Monday, March 1, 2010

A quick note on oars and boatbuilding

Building this Goat Island Skiff has been quite the up and down. There have been days of boredom when I stared at her and couldn't get started, days of excitement when she came together, days of satisfaction when I see my cumulative efforts, and of course, those days of agony over how to fix something or worse, "did I do that right? Because now it's too late..."

Oar building, however, has been phenomenally exciting, a shaft of light onto my project. To shape with my hands the object of manual propulsion for my beautiful boat brought a feeling of overwhelming satisfaction. Not only could I see immediate results, but I could easily see where I could make improvements on future oars. Nice. When I looked up from the first oar, and saw that, dammit, I just made an oar, and then saw my boat sitting on her buckets... well, it was definitely a "holy s**t!" moment, for sure.

I think during a build it gets easy to see the trees-- the small projects, the small problems, the next step. In that process the big picture of a boat sitting in the garage ready to go sailing gets overshadowed. The oars brought the forest back into focus. My boat is not a series of problems and tasks and items to be completed. My boat is a she, a vessel designed and built to carry me over the water and to those distant shores of my summer dreams. When I look down at the oar in my hand that just yesterday was a pine plank, and I look up and see the boat, my boat... well then the smile is very broad and I am happy.

So go build an oar. If you're on the fence on whether or not to build a boat or not, get some plans for an oar and build one.

Then build another.

Then build your boat.

Then go sailing. Go rowing. Smile!

(simple oar plans in this book)

Storer (free oar plans)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. That captures this whole boat building adventure nicely. Beautifully put.