Monday, January 18, 2010

Avast ye, ya land lubbers...

Now then, regular readers of this blog (well at least I hope that there are some!) may well be aware of the mirror dinghy that used to occupy the floor space within the base for my many projects (and plans for world domination) known to all and sundry as ‘the garage’. The sharp eyed amongst you have possible noticed the past tense used within the opening line of this post, indicating that said dinghy is no more and I must admit, albeit a little sheepishly, that this is indeed the case. Now just desist with that wailing and the gnashing of teeth as all is not lost, for I have good reason for giving the little lady a Viking funeral.

Upon removing the gunwhales and side pieces it became apparent that the dinghy was not so much of a restoration project but was more like a total rebuild apart from the top decking at the bow, with much cracking and very large areas where the ply was very soft even after drying. The problem with this would that it would take a huge part of my ‘out there’ time denying myself and Clare valuble time in the fresh air together. The idea was that the dinghy was to be a winter project allowing another form for both of us to enjoy the outdoors this year. So it was with a heavy heart and a lump rising within my throat that the little lady has been carried by bright flames to Valhalla (along with a varied assortment of garage debris). All that remained were the top deck pieces of marine ply (and with good reason!).

So there I was, little boy lost with me lower lip jutting out some considerable distance when the spirits of the outdoors must have taken a look at the pitiful sight of my despair and smiled, nay grinned, at me, well outdoor spirits in the form of me matey Jim that is. Remember my posting some weeks ago ‘a slight dilemma’ where the prospect of another mirror dinghy had arisen? Well to be honest I’d given up any notion of this ‘phantom vessel’ ever appearing over the horizon until just the other day when Jim pipes up in work “get your backside into gear; we’re picking the mirror up tomorrow”. Well would you credit it, God pats me on the head and says “good boy John”. The following morning duly arrives and low and behold by midday there is a mirror dinghy hull (not hulk) residing within the hallowed walls of the garage – result.

Not only has she arrived, but the little lady is defiantly a winter project with considerable less work to do on her to get her on the water. This is the project that I’d been hoping for and even though there is still some considerable work to be done I’m really looking forward to it. At the moment she’s been given some days to dry out before the stripping of all paint and varnish commences and a more detailed inspection is carried out.

Call me fickle if you like but this lady now has my entire garage time attention with the other old crone just a distant memory, although the ply from her top deck will be used for some of the minor repair work so she’ll not be forgotten totally. Oh and how much has this cost me thus far? The cost of the fun cruisers diesel to pick her up, yep cheap skate really is my middle name.

Oh and one final piece of news, a little bit of freebie ‘kit’ has magically wormed its way into my life in the form of a stainless steel divers knife, from when divers considered big blades (7 inches!) the bling to be strapped upon their legs. For me it’s going into the sea fishing tackle box.

Now then if I can just figure out how to group related posts you’ll be able to follow my progress on the restoration of Carpe Diem II a little more easily than trawling through all manner of me musings. Damn this technical stuff……



Wandering Owl said...

(You knew this was coming)---


Can't wait to watch your project progress, John. Just a sailing vessel, or can it be used for trolling the channels in search of fish for supper?

The only way I can figure you to group posts about it's restoration would be to "Tag" the posts some way. Blogger has that capability, but right now what it's called is escaping me.


Le Loup said...

With all due respect John, it looks like it could be difficult to paddle up a creek, and to use the "J" stroke you will have to lean out over the decking! But I do love boats and being on the water.
Le Loup.

Fish Whisperer said...

She looks a beaut and quite seaworthy. A good winter project.
You can start tagging your posts and then put a tag cloud on the side bar.
Tag all the boat post with the word boat and then when someone wants to see them they just click on the word boat on the side bar and magically the boat posts appear.
Check my blog and tag cloud to see what I mean.

2 Tramps said...

Wonderful winter project! We are trying to get our shop cleaned up enough to build a 16 1/2 foot kayak. Like you , we enjoy being outside and hope to garner some new experiences should our craft finally make it to water. Best of luck with your restoration.

Murphyfish said...

HeyHey Owl, it’s primarily intended as a sailing vessel, although by strengthening the rear transom I able to fit a small outboard to allow me to use it for fishing as well. Kari from has mailed me with the info I need so she’s my favorite blogger at the mo! Hopefully it shouldn’t be to long before visible progress is seen on the dinghy.

Hi Le Loup, not a problem when the sails are up! Other than that it’ll be rowing or out board power. Cheers for the comment.

FW Cheers for the advice – already sorted by Kari – thanks for the input

2 Tramps – 16 ½ feet! That’s 6 ½ feet longer than the little lady. Sounds like a great project, let me know how it goes.

Le Loup said...

A very close friend of mine and I used to take a period boat trek on The Great Lakes on the NSW coast every winter. We had a great time using only 18th century gear.
My friend was going to build a period sailing vessel with a small cabin for sleeping in so we could sail out of one lot of lakes, round the coast and into another lake. I think that would have been great fun, but my friend died of cancer before he even got started.

Get your boat done John and get out there and use it.
Regards, Le Loup.

Murphyfish said...

Hey Le Loup,
Sage advice as always my friend, you just do not know what tomorrow may bring. Rest assured my good man the little lady will be spreading her sails over the waters in Wales this summer (and hopefully also as a platform for a little mackerel spinning to boot!).
Best regards,