I am now 66 and I have sailed and messed about in boats since the age of 22 when, whilst on holiday in Corsica with my uncle , I discovered the excitement of getting a boat to push through the water by the power of the wind alone. His boat was a 12ft fibreglass dinghy called a Zef. A year of so later, my uncle was thinking of selling it and so I bought it from him and had it shipped to the UK from Belgium, where he lived.
I pretty much taught myself to sail. I read books and joined a small sailing club on a gravel pit where Thorpe park stands today.. Later I upgraded the Zef to a Fenec. This was a French designed 13ft dinghy with rolled decks , not dissimilar to a 420. Being a much sportier boat, it had a tendency to tip me into the water readily so I called it "Sale Bete" ( english translation , Nasty Beast!). I kept that dinghy for over 10 years and took it everywhere on holiday. We even trailed it all the way to Corsica and back. My 2 eldest children would regularly come out sailing with me and we had many happy family outings with that little boat.
Early days out in the Zef
In 1981, my job as a sales manager for a UK based plastics company, took me and my family to live in Brittany on the west coast of France. We settled into a new house in a small village of St. Molf, not far from the medieval walled town of Guerande, only 2km from the sea and some spectacular beaches. We had decided to sell the Fenec before moving so, boatless I began to look for a suitable replacement. I came across an almost new 470. As it was white with a yellow deck I called it "Egg Flip" This was an impressive dinghy to sail but being larger and more powerful, it was more difficult to sail singlehanded and the children became less keen to come out with me . My wife was a bit scared of it and so it was not used as frequently as the old Fenec.
The 470, on it's trailer
I decided that I would look out for a small sailing cruiser so that we could go out as a family to explore the wonderful coastline which was on our doorstep. I successfully sold the 470 for a small profit and purchased a 27 ft Jeanneau Poker. This was a fine fin keeler built of GRP with a bermudan rig, 4 berths,a toilet and a cooker. It's name was Patrice VI and I decided that I would not change the name for it is said to be bad luck. It was equiped with a Johnson 12 HP outboard motor , which at first glance seemed a good thing but it did not take me long to find out why most larger boats are fitted with inboard engines..
Whilst I was a good sailor, I knew very little about navigation and so I enrolled on a course to obtain the French Merchant Navy Permis B which would entitle me to skipper a boat with an engine of over 10 HP and venture 60 miles from a safe haven. I suppose that this was the equivalent to the RYA Day Skipper certificate. The course consisted of 12 evening classes to learn all about basic navigation and the collision regulations . This culminated in a practical exam on an old whaler with a single cylinder diesel engine to test one's ability to cast off, come alongside and recover a fender as a man overboard drill. The theory exam which was run by the Merchant Navy college in Nantes consisted of 6 navigation scenarios to solve and 12 questions on the collision regulations. Thank fully , I passed , so I could now consider myself competent captain of my ship.
The next 2 summers were spent cruising along the whole western coast of Brittany, exploring the many rivers, and charming fishing ports, which were certainly a lot less crowded than they are today. I learned a lot in those 2 years. Not only about sailing and navigating, but also about boat repairs and maintenance.
I decided that I would replace the outboard engine with an inboard one and set about finding a suitable secondhand one. A Renault Couach 8 hp one pot diesel engine came along complete with control cables and wiring harness.
This turned out to be a major job as the boat had not been equiped with an inboard engine and so a stern tube had to be glassed in and engine bearers had to be build. As it is critical that the alignment of the engine and propellor shaft are perfect, a jig had to be built to ensure the height and angle were correct . Not an easy task. then there is all the paraphenalia of the exhaust, cooling circuit, control cables and the electrical wiring.
While all this was going on, I lost my job as a result of a company takeover and was given a golden handshake. I felt that my corporate career as a salesman had come to an end and looked for a new opprotunity. By chance I noticed an abandoned cafe in my village and made an offer for the lease. I decided to restore this decaying business by turning it into an English Pub. It had 8 bedrooms on the 1st floor and so we launched ourselves into the Hotel Restaurant business. I borrowed a pile of money, renovated the interior, invested in a proffessional kitchen, hired a French chef and a waiter and inaugurated " La Lutine" to the people of St. Molf and the surrounding area. It was a seasonal business as the population of the village swelled 10 fold in the summer months with many rich Parisians owning second homes in the region. The idea was a good success and sailing had to be put on the back burner. Realising thatr the summers would be dedicated to the business and needing more capital to run it, I reluctantly sold the Poker for pretty much what it had cost my, not including my tortured labour of fitting the engine.
