I love boats. It's that simple. I have a special fondness for old wooden boats that have some life left in them. As you will see in the following pages I have had more than my share of boats over the past 17 years.
When I graduated from college I was kicking around and wanted to do something with sailing before I had to get a "real" job. One day I saw an article about a boatyard that preferred to work on wooden boats. I called the owner up and asked for a job. Shortly thereafter I started work as the yard "scut boy". While I only worked there for less than a year I had the opportunity to see and learn a lot about boats as well as purchase my first boat. It was a 1946/47 vintage Hampton One Design, a boat indigenous to the lower Chesapeake Bay. I cleaned it up, rigged it and spent a season sailing before I moved inland and started a real life. Over the next couple of years I stripped the fiberglass that had been laid in polyester resin, faired the hull, laid new glass in epoxy, painted with Interthane two part polyurethane paint and sailed occasionally.
Now jump forward about 7 years; I was married, had a career, house and a newborn daughter. I also had the desire to build a strip canoe. In the living room.
That didn't go too badly except when I nailed the sawhorses to the subfloor through the carpet! Then my wife was positive I'd gone over the edge! The neighbors were also convinced I wasn't wired right. And the cat liked to play in the wood shavings from when I planed the strips to fit. Needless to say my wife wasn't thrilled to find shavings all through the house.
Still I wanted to sail and the Hampton was too much to singlehand on windy days as well as taking time to rig and launch. So I bought an old fiberglass LASER to beat about in and this is what I used to initiate my now 14 month old daughter to sailing. (Mom sat on the beach and pretended not to be worried)
The Hampton wasn't seeing action so I sold it the following winter and put the cash towards more tools. Several years later I did the same with the canoe and bought a bandsaw.
Now we've moved into a new house we built ourselves and I have a dedicated workshop. I acquired a STAR class hull and a Lightning over the summer of 2000, both for the astronomical sum of $100.