“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

Trip to OZ

As I indicated in my earlier post- I was looking to make a trip into the nearest marine supply store and get some additional information and expand on my shopping/wish list.
I made my way to the unassuming flat topped building. A single sign out front was the only indication that I had in fact arrived at the right place.
I don't really think anything could prepare me from what I saw next. I opened the door and was greeted with a blast of cool air from the stores AC.
Nirvana, Heaven, Brigadoon, Shangri la.. etc etc all of these terms could have applied here- rows and rows of fenders, navigation equipment, epoxy and fiberglass, just heaps and heaps of all the things you could possibly want on your boat or anything you might use to maintain your boat.
I must say the only aisles I didn't pay a return visit to were the ones with inverters and toilets- who thought those two should be in the same aisle anyway?
There I stood slack jawed and bemused. Like some elderly driver confused by a traffic circle - Just drive you fool!!! Its a traffic circle not brain surgery, just saying.
So knowing that I was just there for recon (to get an idea of costs and get some much needed knowledge), I was able to keep my wallet firmly in its place. However that being said I did pick up a can of varnish- it made me feel like I was at least making some progress today. Though now that I've said that I realize I should be out sanding rather than making cheeky commentary right now. Back outside I go.

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