Saturday, 11 December 2010
An ordinary bloke with an ordinary job buys an ordinary boat, its the same age as he is, a little over forty and a bit under fifty. He doesn't have much cash this ordinary bloke because he has an ordinary job and an ordinary wage which goes to support his ordinary family.
The boat is getting a bit tired and needs some jobs doing to it but as he doesn't have much cash the bloke has to do all of them himself.
He can't afford a haul-out and scrub off at an expensive yard so he takes it to the beach at high water and lets nature do the rest. He's got some paint left over from the garage and some red lead which was "surplus" from work. He gets his shirt off and gets on with it.
Not quite a bygone era but as more yards close and more marinas open, doing it yourself is getting less common and sailing beyond the purse of the ordinary bloke.
We have an Oxfam second-hand book shop near us and being near the Solent quite a few old sailing books come up. I've got quite a collection. Yesterday I picked up this little gem, originally published in 1977 its just old enough to contain some superb money saving tips.
I love any book which suggests that galvanised fence wire and ratchet tensioners as used by farmers make suitable rigging, it also suggests that the GPO might be a good source of bottle screws from old telegraph poles. It even has a section on how to make your own oil skins.
If you ever see a copy grab it, my copy cost £2.99, it will probably save you 100 times that, but its worth it just for the nostalgia trip.