"I'm gonna build me a boat
With these two hands
It'll be a fair curve
From a noble plan"
Those lines are from Guy Clark's "Boats to Build," probably my favorite song about boat building and - more importantly - getting away from it all. Clark is from West Texas but spent a few years down on the Texas coast around Rockport and Houston. You can tell from his music he learned a few things about boats and life on the water.
I think a lot about building Spartina, especially in the winter when the days are short and the weather is too cold and grey to go outside. I spent two winters in my garage building my Pathfinder. The first winter was all about cutting frames, adding stiffeners and shaping spars. By the second winter I was bending on stringers (starting to look like a boat) and doing the planking (really looking like a boat!). I miss all that activity on the cold winter nights.
While my boatbuilding days are over I still take a lot of joy in watching other people work on their Pathfinders. The good folks on the JW builders site have put together a list of blogs from Pathfinder builders. If you are interested in building a Pathfinder it would be well worth your time to visit some of these sites and take a look at what these guys are doing.
- Take a look at the detail work and joinery on Rick Corless's boat.
- Jason is using a 3-D modeling program to help visualize his boat.
- I had to laugh when I looked at Brian's blog (photo above). Imagine opening a blog from a boat builder on the other side of the world only to see a photo of my wife and youngest daughter on Spartina! I think he got it from John's site. (It's ok by me, I'm proud of both the boat and the family!)
- Richard is calling his Pathfinder "Catori" which means "Spirit" in the Hopi language. Interesting to find a Kiwi boat with a Native American name.
- I've emailed with Perry a bit. I really envy his sailing territory of New Foundland, but I'll pass on the long winters up there.
- Alan is in the U.K and the this beautiful Pathfinder looks to be a family project.
One thing these builders have in common is that they all have a lot more skill than I do. The work is just fantastic, I can't wait to see some of these boats on the water. These boats are real show pieces. But while Spartina (below) may carry a workboat finish, she is still strong and true. I'll be proud to sail her any day.