Captain's Table

Mark Austen

2017.05.22 - What Now?

Naiad was successfully launched last Friday and I'm already feeling the effects of that in both a positive and negative way. On the positive side the project is completed, my boat is in the water and not leaking and I have spent some time on the river moving her from Ely to her mooring. Tina tells me that I smiled practically all the way and I'm not at all surprised at that. There were times over the last two years when I wondered if I would every get the reconstruction finished and get her launched. There were times when I did nothing on the boat for months at a time through lack of enthusiasm. Recently, if you look at the project log, I have worked on Naiad almost every day for the last 10 months and all of a sudden that has come to an end and that is the negative part.

Whereas for the last 10 months I have spent the majority of my free time working on Naiad (248 days out of 316), from now on I will be spending a minority of my time with Naiad. Previously I could work on the boat whatever the weather, now I will only be on the boat in good sailing weather.

To be honest about this, right now it feels like a bit of a let down.

But only right now.

I have to get used to a different way of doing things. I'll be going down to Naiad most days for the next few weeks firstly to make sure that she isn't leaking and that her mooring ropes and fenders are sufficient, the river level can change but as much as 18" and whilst that doesn't sound like a lot, if your ropes are too short it can be too much. Secondly, I have a few things left to do on the boat. I broke one of the cockpit thwarts and have had to repair it and add extra support underneath. That extra support also has to be done on the other thwart before I break that one as well. The burgee needs to be made and I will spend a lot of time working out the best place to stow everything.

Most of all I have to get used to looking outside at 16:00, seeing that there is a good sailing wind and getting over to the boat for a sail even if for only an hour or two. It requires a new mindset.

I am no longer a boat builder.

I am a sailor.