‘Sail it ‘til it sinks.” Said Tom the brewer with the beautiful wooden boat from 1937. I’m more like sail it to the islands and abandon or sell it for really cheap somewhere else. He shrugs his shoulders and takes a sip of his beer before he walks away. He thinks I need to touch up the paint on the hull, but to make sure it matches otherwise I’m going to have to re paint the whole thing. That I need to scrub my teak with a green scrub pad. And he’s going to bring over some rust off spray to get the stains off my deck. He thinks it’s more important I clean my teak then fix the leaks.
“If it’s leaking on your head just move over,” he said.
I’m half rolling my eyes half listening intently. I plan to take his advice. On a boat, some day, but probably not this one. I was going to do a little cosmetic stuff anyway, I’m literally patching this thing together. This boat. I don’t know really what else to do at this point. I don’t want this to turn into a two year project with brand new awl grip paint on deck and topsides. Bright varnish. Perfectly pressed on tell tales. That’s not what this boat is. At least, not right now.
I like Tom. I figured he thought I was a degenerate making myself look bad with my sloppy finish work. But it was quite the opposite. “I’ve got something for you,” he said one day and handed me two picture books; one on the stars and the other on marlinspike craftsmanship (subtle, Tom).
“Wow, I’m honored,” I said. “I always thought you were ashamed of me.”
“Ashamed of you?” He said laughing in disbelief. “I admire you!”
Sometimes everything is such a chore. I feel like a pirate amongst the royal fleet. But then, I’m sitting on the dog house fiberglassing some free scrap plywood I got from the shop, drilling holes with borrowed drill bits, sitting under a makeshift sun shade, with the perfect afternoon sea breeze and the boats just tugging lightly at the pilings. And I’ve got the same view as the million dollar yachts.
And I won’t let them take that away from me.