“I want it by next weekend”

And so it was that my nearest neighbour set the schedule for the

Remains of old grid

Remains of old grid

building of the new boat grid we would share.

I laughed it off, of course.  I was still resting from the day’s wood gathering.  “Ha ha….yeah…sure…ha, ha…..OK…….you serious?”

“So serious, I want to start tomorrow.”

“Oh, right!  Yeah!  Me, too.  No time like the present, eh?  Ooh…this will be good.  Lots of fun.  This is great.  Tomorrow, you say?  Early?”  (He may have missed my sarcasm.)  

(Maybe not).  “Got a problem with that…?  Wanna start NOW?”

So the next day we started to build the grid.  He and I are a bit weird, at times.  Timing, I mean.  I walked down the hill to the lagoon building site at exactly the same time as he did. We’ve done that a few times.  It’s like some kind of weird in-sync mutual inner clock.

J and David's work prior to final assembly

J and David’s work prior to final assembly

We looked at the salvaged material sprinkled about all over the surrounding acre and discussed various options as to method, design, what-goes-where and who-does-what, that kind of thing, but it’s essentially for nought.

Hardware from David's stock of junque

Hardware from David’s stock of junque








We do one thing and it basically leads to the next and, after a few minutes, we are, for the most part working in sync with logic’s plan.  Mind you, my tempo is half what his is, so I am bass, he is treble.  I do one thing while he does two but that rhythm keeps going until we are done.

And, after a few hours, we were almost done when I wanted to quit.

“Yeah, OK.  Me, too.  I am tired, too.  We can quit.  But, just before we do, why not…let’s just…lever, push and pull and carry it to the water’s edge and then it will launch easier.”


Sally having fun working in the mud

To say ‘No.  I want to go home now!’ is much too wimpy, even for me, so I agreed and we spent the next half hour doing just that.  It launched like an upside down table.  It was a beauty.  While I trudged home, neighbour guy used his skiff to pull it all out into the lagoon and tied the assembly to an anchor.



“I’ll get Sal to put the cross beams on tomorrow,”
I shouted back at him as I crawled towards home.  The beams weigh hundreds of pounds.

David positioning final beam

David positioning final beam


And, the next morning, Sal and I went about doing just that.  We now have a beeeooooooootttyfulllllllll old creosoted, salvaged-from-junk, flotsam and jetsam tidal grid that Sal opines will hold a small ferry.  ‘Course, she exaggerates but it will definitely hold the boats we have around here.





7 thoughts on ““I want it by next weekend”

  1. Nice job. How long will it last? What was your friend’s urgency in getting it done? Is that a clam bed where you were working?


  2. How does it work?
    You float into it on hightide and lash the boat so it wont tip over?
    Like a homemade drydock?
    Then do your repairs?


    • Exactly. We need a high tide and the %^%$%$# high tides in the summer are always in the middle of the night but, notwithstanding that, we float it on. Hook the boat on the skinny poles by loosely tied lines (so that it does not catch up) and then it just gently settles as the tide goes out. When the lagoon is a foot deep, we can start. In rubber boots, we clean the hull, do repairs and make mistakes. Then we paint the bottom with anti-fouling (which, by the way, is next to useless these past few years. They won’t allow all the poisons and toxins needed to keep it clean so it fouls up half as much as a result). When it is painted, it doesn’t really need to dry but a bit of air time is good. By then, the tide is up and you float it off. Yes, having two boats makes that easier. And, yes, it is definitely a homemade dry dock but they are commonly known as tidal grids. Usually, they are built only a foot or so off the bottom making work horrible. But our boats are light enough that we can lift them higher and not have them tip over. And that should help with the horribleness.


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