For a couple of months now I have worked with renewed enthusiasm with
the show at the Center for Wooden Boats as my goal. There were
several times, as recent as last week, that I had decieded NOT to
go. My main reason was that I figured my boat was just not built to
a high enough standard. My learning curve got me down.
Luckily I went. I was in great company. I had great comments and
enthusiasm from many of the show goers.
My wife made some beautiful quilted pillows for the boat. They are
works of art worthy of any showcase home. She is really getting good
at her quilting! We also put in lace valances in the cabin windows
and some odds and ends of rag rugs on the cabin floor. On the front
deck we put out two long flower pots with White Nicotiana in them,
alongside a beautiful green enamal watering can and some of our
kereosene lanterns. Around the cabin we put out Tibetan prayer flags
in red, blue, yellow, and green.
The designer of the boat, Phil, was there. He said when he saw me
walk out the door of his house with my new plans... he knew that the
boat wouldn't get built. ;-) Something about my situation and lack
of experience I guess. I think he was pleased I was so happy with
the boat. He seemed to have no problems with the raising of the
cabin roof or most of the other minor changes. He did think the
straight line of the side rail was a mistake. I can see his
thought, but, to be honest, I think it looks a little better that
way! All subjective. You can compare them for yourself on my
website at http://classics.nu/boat.
Interesting story. Phil told me that the one in England was built
with paid labor. In the end it cost about $27,000! Mine cost
maybe $5600 with trailer and motor. At most it was $6300... I
didn't keep track. It could be built much cheaper with non-marine
grade ply... and used motor and trailer. Amazing.
You know..... forget any thoughts of ego for a moment. Forget any
thoughts of bragging, or of fear of what others will think of the
boat you may build....
It is a wonderful feeling to be drifting off to sleep in a boat you
made. The sound of the waves gently lapping against the boat. The
gentle rocking.... lying on your back and looking at the stars above
through the hatch. It is a unique feeling. A great feeling. And
with one of my children asleep at my side... tired from the days
adventures... tired from visiting with delightful people like Captain
Bill and Mary... tired from meeting new people with their Chris
Crafts, their 8 foot dinghies, and all in between.. You forget about
the things you should have done, you forget about the mistakes, you
forget about the praise. ... it is a warm feeling... nice
feeling. A sense of peace and just being right somehow.
If you are thinking of building a boat.... Bolger or otherwise...
don't let lack of tools, or fear, or anything get in your way. I
built mine in a small driveway with no protection from weather. I
don't have lots of tools, or even a table saw. (I do have a rather
worn out radial arm saw.) Most of my work was done with a drill, a
small pad sander, a belt sander, and a cheap jig saw...and a few
friends with nicer tools than me every now and then. If I can do
it.. you can do it. And you will be glad you did.
Pictures to come.