I designed the Paper Jet with a building procedure in mind, but soon learned it couldn’t be done and had to backtrack and find another way. I had other backtracks too, but eventually had my boat complete. The backtracking probably added 25 hours to my building time, but I was doing something nobody had done before. I had lessons to learn that could only come from building the prototype, so that I could write building instructions to enable others to build without making those same mistakes.
If I were scared of making mistakes I wouldn’t try new things. I designed and built the first radius chine plywood boat, my own Black Cat, and made mistakes along the way, but was able to recover and move on.
I shrugged off criticisms from the skeptics about the wisdom of my project and its chances of success. The skeptics were of no consequence unless I allowed them to be. They were generally people who had never built anything significant themselves. Typically people who get pleasure from someone else making a mistake don’t achieve much themselves. Disregard those negative people.
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Getting in Touch with Reality
As part of my usual in-depth research for this column I decided to ask Google whether sailing was safe. “In fact, it can be deadly,” came the response, “A study from Rhode Island Hospital concluded sailing is more dangerous, and has a higher fatality rate, than skiing and snowboarding combined with NFL football.”
Five Days in the Turnbull Islands
I rowed out of the marina at Blind River, Ontario, and raised the sail just offComb Point. It had been a ten-hour drive from Wisconsin, followed by the usual scramble to launch and load the boat.
The Worst Sailor Still Alive
Upon retirement I decided to learn how to sail, so I bought a little dinghy and taught myself how to efficiently capsize, founder on rocks, and embarrass myself in front of large groups.
SMALL BOAT CRUISE: Tobyhanna Lake by Sunfish
Tobyhanna is a Native American word for “a stream whose banks are fringed with alder.”
PLAN STUDY: Kombi Sail and Paddle Canoe
The first boat I designed was the Beth Sailing Canoe, which, for better or worse, made me a marked man.
An 1881 Bowdish sailboat, abandoned in a northern Michigan junkyard, is rescued and restored to museum condition by John Parlin, wooden boat surgeon extraordinaire
AUSTRALIA THE HARD WAY
The David Pyle Interview
Amateur Boatbuilding: What if I Make a Mistake?
Everyone makes mistakes. If we try new things we will make mistakes, an essential part of the learning experience. It’s nice to learn from mistakes of others, but we learn more lessons and they stick better when they are our own. The more painful the mistake, the stronger the lesson learned.
Reader Boat: Precision 165
During my three years of ownership, here are just a few things I’ve observed about my P165. Most of these features have contributed to my joy of sailing this little boat.
Are Power Tools Corrupting Us?
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” —First Baron Acton, 1904
Swift A-Frame Revolver and Pistol Bullets
Expand Like Crazy and Drive Deep
Reimagining a champion
GLOCK G40 GEN4 MOS 10MM AUTO
FROM THE HIP
RUGER’S BLACKHAWK CONVERTIBLE PROVIDES STEADY PERFORMANCE IN THE TOUGHEST CIRCUMSTANCES
WHY CARRY A MICRO- COMPACT PISTOL? BECAUSE IT GIVES YOU THE MOST CONCEALED CARRY OPTIONS
First Tactical's Triple Threat
DURABLE, FUNCTIONAL, INNOVATIVE AND GREAT TACTICAL GEAR VALUES
LOOKING BIG AND chunky and weighing in at 8g, there’s a reason for the size and weight as this in-ear is packed with features.
What to do when lightning strikes
Alex and Daria Blackwell offer some valuable tips for protecting yourself and your boat
Hyundai’s bestselling premium hatchback gets a raft of changes
DIY MODULAR SKIFF
Modular maven Rob Redman guides us in the art of planning and building your own Eurorack enclosure