AT17

AT17
The blog will now be devoted not to boat building but to my 82-year-old Vertue, Sally II, now undergoing a well needed refit at Johnson & Loftus in Ullapool (and gliding...)

Monday, 4 February 2019

Farewell Viking Boats

With the workshop now resounding to the cries of turkeys, rather than the cacophony of nails and band saws, Viking Boats is now officially defunct after over 15 years.

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
I can't say I miss those dawn starts, chipping ice off the chisels - well, you know what I mean. In the early years the cold never bothered me. The activity soon warmed you up, although visitors would invariably ask: "How can you work in the cold like this".

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
 Boat building will never make you a fortune, unless you start with a fortune as some fortunately have. But among the lawyers, estate agents, accountants and office workers, building a wooden boat carries enormous cachet. You are considered amongst the lucky elite, to be working with your hands, no matter how far from reality and romance that can be on a bitter morning in January with a recalcitrant strake refusing to yield to gentle persuasion.

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
 However, although old and trusted ways are often the best ways, that is not always the case, so I would urge budding boat buildiers to trust their own instincts. The old and trusted ways may simply have become ingrained habits, and after taking apart many old wooden boats, you often find old and trusted ways have in fact contributed to the deterioration you find deep inside the structure.

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.

11 comments:

  1. Good luck in your next pursuit. I've enjoyed your blog and seeing your beautiful boats.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have just posted, to thank all those who commented over the years. I never realised how many there were, and feel quite humble now that I have gone through them all. Many of them from yourself. Best of luck with your boat building. Adrian

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have offered me much encouragement too, Adrian and I thank you for it. I have also retired from professional boat building this year and miss it already. Can't say what might come next, but it's been a good ride so far.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Man oh Man…
    This post really reflects how street smart you are, I cant even express how glad I

    am I read this one! I am planning a trip to Italy for about 8 days. Your own ideas

    tend to be amazing. We frequently study your site and it is very useful. B2B Marketing Online Marketplace in India Website Designing Company India Top Web Development Company download mp3 song download mp3 song online mp3 song download mp3 song

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. While thinking on the kind of boat accessories you would like to buy, it is an even better idea to list out the accessories that you want to have starting with the fundamentals first. Just click Boat Outfitters and buy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is such an amazing blog about yacht I really liked the blog. Thanks for it. Keep sharing here.Top insulated cups Handle with the best quality of stainless steel is Made of Brass. We have 2 sizes, please check the measurement chart carefully before you buy the item by click Insulated Cups Handle

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow..Amazing post. Thanks for sharing. While thinking on the kind of boat accessories you would like to buy, it is an even better idea to list out the accessories that you want to have starting with the fundamentals first. Our motto is high quality, low prices, fast shipping and taking care of our customers. Everything is double checked and electronically tested before being sent out to ensure the highest quality. Bluewhale hardware offer variety of boat parts and accessories c all your marine needs. Our Company provide retail and wholesale services. Click Rod holder

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oarlock with 30% discount.
    Thank you for sharing this blog with us. Here at Boat Outfitters , we specialize in bluewhale hardware products. Highly polished 316-grade stainless steel Boat oarlock best for indoor and outdoor use. Mostly fit for standard oarlock boating with great quality.We are all family and are all working together to bring our customers exactly what they need.Buy best boat outfitters from given link Boat Outfitters

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for sharing. Nice post Bolt door latch with 30% discount. Keep sharing.
    We have Bolt door latch best accessories for the boat are available now at our store. Get the best deals on bolt door latch with different styles and in the best quality.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great post. Definitely this one of the informative and useful post to me. Thanks much for sharing. Bluewhale hardware offer variety of boat parts and accessories for all your needs. If you like our products then order us, you can also order our products in bulk as well. Boat Outfitters . Highly concealed hinges available now. We offer a 30-day return policy if you want to return your purchase. You can save our store if you like our product.

    ReplyDelete