This blog is devoted to my John Welsford designed 15' Navigator yawl Ellie. I built her in my garage over a period of 18 months and launched her in 2011. She sports a sliding gunter main, roller furled jib and sprit-boomed mizzen. Her construction is glued-lapstrake over permanent bulkheads and stringers. This blog is a record of her construction and her voyages here in the Puget Sound area and (hopefully) a useful resource for fellow Navigator builders.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Another New Boat Launched

My good friend Larry Cheek launched his new Sam Devlin designed Winter Wren today.  Beautiful job Larry!  Her name is "Nil Desperandum", which is advice from the Roman poet Horace to “Quit worrying".  Larry has a terrific blog here.  Nil Desperandum will be on display at the Port Townsend wooden boat festival in September.

Larry and I met when he was writing his book The Year of the Boat.  Back then, Larry and I were coincidentally both building Sam Devlin's Zephyr design at the same time, a mere 30 miles apart when we crossed paths.  What are the odds of that? If you haven't read Larry's book, I highly recommend it.

Congratulations on a magnificent job, Larry!  I wish you many, many years of happiness, joy, and adventure, and above all, No Worries, aboard your beautiful new craft.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Car Show

Every July we have our annual "Books and Backpacks" drive at work. This fundraiser helps provide students with the school supplies they need but cannot afford in these trying times.

But for us, it means it's time for our annual car show!  In addition to a cookie, everyone who contributes a donation gets to vote for their favorite sports car. The car with the most votes wins a trophy. It's great fun and we look forward to it every year.

I must confess that, while most of my co-workers are into sports cars, my DNA appears to be missing the sports car gene that they all have.  I get the same thrill going 7 mph that they get at 107 mph.  Consequently, I do not own a sports car.  Still, my co-workers have shown a keen interest during the past two years in the building of Ellie and invited me to display her at this year's show.

There were several beautiful Porsches
There were Corvettes, old and new
Jack brought his 1950 Mercury "Louie Louie"
 There were some classics

A Chevelle and a Challenger

And there was Ellie.

Ellie, of course, didn't stand a chance of winning this event.

After all, many of these beautiful automobiles have interiors crafted of the finest leather. Ellie's interior is made of salvaged firewood.

Their exteriors have gleaming paint jobs, beautifully hand waxed to a mirror-like finish.  Ellie's exterior is covered with hardware store porch and floor enamel.

No need to bring Ellie's tiny 2.5hp outboard. It would be no match for the sweet rumble and exciting thunder of any of these powerful sports car engines.

I would wager that some of the owners have as many hours invested in their show cars as I have in building Ellie, and most have invested easily 10 times as much of their hard earned money.

So you can imagine my utter surprise when Jeff, our lead Engineer and car show host, came running out shouting "Joel, you won the car show!"

How is it possible that Ellie could win an event such as this?

It certainly wasn't my doing. My boat building skills are average at best.  Besides, I built Ellie to be sailed, not to be a museum piece, and it shows.

No, there is only one possibility.

There can be but one logical explanation.

There is just Something about Navigator