|Project by Garry||posted 01-15-2014 12:03 AM||2610 views||5 times favorited||19 comments|
I thought you might like to see this. Back in the 80s I had a dream to build a boat and sail off into the wild blue. The 75 foot dream inspired by the Adventures in Paradise TV series (who remembers that show?) gradually shrank to a 28 footer but she lived up to my dreams. I was fortunate to find an understanding boatbuilder in North Carolina who built the fiberglass hull and deck and allowed me to complete the boat myself in his boatyard using many of his tools.
I learned a lot. The first time I saw the inside of the bare fiberglass hull and deck, it looked like the inside of an egg. I had no idea where to start. My primary reference became a piece of string stretched down the centerline. The builder was patient and gave me a lot of good advice.
Once I was routing dadoes for the treads on the companionway ladder. I flipped the piece of wood around and routed two slots on the wrong side of the line. I was about to throw a nice piece of teak away when he suggested I double the width of the dadoes and fill in the extra width with a contrasting piece of ash. It became one of the most complimented features of the boat.
I also opened him up to some new ideas. The deck was designed and built to meet my requests and the open layout was entirely my creation. He sold several more boats based on this design before he succumbed to the competitive pressures of cheap, mass produced boat economics.
The interior used birch cabinet grade plywood trimmed in teak with a teak sole (floor) and ash ceiling (overhead and hull liner). Every piece was unique to fit its particular spot. It was a challenge and I loved it. I spent six months full time on the boat and had to go back to work to finish paying off what I owed him.
But then I spent three years cruising the Atlantic coast, Florida Keys and the Bahamas. I met my wife in Key West. I miss those days now but I still get a thrill creating something out of wood.
-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.