It was never a reliable means to make a living, but kept the wolves from the door, and its owner busy in the dark winter days when most of the 25 or so boats were built.
|Off to Lake Geneva|
Well, no more. It is 8am on a freezing morning, and I am typing this in my pyjamas.
So, to all my clients, who have to the man and woman been totally trusting and a delight to work with, thank you. I have not had a single bad debt in all that time. Payments have often arrived before the work was done, which meant it was spent by the time it was done, leaving me almost always in arrears and in the red.
|Also now on Lake Geneva, here at Beale Park|
Owners became friends, some of whom stayed with us before, during and after taking their boat home. As far as I know none have sunk, or sprung unquenchable leaks, but I must admit that some could have been built better. There's always room for improvement, and being largely self taught, I did enjoy finding new, sometimes unconventional ways to do things, some of which worked well, others not so, leading to a reversion to the old, trusted ways.
|My favourite: a faering in solid larch, with copper fastenings and oak frames|
And if you do need a mentor, someone to keep you honest, then I can highly recommend my own, personal guru, Tom Whitfield in Australia. We have never met, and may never meet, but his encouragement has been beyond compare.
And to the late John Leather, wherever you are, when you told me that boat building would be a thankless and unrewarding business, you were not far wrong. But I urge anyone keen to try their hand, to go for it, whatever the rewards or thanks. The satisfaction of seeing a boat you built is all the thanks and reward anyone needs.