Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Visiting a Past Life...

Going through some old CS’s today, looking for a long lost image file I know I have somewhere, I got side tracked when I came across some shots taken from one of my past lives, to wit, pictures of my old dink from my boating days.

I bought this 11 footer trashed and after some serious swearing while replacing some ribs, laminating the hull, adding a bit more keel to it and, in general, bringing the thing back to life, I thought I ended up with a rather pretty little boat.

Using it as a tender, I fitted it with an 8 h.p. Merc and because of the weight, it would plow through a chop like a tanker; probably with a top speed of about 8 knots mind you, but it certainly was a stable little bugger.

I then came up with the bright idea that I would turn it back into its original configuration as a sailing dink. I laminated and shaped multiple layers of ¼” marine ply for the dagger board and rudder. Once I had the dagger done, I cut what I thought was a huge hole in it towards the bottom and filled it with lead, which probably was the hottest, dirtiest, stinkiest job I have ever performed. In retrospect, I am positive that hole wasn’t nearly large enough.

I think where I truly went wrong with it was when I fitting it out with a sail and mast from a wrecked 16’ Hobie Cat. It might have been a tad too much cloth for the little feller, but after completing the fitting out, just like Captain Jack Aubury, I set sail and went right at 'em.

That first ten-minute run was truly the scariest hour of my life. I have never maneuvered a faster or more unstable boat in my entire life. In a very light breeze that thing shot from one side of the marina to the other and all over the place in between. My main concern above all else the entire time was out there was just trying to keep me arse in the cockpit.

When I finally got back to the dock, one of my neighbours asked, rather sternly I might add, “Just exactly what do you think you were doing out there?”

My answer, “I’m not sure, but I think probably about 30 knots!”

The pictures of it under sail are ones where I am not at the helm. The captain is a much braver sailor than I. These shots were actually taken on its second sail, two days before the new owner took delivery of it. You bet I sold that thing as fast as I could find a buyer for it, but the silver lining in it all is that I made a bloody fortune on that little boat.



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