It took 36 hours to travel from home in Rotorua to the tiny coastal town of Brooklin, Maine ( USA) where WoodenBoat magazine has its amazing office. I don’t sleep at all well on an aircraft and so was not in good shape by the time Publisher Carl Cramer dropped me off at my accommodation, I was completely on my own there as the summer visitors are rare that far north in January but was pleased for the peaceful spacious lodge after the horrors of being trapped in aircraft and transit lounges for that long. 3am though I awoke and could not sleep, my “clock” was telling me I should be up and about even though my body still felt awful, so there I was roaming around looking at the wonderful Spruce clad rocky shore and the sea gleaming like molten metal in the perfectly still moonlit night.
So I went for a swim !
The word “cold” now has a new meaning for me. I knew that it would be cool but the WoodenBoat crew now view New Zealanders with a mixture of awe and fear, and I, having swum in the waters of Eggemoggin Reach have designed a boat suitable for winter sailing in those waters.
"Truant", designed for those who want to play hookey, is a very capable daysailer, with enough performance to be fun, small enough to go onto a garden trailer rather than a custom boat trailer, big enough to take a couple of less limber adults and their camping or picnic gear or a small mob of teenagers away for a small adventure. She is so designed that she will be comfortable to sail, dry in most weather, capable beyond almost anything else of her size and almost impossible to capsize. Her wide beam and smallish centreboard cause her to slide off sideways rather than tip out, her generous freeboard and wide decks help keep the water outside where it belongs and she has so much enclosed locker and air tank space inside that should the unimaginable happen there is enough buoyancy to float her crew completely clear of the water when fully swamped.
Built from Plywood and Marine Supplies sheet plywood and fastened with Sikaflex flexible adhesive/sealant (Thanks Gordon) the prototype is going together well, we’ve cut the transom down to take a small outboard so her owner can take her fishing, have today poured the lead into the centreboard and will be painting her outside tomorrow. Lake Rotomahana has really neat little coves, so tiny that a launch would not squeeze in, and Jan already has tried fitting our pile of camping gear in the big space under the foredeck so I’d better quit the computer and get on with the job!