Satisfaction, frustration, and the willful entanglement of inanimate things.

Today’s task was to get the shed roof on, and weatherproof. I am pleased to announce, after a bit of a struggle, the task is complete. I could, I suppose leave this post there. all the key information has been imparted. Shed up. Roof on. Job done. However what good is this blog if I can’t vent a bit of frustration every now and then? So first I had to take off the tarp that was covering the shed, Tilly and I spent a rainy miserable bank holiday Monday (quel surprise) putting the shed up but ran out of day before the roof went on and had to wrap it in tarp secured with bungee. This is where the willful entanglement comes in. Unhooking the bungee it pinged back and slapped me in the face. As I started to pull the tarp, the wind got up and it slapped me in the face, somewhat annoyed now I yanked on it, it tore. More annoyed I started to pull the bungee cord through the eyelets…. more face slapping, and standing there with the tarp thrashing in the wind, my legs plaited with elastic and my face stinging, I thought, this isn’t boat restoration as I imagined it. No whiff of tar and varnish, no soft swish of a sharp plane blade slicing through wood, no sweet thunk of mallet on chisel.

Despite the frustrations, it was very satisfying loading boxes of rigging and coils of rope into the shed. I also popped over to Queenborough to pick up the acrow props that Jim very kindly offered to cut down to size for me, and stopped off on the way back to order the timber I need for building a shelter over Flamingo. I feel the momentum of the project is good and though winter is perhaps not the best time to be outside boat building I am hopeful that the decrease in gardening duties will mean I can sustain it.

Delivery Day!

Finally the delivery day is here and I am ridiculously excited. Excited and nervous. I know she has made it as far as Maidstone, Jason the driver text me to tell me that much. The sun is shining the ground is dry, I’m as prepared as I can be with tools, timber, my home made yacht legs, but still I’m worried I’ve missed some vital element.

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Toby is at Reading Festival, Joe is in France with a friend, so it is down to the A team of Luke, Tilly, Tracy and me, and frankly some of us are a bit bored.

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The road is disappointingly empty


But wait! What’s this?


The Squirrel Marine truck, inching its way down the hill, and riding high and dry on her trailer is a dream I have been chasing for more years than I can remember.

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After some very skilful manoeuvrings, The Flamingo has Landed.



With the assistance of Jim Brett and Jason Lengden of Squirrel Marine, the boat was safely propped and leveled. I had overestimated the length of prop needed so Jim has very kindly taken away 4 of them to cut down to size in his workshop, saving me hours of sweaty hacksaw and drilling. Definitely a good contact to have, with 30 plus years experience owning a boatyard and the designer of the rig Flamingo was delivered on. I’m looking forward to visiting his yard on Sheppey when I go to pick up the props.

I cant say enough good things about Squirrel Marine, ( if you need an expert in getting boats into tight spaces, you can’t get much better. The trailer is backed into position then a scaffold rig built over the boat which is then winched up allowing the trailer to be towed out from under it. You then place your cradle or base under the boat and lower, (we don’t like to use the word drop, Jason tells me) her gently down onto it. Not only were Jason and Jim, calm, professional and willing to spend time getting Flamingo sitting just right in her new home but they were also the cheapest.

The day ended with Tracy having a tour of my dream…. suffice to say it’s not her dream boat yet but I’m hopeful a few more sundowners in the cockpit may convince her…