Part 1 - One of Those
Part 2 -
This Small Space
Part 3 -
So Where's This Boat of Yours?
Part 4 - Planking Nightmares
Part 5 -
It's All Downhill from Here
6 - The Routine
7 - Lil magic trick
Part 8 - Daylight for "Pikake"
The boat was outside and I was not in trouble for nearly wrecking
the basement. I still had much to do. I had to Install boxes
of hatches, fittings and nearly 600ft of various sized rope.
Over the next week, I installed everything from hatches to
the many blocks to lift the sails.
The gaff jaws got some leather tacked in place and all the
standing rigging was finished.
||Ready for rigging
Luckily, I raised the sails and ran the running rigging on
a windless day so I could leave it and try different things.
The Hatches took a while to install with all those screws.
There are a million things I had to do to complete the boat
and that included multiple trips to the local marine store for
shackles and odds-n-ends at the last minute.
||Multitude of shackles
My furler system had not arrived, so I just used hanks for
the jib on launch day.
With good weather in the forecast, I never went the way of
launch ceremonies and all that hoopla. I arranged for a couple
of people who helped in the build to come along for the first
||Out the drive for the first time
I hastily placed the name on the back only minutes before
leaving the drive way.
|| “Pikake” Is Hawaiian for a flower
“Pikake” Is Hawaiian for a flower called Jasmine.
Jasmine, my daughter, would hear none of having her name on
the boat, so I had to find a way around this. She thought it
was clever and she did not object.
We piled in the car and headed for the local marina.
||To the launch
As with other Pathfinder
launches, people gathered to ask about it.
|| “Where did you get it?” My now
standard response, “my basement”.
“Where did you get it?” My now standard response,
“my basement”. I guided the trailer back into the
water and she floated off in little water. I hopped aboard to
check the centerboard case pins for leaks. All was well. After
some tightening of the shrouds, we were aboard and off. All
four of us went out for her first trial.
||All aboard and off
The wind was gusty, but with all of our soggy bottoms aboard,
Pikake hardly healed.
||She hardly healed
Some tests were done and I made notes on things to adjust,
but this happens when you build from scratch and you like things
certain ways. I did get a little nasty surprise when my port
side stay let go, but the mast never came down (thanks stainless
steel tabernacle). The sails were quickly taken down and we
motored in. The Fault was mine and not the fitting. I noted
during installation that the jaws in this little compression
fitting were not lined up evenly.
I let it pass - big mistake. It was rectified easily and all
the others were checked and tightened. More sailing followed
in the next days and it became clear early on that the Pathfinder
is a very stable sailing platform. Her windward abilities are
certainly comparable to my previous factory sloops and the retractable
centerboard does make a big difference running down wind. I’m
new to this whole raising/lowering of the centerboard racket.
I used to put it down and leave it down. I can’t help
but mention that John Welsford did his homework when he designed
She is not only an elegant looking craft, but she has real sailing
abilities and, yes, she’s a dry boat.
In all , its been eleven months and about 500 hours since I
began this journey to build a boat to call my own. With kind
words from family friends and even strangers, its been worth
every moment. I have a very understanding wife and she knew
how long I’ve wanted to do this (since we dated some twenty
years ago). I can’t thank her enough for the opportunity.
||I’m sailing now with that constant grin
that many other boat builders have - sheer joy!
I’m sailing now with that constant grin that many other
boat builders have - sheer joy!.
||Pretty as the picture
I have not had that feeling when I sailed any of my other
boats, except my first boat, which my Dad and me built.
||Thanks Chuck and Sandra for letting me share
my little story.
Thanks Chuck and Sandra for letting me share my little story.
Thank you John Welsford for a well designed boat.
||Thank you John Welsford for a well designed
plans are available at Duckworks.
If anyone is curious to see, I made a blog of my build for
friends who were away and could not partake first hand.