Escargot Build 8

Escargot Diary

June 12th, 2001


And now the hard part.  The boat works, pretty well actually.   All the big work of frames, adding sides, and the roof and such are done.  Even much of the outside is painted.  Cleats are trimmed down with dowels through them.  Will get pictures as soon as it stops raining here.   But now I need to get all that little work done… and I only have two weeks until the boat show.  Went out last night in the rain and dark and epoxied in more of the bottom stiffeners.  Those are almost done.  Then I will put the floor on, sand the inside, sand the windows, and paint it all.  All else will probably have to wait until after the show.    Still need to paint the front deck, back decks, and repaint the roof.   Hope to get some time to do that!  That is a lot of work.   If I use evenings, like I did last night, I should be ok if the weather ever breaks on a weekend!

I have been asked, reasonably enough, how much I have spent on this boat.  To be honest… I didn’t keep track.   But I have some ideas.


Old motor -$400 but will be selling it soon

New Motor – $1400

Plywood – about $1200

Other wood – about $500

Stuff – about $400


Ack.  A lot of money.  This is a guess.  It seems every time I turned around I had to spend another hundred dollars.  These guesses may be too low.   They don’t include outfitting the boat really.

If I had been told it was going to be this much I wouldn’t have done it.  I really wouldn’t have.  I would have bought a boat used.  I am glad I built it though.    It has been a delight so far… both the building and the using.  There were times that I wished I hadn’t started… in fact many times… but I now have a pretty nice boat.

Let’s get back to that motor.   If you read my second entry you would see how this  motor thing all unfolded.  I bought a used motor at a reasonable price against the advice of my wife.  Wanted to save some money.  Well…. my wife was nervous about it when we went out.  I was nervous. It quit a couple of times as we approached the dock.  So my wife bought me a Nissan 6 hp 4 cycle for fathers day. Should be here pretty soon.   In some ways I feel funny about that.  Like I said… I am not sure I would have built the boat if I knew how much it was going to cost.    But, this way I have a motor that I would trust on ANY river.  My son and I will try to go to Lake Roosevelt behind Grand Coulee Dam…. or maybe to Lake Chelan.  Both are very big lakes in isolated areas.  I just wouldn’t want to go there with a 33 year old motor of unknown background.

Building advice.

I have shared some already.   Will repeat a touch.

My wife is wonderful in so many ways.  When I compare our relationship to some around me I am so grateful.  I will never forget a time many years ago when I got on this kick to own my own fire engine!  I mean, I had always liked old cars, and old fire engines are always in wonderful condition… and so cool!   Well, a neighbor lady was over and I told my wife, Karen, half jokingly that I wanted to get a fire engine. She said, “I don’t care, it’s your money”.  The neighbor’s jaw dropped.  My did too. Sounds odd to some… especially those that aren’t married.    But having a fire engine parked in front of the house for a few years is really pushing the envelope.  Couple of side notes.  You can buy a fire engine for far less than virtually any collector car.  I bought mine for considerably less than the cost of building this boat!  As it turned out I was able to find a small fire engine that fit in my small garage!

Anyway… what all this is about is… work out this boat building thing with your other half.   The boat WILL take your time and it WILL take your money.  My wife was very supportive and understanding.  You can build that with your other half.   I recommend talking about it as the dream that it is.  Ask him/her what their dreams are.  Help each other build your dreams.  Make a plan to make them happen.      I say Carpe Dium… seize the day.  Think of the movie Dead Poet’s Society.  Think of you in twenty or more years.  What would you like to say you have done?  Is buying a new couch THAT important?  How about a new car?  What would REALLY make your life better?

Are there ways to mitigate any concerns that your other half may have?  Will you keep the work area clean and clear of clutter?  Will you fix those gutters that have been leaking first?  Make a list of all that needs to be done on the house and make a timeline for them.   Talk if through.  Build an understanding.  It will also be building your relationship.


