A Modest Proposal – Parts 2.3 and 2.4

by Dan Rogers - Diamond Lake, Washington - USA

Dan’s plan

“Keep it up, we need our towable bunkhouse for next year! ? Kind of like excavating a mummy’s tomb, you never know what you will find!”

A Modest Proposal – Part 2.3

OK. The Boss came around this morning. He even “signed off” on some of the stuff headed for our local transfer station. But, he also wanted to know sumpin’. Me too, for that matter. Where’s that lazy lay about morning crew that I’ve been bragging up all these months and years?

I suppose if I could bend my fingers, I’d give ’em a call. But, for now, I’ll just have to blunder on by myself.

Don’t get me wrong. The Boss was real supportive. It’s just that he’s had his regular haircut and pedi, only yesterday. And, a guy in his position needs to keep up appearances.

I’m thinking that any comparison to ice and snow just might be apt. I left the shovel and broom in the picture to show how much more “headroom” we’re gonna’ get in return for all this excavation stuff. About a foot! And, that’s a whole bunch when it comes to windage, and overhead door clearance on the trailer, and all that stuff. Judging by the state of the embedded stringers, the foam deal isn’t the best idea boatbuilders have come up with-half way through the past century, anyhow.

What I need to do next is to pull that engine and outdrive. Then, finally, this hull should pirouette around on those furniture dollies like a gossamer princess. Tomorrow morning is what the Planning Department guys put up on the planning board. I really hope THEY expect to be here, too. That chunk of Detroit Iron is one heavy piece of machinery. In the meantime, I’ve been sort of sending draft copies of this emerging story to “the usual group of suspects.” And, I’ve gotten quite a basket of comments – both on the build just begun, and the concept of trying to expand the activity base with a “bunkhouse barge.” I particularly like the first one.

OK, you are officially nuts!

Keep it up, we need our towable bunkhouse for next year! ? Kind of like excavating a mummy’s tomb, you never know what you will find!

I love it. The start of a new job. The start of a new series of daily upgrades and dead ends. Looking forward to a vicarious journey into Frankenbotel construction. Sign me up for a bunk.

I didn’t want to stir the pot by asking, but I have been WONDERING whether you would do another winter project. I’m glad you will, and I (and your other followers) look forward to reports from you and the elves.

Nothing ever very modest about your proposals. I am thinking of several suites with queen beds and individual bathrooms with soaking spa tubs. Certainly, the water/holding tank capacity of your current Frankenboat could accommodate that. Oh yes, must have forced air heating, and a resident cook.

I think your idea is a good one and would allow a dry place when needed but have you done a scale layout for this yet?

If you are able to provide seating for several in a dry area where they can converse or read, a small table for cards or game board and a small area for a single burner to heat hot water for coffee, tea or soup you’ve hit just right. Just an idea. The head is a nice idea but in using the RV I’ve found that mixed company in the remaining space doesn’t work.

Good luck and I look forward to watching the progress.

That is quite a project! Looks very promising, but hope you are not putting too much on yourself to provide such luxury.

You still haven’t shown how you plan to get two boats to a place a couple hundred miles from home on one trip

I’ve been in great suspense all week with parts 1 through 3 … wondering what the “modest proposal” was , —– now I know!

If you can make something cool from a tri-hull It will be quite a feat indeed. (Them things are ugly)

Maybe some camo paint like a landing craft

Marshall McLuhan said “The medium is the message”. A revelation. It is hard to use the modern media, without its possibilities using and overwhelming. Why would one stream a football game in a kayak? But why not? Is a group of boaters floating in a canal, each watching their own phone, in a group activity?

A final question. Does the freedom of the activity really lend itself to the structure of organization?

Down here is seems that A/C has most folks by the short hairs and won’t let them outdoors, during yachting season events where folks have to get out of their COMFORT ZONE are becoming a dying thing the interweb has allowed so many the ability to become the vicarious yachtsmen/women that we don’t see much of them any more it’s beginning to look like we are doomed to playing in smaller circles w/ friends who are fewer & farther between.

I’d say that the vote-for me to continue being officially nuts-is pretty close to unanimous. There were a few dissenting opinions; and I’ll pass them along tomorrow. Right after that damn engine learns to take flight and land lightly in the dump-run trailer.

I’ve even got a surprise to pass along, from the Bard of Bradenton. Can it be? Has The Lucas finally taken a sip of the Frankenbot cool aid? Could be.

A Modest Proposal – Part 2.4

If you’re old enough to remember the then-edgy pun that “euthanasia” was just another name for Ping Pong Diplomacy; no doubt, you’ve been through that sort of thing for real with pets, friends, and family members. And, in this case, I think at least two of those categories apply. Friend, and family member.

When it’s up to us to do the right thing, comes a time when we have to decide: Keep up the good fight, or just let ’em go?

I gotta say, that yesterday, I went through one helluva round on the behalf of a family member, and friend. A very nasty business, indeed. If she lives, she’ll never be the same. The cancer was so much farther advanced, than anyone could imagine. I’ve been through this a dozen times before. Probably more. Never seen it this bad. Never. I kept thinking that maybe, just maybe, we’d get to the bottom of it. There’d be something left of the old girl. Well. Not so much.

I’ve still gotta’ clear out the last of the bags of scooped-up debris, and broken parts. I think, even that voracious Sawzall was hesitant to keep probing. Keep amputating. There just hadda’ be a stopping point. At least, we finally decided to quit.

Anyhow. Today is gray, and cold, and rainy. Just the sort of day this whole project was hatched for. I’m going to go out and continue to fill the trailer for one of probably several dump runs. Maybe a quarter-ton of rotted wood and soggy foam. Large chunks of still-shiny gelcoat and polyester mouldings from back-in-the-day when boats were put together by hand. No vacuum bags. No real understanding-or consideration, maybe-for the frailties of this “no-maintenance, wonder material” that changed boatbuilding-for-the-common man forever. Water, heat, and cold. They ALWAYS win.

I guess you might say, that my friend was loved. Loved to death, even. She was cared for so well, that nobody realized the extent of her illness. Packed away in a plastic cocoon, under a shed roof, for over TWENTY-FIVE years. Hot in the summer. Cold in the winter. Tightly wrapped against the elements. Vinyl, over chopper gun and polyester mat, over plywood, over foam. No real air flow. The cancer was, simply, everywhere. Floor, stringers, engine bearers, decorative cushions, plywood furniture. All reduced to pulp and dross. She was way sicker than I realized, when I brought her here. I probably should have never put her through this indignity.

But, I did.

So, the recovery period will be a tough one. For the both of us. There will still be more surgery. More cutting and ripping. She’s hurtin’. Me too.

Her heart is gone. She’ll never do what she was born to do. No more.

That’s all behind us. But, we ain’t quit yet. We ain’t done. We’re just begun. Please join us for the journey.

We’ve a long way to go. But, it could be a very rewarding voyage. All ‘boooorrrrrddddddd.


  1. A coworker of mine once rebuilt a runabout like yours. His had a good engine, but the boat had become so floppy that it was frightening to be on. Like you, he tore everything out. He put in new stringers bears and frames, patterned from the rotten old ones. I told him to epoxy everything and to leave ventilation under the cockpit sole. He did it, over a year and a half, then told me it was like a brand new boat. Indeed, it was probably better than a brand new boat, because this time it was built to last. It was probably lighter than when it was new, too.
    His grand kids will probably inherit it.
    Best of luck on your project.

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