La Lutine in St Molf
We ran the hotel for 3 years and although it was a successful enterprise, the seasonal nature of it made it not as financially rewarding as we had hoped. During one of my many meetings with the village Mayor, He sugested that he might be interested in aquiring La Lutine for his wife. An offer was made and accepted and the business was sold. We were now jobless and as a family, we were being tugged back to the UK as the children were starting secondary education and I was unsure of their their chances of starting out in professional life in France as English nationals especially as our current location was geographically isolated from the nearest big city of Nantes. So a decision was made to return to the UK, spurred on by the fact that my old boss had offered me an export sales job if I wanted it. The job was based in Woking, Surrey, so we moved back to Bracknell where we had started out.
Whilst I maintained my interest in boats and boating, we now lived 50 miles from the sea and my job forced me to travel a lot so any thoughts of owning another boat were quickly overlooked.
I did no sailing at all for almost 10 years. In that time I started another business involving the manufacture of wooden beams for the construction industry and the fitting of fireplaces but this failed as a result of the recession in the late 80s. Desperate for work I ended up driving trucks in Luxembourg to make ends meet. Despite all my efforts to get home as often as possible, the absences from home took their toll and my marriage of 25 years broke down.
Happier times on leave during the trucking days
Whilst I was working in Luxembourg, my son Marc had started crewing for a guy who raced a Westerly Storm 33 around the cans and across the channel . While I was on leave I accepted an invitation to join them on a cross- channel race and I got the bug allover again. I enrolled on a course with Sunsail to get my Day Skipper ticket and tried to get out sailing as often as the job allowed me to. Eventually the trucking job dried up with eastern european operators taking the business and so I returned to the UK finding a job as a stairlift salesman.
This now gave me free week ends and I took up the racing quite seriously , eventually moving on to a Sigma 362 called Goldeneye which was well equiped with a regular crew. I did this for the next six years and became a very competent sailor in all the aspects of running a successful racing yacht.
Goldeneye, The Sigma 362, in Cowes Yacht Haven
Goldeneye at the end of the Cowes -St Malo race1999
I then had a new lady come into my life and at about the same time the skipper of the yacht had an affair with one of the crew. The combination of the two events meant that we did less and less racing and the excitement of it began to wane. By now I had stopped selling stairlifts and had set myself up as a kitchenfitter/carpenter on Hayling Island. This meant that I was kept pretty busy and sailing seemed to get a lot less frequent. I now started to have thoughts of owning a small boat of my own that I could share with my children for some leisure sailing.
On a chance visit to the Isle of wight, I came across a pretty looking wooden boat with a For Sale sign on it. She was lying ashore, forlorn and deteriorating in Hales Boat yard at Yarmouth. I tentatively enquired to discover she had an asking price of £3500. She was named "Sarcelle" and was a 28ft Francis Jones design carvel sloop built in 1947 by Wistocks of Woodbridge . This boat had been well cared for for all of it's life except the last 10 years when she had languished ashore following the death of her owner. I sort of fell in love with her and had dreams of restoring her to her former beauty and sailing her around the Solent with my partner and be able to enjoy sailing with my children again. It would be a major restoration job but I felt I had the skills and the tools to do the job. I offered £2000 and this was eventually accepted by the deceased owners widow. I booked Kevin Henderson of Emsworth to collect Sarcelle with his low loader and accompanied him to bring her back to Hayling Island where I put her ashore in Wilson's Boatyard.
I began the arduous task of of stripping out the interior and the paint. I discovered numerous cracked ribs, 1/8" gaps between the topside planks and various area of rot. The engine was a 2 stroke Stuart Turner petrol which could have been restored to run again but I felt that it really needed a suitable diesel one. Every time I went to do some work on it I would fing new problems and in time the list became longer, not shorter. The prospective costs rose and rose.