Sigh.   For me a slightly harder issue.  We do OK.  Both my wife and I are paid reasonably for some pretty good jobs.  In some ways we are a little free and easy with the money we do make.  Our savings could be more.  But in other ways we spend our money differently.  One car has close to 100,000 miles on it.   The other has about 60,000.  We have no car payments.  We have never been on an expensive vacation with the kids.  Never been to France or Japan or virtually any place else in the world.  I have never been to New York, or LA, or virtually any place else in the Country!  We spend our money on our hobbies I guess.  If money is a concern to you… know that there IS a way.  Several times my progress was slowed because something like the water heater sprang a leak.  This is a long term project and can be made longer if the funds dry up a bit.

oops.  Gotta run to work. More later.

June 13th, 2001


Anyway… got off mark there.  I sold the fire engine long ago… couldn’t afford to fix it if it ever broke.  Found an older man who was involved in the historical society where the engine had been in service.  He will donate to city when he dies.   It was a 1940 Mack.  No doors, no roof.   Just open to the weather.    Took the money and used it to buy the old model t project, which I sold to pay for this boat.

Progress made on boat in the last couple of days.  All the floor stiffeners are now in place.   Took a LOT of epoxy.   Rain has been relentless.    No use complaining about it because it just is.   Been trying to be that way about life in general.   Seems we often complain about things that are about as silly as complaining about the weather.   Like age.  Or loosing our hair.  Those things just are.   There is no changing them.  They are as inevitable as the sunrise each morning.

This past weekend we went to visit with my son’s birth grandparents.   We are in touch with them. Very nice people. Caring people.   They live a different life in that he grew up in a town of just a few hundred in the middle of nowhere.   Lives in a small town of farmers in Eastern Washington.   He took Alex and me fly fishing.   To be honest, I have some problem with fishing.  I am mostly vegetarian.  I just don’t see the need to kill.  I avoid stepping on ants.   I capture spiders and release them outside.  Silly thought to some!   To me… I only kill when  I feel I really need to.  Rats in the basement can harm my family, for example.  My wife is allergic to the bite of the yellow jacket, so I destroy their nests.  But otherwise… I rarely eat meat.    But I did go fishing.   And for virtually the first time, I caught a couple of fish. Small trout, about eight inches!

One thing that was nice… was Alex’s excitement. He really enjoyed this view of a different world.   Clambering along a little stream, looking out for snakes, and deer, and good shady deep fast water where the fish are most likely to hide.

Part of the joy is also the living in the moment.   We do that so rarely, some of us.  Don’t you find yourself thinking about… stuff?   Thinking of the coulda, shoulda, woulda sort of things?  So many times we think so much and so frantically, that we never notice what we are doing NOW.  When you fly fish… you live in the now.   One author I read said we only truly live in the now when we are born, when we die, and when we climax in sex. All our senses are aware of the moment then.

Sometimes I like to turn off what some call Monkey Mind.  I like to stop my thoughts and turn on my senses.  You can’t sit there and think… ok I am listening to the wind.. oh there goes a car.  Wish I had a new car… and so on.  You just shut the mind off in the conventional sense, and awaken.   I don’t know any other term.   You see the blues in the sky… there are so many blues.. not just one.   You hear the birds.. suddenly there seem to be so many.   And you just let the sensations pour into you without any comment… without any judgement.    It just is.   It can be a beautiful thing to stop your mind from acting on all it senses… to stop yourself from judging all you see… or turning all thoughts into plans for any moment other than the now.

Don’t worry when your Monkey Mind returns.  It will. Guaranteed.  Just label it as Monkey Mind and awaken again.  And again.  And again.  Don’t beat yourself up.  That totally defeats the purpose.

Sure… make plans.  Rethink actions.  Think of that guy at the office and what you should have told him.   But do we need to do it so much?

Would we be happier if we spent more time this way?   Loose the judging all we sense.   When you see a flower don’t think of wanting to buy one…. just awaken to it.   THAT sounds corny, but how else do you say it?

To do on boat.  Still gotta choose the yellow color I will use.  Hmm. A golden mustard color?  I think so..

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