Question (often asked): “What do you do in the offseason?”
Answer: We prepare for the next season.
Over the course of the winter our boats make trips to the mechanic to fix anything that concerns us and to replace parts we know, based on experience and keeping a good hour log, have the potential to cause problems over the course of the coming season. This work gets done by early May, then we go about launching the fleet and tweaking all the little things. All the safety and fishing gear goes back aboard, we wash off the winter grit, we run thorough checks on all systems, and each boat gets a couple shake-down cruises to assure it’s ready to go.
Most of this work should be invisible to our guests. A new intermediate bearing (what the hell is that you ask?) will never get noticed. An old one that fails will. An outdrive with a few too many hours that feels a little rough when Chuck spins the props out of the water disappears as an emergency backup behind the building. The new one, goes on the back. Nothing breaks, so nothing to notice.
On the noticeable front – guests about Story Teller, run by Captain James Baumann, will see a brand-new compliment of electronics – the latest and greatest in radar, plotter, and sounding equipment. Like all tech, marine electronics are evolving rapidly, so we’re all looking forward to seeing what the new gear does. The processing room got a new coat of paint this spring. A few new-used cars will replace a few of the old-used cars in the fleet our guests drive. There’s a new storage area for raingear behind our building which will eliminate chaos in the front. A lot will look the same, but, that takes work in a hostile climate. Then there are a bunch of little things, too numerous to list.
AU’s captains arrive weeks ahead of their first trip to put their boats in perfect order. Our staff trickles in well ahead of the opening bell to put the lodging in perfect order. If we do it right, the machine that is AU will run so smoothly that once again our guests will ask, “what do you do in the offseason?” That’s the goal.