Looks good, right? I thought so anyway.
The events that followed can only be described as catastrophic. Back then I knew a little bit about boats of the fiberglass or aluminum variety, but I had not had the pleasure of working with our grandparents' material of choice...wood.
Wood is romantic you know. Reminds me of simpler times when people had time to hang out on a mooring and apply coats of varnish without being interrupted by a smart phone.
The problem with wood is that it needs care and love. The Mackenzie Cuttyhunk is a classic and has a distinctive lapstrake wooden bottom. If you've watched the video, you'll notice the bottom of the boat was smooth. Hmmm...that's weird. That's because the boat had previously been repaired by sanding down the lapstrakes and applying fiberglass to the bottom.
So, I learned that I didn't have an original example of the classic Mackenzie, but surely someone (including myself at the time) would be proud to own it as a seaworthy vessel.
That was until I backed the boat onto our newly installed radiant-heat floor. By the way, don't put a wooden boat on a heated concrete floor. Bad things will happen including a thing called contraction...you may have heard of it. The only way to fix contraction is to put her back in the water, and let her swell. Not only did our poor Mackenzie experience contraction, but her bottom fell off exposing the sanded, lapstrake bottom.
What happened next? I met with the few wooden boat experts still alive and agile enough to inspect my specimen. They were all excited about the possibilities, and I heard more opinions than what you'd find in the New York Times editorial section. One thing was certain...it was going to cost a lot of time and money to put her back on the water.
Until now, the Mackenzie has been a constant reminder for me to always do my homework. My daughter, now 4, was given Mackenzie as her middle name. I think I've moved the boat around the yard a hundred times now. It just never goes away.
So, guess what? We're going to fix her up. Why? Because wood may not be practical, but it is romantic!
We're going to report our progress, but here's what she looked like yesterday:
|There is hope|
|We'll need to polish that bell|
|Inspecting the Mackenzie Cuttyhunk|
|Wouldn't Dare Take Her Out Today!|