I’m trying to remember how long ago it was
that my friend Marcus bought a copy of my Golden
Bay dinghy plans. From memory he was
about halfway through an adult boatbuilding apprenticeship
which would put it about 8 years ago, and at a time
when his three girl children were all very small.
I hear from Marcus every few months and for all that
time our conversations were opened with “ I’m
going to finish off that Golden Bay soon”. The
remark sort of became just part of the conversational
scenery and I didn’t take much notice of it,
but the remark still kept coming up through several
house moves and over a whole lot of years. To help
out I sold the tardy and distracted (three daughters
all within a year or so of each other could be termed
a “ distraction”) a cheap second hand
sail originally intended for a Bolger Teal and we
talked over the size and shape of a mizzen so the
partly finished boat could be rigged as a cat yawl.
Time went by; the promises to complete the boat continued;
the little flock of daughters grew in stature and
personality (they’re going to be a real adventure
for the boys in their lives later on!). Marcus completed
his Trade Certificate in Boatbuilding and discussed
with me the option of going further with his training
and becoming a Marine Engineer specialising in engine
installations, and meanwhile went to work for a company
specialising in superyacht interiors.
Much to my surprise I had a note to say that the
little dinghy was almost done and that Marcus was
going to be sailing her at the Mahurangi Regatta last
February. Sadly, I could not be there, but I extracted
a promise of some photos and pretty much forgot about
it, just more conversational scenery. But I should
not have maligned my long time friend, as just the
other day I received a great collection of pictures
of “ Riha “ sailing on the waters of Northlands
east coast, Father and three daughters on board, and
the boat performing beautifully.
Marcus has made a wonderful job of her, now a professional
boatbuilder in every way the detail work is exceptional,
the boats two masted rig is both convenient and effective,
and there is room for all four in this simple 12 ft
9in flat bottomed skiff.
It took a while, but it was worth the wait.
Golden Bay dinghy.
Columns by John Welsford