Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Little Ship with Big Possibilities

Well, well, well, look what just arrived from Fed Ex!

A mailing tube from brother Paul. Inside is what looks like papyrus scrolls from Egypt, but on closer examination, is astounding: original blueprints for the boat my father was building!

I am astonished that the blueprints are still in existence, astonished that my brother should take the time to send them to me, instead of just calling to say he’ll show me next time I’m up. But that’s just the kind of brother he is—one of my heroes! Thanks Paul!!!

There is also a sketch of a gravestone design, for our father’s dear friend Heino, from Estonia, and you’ll find one poem about him in Poems from the Boatyard. Heino’s end was tragic, and we won’t go there right now. Back to the blueprints!

Yellowed and with print faded out of one corner, I can nevertheless share this with you:

“Discovery is a little ship with big possibilities. [Sounds like my chapbook!] She needs but a small cash outlay, she’s simple in construction, and she’s one of the most useful boats per dollar that it is possible to devise. On an overall length of 22 feet, she can be built complete with outboard for under $750—and built by anyone with the tools and know-how to knock together a flat bottomed skiff. When completed, she looks shapely, sails beautifully, and runs along at five knots with a 2-hp outboard. If desired, she can be driven by any inboard engine with a displacement of less than 60 cu in. She’s grand for either cruising or day-sailing.”

A grand design…a sexy little skiff…a little ship with big possibilities…all for only$750! I wonder what that equates to today. Can you imagine building a boat for $750?! That’s probably a tank of gas for some of the larger boats I see in the boatyards these days!

Imagination wanders to the day we might have sailed it...Thanks again, Paul, for stirring the pot!

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