I’ve spent most of my free days lately varnishing the Arctic Tern’s brightwork and it certainly looks beautiful. If I didn’t find this to be a zen activity, I’d consider it infuriating since putting on varnish is such a slow, finicky activity. Varnish doesn’t like sun. It doesn’t like rain. It doesn’t like hot nor does it like cold. It hates dry, but too humid isn’t good either. Oh, and when you apply it you’re wise to wear a respirator since the fumes coming off it make your head spin. Wearing a respirator is like being Darth Vader- at least the heavy breathing part. (Sorry Mojave, I can’t choke anyone.)
My friend Douglas and I ran into Peter Wilcox, who is a big green boat guy, at the farmer’s market today. This got me thinking about what boats are made of why we own them. When I say green boats, I’m not referring to green as in unripe or new to boats. I’m talking about green in an environmentally friendly way.
I say that boats aren’t green at all. To keep a boat from being eaten by the water and the various organisms that thrive in moisture, you have to put paint, varnish, and/or oils on your boat- most of which are full of caustic chemicals. Even a fine wooden sailing boat is a floating toxic mess.
Andy Bike says a sailboat is not big deal environmentally. I say having any boat is not so green. Even if you made it out of all natural materials, the fact that you solely own the thing and it sits around rotting most of the time makes it a little selfish and more brown than green. To be be a green boat, it should really be owned by ten or more guys and should be used so frequently that you have to make a reservation to use it. Until I figure out how to round up those guys, call me a green sinner.
Anyone want to go sailing?