“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.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

First steps

Off to the marine supply place at some point for a combination of window shopping and pricing information.
I'm sure I will be very tempted by all the latest whistles and bells they have to offer.
That brings to mind a sort of side goal of mine. I would like to keep whatever additions I make in keeping with the tone of a wooden sailboat. No large consoles with navigation equipment requiring me to hook up a battery and inverter... I would only go the battery route if I had to hook up a bilge pump, but at this point I see no need. A sponge and bucket will do nicely if I have any water to clean up.
I will be keeping an eye out for a nice brass ships clock, barometer, thermometer combination - I've seen them mounted all together on a plaque but they usually are very expensive. I think I'll focus on finding separate components that I can mount myself. There is a perfect spot for this in the front of the cabin.

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