Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Salacia (shades of Spartina)

Back in August I received one of those "make you feel good" emails from Bill in New Zealand. He said he admired Spartina and wanted to have a Pathfinder professionally built with some of the same ideas I used on my boat.
Just the other day I got a second email telling me the boat had been launched. Wow, how cool is that? Here are some photos and description from Bill.

"Well, it's been a while but my new Pathfinder Salacia has now been launched. On Wikipedia her name is explained as: "In ancient Roman mythology,Salacia was the female divinity of the sea, worshipped as the goddess of salt water who presided over the depths of the ocean. She was the wife and queen of Neptune, god of the sea and water" and it is pronounced 'sa-lay-shia' with the second syllable accented."

"The overall paint style, apart from the dark blue of the lower hull compared to your dark green, is almost the same. The builder talked me into having the vertical areas inside of the hull painted white, which I think looks fine with the gray.

The use of varnish almost exactly mirrors Spartina, and I still think this combination of paint and varnish presents these lovely boats in the most attractive way. (To be accurate, it's all Sikkens Cetol rather than proper varnish as I'm a shocking painter and Sikkens is easy to apply and maintain) "

"I copied your 'day locker' idea, and just took it a little further by levelling the top of frame 6A right across to the outboard well, which gives me a waterproof locker underneath. This required that the mizzen be stepped into an aluminium tube and the tube feeds rain or drip water into the starboard cockpit drain as it passes through to the transom. One thing I didn't spot this first time out was that the flat surface starting at the boomkin means anything placed there will slide down to the outboard well when on starboard tack - I learned this when I looked back and saw my coiled mooring line had disappeared! This will be slightly less a problem when I get the outboard installed for my next sail, but I'm still thinking of a strip of mahogany or similar just as a bar across that surface. On this first trip my set of car and house keys were just thrown back there, but fortunately got stuck behind the aluminium post holding the mast.

The centreplate is actually cast iron! Salvaged from a naval whaler that was sailing around in the 1940s and 1950s, it was in the boat builder's collection of stuff, and only needed some trimming to fit John's plans.

I've also adopted your lazyjacks design and like you, I think, have done away with a separate topping lift. I've also for now dispensed with what we call a 'kicker' here that you call a boom vang in the US."

"And there's probably more details I've forgotten. One idea I got from another Pathfinder on the web (Varuna, an Auckland based boat I believe) is to put drains from the forward bunk flat area into the cockpit - you can see the smallish holes in the two photos of the interior. Varuna only has them outboard, but I asked John Welsford and he said to put them both inboard against the centrecase and outboard. As I'm going to nearly always be sailing single handed, only having to drain the main cockpit is big plus."

The work on this boat is just spectacular. Bill, I hope you'll pass on my compliments to your builder, he did a fantastic job. I do definitely see Spartina when I look at her (just without the roughness that only an unskilled woodworker like me can bring to a boat!). When I look at the cockpit I can see just where I would sit, I can even feel the coaming hard against my back. This really touches my heart. I get the feeling I could hop on an airplane, travel half way around the world, step on this boat and feel completely at home. Thanks for sharing all of this Bill.

In the meantime, above is my view of Spartina as I walked into the garage last night after 15 hours of traveling Sunday to get home (please don't ask me what I think of USAirways). Surprisingly Spartina was just the same as I left her - needing her off season maintenance. I'll get on it this week.

The good news is I racked up some serious comp time on my trip. Plenty of off time for a May sailing trip on Pamlico Sound, a nice long weekender like I've been threatening to do for years. But I've got to wonder if I can tell me wife that I'll make up for being gone on Father's Day weekend (when Bruce and I will be making our NC trip) by being gone Mother's Day weekend too? I'll have to think about that.


1 comment:

SandyBottom said...

Welcome back home. I'm sure your trip was filled with emotional conflict.

Those boats sure are beautiful.

What are the start/stop dates (around Father's Day) of your June trip. Paul and I are planning on being on the water as well, maybe following you around :)

He'd love to do some work on the Dawn Patrol, but I've got to let him out of the basement and off kayak building first :)