Tuesday, March 10, 2009

boats to build

"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. 



Brian said...

Hi Steve

Your trip has motivated me..,

Back to the grindstone.



Steve said...

I'm glad it has got you motivated. I'm getting pumped right now too - the trip is just a little over three weeks away.