Sunday, March 20, 2011

Howls From The Pit

"I love working. I've got to work every day with my hands. Even if I am doing paperwork all day, I've got to go home and chop vegetables or something. It's really important to me."

Yvon Chouinard
Founder of Patagonia, environmental philanthropist and climbing legend

The Pit: Surfboards, Boats & Bikes.

I lose my pencil about ten times a day, and it nearly always turns up tucked behind my ear.

Inking in the spray job on The Phoenix; rising from the ashes of Scotty's longboard.

Welcome to The Pit.

Being productive with your time, whether the outcome's tangible or not, is pretty important.
When the Rawkus Racing boys moved their car and tools out of one of the garages underneath our house leaving nothing but a classic mechanics calendar, I wasted no time in filling one corner of the garage with tools and a workbench. Suddenly, all of the unfinished projects that I had burdening the lower end of my to-do list looked like they might actually get done.
Eight years ago my friend Scotty snapped his longboard and I promised to re-shape it into a new shortboard...eight years, twenty-odd home moves across four continents (only four moves for the board) and finally I managed to reunite foam, trestles and plane in the same place and get it done.
Over the course of multiple Sunday afternoons I've slowly crossed off all of those "little" jobs so this winter I thought I'd take on a singular big project. Being descended from boat builders on both sides of my family (my Dad's Dad built motor-torpedo boats during WWII and my Mum's family were the last wooden boat builders in Port Isaac, Cornwall) it seemed like the right thing to do to complete the circle, take a deep breath and build a boat.

"An Reun Govynnus" has progressed enough now (it actually looks like a boat rather than just a pile of wood and big receipts) that I don't mind taking the cover off it.
A 16' Hawaiian style outrigger sailing canoe built as far as possible using sustainable, reclaimed and recycled materials (FSC plywood, reclaimed hardwood school science desks and biofoam offcuts from a surfboard factory so far), the pieces are slowly coming together with the aim being to splash her in early summer...surfboards strapped across the outrigger arms ready for coastal surf exploration, camping and spearfishing trips.
My housemate's on the lifeboat crew so it'd better not sink.

I'll keep you updated.

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