The secret to budget boating according
to Uncle Charlie is to; "Keep it simple and keep it small, boyo, just
like your Auntie Gladys." He would say, having a quick look around to
make sure auntie Gladys wasn't listening.
Not that there was anything
small or simple about Auntie Gladys, she wasn't very tall but she was
quite beamy. And there was nothing simple about the way she controlled
the purse strings.
"The cost of maintaining and
mooring your boat will grow exponentially with the size of the boat."
"And you can have an awful lot
o'fun on a little boat, it just take a bit of organising."
In later years when Charlie
and Gladys had produced their full 'crew' early morning strollers
stop to admire their 25 ft wooden cruiser tied up to the harbor wall.
Then be amused as first Uncle
Charlie would appear, closely followed by Ulysses, a large, hairy
of dubious pedigree.
The dog would be put ashore go lolloping off like
a hare with his ears flung back screech to a halt by an interesting
bollard, sniff, pee, bound back stop sniff pee again.
Then Auntie Gladys would
emerge, beneath one of her big hats looking like a bag full of scatter
cushions in her 'going ashore dress'.
She would then begin her
morning make up ritual just as Ulysses flopped back on board causing
her to spend the day with one eyebrow penciled in a quizzical arch.
Ulysses would be chased
forward, to make room and help trim the boat as Cousin Kevin the twins,
Nancy and Peggy and a sleepy eyed teenage cousin Doris appeared from
Then all would arrange themselves around the cockpit
like starlings on a telegraph line.
Being a great one for a bargain Uncle
Charlie loves recessions.
By the middle of any down turn
in the economy their back yard would have a couple of 'classic'
bargains awaiting 'restoration' before the upturn brought in eager
It was rare that any of his
'bargains' had ever been advertised for sale, they were usually
through networking, uncle Charlie could still teach Twitter a thing or
two about that.
And there was the added befit
that most of his 'networking' could be done at the yacht club bar.
Being a traditionalist
Charlie's 'restorationâ' usually entailed liberal coatings of tar
cement, canvas and paint, lead tingles and the judicious application of
Auntie Gladys' hand soap to any suspect seams.
Mind you his love of a bargain
could be off set by the opportunities that the good times allowed him
to exercise his thespian talents.
"Ah, proper little classic
this," He would declaim to his audience of dewy eyed, would be ocean
wanderers dreaming of tropical islands.
"Can't bear to part with her.
She was built to take you anywhere," He'd confide with a hint
moisture in his eye, and taking care not to slap her 20ft sheer too
I bought my own first little
cruiser from Uncle Charlie.
"Special price just for you
lad, wouldn't let her go to just anybody."
No, anybody else would have
sued after launching her in a frothy wake which smelt strangely like
Auntie Gladys' bathroom.
I am perfectly aware that the majority of Wooden Boat aficionados are sensible folk. However, I need to point out that I am an amateur wooden boat enthusiast simply writing in order to try to help other amateur wooden boat enthusiasts. And while I take every care to ensure that the information in DIY Wood Boat.com is correct, anyone acting on the information on this website does so at their own risk.