Monday, 1 October 2007

Under the olive tree again

The Invisible Workshop was back out of the cupboard the other day and what a pleasure it was. The mess, the muddle, the umming and arring, the f-ing and blinding, the insolent whine of Bertie belt sander and the distinctive smell of epoxy. A few jobs done to my satisfaction and the day finished off with cold beer as I sat on OB’s bow.

It’s enough to make me want to start on another boatbuilding project. To put into practice all those skills acquired in the construction of Onawind Blue before lack of use dulls them.

And I know which boat I’d build now, given the chance. Given a decent indoor space, no wind, no rain, no neighbours and a constant temperature. Given the time and the money I’d build the Light Trow again.

I could do it justice now. I’d change a few things, I wouldn’t use cleats on the frames for example and I’d box in the centerboard case for more storage and buoyancy. But more than anything I’d just like to improve on general build quality. Like many aspects of life that really matter, building a boat isn’t so much about the finished article (though of course that is the goal) as about getting every aspect, every detail just right no matter how difficult or time consuming that may be. It is a mistake to see one job as less important than another simply because proportionally it adds little to the boat’s general advancement.

The next one will be much better.

Personal criticism aside, I have started on some pressing jobs. First the rig, which I’ve managed to complete by making a mizzen with the top half of an old windsurfing sail. The colours are lurid but the size is right. I asked a professional for a quote and he came back with a whacking 700 euros for two sails. So the possibility of having pristine white, professionally made sails drops back under the horizon. OB will still be slightly underpowered with her new rig but at least we’ll be able to play around with balance—I’m hoping she’ll sail herself.

I’ve sawn off a chunk of rudder and reshaped the remaining blade; it now needs a couple of coats of epoxy and some varnish. I’ve made a new mastfoot adaptor (the hole in the mast step is too large for my present mast) and I’ve experimentally screwed some Perspex onto the oar supports to stop them wearing.

In a couple of days we should be afloat again.


Pablo said...

I am really enjoying wandering around every corner of this blog...It is being healing against the madding crowd, and inspiring for future briny proyects always boiling into my mind...
So many thanks!

Ben said...

Great, Pablo! I hope those briny projects come to fruition!