And We're Off

Tim has officially started work on Bolero. This thankfully signifies the end of a very prolonged conceptual design phase. Very shortly Tim will be mocking up the cockpit and cabin on Bolero in preparation for the required deck modifications. Much of the prolonged conceptual design phase has been to transfer my ideas of a concept rather that a firm design. I still haven't seen Bolero and I won't until she is complete. I feel so comfortable in this process that I canceled a planned trip to participate in the mockup process personally. Much of that comfort comes from the sense of aesthetics and professional workmanship that Tim brings to this project.

Here is an email Tim sent a while back which I think really sums up what he brings to this project.

You wrote: "Besides I have this vision of an absolutely stunning finished project."

So do I, and frankly, if it's not then I have failed and neither of us is happy. I don't plan to let that happen, though.

You ought to be excited about this project. It's been a while in the making, and is a pretty unique approach to things. In addition, given the lines of the Shields hull and your (and hopefully my) sense of aesthetics, I think it's easy to imagine how the finished product might look--which is something to get excited about, I believe. There may be a few naysayers, particularly if word gets around the hardcore Shields crowd. So be it. I am more than confident that we are not trashing a fine and irreplaceable member of the class, but are instead giving a tired old boat a new, unique, and more satisfying life. There are some horrible-looking boats out there that have been poorly executed or thrown together with a chainsaw and 2x4s, but yours won't be one of them. Anyone who loves boats and sailing ought to be able to get behind this project concept and execution. If I didn't feel we could end up with a stunning end result, I wouldn't have let the process go nearly this far, and therefore I'm equally willing to defend the idea and the work behind it.

Doing the daily logs is something I do because I enjoy it, first. I started down the "documentation road" many years ago, and it's become such a habit that I can't see doing any major project without it, as much for myself as for anyone else. You only get one chance to document a project as it goes along, and I am pretty dedicated to it since it creates a valuable record of the process to be used for reminiscing or as a helpful guide for some future job. It also helps give others out there (who we may never hear from) the support and impetus they need to consider doing their own "crazy" project, whatever it may be.

The fact that random and unseen people seem to enjoy reading what I write is a pleasant side benefit, and if all of this ends up being good for my business and draws in one potential customer every so often, then so much the better. I am doing what I love as a job, and feel very lucky; I like to give back as much as I can, which is why I am happy to have (and thoroughly enjoy having) exchanges like ours, and would have even if nothing had ever come to fruition. The exercise alone is the enjoyment; otherwise, I'd not spend the time.

I don't want to rush summer--it's gone way too fast as it is--but I'm really looking forward to getting going on the Shields this fall and winter. More essential projects, like hull and deck refinishing, are perhaps the bread and butter, but it's the big projects like this, with their untested execution, that really get me going. I feel fortunate to be involved and to have another chance to do something so interesting.

Thanks! I hope I exceed your expectations.

I am certainly in charge of this project, well I am as long as I don't try to have Tim build an ugly boat.

You can follow along with Tim's Bolero restoration on his site.