Some will enjoy classic cars this summer; others want to go boating — with a little planning, there’s time to achieve it all without resorting to extreme measures like thi

Get the toys ready before Santa

by Andy Bryenton

Spring is here at last, with summer following hard on its heels, dragging a sack of holidays behind it. For many of us, that means it’s time to whip the tarp off those summer ‘toys’ and tools, ready for the tight schedule — three weeks to daylight savings, seven to Labour Day, a mere 15 to Christmas.

Well, that is, if any of those not-so-carefully stored jet skis, dirt bikes, weed whackers, ride-on mowers and boats actually start. Shooing away the winter’s harvest of resident creepy-crawlies who love to scuttle under a tarp is only stage one when it comes to getting the arsenal of summer ready to go. At least now, when a small child asks you where slaters and roaches (not to mention large, angry-looking gloss-black spiders) come from, you can tell them in all honesty that they come from boats stored under wraps for the winter. Batteries suffer the most from idleness, degenerating into heavy chunks of plastic and lead.

Tyres gently flatten as our attentions focus away from boat trailers and caravans, and onto pressing winter concerns such as splitting firewood and wondering why it seemed like such a good idea, last December, to buy a convertible. Then there’s rust.

Neil Young had its number because it really does seem averse to taking some shut-eye. It gnaws away at all that’s fine and good until its nasty handiwork is revealed by the cold, hard light of the WOF inspector’s work lamp.

Leaving repairs or a check-up to the last minute is a recipe for disappointment at best, and unprintable swearing might follow.

The good news is, there are plenty of locals who can help you get your weed eater whirring and your ride-on mower gently turning what looks like a tiny rainforest into Lord’s cricket pitch. They can even turn what your significant other is calling the ‘whirlpool’ (a hole in the water into which you lose money, ie, your pride and joy, the boat) into a powerful and resplendent vessel feared by fish everywhere. It’s amazing what a little maintenance can do; this might even work vis-a-vis the old wardrobe if crocs and stubbies feature heavily in your summer collection.

On a serious note, take care and be safe with all your summer tools
and toys. If it looks broken or it’s not up to code, get it looked at by the professionals. Please don’t forget the right safety gear on and off the water this year either!