Tuesday, December 13, 2005


The world seems to be spinning like a top; Christmases rush past, kid's birthdays pile up, weather happens and then suddenly we're into another round: just the same but different.
I've been sanding the boat, stripping paint, musing over it. I've already spent more than it's worth getting Stark Bros to rip out the rot in the port gunwale, replace the rubbing strakes (with two beautiful pieces of nut-brown hardwood) and fix some leaks.
Stark Bros have a cavernous shed next to the dry-dock, and right next to Awakeri was a fishing boat, just finished. Frank said it was a little bigger than is economical to build of wood, but they have to keep staff busy, so they build them on spec...
About 55 ft, and beamy, it looked ocean-going, though I gather it's aimed at the overnight/fresh fish trade. The bronze propeller gleamed in the dusky light. The caulking was fresh, awaiting its first coat of paint. I felt the world was a better place just in the knowledge that Stark Bros in Lyttelton were still building wooden ships.
They did a pretty good job on the Sigrid, but there's lots more to do. The trailer is a mess, the outboard is dodgy, and just the painting will cost a lot of time and another wad of money. But it's not really about money or equivalent value: I'm investing something else in her.
Starting work this Saturday, I loved the smell of it: some paint and saw-dust; a musty salt undertow. I'm pondering paints: everything has changed since the last painting- about a decade ago. Epiglass have become "International". You can't get "Cove Green"- or anything much like it, and I LIKE cove green... Two pot epoxy paints are the rage, but won't go over a one-pot first coat, and I'm not stripping everything back to wood.
But as I start, I'm thinking- she's going to look great. The new rubbing-strakes emphasise her rather graceful sheer. I'm going to fill in the nail-heads, and the cracks in the cabin roof. A beige/cream deck and top-sides, and either a darker green or perhaps royal blue hull.
She's gonna look smart. And I can already smell the salty wind; feel it on my cheek; envisage Godley Head slipping astern.

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