Monday, October 05, 2009

Classic Wooden Boat

Plastic boats are much of a muchness, but wooden boats are unique, because all their parts are mainly fashioned by hand. Unlike fibreglass boats, wooden vessels do not come out of moulds. Old classic yachts are greatly admired for the craftsmanship put into them by skilled shipwrights. A good many well-proven weather-worn vessels abound today after 40 or 50 years of faithful service. They have character and saltiness, and an organic quality akin to nature’s forms. Why else are graceful yachts likened to maidens? Just look at the photograph of the aft deck of ‘CALLIDUS’ showing her laid planking and curvaceous taffrail. Where else would you find such a shapely tiller, a fusion of metal and oak that has ‘evolved’ for fitness of purpose – for unifying a skipper and his vessel as she cleaves the waves while the rudder hums and the vibrating tiller says, “All’s well. She’s doing 6 knots Captain,” and, “God speed!” The varnish work and the teak-oiled deck may not be pristine, but they speak of sea spray, sunshine and happy days. Forget the toil, think not of gales, dwell not upon gripping fear, but remember star-studded skies, sunshine and showers, rainbows, comradeship, French wine and Cornish pasties! Hard-worn decks and crazed varnish tell of a good life, work done, dreams accomplished and much satisfaction.
The Yacht ‘CALLIDUS’ used for RYA tuition.

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