A Start …

You can’t blame everything on your parents, but of this one thing I am certain I can: my love for “messing about in boats”. Early memories evoke summer evenings at age 3 or 4 lying in the bottom of a small sloop as she slid across the Lafayette River. The warm sea air, the sparkling reflection s of shore lights, and perhaps most infectious, the hypnotic movement of a vessel on the water. This all conspired to lure me in.

Fast forward many years and countless such evenings, I now find myself these recent evenings in a cluttered garage100 miles from the ocean. The purpose? To dream childhood memories and build a boat. Not just any boat (certainly not an Ark), but one of the 3 boats this “sailor” has concluded fit his boating needs. They are an 18′ touring kayak called an Outer-Island, a small 14′ sailing skiff named the Melonseed, and 25′ keelboat known as the Nordic Folkboat. I’ve no illusions of building the latter and have whiled away hours staring at the skiff. However, I have finally put strips to forms for my kayak.

How long will it take? A guess would only be that. Others have approximated 300-400 hours. That alone intimidates. Where does it come from? Do you include the unrecorded hours of investigation, correspondence, gathering of tools and materials, and the dreaming? Surely not, but nonetheless, I have begun to record the actual build time. It all makes no sense … unless you are a romantic, and I was hooked as a baby boy.

So, enough of the “why”. I don’t have an answer, don’t want to be a writer (much less a poet), but I do desire to record my progress and process in hopes that it will force a finish and paddle up some river or across a small bay. I too feel some indebtedness to the many folks who educated me regarding this build and to those who’ve kept me from drowning early on.

30 hours. That’s actual cobbling pieces together for you accountants (who aren’t likely to be so touched as to build a boat). I’m nuts and am going to do this contrary to notions of being reasonable. After all the studying, the learning begins. And so, as I continue to figure things out, … this … is … a … start.

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