One of my most rewarding activities is renovating small sailing boats. I’m a bit like a first-aider who gives the kiss of life to a person whose heart has stopped and who no longer has breath. After spluttering back into the world of consciousness his blue lips turn pink and his eyes flicker. His expression of wonderment becomes a broad grin, while his sparkling eyes crease at their corners. He has a future and hope again, but the joy is twofold.
Renovating boats is not so instant. It can take months or even years, according the state of the hull and equipment.
I have a good friend who is far more expert at rejuvenating worthy craft. Talk about Joshua Slocum and his beloved ‘Spray’ ……… that was a simple rebuild by comparison with my friend’s achievement! After three years his classic Seaton yawl, which had been a rotten hulk, was transformed into a yacht to be admired. Practically every bit of her had been painstakingly renewed. How patiently he laminated each rib, made a new keel, set the transom and carefully shaped every plank. Her varnish and paintwork glistened, boot topping and all; her tanned cotton sails were just right, set to jaunty bowsprit, stout mast, gaff and boom; her colourful burgee and red duster completed the picture of perfection.
There’s seldom a need for the ‘Full Monty’; more often than not it’s a case of TLC, but that also brings satisfaction. Why not give it go? In addition you could make a profit and have fun on the water.
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