Monday, March 30, 2009

Is she too small a fish?

Recently I have been a bit confused about Roach. My brother now has a family, and so has my sister. So I was thinking whether I should upgrade to something larger so that we can go holidaying together in comfort. I even started thinking about going plastic. Yup, I looked at Nicholson 32 mk1, but when I went below I was thoroughly disappointed. Acres of Formica and a sweet plastic smell greeted me. I felt uncomfortable: sensible material yes, maintenance free yes, but appealing, warm and tactile – NO. It was clear from that moment that I was a wooden boat guy through and through. A plastic interior would really affect the quality of my sailing – I guess I am one of those people with an aesthetic leaning that get their kicks visually.

I think I developed this plastic idea because I have been so busy at the start of this year, that I have not been to the boat for about two and half months. So it was a great relief when I was onboard after all that time to find myself having a coffee in the tiny saloon contemplating her sale. I could not do it. The warmth, the smell of mahogany, the feel of the handrail. My eyes glanced all the way around her interior. All those lovely nooks and crannies ; the porcelain sink, the oil lamps, the leaded glass drinks cabinet. Then all the presents people had given me; a Finnspray pump, the copper anchor light, a framed etching of Roach on the mud. I was taking it all in and all feelings of disloyalty evaporated without a trace.

Roach has a long history, but now I was feeling that I was being included in her history. I finished my coffee and decided that in future, we will have cramped holidays aboard her with my brother’s of sister’s family, but it will be packed full of memories, history and legacy.

PS. Later I found this very good article by Moray of Classic Marine who gives a more pragmatic approach to owning a small yacht. I really could not agree more:


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