Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Doryman's Boatyard

Last July a Charles Wittholz 14' 11'' Catboat showed up in the Boatyard, in need of love. It's a small yacht and getting her back on the water seemed a slam-dunk. Fate had other plans, however and the strange symptoms that took me by surprise the day she arrived turned out to have been possibly a stroke. Not one to run to a doctor, it took a while of struggling to act normal (acting normal isn't exactly my modus vivendi, but bear with me) before it became obvious, that among other things, the wee catboat was not going to make it out of the 'Yard anytime soon.

I'm happy to report most of the debilitating symptoms have abated. Of course, as soon as weather permitted, Doryman was back in the Boatyard doling out love in generous amounts. Gotta love those boats!

As the story goes, my good friend, Doug Follett was given this work-boat legend by an ancient mariner, now retired from the sea. Her name was Meow (no kidding). After extensive refit and repair, she has emerged as Puffin. The plan is to launch Puffin within the week. The last two months have been an elaborate dance with late-winter, early-spring weather, since work progresses outside. I'm often asked how I can glue, paint, or for that matter, work outside during the winter. Don't tell anyone - manufacturers specifications are very conservative.

Work done in boatyards all over the Pacific Northwest, in almost any weather, are testament. I chose my means and materials carefully, beyond that, it's a privileged secret.

So, my friends, this is a teaser. If all goes as planned, there will be more to tell soon. Just got some varnish on the brightwork today. The mast, yard and boom are repaired, painted and ready to go. She'll get a waterline boot-top stripe tomorrow.

Puffin sports an amazingly large gaff rig, as per design. This is going to be fun.

The Charles Wittholz catboat is a V-bottomed seaworthy pocket daysailer/cruiser designed for plywood construction:
Charles Wittholz
Plywood planking over sawn frames.
14' 11"
7' 4 1/2"
(cb up) - 1' 4" (cb down) - 3' 8"

Displacement: 1,400 lbs.


doryman said...

There are no failures, only lessons.

robert.ditterich said...

Yeah, well, look after yourself Doryman. That thing you threw in as a throw away comment is heavy stuff! None of us are invincible, and this gets truer as time goes on. Warmest regards, Rob

doryman said...

In a conversation with a neighbor a couple days ago, the subject came up of painting in cold wet weather. He's a graduate of the local boat school, which is renowned for the quality education it offers.
The neighbor is currently building a wood drift boat(a hobby, not his job)and he's having paint problems, even though his project is inside. He wanted to know what he was doing wrong because "you even paint in the RAIN!" (Which is a blatant exaggeration).
Of course, I couldn't really offer opinions, since I've never seen the boat, but we chatted about some of the more obvious possibilities. After he left, I realized I didn't offer my philosophy, which is printed above. If you don't experiment and possibly end up with something under par, you'll never know your subject. If you only listen to your teachers, you'll only know what everyone else knows. If something doesn't turn out to your expectations, fix it.
And by all means, listen to your teachers...

EyeInHand said...

That looks like a lot of boat for less than 15'. Will make a fun pocket cruiser, and a cabin in the rainy PNW will probably be welcome. The paint scheme – whether weather or no – is a remarkable improvement, too.

I second what Robert says, take care Michael.

doryman said...

Oh, you don't like pink?
The scale, or lack of it has fooled you. It is a roomy boat, but not the cuddy. It was all I could do to get in there to work. It's tiny. Nice dry place to stow your gear, but an adventurer would have to sleep in the cockpit, which is big enough to comfortably seat four adults. More anon...

I once thought we were masters of our destiny, our will conquered all. But now I feel much the opposite. Not predestined, but that what happens to us has very little to do with our will. The means to our survival as individuals is to take each day in stride, with the tools our wisdom provides. On occasion something happens to us that we don't recognize, don't have the tools for, but the solutions forward are there, if we allow ourselves to see. The sea has taught me this.

Bursledon Blogger said...

You know me and pink boats http://bursledonblog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/pink.html - nice boat even in it's new colours

Glad to hear you,re fit and well


doryman said...

Nothing wrong with pink, though I do have my prejudices when it comes to boat colors. With this project, Doug gave me carte blanche in color choice and Puffin has turned out very much like my own Belle Starr. Not surprising, since Doug once had a hand in choosing Belle's colors. That's how I knew what he'd like.

You three are among my very best friends, and I appreciate your concern for my welfare very much, thank you.

Another good friend, Webb Chiles, has recently rounded the Cape of Good Hope, east to west, during his seventh circumnavigation. From St Helena, he's published his daily log. I find a sea sailor's log most interesting, better than any book edited later. From that log, I borrow this:

"This has been a stop and go passage. Three times lying ahull. Over the decades I’ve learned that it is sometimes better to wait than push."

"I will sleep tonight in wet clothes in a wet sleeping bag. GANNET has been knocked masthead in the water today. This is hard sailing. I am an old man who does hard things."

enough said.