Thursday, September 13, 2012

What's in a Name?

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that as the boat has been nearing completion over the two months or so, I've been referring to it less and less as PocketShip and referring to it more as the boat or my boat.  And then, suddenly, the boat was on the water and I suddenly started referring to her as Solitude III.

The gradual phasing out of using the name of the design to identify my boat in this blog was deliberate and planned.  I knew the identity of the boat would be changing, and that I couldn't go on calling it PocketShip forever...after all, PocketShip is already named PocketShip!  Interestingly, it took conscious effort when writing to accomplish the transition.  For so long I had thought of that object in my garage as a PocketShip, for so long had I referred to it in the blog as PocketShip, that formulating sentences without the word "PocketShip" did not come naturally.  On the other hand, the second that Solitude hit the water, she became she instead of it...just naturally, no effort required.

Why Solitude III?  My folks' boat is Solitude II, and my great-grandparents' was Solitude.  No mystery there.

The graphic
Name on the transom!
When I took the boat to Port Townsend, she did not bear her name on her transom, though it did appear in the Festival's information.  I had designed the graphic for the name much earlier, but hadn't acted on getting it printed.  Finally, a few days before the show, I sent it off to a local signmaker to get it printed onto vinyl.  I finally applied it to the boat a few days after returning from the Festival.

Strictly speaking, despite having been on the water a couple of times and having a name applied, the boat has not been christened yet, something that surely violates nautical good taste.  It was such a rush to get her on the water, that it just got missed.  And since a name was required in registering for the Wooden Boat Festival...well, the cart just got in front of the horse on that one.  A proper christening will have to be done.


  1. Greetings,

    I have just spent several very enjoyable hours reading your whole blog on building your version of the Pocket Ship Solitude. I have been looking at the CLC videos on U-tube and stumbled on to your blog from another web site. I may have to order the instructions from CLC for myself.

    One thought that I had and unfortunately it wont do you any good but did the lead fill up the pockets in the keel or was there some space left over when you had finished melting and pouring the lead? The reason that I ask is that I kind of thought that what you might have done is to mix epoxy with the lead shot and pour that mixture into the cavities doing two thins at once, first saving melting all that lead and second locking the lead into the keel while conforming to the keel.

    Enjoy your sailing and thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts,
    Andre Anderson

  2. Hi Andre,

    The lead doesn't fill up all of the room in the pockets in the keel, but the goal is to get is as close as you can. I don't remember if I mentioned it in the blog, but I did pour a little unthickened epoxy over the top after I cast the lead...dunno if it did any "good," but at least it is there. The problem with the lead shot approach (I believe that's Sam Devlin's recommended technique) is that the packing efficiency of spheres is something like 66%, which translates into a third less weight in the keel than the boat was designed for.