Thursday, June 23, 2011

'Tis the Season For Not Making

Hello. My name is Robert and I'm a recovering boat-builder.
I have to repress the need to make lists of things to order.
I have small notepads next to every chair in case I need to draw some solution to a joint or a sub-assembly. They are all far.
The shed calls me repeatedly, and I wander up there to rearrange some tools, or clean up some remaining off-cuts, but I just come back to the house with an armful of firewood. To-day I mixed some two-stroke fuel, even though I never seem to need much, especially when the weather combines with middle-age to conspire to make sailing intermittent at best.

I am like the worst of us in that having boats doesn't seem to be enough- there needs to be something in the pipeline.
The damn pipeline. I'm trying to act like a non-builder.
There are things proper people do, and I'm going to get me some of those.

I'm not worried. Lots of people aren't making a boat at the moment. Why, I can think of seventeen on our road alone that aren't actually making one at the moment. Maybe eighteen if you include teen-agers. Or twenty-three if you include dogs.
I could go shopping.

Or I could just tidy up all the plans that I have accumulated by accident, and make a tidy pile. Or two.
I could roll them up into a nice tube, or flatten them so that they form a nice stack.
I could feel like a publisher and look at the stack and reject them all- maybe even write to the designers and say that I'm grateful for their work, but there really isn't a market for their particular design at the moment, and good luck with the other rejections and my isn't the market tight at the minute you just wonder if anyone reads plans anymore, what with the strength of the dollar and the Chinese you know, they can do it so much cheaper. Oh, my, is that the time?

Or I could just sneak another look at The Maid of Endor, while no-one else is in the house except Billy, but he's a dog, and he doesn't mind.
And he did have quite a nice time lying on the Melonseed skiff plans last week. He looked quite decorative on the off-sets page, with all those lovely numbers in the table by his head.

But going to the Paul Gartside new web page is certainly off-limits. I draw the line at that.
Or I will, after I just make sure that that trailerable double-endered cutter is way too much of a life-style change for a confirmed dinghy man.

And I'm not having a bar of all that talk of a slightly bigger Pilgrim from JW. That would be a bridge too far, with a pair of boats already in the shed. A good capacity there though, purposeful little hull with a juicy stay-sail tucked in there behind the jib. But there'll be none of that sort of thinking, I'm sensible now. Going straight.

Keep it simple. That's the plan.
The house. I'll work on the house and all my blogger friends will be so grateful that I'm thinking about windows and glazing, and getting drawings approved by council. They'll like that, bored with boats and little dreams of pieces of string.


  1. You are hilarious Dad!! I don't know of any boat building detox units in this state...otherwise I might refer you to one of them!!! You can't help it if you are one hell of a curious creature who likes to learn and expand in his world now can you? One of the funniest pieces of writing ever!!!

    Who is the horse?? I have been thinking wistfully about horses lately, missing them in my life...animals seem to keep popping up in your world though hey...dogs, dolphins, seals, horses, cows, birds...quite an ecclectic mix! You have a natural affinity with them dad...xx

  2. Looks like a donkey to me, no not you Rob the other donkey.

    Dear oh dear what to do I feel your pain. I know you are thinking two boats are enough for anyone but how to extinguish the urge to build just one more. The one that will satisfy the creative drive, the one that will require all your skills and dedication and the one that when complete will cause you to stand back and gaze at your lovely creation and think to yourself my boat building days are done I can't top this.

    BTW I don't think working on the house will cut it, good luck though.

    Mike who will be watching and waiting for the announcement.

  3. It's not the boat's, it's the making which is the itch that needs scratching.
    It's to cold for boat building...and too still for sailing.But I am enjoying having a 'man about the house' again - probably not for long (sign!)...

  4. Rob,
    I always build a rowboat in winter, to keep the demon at bay. If you don't need or desire a rowboat, you can easily sell it or give it away. Just throw up some tarps around the 'ol shed and tinker on! It's an addiction that harms no one and as Mary would say "no harm, no foul".

    You could build a lute. I've always been fascinated by that old Medieval design. And they look a bit like a currach.


  5. goodvibes it is very, very fine to feel understood by off-spring.
    Mike, you're a very naughty boy leading me on..but bless you. are simply gorgeous and I love you more than I ever did.
    MB, sage as usual...obviously has seen my demons...I'd love to have a beer with you.
    I'm only finding irony and humour in a situation I've seen in many others...that space between an extending sort of challenge, now complete, and the identification, and firing up for the next. Goodness I'd hate to feel there were no more mountains to climb. However minor they might be in the grand scheme of things.
    Actually, being minor only makes the grand scheme more worth pondering.

  6. Rob, don't think I didn't notice the mention of Melonseed plans, which I hope are not just doggie papers. Any plans we should know about?

  7. Well, funny you should notice that in the ramblings of a suspected odd-ball, but those plans get regular attention. I do have some reservations about the physical challenges of rolling my 6'4" frame into a ball sufficiently compact to sail that boat though...I love the idea of it, but might wait to see how your adult frame copes!

  8. I think step one is to "admit that one cannot control one's addiction or compulsion". There might be some other steps to recovery but I cant remember them.

  9. Mmm....I'm not absolutely sure I want to recover....yet....