Monday, December 17, 2012

What Brings You Here?

One of the behind-the-scenes things that I have access to on this blog are some statistics about how many visitors I’ve had, which entries have been viewed the most, common search terms and referring URLs. Pretty neat stuff.

Most folks stumble onto this blog either via or Google. I really enjoy looking at the search terms that lead folks here. For the most part, the terms “PocketShip, “Pocket Ship,” and “Jon PocketShip ” are the avenues for people finding this blog. There have been a few folks who dropped by here looking for information about working with epoxy in cold weather or building a wooden mast. There have been some other queries that seem rather off topic, for example:
Glad I could help. 

The most viewed entry is, and has been for some time, “Re-Energized.” This entry’s enduring popularity. is puzzling to me. In looking back over the blog, I can pick out several entries that were better written (Lagging, Sole Man), more informative (Deck the Boat, Waiting for Epoxy), or more entertaining (Transform and Roll Out, Boatsanding Blues). I guess I don’t see what it is in that entry that others see. If anybody has any thoughts, please share them with me!

This all got me thinking about “audience.” I have been far from consistent in who I have considered my target audience in the various blog posts. Sometimes, I’ve targeted people who are actually building a PocketShip, assuming detailed knowledge of the design (e.g. what bulkhead #7 looks like). Other times, I’ve target more general interest boat building types. Sometimes, I’ve pontificated more on the human experience of building and sailing this boat. I guess the bottom line is that I really have been writing this for myself, and whatever mood I’ve been in at the time has dictated how I’ve approached writing a given entry.

But that’s not the point. What I what to know is, “why are you here?” What brought you to this blog, what information where you hoping to find, what would you like to hear more about??? Anybody want to share?


  1. I'm here because I dream, eat and sleep boatbuilding! How many boats have I built? None. This paradox is mostly resource-related and I have resolved that its existence will be short-lived! I have drawn so many boats in my lifetime. I have virtually built them all - plank by plank. I've even built the darn shops to build them in ... in my head. The thing is with boatbuilding (and boatbuilding dreaming), you can never accumulate enough information.

    Your blog (read cover-to-cover in two sittings) has inspired me. I WILL build my boat - and it will be PocketShip-based. Not PocketShip - my own design, but I have a ton of new ideas from your blog. It (your blog) is the ideal resource. I built Solitude with you! Well I built my boat with you at any rate.

    I live on an island slap-bang in the middle of the Irish Sea, called the Isle of Man (I'm not a native Manxman - South African, actually) and I am desperate to adventure to neighbouring lesser islands in my own boat. my current boat is a plastic 14' dinghy/fisherman crossover and clearly not up to the 30ish NM closest (blue water) passage to Northern Ireland. I need a micro cruiser!

    After reading your blog, it has suddenly become attainable. I loved the technical detail. I chuckled at the frustrations (Sorry, but I did! I saw myself in your writing! Especially the 4x longer thing. With you on that one brother!). I drooled at the pics (my wife calls it boat-porn). And I fantasized about sailing Puget Sound and gawking at wooden boats for an entire weekend. Mostly, like I said, it put my own project within reach.

    I both thank and applaude you for that.

    Brilliant job Jon. Well done on all fronts.

  2. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the kind words. I am glad that you have enjoyed it.

    I completely understand the joy of daydreaming about building boats. I too have built several boats in my mind, either through pure imagination or vicariously through the blogs, instruction books, and stoies of others.

    It is really quite an experience to actually take the plunge and build one in the physical world! Some of the experiences you anticipate, others you don' certainly don't foresee how great the emotional heights and depths of the process are! Hope you get to experience it soon.

  3. Greetings Jon. I've just completed reading your blog. First let me thank you for being thorough when needed, brief when appropriate. The photos are all fantastic, whether it's a construction detail, or a lovely sunset.

    What brings me here? I recently completed building a Goat Island Skiff and may have caught the boat building bug. I won't be "moving up" for quite awhile, but the Pocketship really speaks to me. I was thrilled to able to see hull #1 at Mystic this summer (I exhibited my GIS which was even more of a thrill). Your blog is chock full of great tips, pointers and such. But in truth, the most useful and informative entries were the Getting to Know You parts 1-3. As a prospective future possible builder, your summary of the experience is the most helpful right now. That, and your continued sailing journeys which will help describe "life with Pocketship" are what will most likely make a PS skipper of me (someday).

    I have added your blog to my following list and look forward to more about Solitude III. Thanks for sharing!