Saturday, March 31, 2007


The London marathon is due to start on Sunday, 22 April 2007 with 56,500 runners hoping to make it to the finish. Some runners are deadly serious, wanting to finish in the top 10 of their male or female events, whereas others like Lloyd Scott will take days doing the impossible for raising cash for various charities. Lloyd was the one who ‘ran’ the marathon in a diving suit, and last year he was dressed in a suit of armour in the guise of St George who slew the dragon, but instead of killing the dragon he dragged his around the 26 mile course!

Those who build boats are a bit like contestants in a marathon. There are purists who want to achieve perfection by building a boat with a mirror-like finish, and there are others who simply want their boat to float, so as to get on the water as quickly as possible with the minimum of effort. Attitude brings a result; the deadly serious boat builder and the equally obsessive perfectionist marathon runner will study their craft to the full; they will utilize the tools of their trade, plan and practise every move before attempting the actual task.

I suppose the majority of amateur boat builders will be satisfied with a good working finish so as to provide a sound vessel for their enjoyment and satisfaction. These equate to most of the runners in the London marathon; they simply want to get around the course in a time that suits their level of fitness. If they raise the amount of cash they desire for their chosen charity they will be happy.

What category of builder am I? I’d like to think I am a perfectionist, but I know I can never reach that standard with my limited skill. All I can do is strive for perfection, while hoping to achieve a reasonable finish that will satisfy me. One thing I know, and that is building a Paradox micro-sailboat takes time and effort; she’s no ‘instant boat’. I need the patience and perseverance of the marathon runner if I am to finish the course.