...are sometimes more important than How
Many years of building and remodeling have taught
me to make do with the space at hand. I travel with
a pickup and a small enclosed trailer. At home the
trailer serves as an outdoor shop as I have no garage.
The house basement serves for smaller jobs but, when
the time came to build a boat, there would be no way
out. February in Wisconsin is no time to be working
Arriving home from a busman’s holiday helping
the eldest with her “fixer-upper” condo
in California, I moved the portable bench to the living
room and went to work on the small bits. The tiller
and leeboard “clothespin” are made of
scrap Douglas fir that rode home with us. The basement
was taken up with furniture projects but left an alley
long enough for the spars. Table saw and planer were
down there and I managed to plane mast stock by letting
the planer move itself on casters through the middle
of the piece.
The only room with room
Meanwhile,upstairs, the bigger bits were going together.
The room, slated to be the library, opens to a balcony
over the living room and, thereby, leaves access to
the front door for a large object. I might have got
away with a 16 footer! Time, though, was critical
and why the Teal was chosen in the first place. I
had set a deadline to make the Lake Pepin Messabout
by sail. With parts all over the house and working
every spare minute I stood a chance.
With two weeks to go I spent a week on the road working
and delivering that furniture that had clogged up
the shop. That left room there to finish the leeboard
and rudder. The spars went out the basement window
with a couple quick coats of varnish. Upstairs, I
finished the flotation chambers and managed one coat
of epoxy on the interior of the hull.
The middle kid came by that night to help move off
the balcony. It’s now Tuesday and the deadline
In the yard.
Whole at last!
No time to paint and I still need a sail! With the
hull out, the library floor makes a loft and I’ve
got a partial roll of Tyek. With that and my aunt’s
Singer set up in the living room the sail was sewn
by 2 o’clock Wednesday morning. Ran to Minneapolis
to meet my wife at the airport Wednesday afternoon
and picked up some grommets on the way.
Rigged and assembled Thursday. Packed to go on Friday.
|Bill Paxton photo
at Lake Pepin Messabout
Friday threatened thunderstorms and let loose a downpour
during the afternoon. So much for sailing the seven
miles from Pepin. About 6 the weather let up, including
the wind. The boat was slid in the truck and ready
to go. I was in a quandary; drive to Lake City or
go up the road to Stockholm, hoping to find help to
launch and leave the the truck there for two nights.
My wife got home at 6:30 and rode along to Stockholm.
Barely breeze to clear the shore and pier. Better
out from under the bluffs. Had a leisurely sail across
to Hok-Si-La, meeting a couple more Messabouters on
the way. Perfect for my first sail in many years.
After a wild sail home on Sunday it was back to work
and let the boat dry out. The one coat inside was
insufficient and the bottom had stained. Otherwise
it had weathered the maiden voyage well. Next deadline;
Iowa Messabout at Spirit Lake. Vowed to have it painted.
First, a lot of sanding, filling and one more coat
of epoxy all over. Its summer in Wisconsin and I can
work outside. Didn’t rain much at all, few bugs
and the only problem was birds and airborne recycling
of the wild raspberries in the yard.
Painting was done with a week to spare. Time to rig
a trailer and make a masthead fitting for a halyard.
Didn’t get reef cringles made in the sail. Didn’t
need ‘em. My bother, who lives nearby visited
us at Spirit Lake and said, “ Well, ya picked
the one day in twenty the wind doesn’t blow”.
|Sunrise on Spirit
We did sail some and had a good time yakking on the
beach. Sure was great to see my own boat floating
there in front of me.
BTW, The only thing not made from scratch are the
Seadog hatches from Duckworks.