Around the yard, the local wags have taken to noticing the activity behind the shop. Usually, It’s a comment of, “Wow, what a beautiful boat! She’s coming along really nicely!” or some such.
They are, of course, referring to the boat right next to mine, my co-worker’s Alden-designed Bristol 35. Yeah, yeah; new rig, new paint, new varnish, all the right pretty bits, and a stylish postwar American shape. Never mind that she hasn’t any mechanicals, systems, or interior. Still, I have to agree that she’s outwardly easy on the eyes.
And my boat? A 1964 Laurin 32. Swedish. Sturdy. Burly, and getting burlier every day. Nah, the yachties will never understand. A great analogy came to me the other day, one that my 4×4 buddies should, however, immediately understand:
My boat is a 1964 Unimog. An old classic work machine, a tool for gettin’ things done. Moreover, I’m building it up to be a gnarly trail machine. Think outside rollcage, snokel, winches all over, crazy axles, plenty of lights, serious gears, onboard air. 38’s. Think torque. A real expedition vehicle.
Or how ’bout a bike analogy? That Bristol is an tricked old Silver Wing, polished and pretty for it’s time, never the best of the best, but with that certain retro collectability. My boat is a 70’s BMW under Johnny’s ass headed to somewhere the rest of us probably won’t see. A rat bike that does just what it needs to, and is never worth more than the joy it brings.
If you’re pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down, I can see the grin forming on your face right now. And if you’re puzzled by all this… just keep enjoying the shiny boats.