended on this page that taking time to tackle a task or two at layup would allow for extra time or even an early launch come spring. Well, I wasn’t able to take my own advice and I guess I forgot to give the example about Mother Nature’s fickle ways in springtime…but with any luck, you may have managed to check off an item or two on the list back when we were staring down the long tunnel of winter. As my friend Will Smith says of acting roles, so goes for boats: “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.” I think this mantra serves sailors well both pre-season and during. Boat work is one thing – and can be made uncomplicated by this thinking, but it also makes a lot of sense when planning for the season, a race or an extended voyage.

In spite of the tight deadlines, this year’s commissioning season afforded me some time for reflection, and I recalled the day in 2002 when the very first issue of WindCheck was delivered. For Publisher Anne Hannan and me, owning WindCheck has certainly been a fantastic voyage. What began as a monthly magazine has evolved into a multi-media company offering print, online, mobile, social media, video and email. Additionally, WindCheck runs multiple yearly events, including the popular CT Spring Boat Show. All of these avenues connect the marine industry with boaters.

Beyond the boats and the people in our community, WindCheck presents issues important to our region including environmental, waterfront development and use, youth engagement and retention and much more. We’re extremely proud of building an important and valuable resource for our sport and our region.

With that in mind, we’ve come to the point where we want to be able to spend time pursuing other passions and focus on different aspects of the lives that we’ve created while building and running WindCheck, but not before we pass the helm to someone who will continue this important, diverse voice of and for the Northeast boating community.

So, WindCheck is for sale. To watch WindCheck continue to evolve, and serve our community under the guidance of a new owner will no doubt fill me with the same sense of accomplishment that I enjoy following a successful boat launch, and the same sense of pride that I’ve felt every month when a new issue is delivered….and I’ll certainly celebrate with a cold beer!

See you on the water.

Chris Gill