Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On building your own boat and swimming against the tide of popular opinion...

I am the 99%, Robert Reich continues to make sense, the Senate on the other hand is FUBAR (or as my Mom used to say, Batshit crazy), and the word for today is dehumanization... lifeboat stations anyone?

Over at the ever running forum thread of "Cruising on $500" the current point of discussion seems to be building your own boat and mostly why you should not... Now I'll admit that boatbuilding from the keel up is not for everyone, but for a lot of us it does make all kinds of sense in the right circumstances.

For instance, a lot of folks simply want a boat that falls outside of the same old same cookie cutter boats that everybody else has... Face it, not a lot of schooners selling at the boat shows these days, I mean, does Bendytoy EVEN make a schooner?

For those who don't quite fathom the wonderfulness that a schooner be...

Then there is the cost issue... Done right, building your own boat can save you a huge amount of money while allowing you to fine tune the boat and it's systems to exactly what is needful for your intended purpose (might be a good time to note that most sailboats in the cruising niche built these days are really not geared for cruising but for the bareboat charter market). Not done right, any boat is a money pit waiting to happen whether you're building a Buehler schooner or buying a Hallberg-Rassy. This is something everyone should keep in mind if the need/want issues are not kept in check.

The other thing the nay-sayers will tell prospective boatbuilders is that it takes so much time to build a boat it is hardly worth doing if ever and that you'll be an old man before it's possible to build a boat and go cruising... What can I say, there are idiots everywhere... The truth of the matter is a boat will take as long to build as you take to build it... A friend of mine is just about to start building a 40ish foot catamaran for his daysail charter business and cruising with his family. As it happens, he will be moving in to his building space tomorrow. I'll be very surprised if his boat is not finished, in the water, and taking paying passengers out on a daily basis come Easter... and at a fraction of the cost with a better build than anything available in the current multihull market. You might say he has some serious motivation!

Back when I was a kid I lived up in Northern California and we had a bit of a tidal wave that pretty much destroyed the local fishing fleet. So, as a kid my first experience watching real hands-on boatbuilding close up and personal, was seeing those who had lost their boats build new ones and build them fast as the next fishing season (spelled PAYCHECK) was not going to spend years waiting for them to build a boat... So, if you have the right motivation and some momentum, building a boat in a timely manner is not only possible but a given.

Listening to Muddy Waters

So it goes...