by Sam Freeland
Ahoy there DIY, I've always loved the water and boats.
As a boy of eleven years old I'd take the really nice days of school in the summer.
I remember those long hot days of beautiful blue sky were school seemed just to regimented a place to be for the day.
Even though I knew I may get caught I’d stay on the bus and get of in the city and walk around.
It was an exiting place to be for a young fellow, all the people and traffic as I’d been used to the country before.
I’d inevitably seem to find myself drawn to the wharfs, looking at the big ships, imagining where they had come from around the world and what their lives must be like, listening to the different languages, walking around mariners/brokers looking at yachts.
I seemed to always fall for the 40ft wooden boats.
They seemed just right and I’d dream of the day I would have one.
I lost interest in education; my mum was a solo mother with four other younger kids at home, so it was pretty slim pickings.
Besides, it was much more fun and I’d eat better surviving on my wits.
I fell in with the water front bums and ex seamen.
One of them, Jim, took me under his wing and we would go on board the big ships.
They had bars on board and cheap beer.
I was good at cribbage, a game my grandfather had taught me, I’d play the old merchant sailors for beer.
Jim would find me work, laboring, fixing boats, the angry board scraping and anti-fouling.
He would tell me which boats I could sleep on and pay me what seemed a fortune at the time.
I’d go long lining as a fill in for sick staff, and sailing.
Boats always looked after me.
But then life got complicated, eighteen years of wife and kids.
After the kids found jobs and left home and the wife had moved on the old itch came back again and damn it I seemed to start hanging around the water front again, lol.
And then I saw her, just like the boats I loved as a kid.
A 1964 forty ft carvel kauri yawl for sale.
I contacted the owner and arranged a time to have a better look.
We went aboard and he unlocked the hatches, wow, as I went below it was like walking in to a time warp, every rib perfect, all the stringers and big timbers in excellent condition.
The coaching needs a refit, some corner posts, the decks good ply that can be teaked over, 7 bad planks.
Some butt blocks in bilge need refastening, 3 or 4 soft ends on the ribs.
Most galvanized fittings have been replaced.
She has been out the water for two years needs re caulk.
Do you think he would budge on price? No way, I just had enough money to get her. You know, one of those now or never sort of deals, where if you didn't you'd wonder what if for the rest of your life.
Well she’s on the hard and I’m going to move her in to a shed this summer.
As you can appreciate it's not cheap to move these boats even a few meters.
Although I have done a fair bit of research on these vessels any info regarding caulking replacing carvel planks Dutchmen etc greatly appreciated.
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