…In bits and pieces, I mean.
A little while back my father mentioned that he’d come across my old sailing dinghy, or at least what was left of it. It wasn’t pretty, he admitted. The boat was history.
I suppose it stood to reason. It had to be somewhere around 35 years old, and constructed as if a Sunfish and an Igloo ice chest had a few too many drinks together and couldn’t recall the rest of the night. In the time I’d had it, I’d done my best to bring it up to Laser level performance, which included a tiller extension, a hiking rig, and what ever other odd modifications my allowance could afford. The snottier the weather, the more fun it was to sail, which I’m certain left my parents with their share of grey hairs.
Years ago I’d passed the little boat along to some family friends in Maine with two younger children who wanted to sail, letting go of a chunk of my own childhood in the process. I had bigger boats, and the little orange-sailed vessel had been gathering dust for years. The boat had given me countless wonderful memories and taught me much about independence and self-reliance, even if it was on a 11 foot scale. It was someone else’s turn; it was doing no one any good tucked away in storage, so off it went. From time to time I’d wondered what ever became of it, and the older I got, the more complicated my boats and their accompanying work grew, the more fondly I recalled the simple happiness of sailing that little boat. So I’ve promised myself once the mothership is complete, I’ll be turning my attention to that little Puffin, restoring that dinghy and bestowing her with a proper sailing rig. All I needed was some fiberglass and resin, (got plenty,)free time, (insert maniacal giggles here,) a halfway decent centerboard, rudder, mast and sail.
Well, I’m a little closer to that end now, at least on all aspects except a sail and that issue of free time. It seems that my father, who happened to be in Maine, heard that what remained of the boat was going to be carted away as scrap. He told me he wasn’t sure whether I’d be upset or delighted, but he collected up what you see pictured here, including the spars (not pictured here,) the now shredded sail, and mast step, which he removed as a unit via chainsaw.
While I’ll admit it’s strange to see my first boat reduced to a basket case, and while I had planned on creating a new centerboard and rudder for the Puffin, the idea of using these old parts makes me smile. It’s as though I’ve gone full circle.Share on Facebook