The Four Seasons in Almostcanada


When we first came here, to live on the hard. From the almost-always-warm waters of San Diego Bay. One of our neighbors came over to, first, ask “why?” He then went on to explain that this place wasn’t all that much different than other parts of the country. There, are in fact, four seasons here. As he put it, “Almost-winter, Winter, Still-winter, and Road Repair.” And, this year, I’m beginning to wonder about that last one. April Fools’ Day has come and gone, already. As I was sipping my morning coffee, there was a white rabbit sitting on a snow pile just out the family room window. He (or she) didn’t seem at all perturbed. Seemed to say, “I’m gonna continue to blend in, for some time to come.”

Well, that lawn mower shed in the corner, just beyond the hopefully-receding glacier, is where I store things like outboard gas tanks. So, I hope the rabbit won’t mind, if it all goes away. And, soon!

Another rite of Spring, here at the Frankenwerke, is to make that dismal discovery that everything on the TODO board from the Building Season just ain’t gonna’ get done. Not, and still get boats on the highway, and boats in the water. Not, both. So, we did a bit of an audition. Just yesterday. It was fifty-five degrees not-in-the-shade.

John, the Grand COOT Poohbah, invited me to bring a boat to the Depoe Bay, Oregon, boat show in a couple weeks. At the time, I whined that one candidate wasn’t near ready for what will exceed a 1,200-mile round trip. And, the other one wasn’t really ready either. And, she was also stuck at the bottom of a hill, behind a snow pile and the wrong side of an ice floe. So, when the sun came out, and the ice was still turning to bog – I managed to get both girls out for a bit of a photo op.

The comparison to parading “the Girls” in the parlour of Madame Pinchfinger’s Bordello wasn’t completely lost on me. Certainly, I will come to know the wrath of the lady scorned. Probably the wrath of the not-scorned one too. That’s how these things almost always go. John agreed that Miss Kathleen, was the best candidate-even though she’s been to several shows already last year. So, Gypsy Wagon got hauled off to storage and re-tarped.

And, yes. I’m quite certain that I did in fact find my shoe laces tied together quite by random coincidence while stepping down from the ladder. Pure happenstance.

So, with scant days before heading off to the Oregon coast, I noticed that Miss K’s topsides were showing the ravages of a thousand dockings. And, I did have that new, but untried, razor blade scraper. And, well. It WAS almost warm enough out there in the driveway to actually shuck my coat and gloves. Almost. One thing led to another.

This is Kate’s view out from her sewing room. I can’t say that she was offering anything like encouragement. Probably justified. Then, an object lesson in the Law of Supply and Demand.

I’ve had this fancy can of rattle-can paint from Rustoleum called something like, “high performance enamel.” Just itching to try it. And, all being equal, it seems to work pretty well.

Except. When I ran breathlessly back to our local emporium of hardware delights, to get another bag full of those cans. There was only one dusty denizen left. Just one. And, apparently, the “re-order point” is one. No more coming in. Not, until I bought the damn last one. Talk about a conundrum. I guess you could say that limited supply follows limited demand.

So, here we sit. Waiting for the pony express to bring Kate gingham and sundries. Me, a few paint cans. I sure hope that pony can make it through the pass, before the creek rises. Sure hope.


  1. Dan, I love the use of “parquet” on the sides of the cover photo boat. Is it actual flooring or did you find a creative way to use up shorts? By the way, before we built our Rose, I was considering using a Tri Hull as a base. It is nice to see how well it actually worked out. Great job! Best/Roy

  2. Hi Roy. The weave pattern is supposed to be a “tweed”, but I have it on better authority (than my own) that it’s actually a twill. At any event, they are individual pieces of spaulted (beetle-kill) pine set piece by piece in a liberal layer of TBII on a sheet of 1/2″ mdo. I got a D in high school geometry, so it was sort of a “discovery” on my part that a 3-to-1 ratio of length to width laid at offset perpendiculars would generate that more or less endless pattern. Sort of a gee whiz discovery for me. Guys that did better in math probably already know this stuff. The pine is only covered with a few coats of poorly applied (with a chip brush) Minwax Helmsman exterior (satin) urethane. It’s amazingly stood up to a summer and ensuing fall-winter-spring cycle exposed most of the time to the elements. The panels are bolted on, and will probably be replaced with some other thing sooner or later. That whole cabin just could get pulled off and made wider and longer. TBD, eh? Dan.

  3. I’m really impressed at how the tri came out. I have a 20′ sailboat hull I thought I’d attempt my own cabin build on. Since you’ve now done a tri and a mono and can see the livability of both, what is your preference? There are a lot of tri hulls available in my area too.

    • The tri-hull looked like a good way to get more volume per linear foot. But, actually, the sailboat hull is just about the perfect conversion. Seakindly, and easily driven. Easy on the roll. And, you have a better chance of looking “classic” than simply cute. By leaving 12″ of the keel as a bit of a fin and a deep sump for the bilge, and a big rudder aft of the screw, you get pretty good maneuverability and excellent tracking. No question, if you only need one boat; go with the sailboat hull! Dan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.