The original plan.

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.

1 Comment

  1. Very well put. TIME is the finite thing. At some point I feel its time to say enough, as I said in the reply “Fixing other people’s problems”. But then the $ budget thing can rear its head really quickly maybe not so much with the project but the living bills
    From a personal point of view I enjoy the making as well as the sailing especially when the making does not have business constraints of time, cost, delivery ASAP etc.
    At 54 the time to say enough is drawing closer to hang up the “gone sailing” sign.
    As for the eccentric thing I have probably achieved that already, so Nina and I can spend a couple of years building a boat should just complete the process nicely 🙂


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