Sarcelle during the strip out at Wilson's Boat Yard
I had so many conflicting pieces of advice as to the best way to go about restoring the hull, ranging from putting it back in the creek to sink to allow the timber to swell, to sheathing the whole thing in fabric and epoxy. In the end I became confused as to what I should do for the best. The boatyard bill was not getting smaller. If I went the epoxy route I would need to build a housing over the boat requiring more space and almost doubling the storeage costs. When I totalled up the cost of the resin needed I began to seriously question the reality of this project reaching it's conclusion . So having already spend around £5000 over 2 years I decided to sell the hulk or even give it away to someone with more resources than I had to bring Sarcelle back from the dead.Alas, after months of advertising and a number of unsuccessful viewings, I felt the time had come to do the dastardly deed of breaking her up. I woke one morning and made the decision. Armed with a chainsaw , myself and a hired hand set about cutting Sarcelle up into manageable pieces to burn. The job took 3 days of hard graft. It often hurt me that it would have taken 2 men 18 months to build such a fine vessel plank by plank, nail by nail, screw by crew. Here we were indiscriminately hacking her to pieces until all that was left was the cast iron keel standing there useless and forlorn.
In hindsight, although I had numerous nightmares over what I had done,I know that I made the right decision as ,in the course of the break up, I discovered other horrors such as rotten deck planking, corroded keel bolts and more. In short, Sarcelle had reached the end of the road and was well past her sell by date. Sad all the sames and an expensive way to learn a lesson. Don't buy an old wooden boat.! Still I did learn a lot about wooden boats and their complex construction. I now knew the pitfalls if ever I were to buy another wooden boat. Not that that was likely as I had now run out of money.
Sarcelle during the Break up. A difficult time.
My partner , Lorna, was working at Havant college at that time and had been offered a free course of her choice there. She sujested I could do the Yachtmaster theory course which ran for 22 weeks on Wednesday evenings over the winter months. I signed up for it and dug out all my old notes to brush up on my navigation and collision regs. The course was excellently run by Trevor , an ex Army Major who had become a yachtmaster examiner. He was very thorough and a lot was learned in a relatively short time. I was pleased to pass the exam with a 98% mark.
At the conclusion of this I signed up with a sailing school, Team Sailing , in Gosport to do a 5 day Coastal Skipper practical course. I also paid for a 3day outing to compete in the Round the Island race which , of course, I was very familiar with having competed in 6 previous ones on Goldeneye. By now I was bitten again and thought of nothing but to get out sailing again.
It then came to me that I was probably quite well prepared to attempt the Yachtmaster Offshore exam. I looked on the internet to find a sailing school who would give tuition and organise the exam on one of their yachts. Hamble School seemed the best bet and so I booked a 5 day refresher course folowed by a 5 day yachtmaster prep week with the exam booked for the Friday night. I also booked a number of other courses for First aid, Radar, VHF and Sea Survival. I concentrated all this in about 2 months and took my exam in November 2005. I was very happy to have passed and completed my MCA medical to alow my yachtmaster ticket to be commercially endorsed. This would now make it possible to earn money whilst going sailing. While doing the various courses, a couple of my instructors had sujested that I would be a good candidate to become an instructor myself, so I explored this avenue and enrolled on a RYA Cruising Instructor course run by Hamble School. I was put through my paces by veteran sailor and examiner Alison , who was very pleasantly efficient but took no prisoners. Fortunately for me I passed and so I was now qualified to teach novices on Competent Crew and Day Skipper practical courses. I now began to think seriously about a career change from Kitchen fitter to sailing instructor.
The next spring, I applied to a number of sailing schools and quickly realised that it would not be as easy as that. First Class Sailing were the first to give me an opportunity with a few week end courses. These were successful albeit a bit nerve racking. I then secured a few weeks of work with a school called Adrenaline Sailing in Gosport. Very quickly, I was offered more work throughout that summer and was eventually offered a full time position on condition that I obtained a Yachtmaster Instructor qualification.
The Yachtmaster Instructor endorsement is administerted by the RYA and consists of a 5 day assesment on a yacht by an examiner's examiner. This was probably the toughest thing I have had to do as the standards set are high and the tasks are not easy. Suffice to say that out of 8 candidates, only 2 of us reached the required standard. I was chuffed to have passed and I got a full time sailing job into the bargain. So I bit the bullet. I sold my van and my workshop in favour of a set of oilies and a handheald GPS.
Adrenaline Sailing specialised in running 18 week fastrack yachtmaster courses where novices joined us and were put though their paces in all the RYA disciplines to clock up 2500 miles and to take the yachtmaster exam at the end.
