Tuesday, March 15, 2011

craft shop on a stick...

Sure is a different experience setting up this rig compared to the aluminium and rivets and self-tapping screws on the modern mast of the last boat. Just on this end of the yard we have leather, beads and knots (never a strong point with me even as a cub scout) all sorted into complex shapes and combinations. Every little sub-assembly has a history- a story- and various ways of going about things.
I'm not concerned about being precious or historically correct about this though. This dinghy has some traditional influences, to be sure, but it is still a boat that can take or leave some modern contraptions, and for me it comes down to beauty, ease of use and maintenance. It is very sensuous to have an excuse to cut and bend some leather- and it feels good and sounds fine when in use.
On the other hand, I'm happy to start with modern synthetic braided lines (despite the fact that I find splicing them very frustrating) because they are stable and tough.
One of the very untraditional things I'm up to is to take the peak and throat halyards, the CB tackle, topping lift and furler line right back to the helm and fix them with tufnol cam cleats. It is such luxury to be able to do all these things without leaving one's seat. I've discovered that lifting a gaff sail while seated is a pleasure I hope to have regularly.


  1. Never mind the cub scouts, that looks like the seventies all over again. That leather and macramé looks er, "with it man".

  2. I think you have hit the nail on the head. "Beauty, ease of use and maintenance". All those things come from the materials and traditional or not wood, rope and leather are a joy to work. BTW I prefer the more seamanly terminology "knotwork" rather than "macrame". No macrame work will survive a storm.

  3. Er, sorry Dale, obviously I've uploaded the wrong picture. This is a necklace I made to match my embroidered trousers.

    And Pablo, the 'worry beads' might help me survive a storm...or are they rosary beads?