Polly has been out of the water for almost thirty years. Most of that time she was under cover or indoors, safe. It was only in the last few years that someone bought her and stuck her in a field with a blue tarp over her, The tarp came off, she filled with water, and froze. Most of the damage that we are dealing with could have been avoided. This is way we are loosing wooden boats at such a rate. Below is Polly’s sales sheet from 1995?.
I’ve kind of come to the realization that my job, at least for the next few years, is boatbuilding. Of course it make sense, with my history in the boating industry, and background in woodworking, not to mention the wow factor. The problem for me is the eco side of the trade. Sailing for me is as green as it gets. We spend 4-5 weeks sailing in the summer using maybe 10gls of diesel and 150gl of water. Never getting in a car or turning on the AC, I use biodegradable soaps and cleaners. I use the Vivid eco bottom paint, it works great, although I would rather use E paint, it’s half life is under an hour in the water, but the dark colors don’t work as well as the white or gray. I’ve been thinking of changing the color.
Now we come to the wood. When we rebuilt Cicada, it was mostly oak that I needed. Seventy broken frames take a lot of wood by the end of the project. Some of it was given to me by friends who had trees fallen on their property, or job sites where a lot was cleared. The wood that i did buy came from a local family that have a 11th generation mill. The newest piece of equipment on the farm had to be from the 1970. I have to say I love the place.
Then we have the hull. I didn’t need a lot of wood, about seven planks total of mahogany. I ended up finding some clear stock at a local importer for a good price and bought it, milled it up, and replaced the planks that where bad. The problem is I don’t know where the wood came from or how it was farmed. That’s the part I hate. I lived in countries where clear-cut logging was going on and the land was raped for it’s resourses. I lived on a plantation in Papa New Guinea whose owner was in the end killed for interfering with the timber industry. It’s a hard thing to watch and a harder thing to live with. In our household we teach our children to read every label, question where something comes from, and try to buy close to home. It has become very easy to just accept whats in front of you. I don’t accept that.
Polly needs new planking from the waterline down, keel, and deadwood. We are not talking about some daysailer here but a 37ft waterline 8ft deep with a mahogany deadwood. It’s a lot of wood. I spend a lot of time looking for wood that reclaimed or that someone’s had laying around for the last fifty years. I have found three such persons so far. Poor Peter has driven across Ohio to look at some wood this guy pulled out of a University gym. In the end I know we are going to have to buy wood from an importer and I’m going to hate every moment of it. I will be spending a lot of time looking at where the wood came from and the logging practice used. Until that time I will be looking in old barns and peoples basements for as much wood as I can find.
As the next photo will show some times it really pays off.
Peter got the last frame in before he went out west for the winter