Our man Al was very kind to send me some photographs of ‘Little Boat’ and seemed happy to be featured in a blog post here, i had to cut that post off at a certain point or it would have turned into a multi-page essay and the blog isn’t at that stage yet : just aiming at a single page and a group of 3 or 4 photographs to illustrate an idea.
Al responded BTW and i just want to pick up on a few things that he has said as they are the things that have also been on my mind : “Very nice post Steve, thanks 🙂
I like the Retro / 26 you best find a shed and knock one up if you get the parts cnc cut its a big airfix kit to put together 🙂 The Rocket will have minimal but comfortable interior got to keep the weight out of it.”
I would like to build a boat and something like a near ‘kit’ form would be just about the only thing i could contemplate doing myself, the real problem is finding the dry shed, building the work space, obviously buying in all the materials and then committing the several thousand hours that i know it would take me to get it anywhere near right : i am neither skilled enough or conscientous enough a boatbuilder to do that , not even fast and dirty but slow and dirty too. Best i can hope for knowing my own lack of skill is take something already a bit rough and bring it up a bit and with the benefit of keeping it sailable while i am doing it just as i did with the Liberty. I think my compromise will be a secondhand boat to the kind of parameters already laid out except that i am now throwing a higher sailing quality back into the mix. Back to Al’s comment and one thing i feel acutely now is the budget : not the cash budget although boats can be a total bastard for that but the less obvious budget of time. As i said in another post in question form “how much time do you think we have” ?….with me at just a tad under 60 and the demographic of the blokes that visit here being on average 55 to 70 that doesn’t represent much actual life-time to play around with, no misery or morbidity here but i possibly only have 10 to 15 years of active sailing life left before all the crucial bits start wearing out and go out of warranty….what then. This ‘time’ then : lets be super optimistic and say 15 years is now crucial, if i really enjoyed the process of working with ply and epoxy i would build a boat but to be honest i would rather be sailing any day. To be able to sail i HAVE to work, i work because i want to keep a boat and not because i particularly like going to work : i don’t like going to work in fact walking into the hospital feels like walking into a massive man-eating machine but once i am there and with my work colleagues i am often quite happy to be there, i do surprisingly quite like many of the people that i work with compared with previous jobs and i guess being around people does to a certain extent stop me becoming completely eccentric…..working in a shed on my own all day for what ? maybe a couple of years i think would have the opposite effect.
Moving on then, and that’s part of the point that i am trying to move on to other things, the purpose of the voyage i have to remind myself isn’t about owning a fancy boat rather its about the sailing, the places, people and boats that i meet and i have hardly scratched the surface with that yet (must try harder). Part of what i am trying to move towards is being genuinely a much better sailing writer, right now i am trying to learn to apply the discipline that a writer friend tells me i must do ie just sitting at the computer and banging out 3,000 words a day : that writing isn’t inspired genius but considered discipline and work. The original plan that i allude to in the title is the original plan of the voyage where the product would be a series of books in which i cover the same kind of material as i am doing in blog form but who would want to try and publish something from an unknown like me ? and in a subject that even when presented for free to a total world-wide sailing population gets maybe 50 hits a day !. What it seems sailors want on the internet and things like this is a fantasy of blue skies, sunshine, warm water and cute female crew in micro-kinis ! ….sorry can’t provide any of that so in short its a small audience who enjoy the mud and grit of a UK based blog. As long as i enjoy it i will do it.