|Our Hopeful Monster
Building Yer Own
Anke and I are in the throes of building our 'last' boat.
There are moments, I admit, when I question our sanity. Why build when we have a perfectly good boat (SLACKTIDE)? Why build when we could buy? Why upsize when we were happily downsized?
Without having quite realized it, the new boat will represent a five year plan (assuming no extravagant setbacks). Time and treasure...
Financing, planning, shopping, building, rigging... all these represent time spent not drifting about, or at least cutting it to summer/early autumn months. Will the new boat be worth the investment of those golden hours afloat?
Mmm. Good questions, deserving good answers, with Time to be the Ultimate Judge.
Why build when we have a perfectly good boat? This is probably hardest question to answer. The bottom line is that we're afraid that 'tent-style living', on our knees, would not see us through old age. And if we are to build, the time is now, while it's merely hard going. A decade down the road and it may be untenably hard going.
Why build when we could buy? Well, the number of ultra-shoal, live-aboard boats in reasonable condition and reasonable price is a small number indeed. Lots of deals in boats these days, but most are many, many compromises away from our wish list.
Why upsize when we were happily downsized? Both have advantages and disadvantages. The new boat is still small, by most standards.- affordable and manageable - yet affords a large step toward the SWAB concept. Oh, and it has a stand-up galley... Anke loves SLACKTIDE's kneeling galley for the nonce, but feels that for the longer term, LUNA's stand-up arrangement was preferable. Along with project and miniature garden space, elbow-room. Me? I'm a 'small is beautiful' kinda guy. But it's true... everything but maintenance is a skosh easier with a little extra volume.
Is it worth the investment? Time will have to tell, here. We've got a lot invested and a long way to go. We try to cultivate the attitude that we are cruising, albeit shorebound to one particular phase of a bigger picture.
There's a lot to be said for building one's own boat/home, whatever the cost.
Building one's own connects a sailor to his or her vessel and sailing life in a way that's hard to explain, but which, among those who've done it, needs no explanation. Some things just can't be purchased, at any price.
And there is nothing - nothing - to compare to the moment yer own creation comes to life under first press of sail.
Our muscles ache and complain, yet we grow strong. Morning comes too early, yet the day is full of challenges met. Our progress seems slow, and yet...
Something wonderful is growing under our hands.