Projects

We pulled into the waiting line at the Kingston ferry and through the fog I saw an unexpected sight – an old flat bed truck with what appeared to be a Jensen Healey struggling to stay on board. A Jensen Healey? On a flat bed truck? So I wandered over. I didn’t get the whole story but the gist of it was that for $300 cash money this historic pile of rust, whitworth (or maybe just metric) bolts, dreams and unlimited potential, fresh from being excavated from the salal could be mine. One voice in my head raised from a youth spent reading Road & Track started telling me “this is an unbelievable deal, buy it.” The other voice whispered in my other ear that this will be the easiest of the $300’s you’ll spend on this one. Look at the rust on the axles and bottom trunk panel. Why do you think it was parked in the first place? So feeling good I could still identify a Jensen Healey in the fog, walked away.

I’ve spent parts of August working on projects of the boat and homeowner variety. It’s always fun going out for a race with your pals but sometimes hanging out on the boat and doing some small project is what’s called for. Drilling another hole in the deck and remounting hardware in the ongoing search for the perfect rigging, or a piece of refinishing or woodwork that’s been waiting to be done. Small projects, easily taken on and eventually finished within a reasonable chunk of time.

Not everyone sets their sights so low. Every day at the dock and in the yard you see projects that seem too big to take on coming along with determination and grit and wallets that whine and keep giving. I look at Toccata gleaming and showing off 26 years of labor, now in the final stages of being rigged and outfitted before the next adventure. Or Arequipa of San Francisco and Hamburg getting one more coat of varnish, one more door rebuilt, one more oddly shaped piece of teak fitted. What people with will and talent can accomplish is amazing.

I remain thrilled that someone has the fire to take on these projects. And I feel fine knowing I passed on the Jensen Healey.  Now if an Olson 911S shows up …..

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