For almost 3 years I was a sea, teaching, teaching and more teaching. I worked Monday to Friday. It was a gruelling schedule but , in the main, a rewarding one for we put over 100 students through their yachtmaster exam with a 100% pass rate. There were , of course, a number of dropouts who did not complete the courses, but then sailing is not for everyone. I experienced my fair share of heartstopping moments, gales,and bad conditions, some very cold watches but I also experienced the joy of sailing to great places in some great yachts and sometimes in the best conditions with stunning dawns and sunsets.
A chilly day on a milebuilder in the Channel in a force 7
The Adrenaline experience came to an end when the school lost it's RYA regognition as a training centre because the owner of the business had failed to renew the MCA coding on one of the boats and it had come to light that ,as a result, we had been technically un-insured for well over a year. The RYA took a very dim view of this ommision and felt the need to take such drastic measures.
This meant that, overnight and along with a number of other instructors, I was un-employed. I felt that I needed a bit of a break from sailing and used some savings to to survive for a few months and embark on the conversion of a Transit van into a campervan. I began this in the May of 2009 and completed it by the begining of August . By now I was ready to get out sailing again and , by chance, I was contacted by Hot Liquid in Southampton offering me some teaching work. So I went back to teaching on and off for Hot Liquid, Stormforce Coaching and Commodore Yachting.
Later that year I was contacted by a former student from the Adrenaline days, who had bought a boat which he wanted to sail round from Gosport to Nice where he lived. We planned the trip for March 2010. The yacht was a Hunter Legend 33. These are not ocean going vessels and so careful attention needed to be paid to the weather forecasts, especially in respect of crossing Biscay for which the yacht's insurers had stipulated a number of conditions.
"Prascina" The Legend 33 on its delivery trip to Nice.
We were 4 on board, The joint owners Les and Alan, Mark a former YM. student and myself.The trip took us to Brest, where we were storm bound for 7 days, across Biscay to Bayona, down the Portugese coast, round cape St Vincent and on to Gibraltar with an impromptu detour via Cadiz due to bad weather . We rested 2 days in Gibraltar and then went on to Barcelona, across the Mistral blown Golfe du Lion, past Les Iles d'Hyeres and onto Nice. The trip was a total of 2100 miles which involved 23 days at sea and 6 days in harbour. We had our fair share of difficult moments but in the main it was a good trip.
Friendly dolphins in the Med, keep us company
One of many spectacular sunsets.
In July of that year, I was asked if I would run some RYA courses for a newly launched sailing school in Romania. I went out twice that year and it was an interesting experience as yachting is still in it's infancy there yet there was so much enthusiasm to learn to sail.
In September I had a call from a former colleague from the Adrenaline days, asking if I would run some Yachtmaster prep courses in Brittany
I jumped at the chance to return to these familiar waters and re-explore a few old haunts. The brittany school, Blue Sailing is run by a Frenchman who started the sailing school to train up French sailors to take the RYA Yachmaster exam. Apparently this qualification is in high demand in France as many people who want to work on british flagged vessels in the Med and the Caribean find that the French equivalent is not accepted and that only the MCA ticket will do.
The courses are run out of Le Crouesty near Quiberon on a vintage but well kept Swan 43. The cruising area runs from the Villaine River to Lorient, taking in the beautiful ,yet challenging Golfe du Morbihan and the idylic islands of Belle ile, Groix, Hoedic and Houat. A great area to go sailing.
Budding French Yachmasters relax on the Swan" Melody Blue" after a hard day's training at Port Tudy on The island of Groix
Day Skipper course on Blue Marine Star on the Black sea in Romania
In 2011 I spent a further 4 weeks in Romania, a few weeks in Brittany but I did mainly teaching in the Solent for Hot Liquid and Commodore.
At the end of 2011, I assisted in the re-building of Hot Liquid's new training Centre in preparation of what we all thought would be a cracking year in a new state of the art teaching establishment. I had qualified to instruct radar, diesel engine and VHF courses in the hope of doing a bit more classroom teaching.
January 2012 bought a bombshell which would see Hot Liquid stripped of it's RYA training centre licence as a result of an unfortunate incident on one of their boats which was caught out in a storm which had been forecast , causing the emergency services to rescue the crew. Hot liquid had had 2 previous incidents which required the coastguard to intervene and the RYA felt the need to take some action.
