Sunday, August 30, 2009
[good old boat] woody and pleasing to the eye
This is a reply to the post on favourite things by Tom Paine:
It wouldn't hold a candle to today's plastic fantastics, speedwise but this 20 foot wooden catamaran was designed by the father of Australian catamaraning, Charlie Cunningham, a man I was priviliged to meet shortly before his death [no comments please].
In that one afternoon in his enlarged garage, with the Little America's Cup winning Quest in straps hanging from the roof above us, he taught me the principle of design, of buoyancy and centre of effort, of rocker and freeboard.
And who was I? A nobody except that I was building a B class at the time and wanted to know a couple of things, certainly not all I learnt that day. This was the nature of a purist who loved his field and was willing to to share on it. I'll never forget that afternoon and I actually ended up with a B2, for those it means something to.
It's not nostalgia. Surely it's just a love of pleasing lines and natural materials which makes me determine, with approaching age, that I'd never have anything but a wooden boat with either a gaff rig or something else traditional, most certainly with golden spars and tanbark sails.
Graham Chapman summed it up for me: