Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's SPRING!!! Repairs, finishing, and the Maine Boatbuilders Show!

This is a for-real AHOY MATEYS because IT. IS. SPRING.  (Insert cymbals here!)  Spring means:  Awesome.  Boats.  Sailing in my Goat Island Skiff.  More Awesome.  I am freaking out.

I ended winter with a bang-- and I drove all the way up to Portland Maine to attend the Maine Boatbuilders Show with one of my enabling buddies who helps convince me that boat related purchases will be beneficial to my life.  He is currently building a Ross Lillistone Phoenix III.  The boat show was awesome, with lots of boats, boat supplies, tools, and other sundries in multiple warehouses.  It was sweet.

What was totally sweet, however, was Clint Chase Boat Builder who was an exhibitor in residence showing off one of his Goat Island Skiff kits!  Clint presciently brought in an unfinished kit because it was, after all, a boatbuilder show, so the Goat was in unfinished conditions-- demonstrating that the Goat is a realistic build for the amateur and is really not a very complicated boat after all.  The passer-by could actually see themselves building such a vessel, as opposed to some of the other boats that were in museum-quality finish.  In short, the Goat is an attainable boat for almost everybody!

Clint Chase and myself with Goat
Clint Chase was the designer of the very sexy mizzen/yawl retrofit/plan for the Goat Island Skiff.  Clint works magic with birdsmouth masts, mizzen masts, oars, whatever you want, and he dutifully provided some of his wares, including bringing the mizzen for this boat:


Gawkers, gawking.
Apparently, Clint said the Goat was a hit.  Again, this is an affordable, attainable project for most people with/without experience, and out of the project, the builder gets a most capable boat.  What are you waiting for?!

I also must plug my homeys over at Maine Island Trail Association.  

That is Ted, who is awesome and posed in a picture with me, at the MITA booth.  The intreprid reader will remember that the MITA helps maintain the Maine Island Trail, and the author of this blog (me) uses this trail for adventures on the high seas!  I highly recommend anyone interested in cruising the Maine coast in small boats (or big) to become a member of this most worthwhile organization.  Go MITA, GO!  (I want that beard...)


In other news pertaining to my vessel, I have dragged her out into the sunlight on this first day of Spring!

Yes, it is Spring!  I have jumped into the boat repairs, and lemme tell you, dear intrepid reader, there is almost nothing like a sharp plane skinning away pieces of wood to bring a smile to this sailor's face!  Clint Chase's boat at the show is going to be a fine piece of vessel when she is finished, and I admired the small touches that he has gone through the trouble of doing to make her classy.  I was duly inspired, and have undertaken the task to clean my boat up and make her even more worthy of my pride!  I will admit, when I built her I didn't know what I was doing, and I also used her as an aggression sink, and I directed much work-related stress into her construction.  I rushed her finishing to get her on the water, and the entire season last year I made excuses for her rough fillets and unfinished edges.  Today, that ends.

I am rounding her off, literally taking off her sharp edges, softening her up, and getting her pretty so that this year, we will cruise with a new temperament, based on relaxation and fun.  Clint showed me how to shape fillets, and I don't know why I didn't try it earlier.  Thank you Clint for the inspiration!

Happy Spring, readers!