None of us were prepared for the brutality of such action as Hot Liquid were suspended of conducting any RYA courses, pending a full enquiry. The consequenses of this were that the business was forced to close well before the enquiry was made. The owners were subsequently aquited but all that was to no avail. Sad but true.
It was like a summary execution by firing squad of a group of innocent, law abiding people and nothing could be done about it. So for a second time, I found myself out of work.
However I had now reached retirement age and with a small pension to look forward to I thought that now would be a good time to slow down a bit. However, in the same breath, Blue Sailing suddenly had an increased need for me, my friend in nice had an urgent building project to complete and one of my former Romanian students decided to hire a 50 ft yacht for his holidays in Greece and wanted me to be his skipper.
The beneteau 50 sense I skippered for my former Romanian student , parked in Lefkas, Greece
In February 2012 my dear mum passed away after a short illness and whilst this was very distressing, remaining busy was a good thing for me. In early summer, I inherited a small sum of money from the sale of my mother's house and feeling a little more financially comfortable I began to have thoughts of having a little boat to potter around Chichester harbour in. As my 6 Grandchildren were all reaching an age where sailing might be a bit of fun, I began to relish the thought of owning my own boat to teach them to sail.
I tentatively began to look on ebay for 20 - 25 ft cruisers and short listed a few. Many seemed expensive for what they were and most of the bargains were not so after a closer look. So I kept looking.
I came across an Elizabethan 23 with a lifting keel which seemed pretty much up together until I discovered the state of the ancient Petters 6 diesel engine in it. So I kept looking. I began to look at open day boats such as Drascombe Luggers but these seemed disproportionally expensive.
Then one evening whilst surfing ebay, I noticed a 24 ft wooden boat which had just sold for £2500. Looking at the spec, I remarked that whoever had won that had bagged themselves a bargain. I continued surfing. About a week later, I happened to notice that the same boat had been re-listed and had an offer on it of £1800 with 2 day to go on the auction. I also noticed from the photo that it was ashore at Trafalgar Warf in Porchester only 15 minutes from my home.
So the next morning, went along to have a quick look just out of curiosity. After all this was not what I was looking for. It was made of wood, it had a long keel and it needed a lot of painting !
The Falmouth Pilot 24 Godolphin , as I found her at Trafalgar Warf
The interior was discovered in remarkably good condition
This little boat, a 24 ft Falmouth Pilot 6 ton sloop, was build in 1962 by theFalmouth Boat Construction co. and designed by G. Warrington-Smythe. Carvel planked of pitch pine on oak frames , her hull was in remarkably good condition considering her 50 years . A quick look around confirmed to me that this was indeed a bargain as the engine alone would be worth about £2000. The mast and rigging appeared to be ok and the interior was in good condition. Sure she needed a lot of work done but this seemed to be cosmetic. With little reflection and with only day to go, in a moment of madness I put in a top bid of £2500 . By that evening, I realised I had won the auction and was the owner of a boat. So now there was nothing more to do but pay and start painting.
The cockpit was in need of some TLC
The boat came complete with sails, some electronics, Beta 3 cyl, 20 HP diesel. There was some history delivered with it which highlighted that the mast and rig had been replaced in 2002, the engine was new in 2004, the sails dated from 2005, the toilet was new in 2011. The hull planking slooked in good shape and had had a recent coat of paint and generally it was quite up together for it's age and what I had paid for it.
There is, of course, no such thing as a free lunch and I later discovered that this boat had been up for sale by her owners for around £11000 a year before but that a survey had pointed out a number of broken ribs and a broker had been trying to sell her as she was for around £6000 . After a year of lanquishing ashore and the summer season gone, they were keen for a quick sale and the boat was offered on ebay. I think they were hopeful that it would fetch nearer £4000 but, I got lucky.
The extent of the rot in the stern deck was quite serious!
