Well shipmates, it happened like this. A couple of years ago on this blog I posted a series of posts about the restoration of a small seven foot P Class yacht (The Cygnet Project). I have to say the whole process was a great joy, a sort of long meditation where I lost myself in sanding, painting, filing and fixing. The result was a pretty cute looking, thoroughly restored little yacht which sailed very well considering the load it was expected to carry i.e Me! But alas she is a bit too small and cramped, so I have been looking around for something a bit bigger. I had set my heart on restoring an OK dinghy class yacht which like the P Class I had sailed in my younger days. While I was looking around fate intervened and I ended up with a quadruple heart bypass operation and all the malarkey and post operative limitations that an event like that involves - So I decided to downsize on the OK dinghy and recently bought on Trade Me a nine foot Starling class sailing dinghy. The Starling was designed by the legendary New Zealand yacht designer Des Townsend as an intermediate class between the New Zealand P Class and bigger single handed dinghy classes such as the OK, Laser, Zephyr and Finn dinghies. They are popular in New Zealand with good competitive racing fleets.
This little dinghy is big enough for an average sized adult to sail easily without the kind of physical exertion that a larger sailing dinghy requires.
In my workshop I have just restored a large number of wooden chisels (Shipmates DON'T use them as screw drivers or for mixing paint as it quadruples the restoration time) some wood planes and other equipment ready for this dinghy restoration. I have to say I am very pleased with myself for restoring all these tools. It has been a lovely long meditative task specially designed to please old Mariners like moi with dodgy tickers.
So the minimum amount of work at this stage is a completely new deck. The maximum will be the complete replacement of the hulls plywood sheathing. I think it's going to be a bit scary to see this little boat reduced to something like the skeleton of a beached whale, but I have found out surgically that if you want to fix stuff you just have to get to the heart of the matter. So whatever needs to be done will be done. Its a nice manageable job with the future prospect of some great sailing. Small yacht restoration is a very, very satisfying activity for obsessive yachtie aficionado types such as me - so I am happy with this small restoration for the time being - BUT - There is a Magnum Opus yacht restoration looming on the horizon, looming like the clear bright light from a lighthouse on a dark moonless night in winter - more of that another time.