Dale and I travelled across town. We visited the temple of erudition. We plumbed the depth of the lowest common denominator. We returned to our neighborhood with an abject act of snobbery. It all took only ninety minutes.
Our first stop was the Antique Boat Center where craftsmen spend their days restoring old wooden boats for the chic elite. Their showroom is full of fine vintage craft in showroom condition. Their advice on various repairs is always generous, complete, and accurate. They stock all the needs of the wooden boater alleviating the need to order.
I need a fresh can of Captain’s varnish 1015.
“Hi, Alexander. Hi, Dale.” the woodworker greets us by name. He has a loaded roller and is coating some bottom planks prior to installation. “What can we do for you today?”
“Need a can of 1015.” I answer distractedly. Upside down is a hull. Antique Boat Center only works on vessels shorter than 30 feet. They turn hulls over to work on the bottom. We have to work on Betty Jane right side up on jacks in a boatyard.
“She’s a Cobra,” the painter puts down his brush. “We’re restoring her for the original owner. He’s giving her to his nephew. She’s in surprisingly good shape.” He takes time to show us the minimum of new work she needs.
“I need some stir sticks.” Varnish is never shaken only stirred.
“Don’t have any.”
I think to myself, “Damn. Now, I’ll have to go sweet-talk some Home Depot cow out of some.”
“All we got are those.” He points to a box of mahogany spills. “Help yourself.”
Hand-trimmed mahogany stir sticks instead of mass-cut pine DYI store give-aways.
Ownership of a vintage wooden yacht has its privileges