The repaired stern deck
Whilst making a start on scraping away the flaky paint ,I discovered some fairly serious rot in the stern deck and I began to wonder what the rest of it would be like. Luckily the main part of the decking was sound enough. I cut out the affected part and replaced it with 18mm marine ply. The coachroof was stripped down and re-painted as were thew decks
I booked a survey with White Hat Surveys,http://www.whitehatyachtsurveying.com , mainly at my insurer's request. The report confirmed what I had suspected. The hull was fine but he did discover a quantity of cracked ribs in the stern part which were recomended to be fixed as soon as possible. He also felt that the toe rails were in poor condition and would require replacement. The anchor chain was very rusty and was replaced. I also discovered that the VHF radio was not working so I found an ex display model at Marine Superstore to replace it. The Blake seacocks were completely siesed and after repeated attempts with heat and oil they were dismantled and overhauled.
The topsides were given a new coat of Toplac in Squall Blue and the underwater part of the hull was treated with 2 coats of antifoul paint.
The engine was fired up and all seemed ok, so I booked for a re-launch for a week later.
Renee, all spruced up and ready to be launched.
The original name was Godolphin, which I was not over enamoured with and so contrary to tradition I decided to name her Renee in memory of my my mum who had made it financially possible to own the boat. New name stickers were made up and the sails were bent on. The boat was launched and unsurprisingly, it leaked like a sieve! Howerver, it was not that serious and I calculated the number of times the auto bilge pump kicked and for how long to satisfy myself that the boat would remain afloat on a fully charged battery!.
Renee , ready for her delivery trip to Emsworth
Because Trafalgar Warf is tidal and dries out,I decided to chug Renee across to Port Solent for the night before attempting the maiden voyage round to Emsworth marina.
Ah yes, I forgot to mention that after careful consideration , I had decided to ditch the idea of a swinging mooring. I managed tyo get a permanent berth in Emsworth, which is a delightful little marina at the top of Chichester Harbour. It is a bit restrictive with access 2.5 hrs either side of HW but this seemed reasonable enough for the convenience of having access to the boat at any time. Furthermore, Emsworth is only a 10 minute drive from home, so I could go down and potter when ever the fancy took me.
The next morning, I met up with my Nephew Rob who had bravely agreed to be my crew on this epic journey to chichester harbour. The hull was still letting some water in but much reduced and I was confident that by the end of the day she would have taken up sufficiently for me not to have to worry about it. The weather was on our side as the sun was shining with a light SW breeze. We locked out of Port Solent at around midday and as I needed to be over the sill at Emsworth by 4.30 pm, this gave us ample time to cover the 12 or so miles passage.
Once out of Portsmouth harbour, the sails were set and I made a course to pass through the main passage of the submerged barrier, ajacent to Horse Sand Fort. There was not much wind and so I did a bit of motor sailing to keep up the average speed. We chugged into Emsworth at around 4pm after a pleasant sail and an uneventful passage.
After tying up to the visitors pontoon, my partner Lorna came down to meet us and we had a short little naming ceremony, spashing a little bubbly over Renee's bow not forgetting to save a enough for a well deserved tipple for ourselves. I stood back and had a moment of pride and satisfaction that I, at last, had my own boat .
Rob at the helm, motoring out of Port Solent
Over the remaining summer months, my sailing work precluded me from using the boat as often as I would have liked. We did have a few outings in Chichester Harbour with the grandchildren and I introduced our Westie Angus to the initiation of becoming a Salty Dog. He took to it quite well!.
Lorna is not a sailor by choice, but she did come out and discovered that, on a nice day, sailing can be a very pleasant experience. Hopefully she will want to repeat it many more times in the future.
At the end of October I invited most of my family (20 or so of us) for a lunch at the marina restaurant followed by an official naming cermony for Renee. We dressed her overall and marked the occasion in true nautical style with champagne and good cheer.
Lorna doing the honours at Renee's naming ceremony
The winter has now come apon us and Renee was lifted ashore in December in preparation for a fairly major re-ft.
The broken ribs have totalled 10 and whilst they do not all need repairing now, I have decided to bite the bullet and do them. The old stainless steel water tank had been leaking and so this needs to be removed and repaired or replaced. To do this requires the removal of the engine to move it forward, out of the way. The interior of the hull in the stern section will be repainted. I will re-paint the top sides and re- antifoul. The cutlass bearing will be replaced. The toerails will be removed and replaced with new mahogany ones. I plan to replace the seats in the cockpit and cover them with Dek king vinyl strip decking. I have ordered a new speed and depth instrument and a wind instrument from Nasa marine. The progress of the re-fit will be recorded in the Re-fit page. Happy reading if you are interested in the restoration of old wooden boats.