01 July 2010

Wooden Boat Show - Boats!

Helena and I went to the Wooden Boat Show in Mystic this weekend with several goals in mind. One of them was to see the Bronze Casting for Boat Builder's demonstration. I've already discussed that elsewhere.

Another goal was to get ideas for my next boat building project.

Having had the pleasure of Cabin Boy's company for 700 miles (so far!), I'm totally happy with his performance as a tender for a single hander. Cabin Boy tows wonderfully, and equipped with good long oars (not the namby-pamby too-short oars that you see so often these days... remind me of T-Rex arms waving helplessly in the air!)

Sorry... As I was saying, with good stout oars, Cabin Boy rows extremely well. Several times, I have had to row into a stiff breeze to get back to the Blue Moon, and it was always easier than I expected.

However, Cabin Boy is a bit small for two people. Okay for the occasional short trip ashore, but you do have to keep a wary eye on the freeboard.

So I've been thinking of building a bigger tender, for when Helena and I are out cruising next summer (I'm dying to get back to Buzzard's Bay, where I haven't been for about 20 years...)

The question is, what to build?

To get some expert advice, I stopped by the Atkin Boat Plans booth at the show to ask Pat Atkin for her opinon.

Pat Atkin & Me
photo Helena Almberg

As I expected, Pat was able to diagnose my needs almost immediately, and had a terrific recommendation: Vintage, a William Atkin design.

Vintage was designed for the famous Thomas Flemming Day, founder and editor of the Rudder -- a legendary sailing magazine, now long gone.

First issue of the Rudder

She's a 10' round-bottom, lapstrake boat -- perfect for my requirements, since I got the hang of lapstrake construction with Cabin Boy, but would like to try my hand at a round-bottom boat.

Even more important, she is gorgeous, I think. Here's a picture of a recent Vintage, built by Eric Hvalsoe:

Atkin Vintage, built by Eric Hvalsoe

So Vintage is a definite possibility. She'd be a big challenge for me, no doubt, but I think I could just manage her. And she'd be a perfect tender for the Blue Moon.

On the other hand, I also need to think about fitting out the Blue Moon's interior, this winter. The current spartan layout is okay for me, but I'd hesitate to inflict it on Helena for more than one night.

The secret of keeping wives on boats, I think, is to treat them like honored guests, and that means comfortable accommodations and 'facilities'. And, of course, good food and cold drinks. None of which the Blue Moon readily supplies at the moment!

So, I'll just have to see if I can juggle both builds this winter. Assuming I can get the Blue Moon to NY before the snow flies!

Speaking of which, I'm dying to get back down to FL to do the next leg (to Myrtle Beach, SC), but I'm stuck working on a new software project for at least a couple weeks... You might think, from reading this blog, that I'm retired, but far from it. Not with two kids still in college. I'm just lucky enough to have a business that I can run reasonably well from the cabin of a small boat. Except when I've got a big project on, which I do at the moment. So the Blue Moon will have to wait a bit.

In the meantime, I'm designing a stronger, fixed bracket for my new Yamaha outboard. I plan to have that built and affixed to the Blue Moon before departing Jacksonville. But details will have to wait for a future post...

>>> Next Episode: Sail Tie Envy

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