She'll Become: Our Plans
A Sad State of Affairs
Obviously, fire is devastating to any boat. While
it was clear that #16 was badly damaged by the 2002
fire, it was equally clear to me that the damage was
repairable--and, interestingly enough, surprisingly
minor in the scheme of things.
damage, from my initial survey of the boat, appeared to
be limited to the hull on the port side of the engine
room, the adjacent deck and cockpit areas (where the
fire had burned away the entire inner fiberglass skin,
exposing the core from beneath), and some severe
charring and other damage to the exterior gelcoat,
paint, and outer fiberglass layers of the hull,
particularly on the transom and starboard quarter.
Repairs would be possible and would return the boat to
her original (or better) structural condition.
rest of the boat, at first glance, appeared to be in a
shambles, but in reality the damage elsewhere was mostly
of a cosmetic nature. Of course it looked
bad: the entire headliner was blackened from soot
and cracked by the heat, and other fire-related damage
(soot and water) was noticeable on every surface.
While a significant a mount of work would be required to
repair the collateral damage, that process would
actually play right into my hands. What could I
possibly mean by that? Read on.
A Unique Opportunity
It's important at this stage to understand a little
about me, and my reasons for undertaking such a
project. While saving an example of a deserving
and noteworthy design from an uncertain end is a part of
it, there's more; a project of such magnitude only makes
sense (using the term loosely, I might add) if there are
underlying reasons behind the choice.
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Reasoning (such as it
is) aside, the fact remained that I was ready to
undertake and excited about the prospects for such a
project, as I felt it represented an interesting
opportunity to truly hone my skills, raise my personal
bar, and end up with a boat that would suit our future
needs as well as, or better than, anything else--and
look good in the process.
My plans for the boat,
while not crystallized in great detail at the onset,
were extensive, and the thought process behind the plans
was rarely far from my mind as I went about normal life.
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