There is nothing like self imposed distractions. Winter has a habit of forcing more of them upon me. Is it a restlessness? Perhaps. If so, it seems to have set in early this year.
While motoring LUNA around to the boatyard a few weeks ago, I thought it preferable not to undertake all I was about to go through: the down rigging, packing the trailer, rechecking that, hauling the boat some 80 miles and then providing cover for the cold season (forget the hassles of a flat trailer tire, old tarps, etc.). Such was my mindset when someone suggested looking again at Paul Gartside’s Design #166: the 6 Metre Centerboard Lugger (above). Shouldn’t have done that. Firstly, Gartside can’t draw ugly lines. His catalog demonstrates that. Secondly, this pretty trailer sailer was all it took to get me dreaming of extended cruises along distant coasts. No offense is intended towards UNA, but this other lugger appeals in many ways also. Some quite differently. A couple days on and LUNA was home under wraps. I paused. The bug struck again. Attempting to be rational about it all, I began a list outlining the pro’s and con’s of not just this design, but several others. A quick spreadsheet of the contenders considered size constraints, construction limits, sail area to displacement ratios and naturally that question, “Is she fast?” Further on, an inordinate amount of time was spent perusing WoodenBoat Forum and the myriad of suggestions and opinions. Some were valued. To justify my growing library of design books I flipped back through volumes by the likes of Chapelle, Oughtred, Culler, Gardner, etc. Another few days passed. So many beautiful small boats with history. However, undaunted, this little lugger kept popping to the surface.
I had to do something. You’d guess enlisting “moral” support from fellow sailors isn’t helpful (boy, was that putting gas on the fire!). Right, no firehoses were offered. Any critiques were mere droplets, and only objections to small details or did I even hear them?
I ordered study plans from Gartside and crafted a half hull model at 1″ to the foot.
I find the study process enjoyable. Maybe that is part of the forever search of the “next” boat. From selecting wood, cutting lifts, laminating, planing, carving, sanding, and finishing, each stage allows meditation. What is the damage anyway? If you choose a nice boat, at worst, you’ve some wall art. Yea, but does it end there?
But what about the Ducker?! I know. I know. She’s not forgotten. Her molds are still hanging ready to be used in the shed.
But then, what have I done? I should have just finished putting the leather ties on the F-1 and stayed out of bigger trouble.
Why has it so far been painless? That’s good, right? … or is it?