There are some things in life that take hold of your mind and refuse to let go regardless of logic, time or distraction. These ideas start small- but if left unchecked will quickly grow until they have consumed your every thought and, when the case becomes terminal, your every action as well. Your friends will grow tired of your constant babbling about this great idea you have discovered. You will soon find yourself spending every penny you make and every spare moment you have on things that any sane person would find ridiculous. Soon an idea becomes a lifestyle and before long you find yourself laying down the lines of the sweetest little craft that ever graced the water.
The object of my affection is, of course, the Atkin designed Maid of Endor. She is a smallish vessel of just over 20 feet on deck and something about 5000 lb displacement. She is carvel planked in the traditional way over steam bent frames and carries a large gaff rig. I find this boat to be the most beautiful I have yet laid eyes on- at least for her type. In 1978 our hosts had this to say about her "It is rare these days to see a truly classic design -- one which is virtually unchangeable, as timeless as the reasons we go to sea. This is such a boat. One can gaze at her for hours and find nothing out of place. Every line is in perfect harmony with all the others. To change an inch of her would be to offend that harmony…”
I have heard the many sound and reasonable arguments against building this particular boat: “for that much work you could have a much bigger boat…”, “that is about the most complicated boat you could build for the length…”, “you don’t have near enough experience to build that boat..”…… And I could go on. But the simple truth of the matter is this- I have been quite taken by this boat and to select another more reasonable choice would be to forsake myself. And since my friends have long ago bored of my boat talk- please- let me tell you the reasons.
This is a noble craft. She is deeply beautiful, every curve flowing perfectly and every part just right. Her beauty does not come from continuous buffing and polishing, but it is a deep beauty of form, purpose, and personality. She is graceful- able to glide through the calms and also weather the gales with poise that many similar sisters could not muster. While beautiful at the dock this boat is really meant to be out there exploring the straights and channels, dipping her bow into secluded coves and waking each morning to a different place with her trusted sailor. I want a boat that can fit in with the yacht club crowd if needed but is most at home with old friends in their swim trunks on a summer day. Many smart people may disagree with the above statements but that matters little to me. This is a sickness for sure, though I sometimes argue that it is also the cure….
Before I continue rambling please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jonathan and used to do business on this forum as submariner. I decided that made me sound a whole lot like a Navy Submariner which I am not, hence the change. I hope that is not terrible forum etiquette. I posted several years ago asking about the plank thickness for the Maid. The reasonable response I received was “you don’t even have plans? All the newbs say they are going to build this boat but none do.” If the forum had known that at that time I was an 18 year old with an $8 set of chisels and a $12 set of harbor freight planes and not much else in skill or tools they probably would have been even more skeptical. Undaunted I went out and put several nice butt logs of Doug fir from my property through the Woodmizer with the intention of using it for planking on the Maid of Endor. Time passed and I learned to spile, scarf, sharpen and sand. I acquired tools whenever I needed them for a specific job and I got the skills to operate them about halfway through that job. Last year I launched my first real new construction- a Duck Trap Wherry. Since I was sixteen I have spent most all of my free time reading on the internet about how to build boats. I started with fiberglass and did several restorations including a bare hull-up rebuild of a 41 footer. How I managed that without any real tools I am not sure. I have always had the mindset that if it can be built- I can build it.
I am in school studying Mechanical Engineering and so the boatbuilding is limited to the weekends only. I admit that I am not a crusty old curmudgeon like some of you but please don’t hold that against me. I have lurked on this forum for quite some time and learned a tremendous amount and so I thought that I would return the favor by posting a build thread. Perhaps someone who knows less than I will learn a thing or two, and in exchange for some small entertainment value I can also learn more from you about my specific problems on this build.
And so, without further ado, I present the build thread for this newest Maid of Endor: