Now at this point, you may have noticed two Andys in this story. Since I met them while pursuing two different outdoor activities, my wife gave them the simple, but apropos nicknames Andy Bike and Andy Boat, and henceforth that’s how they’ll be referred to (or perhaps, simply as Bike or Boat). That’s Boat in his boat up there.
Pretty soon Andy Boat and I ordered a set of plans for an Iain Oughtred, Arctic Tern. Days later when a big tube arrived in my mailbox, I unrolled the poster sized plans, measuring and scaling out all the different parts of the boat. It seemed to fit all my criteria and the darn thing just had a look that I found irresistible.
Like many sailors, I’m a little leery of new things, but I’m a sucker for things that are of a traditional design, but with a somewhat modern flare. This boat hit it all for me. It is made of plywood, but it isn’t boxy. The plywood is cut into long strips and lapped making it a lapstrake boat which has beautiful, traditional lines. But because plywood has a different kind of strength than solid wood, you can build a larger, lighter boat with less internal structure than a traditional boat. It has an old-fashioned lug sail, with a mast fore and aft, not to mention two storage compartments. And did I mention that you can row it?
Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to decide that this was the boat I wanted…