Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.I spent a couple of hours on Percival Landing at the Wooden Boat Fair this afternoon. For several reasons, I don’t get down there very often, so I was glad to have the chance this weekend – and that the weather was as nice as it was. (It isn’t always nice at all, this time of year.)The Water Rat, Wind in the Willows
I have to admit a weakness for small boats, though I’ve managed to avoid getting sucked into owning one very often. For a long time, I was able to mooch a boat fix off of friends and acquaintances, but that hasn’t worked well at all for a long time. It’s a big step, in terms of time commitment, to go from an occasional day-sail to being responsible for a boat.
Most of the boats on display at the Fair are medicine far too powerful for the paltry boat-weakness that I’m infected with. Still, they are often very beautiful and the people who keep them looking that way are candidates for a certain kind of sainthood in my book.
There were two highlights for me. The first is the Sand Man, which just gets to looking better and better. The last time I saw it was on blocks over at Swantown Marina, with its deckhouse sitting on the pavement. Now, it’s floating and looking pretty. They had the engine running while I was on it and it sounded very good: smooth, relaxed, and powerful. The Sand Man Foundation has done a wonderful job with this relic of an older Olympia.
The other is that the Grapeview Point Boat Works had an array of small, wooden boats in classic designs. There was a beautiful Caledonia yawl, a cute little peapod-type with a lug sail, and a Shellback dinghy. I was pleased that a local builder had brought some new work to show off, in amongst the classic Monks and Gearys.
Almost enough to get me on the water again. Here are a couple of other interesting little boats. The first is a little sailing dinghy. I hope I look as good at its age; it was built in 1937.