“Ship shape and Bristol fashion”

“Ship shape and Bristol fashion”

Many have debated the origin of this expression- I don’t really care. I’m not usually so callous with language. In fact I’m rather a huge fan of how things are said and what meaning they carry. But I feel like with any art, what is observed from one person to the next can be different.

All I know is that I’m a fan of this expression for describing a boat, ship, or craft that has had lots of care put into its appearance and functionality.

I have acquired a 16’ sloop. Wooden hull with fiberglass sheathing, gaff rigged, with lovely lines. She is sound and just needs cosmetic work: sanding, painting, and a small amount of patching up fiberglass on her port rub rail.

My goal is clear to me- restore her, get her into the water and explore the lake. Maybe even coastal sailing after I have the feel of her and confidence to match.

This work would not be at all daunting to most, but I’ve never done it before. I know how to weld, and as far as carpentry I have attempted the obligatory spice rack as well as a rickety trestle table. However my trestle table and spice rack never had to worry about if they could float or not. My spice rack never had rigging or complicated lines to care for. My Trestle table never had a sail.

My deadline:

Late summer/early fall for initial refit completion and launch. To be certain- she is, as many are, a work in progress and I can see this work continuing on longer than this deadline.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blog of fail...

Ok- well that's an overly dramatic title, but I'm chock-a-block full of I haven’t been able to work on the boat lately.
It's been raining off and on again has left me hesitant to pull off the tarps and work on her.

Sunday I did get all of 15 minutes in scraping paint. Wow…hold me back now, such progress is unheard of, I should learn to pace myself.

So that being said I have found a small crack in the glass on her deck, some epoxy with filler should be just what I need to set that right.

I do wish I had a car port so I could work on her even in the rain. Ahhh, want, want, want. The next thing you know I'll want other modern conveniences like flushing toilets and TV...(to anyone reading this who doesn't know- yes we do have TV in Maine, but it is only in black and white...we are expecting color TV to arrive sometime next fall...snicker, snicker).

On a side note-
If you ever want some fun, or to cure insomnia, check out the debates on-line regarding navigation, and anchoring lights (e.g. what is legal what is not) particularly any discussion over oil lamps vs LED lights for boats. I've been keen on this subject as I don't really want to wire the boat up with power, but I don't want to violate any regulation or royal whim when it comes to either bringing her in at dusk or camping out overnight on the lake.
It took a long time to weed through comment upon comment and at the end I came to the conclusion that probably very few people actually know what is required for small boats let alone large ones when they are at anchor on a lake as opposed to the ocean.
"oil lamps are dangerous, and are not very visible", "LEDs are not bright enough either, but safer for the environment", "save the whales..." Ok I made that one up.

I think the only way you can get everyone on the same page while still satisfying the legal aspect of this debate is to make sure you have 10 spot lights trained on your boat (all white light with 360 degree visibility), while at the same time firing flaming arrows into the night sky, as well as having a night watch wearing a neon glow stick suit… ooops no that wont cut it as they are not visible up to 2 nautical miles- so sad.

It’s like doing your taxes, just do your best and get something in writing from someone who’s in authority…though I do like the glow stick suit idea… It would probably make people think aliens were out trout fishing. Why not- fishing is fun for everyone.

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