I retire at the end of June, which as I write this is about 10 work days away, a somewhat shocking feeling after 37.5 years at the same employer. My goal is to sail my boat on the first day of my retirement, and I might just make it. I might.
Today, Father’s Day, I installed the hatches in the watertight compartments, and glued down the front deck, along with a few other odds and ends. It really is looking like a boat right now.
Why did I build a Puddle Duck, given it is my fourth boat and I could have tackled something a bit more complex? I think it is because I needed a manageable project to help me navigate the emotional minefield of announcing retirement six months in advance and finding myself moved toward the bench in the process. I have a very unusual job, classical radio, and finding someone to replace me was going to take some time. It did, as my replacement was announced just three weeks prior to my departure to part time. But along the way, I found I wasn’t invited to some critical meetings, and… well, my departure can’t come soon enough. 😉 So I built.
But along the way, I’ve also noticed I have WAY too much “stuff”. I’m the man of a thousand hobbies, and when I dive into one of them, I dive deep. Besides, how many boats do I really need? Though I can think of three or so more I’d love to build. One of them is 22 feet long, and another is 18, which would be a lot of boat to go along with my existing 18 footer. I mean, where do I put them all? I plan to sell the existing 18 footer, but still, I live on a very small city lot.
So let’s take the idea of the Puddle Duck and see how it applies to a shantyboat. A PD is a small, easy and affordable boat to build and to store. Can that be applied to a shantyboat with standing headroom, which is what I want for my next boat? Could I make a small “Retreat” or something along the lines of the boat from Bill Durham?
Hmm. I’ll think on that a bit, though I am not sure I can convince myself that this more practical approach will give me the boat I want.