by Guest Columnist Brian Lowe
Escargot Makes it to the Boat
from a post to the Yahoo Bolger discussion group.
For a couple of months now I have worked with renewed
enthusiasm with the show at the Center for
Wooden Boats as my goal. There were several
times, as recent as last week, that I had decided NOT to go.
My main reason was that I figured my boat was just not built to a
high enough standard. My learning curve got me down.
Luckily I went. I was in great company. I had great
comments and enthusiasm from many of the show
My wife made some beautiful quilted pillows for the
boat. They are works of art worthy of any
showcase home. She is really getting good at
her quilting! We also put in lace valances in the cabin windows and
some odds and ends of rag rugs on the cabin floor. On the front deck
we put out two long flower pots with White Nicotiana in them, alongside
a beautiful green enamel watering can and some of our kerosene
lanterns. Around the cabin we put out Tibetan prayer flags in
red, blue, yellow, and green.
The designer of the boat, Phil, was there. He said when
he saw me walk out the door of his house with
my new plans... he knew that the boat wouldn't
get built. ;-) Something about my situation and lack of
experience I guess. I think he was pleased I was so happy with the
boat. He seemed to have no problems with the raising of the cabin
roof or most of the other minor changes. He did think the straight
line of the side rail was a mistake. I can see his thought,
but, to be honest, I think it looks a little better that way!
All subjective. You can compare them for yourself on my website
at https://classics.nu/boat .
Interesting story. Phil told me that the one in England
was built with paid labor. In the end it cost
about $27,000! Mine cost maybe $5600 with
trailer and motor. At most it was $6300... I didn't
keep track. It could be built much cheaper with non-marine grade
ply... and used motor and trailer. Amazing.
You know..... forget any thoughts of ego for a moment.
Forget any thoughts of bragging, or of fear of
what others will think of the boat you may
It is a wonderful feeling to be drifting off to sleep
in a boat you made. The sound of the waves
gently lapping against the boat. The gentle
rocking.... lying on your back and looking at the stars above through
the hatch. It is a unique feeling. A great feeling. And with
one of my children asleep at my side... tired from the days adventures...
tired from visiting with delightful people like Captain Bill
and Mary... tired from meeting new people with their Chris Crafts,
their 8 foot dinghies, and all in between.. You forget about the
things you should have done, you forget about the mistakes, you forget
about the praise. ... it is a warm feeling... nice feeling.
A sense of peace and just being right somehow.
If you are thinking of building a boat.... Bolger or
otherwise... don't let lack of tools, or fear,
or anything get in your way. I built mine in a
small driveway with no protection from weather. I don't
have lots of tools, or even a table saw. (I do have a rather worn
out radial arm saw.) Most of my work was done with a drill, a small
pad sander, a belt sander, and a cheap jig saw...and a few friends
with nicer tools than me every now and then. If I can do it..
you can do it. And you will be glad you did.