At least one of my fellow addicts here, not sure what else to call you guys, asked me if i had managed to get it up yet. The answer is no i haven’t but my partner is going to help me with the problem this weekend.
Its been busy season here as i have not only been at work but done several days solid graft here in the garden : i had the potatoes and onions to lift, clear all the deep beds out and clear weeds etc and run around the boundary ripping brambles out. I am pretty scratched up after a few days of that….even got bramble barbs in my socks !. On top of that i have done some heavy workouts and another group of carry’s and working on the next round of the garden project : this time at the back where i am re-modelling my miniature forest garden.
What i have been doing in my precious spare time is a fair bit of ‘noodlin’…..that is a certain kind of ‘what if’ thinking about the Dayboat project. Most of you guys who are obsessed with boats will know what i mean : i can spend hours just thinking about how best to set up an anchoring system or how we will make a brew at sea on the little boat. I think a great yacht designer once said that boats are just a mass (or mess) of details and i was just reflecting that although i may have been enthusing a bit about one of the ideas to come out of the JW design office that those boats are also a mass of messy details and many of them only work well once their owners spend a lot of time sorting the details out. I think Ted was a bit concerned that i was going to do something very weird and wacky with the DY and immediately spoil it and my answer is no….what i am doing right now is that fascinating process of thinking and planning how i might make make the best boat i can out of it for my needs. Once again its not staying within the class because it isn’t a viable ‘class’ boat and i’m never going to race it against the competitive yawls but rather its going to become a seriously capable small cruising boat with every bit of knowledge and experience that i have thrown into it and the great thing with it is that i can experiment without huge cost.
Today for example i climbed aboard with a mug of coffee during my morning work break and just spent time finding comfortable positions to sit as if i was at anchor and maybe setting up for the night. Sounds crazy but what i will almost certainly do is throw some camping gear aboard and just try making a hot meal aboard and see if i can set up a space to sleep…..neighbours think i am barking mad already !.
Some time ago i said in a post that after i gave up professional sailing and was dirt poor on account of having negative equity and tax debt that i couldn’t do anything but work hard to get out of that and my small amount of rest and relaxation was to think about potential small and low cost boat projects. I used to collect every article and snippett of potentially useful information i could as well as slowly building up a library of reference books about boats and sailing. My monthly treat for nearly 2 years was to buy a book or 2 : and any boat subject book that caught my eye so from USA ‘Sharpies’ to Phil Bolgers odd designs, through electrics and construction….i pored over it all. I did amass a whole load of useful articles which i used as a personal reference library for years and one of the weird things is how much i have retained of that and how many boat ideas it gives me to play with today. Today of course we have the internet although i for one don’t rate that anything like as highly as nosing around the back row of a run-down boatyard up a creek somewhere or late night reading of some of the arcane corners of boat design.
What i am just beginning to do is list and define every aspect of this project from the boats sailing qualities : for example that the rig must go up and down quickly and easily, reef and unreef quickly and positively every time , be a practical and comfortable boat to spend nights out on and etc and etc and so on…..its a long list. Its not ‘thinking outside the box’….stupid meaningless expression, rather its being able to refer to the many solutions that other small boat sailors have found but have often been lost to the mainstream crowd. This boat certainly isn’t going to turn into an ‘Eric’ boat, you know the sort of things : sailed by the mad bearded theorist, goes like s**t off a shovel but only when the wind is blowing in exactly the right direction on alternate tuesdays. In a way the smaller the boat the greater and more interesting the challenge. Narwhal will be my smallest boat and i think the most versatile…..if i can get it right.
Edit 1. Comments.
Alan : “Impressive crop of onions, currently we have bunching red onion and we are going to try Red Brunswick this season.
I have been sketching some tent/cover ideas because of having another interest in the bushcraft-y end of wild camping. Once i get the sticks up i am going to play around with the collection of flysheets, tarps and basha’s that are kicking around here and see what i can rig up. A logical shape for a tent/cover would be similar to the little Hilleberg Akto tent which uses a hoop across the centre to increase headroom and space….i will have yo borrow a photograph here as i sold my Akto on years ago. From left to right if you like the left hand end would be rigged over the cuddy, the hoop across the centre of the boat and the right hand end running down to the mizzen. Another very simple idea is to just use a tarp which would normally give a triangular section but add batten pockets and use flexible battens across the ridge that would give a curved roof