Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Cygnet Project (3)

The 'Cygnet Project' is chugging along just fine and dandy and I am enjoying doing this restoration very much. I have painted the hull with its finishing coat of Polar White paint and have now turned her upright.
To date the deck has had two coats of its seven coats of varnish. The instructions on the tin call for six coats so I will do that and put on one more for luck.
If you look in the background you will see the rudder and the centerboard hanging from the carport rafters. Whoever built this little boat put a lot of care into the building of the rudder and centerboard - if you look carefully you will see that they have been laminated out of alternating Kauri and Mahogoney woods. Such detail I think is an indication as to the care that went into the building of the hull. This care has meant that this little craft is still as sound as the day she was built - which by my reckoning (looking at the nature of her gear - wooden masts, sail number etc) indicates that she could be as old as 30 or more years. Not as old as her new skipper and certainly better looking in her new white paint and varnish.
I love this little boat. To the outsider that may seem a bit silly but for me a 'P class' yacht holds so many memories of my growing up years sailing on the estuary in Christchurch. I remember it all so vividly and have such happy memories of all those far off sailing days.
Roll on launching day is all I say!


Delwyn said...

Alden ~ It's looking good. You must be enjoying this project.

Delwyn said...

You are a sentimental old bloke aren't you - love it!
Obviously I saw the post before it was finished - no script last time when I commented. It looks like good therapy - all that sanding and laying on of coats of varnish...

Alden said...

I take absolute exception to that word 'old' - ye gods girl! next thing I know you will be sending me brochures for Zimmer Frames - Just won't do I tell you, wont' do at all!

Mr. Kinder said...

That you love this little boat is obvious from the photographs. It will love you right back by making you feel about 30 years younger when you take her helm.

These Cygnet Project posts are really fun. They're making my antibodies for "Old boat fever" work overtime. If you ever do an OK Dinghy project like this it could cause me to relapse.

VenDr said...

I love the way you are restoring something beautiful for its own sake. Particularly when I reflect that it will be almost impossible for you to use yourself. What will you do when you finish? Find some other eager, open, tow haired boy or a lovely stroppy little blonde haired girl who might like to launch a lifetime's passion for yachts with it?

Alden said...

Yes it is nice to restore something that is beautiful, in fact it is a joy.
Despite my size and weight these little boats can be sailed by adults and a lot of fun can be had in doing so - of course a good sailing breeze is required - I will post some sailing photos in due course.

What I would like to do is restore another P class so that I can go out on the water and instruct the grandchildren when the time comes.

After a couple of P class restorations I will be looking for an old wooden OK dinghy (twice the size of a P class) to restore - another boat I used to sail long ago which has an impeccable pedigree, sails like a witch and is a thing of great beauty to behold.

Ah so many yachts - so little time.

VenDr said...

I remember a Barry Crump novel where the hero wins a P class in a raffle and uses it to get around new Zealand. I've always thought it was a bit far fetched, especially after I once tried to sail an optimist - admittedly in very light wind. I ended up walking behind it. You've set me thinking. I've always had a hankering to restore a vintage car. But, that would take more money and time than I can see myself having for a while yet. But trawling through Trademe looking at old dungery motorbikes... An old Jap 2 stroke, such as the Suzuki 500 I used to have should be a pretty easy restoration...

Alden said...

And indeed why not? - that's a great idea.

It would sound a bit far fetched to some to say there is a meditative element in all this - but there is a little I think. Being completely absorbed in something that you really love is a great joy. The time flies when you are concentrating and you seem to be focussing on one thing only despite the fact that what you may be doing is mulifaceted.

I remember well your old Suzuki 500. You will be doing well if you can find one of those, but there are a huge number of old classic bikes around - take a look on Trademe - if you can find something that you really like it will make an excellent restoration project.

Katherine said...

Please please don't forget your promise to have some photos taken of its launch and you in her for the first sail!

And post them here, obviously!

PS Ahem, gentlemen, I used to have a Suzuki 360.

Alden said...

Katherine I promise to do a post on the launching and the sailing.

And it sounds as if you could do a rather good posting on you and your Suzuki 360 - its amazing how many Kiwis have a motorbike of some sort in their past - it must have something to do with the relatively great New Zealand weather.

VenDr said...

In drawing, which as you know, I have dabbled in recently, there is a definite meditative element. It is about being present -being absolutely in the now. Building, restoring, repairing it's all the same stuff I think. You are completely present to the wood/stone/paper and that's why time just disappears. The grain, the shade, the surface of the paint - for a short while they are everything. From my limited experience it's also what happens when you are sailing. And skiing. And surfing. It happened in my one experience of automotive restoration : mechanically rebuilding a VW Kombi and fitting it out as a camper. I remember whole days disappearing in a half hour.

There's something else. "God created humankind in his own image". We are most truly in God's image when we are doing what God does ie creating. When we are making something there is a deep, spiritual satisfaction that is like no other state of being. It's what we were built for. It's better than sex. Well, mostly better than most sex.

Alden said...

I think you put it well. There is a meditative quality in anything that we are completely absorbed in, especially if we are doing something we love very much. I guess this is the basis of mindfulness, being absorbed into life itself in a continuous awareness of and love for life itself.

You stated, "We are most truly in God's image when we are doing what God does ie creating. When we are making something there is a deep, spiritual satisfaction that is like no other state of being. It's what we were built for. It's better than sex."

- given this, perhaps the most creative and spritual act would be the creating of a new life with someone that you truely loved - in this context sex would be the most creative act and in doing so would be the closest to doing what god does?