A brief summary of two years (mostly) in Limbo,

updated expressly for "Thomas from Australia."

I am so glad you called; had the intense interest in ALBATROSS to go beyond the deleted querie on that forum and find my number and make contact. Without our wonderful conversaation, I might not have stirred myself to put this meager page up. Thanks for the shove.

During the course of boat building - building a boat - given enough boat to build and given enough time, any number of those ubiquitous life events are bound to interfere. Such have happened several times in the last two years.

In '04 I poured my heart and soul into the election, only to be resolutely disappointed with the results that November. And when I say "disappointed" I truly mean it. Deep depression ensued from the realization that we would be subjected to more years of this criminal administration.

Picking myself up, I went back to work, only to find myself working for a complete boob. I stuck with it for as long as I could and then dropped out again. This was in '05. '05 also brought about another event (I suppose) we all should anticipate at some point - She Who Puts With Me got colo-rectal cancer. We dealt with it and fortunately she came through with a clean bill of health. However, I pretty much had to quit (thinking) about work and help her as much as I could to carry her through her Christmas Season. She decided to redesign her booth, so we came up with a couple of neat and original concepts to give it a whole new look, and, make if very much lighter and easy to set up. I did most of the designing (the structural engineering) and building; very nifty - a 6' long folding corner table, folding wire racks for light-weight display boards, and a rolling box to put it all in.

Maybe I was psychically in tune, because I began to feel depressed about something and didn't know what it was consciously. I'd developed a friendship with a fellow in New Orleans. He was building a small sailboat. Every few weeks he'd talk or trade a lengthy series of emails. He'd send pics of his latest accomplishment and at his behest I'd make comments. Early in '06 I found out quite accidentally that he'd finished the boat and launched it on Lake Ponchartrain. He and his wife drowned on their maiden voyage.

The least earth-shattering event lately was the heart attack I had in May. The most annoying part of it was the crappy treatment I got at the hospital. I have a very good job now. I work for wonderful people and can't wait to get to work. What a pleasant change. So, after three days of said crappy treatment, I pulled myself out of their clutches in the middle of the night. I took an additional day off then returned to my job. The boss got me an extra man so I didn't have to get physical. Now everything is humming along.

I'll make no attempt to pin down the chronology of these works because, frankly, I don't really remember when they occured.


Climbing up the huge semi-permanent ladder from outside, the first thing you see is the cockpit (such as it is so far.) This is the portside seat. It's 15" wide, and runs from companionway to transom. The footwell is about 14" deep. With 3" of cushion this should be a very comfortable height for sitting for long periods.


Here's the control panel - minimalism at its best - a key, a tachometer, 3 fuses, a starter button, and some kind of alarm buzzer. The whole hole business isn't quite water tight yet. I have to fabricate a gasket for the opening.


This space was a long time in the making. It's the fuel tank, located between station #0 and the transom. Station #0, at one time thought to be a firewall is an inch thick. The tank is four layers of 1708 and several coats of epoxy over that. It is 1 inch thick throughout. Once the seat back is in place, the top of this opening will consist of a flat area and gasketed access hatch. The fuel lines, feed and return will worm their way under and around the seats to this flat lid. On deck, there'll be a hinged access hatch.
The 2"x6" marked "20" is a stiffener for the starbord transom cleat and pad for the pushpit.


This probably rates as "monumental." The companionway ladder took months to conceive, draw, double check and build. It's about as close to what I was hoping to acheive as I can hope for.


There was only one tiny little screw-up where I'd miscalculated and placed the hinge too low (or deep) to allow the "door" to swing completely open. So I took the "door" off and took it back down to the shop floor and moved the hinge. Then back into place it went to be re-epoxied where it belonged.

The white box at the top of this pic is the housing for the control panel, the black cable runs down to the engine. This box has a little cubby on its back, inside, for binoculars, radio or GPS, or whatever.

That's about all there is to tell for now, Tom. Mongo pesters me unmercifully to come and work on the boat. And speaking of Mongo, he's lost 65 lbs. He's only 25 from his doctor's goal of 240. (I think that's still too heavy, but that's another matter altogether.) I'm so proud of his efforts and determination I can't wipe the smile off my face when I think about it.

This way to 2006 - Part II

This way --> [home2.] Home.[chaos]

Got any questions or comments? I'm still "themadmac" [dawg1email.jpg] only now I'm at verizon.net

Written 2006/Jul/30