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Easy Does it? Variation on a Dream.... 

    How easy does something need to be? 

    As my website name implies one of my primary goals is to find ways to make boat building simpler and more accessible to everyday folks, like you and me. A conversation on the Boat Design list inspired by Lew Claymen involved speculating on a "Least Cuts Boat" - meaning a boat that could be built with the least number of saw cuts. This doesn't just economize materials, but labor as well. It was an interesting thought experiment that led me to the design of Daydream. At first I felt it was feasible to build her hull in a day. I have not decided that this isn't possible, but rather I've found myself re-examining the goal. After all... why so fast? Since I'm into family boat building, a 3 day weekend is an understandable goal, but why one day?

    When I was manufacturing musical instruments for a living the answer was obvious. Money. The faster and more efficient an instrument could be built the more profitable it was when sold. Lately I've been attempting to generate some money from my boat building passion which might explain my excitement at the notion of the "one day build." My survival instincts are probably kicking in. But with this one day goal in mind, certain possibilities end up being out of the question, for reasons of time. "Can't clamp it and wait for the glue to set... gotta keep moving... better nail it.) But boat building for most of us is not primarily a goal oriented endeavor, is it? Do I  find the process of building a boat so distasteful that I want to get it over with as quickly as possible? Not hardly. Then why one day?

My  goal, by the way, wasn't  like the "Sika Flex Challenge" where guys build Teal variations in 2 hours 12 minutes and 32 seconds.... and race them around a course... the goal was to end up with a respectable looking, functional and hopefully lovely craft that no one would suspect was built in a day. "Quick and Purty" someone called it. It would make a great story. Ah, maybe that's part of it. A great story. 

"Built that boat in a day you know." 
"Really! That's amazing!" 
"It's easier than it looks. You could do it."
"Naah.. impossible, I could never do that"

Guess it could backfire, like the Six Hour/Week canoe... which has resulted in some folks feeling pretty slow or dumb.

Guess there's no real  harm in short little story like that. Might inspire reluctant wanna-be boat builders to pick up a saw. But it dawned on me recently that it's a pretty short story compared to the story the boat itself tells. "Hull in a day" plays better as a publicity stunt than as a guiding design principle. The boat tells its story in how she looks, and how she performs and how she lasts. The measure of care taken in her design and execution determine how long she may go on bringing folks pleasure, and telling her story.

Though the goal is not unattainable,  I no longer think of Daydream as my "Least Cuts Boat" destined to be built in a day. I've begun to see her as a respectable skiff worth taking whatever time you need to get the job done. 

So lately I've been trying to stop racing the clock, and take my time. After all, boat building's more fun than you can have legally in most places.

Happy sawdust...


      David J. Beede

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