Looking ahead to the sailing season, I have invested pondered long and hard about an appropriate dinghy for Adagio. Last year I was going to tow my 16 foot dory – built by my son and me around 10 years ago – terribly out of proportion for a 23 foot sailboat, but it was ready and willing, and it rows oh so well.. but then I discovered that the state of NJ would require me to register it, and that meant lots of paperwork and lots of money that I preferred to keep in my wallet! As it turned out, I sailed without a dinghy most of the summer, and, when I needed one, I borrowed from the previous owner..
But, I really need my own if, as hoped, I head north this summer, leaving NJ waters behind me. So the second alternative was the dory skiff that I built while still living in NH 16 years ago. It has been neglected for quite a while, but I was hoping that I might breath new life into it – replacing a rotten transom and perhaps fixing rot elsewhere with epoxy. After dragging it into my basement and letting it thaw out, however, I was dismayed to discover that it is beyond any reasonable attempt at repair. I will have to give it a proper burial at some point, but, for now, it is in pieces out back.
This brings me to the third option.. buy a plastic dinghy or build a new one.. I firmly believe that Adagio deserves better than plastic. Of course, she is fiberglass ( plastic) herself, but from a distance, her classic lines would pass for a boat built in a very different era. And, even more importantly, plastic dinghies are not built for rowing… while a true Maine skiff is.. so there we have it. The picture above is of my lofting board. The plans come from DuckTrap woodworking in Maine. I visited there 20 years ago, and the plans have been sitting on my shelf in the interim, and now I will attempt to bring them to life… not that I have oodles of time, of course, but I do have desire, and I needed a new project during this cold snap – it is just too cold out there to work on the exterior of the house! It was -4 degrees F as we left for school this morning… stay tuned for progress reports as well as for another new project that we will begin as spring approaches.. yup – I am crazy!