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Designer’s Notebook: Do You Have D&P?

On September 13, 2011, in Designer Articles, by John B

Glen Witt

Most of you have or you wouldn’t be reading this.

The “D” stands for DESIRE; you must have the “wanna do it attitude.” Maybe it’s the challenge, or perhaps you simply want a boat. The big “D” is important.

OK, you have the “D”. The next ingredient is “P” or PERSERVERANCE. A boat is not going to build itself overnight, it’s going to take time. Weekends, holidays, most of your spare time; they’re mostly occupied when building a boat. But you know what? Most people enjoy the challenge and the enjoyment of building their own boat so much that they wonder why they previously wasted all that time watching the boob tube!

Steve was a guy that had his fair share of “D&P”. He was a cop that patrolled our area in a black and white. We met when testing the inboard motor in our boat (in preparation for her first launching) annoyed our neighbor at two o’clock in the morning one day.

Perhaps the big, not stock, open muffler V8, was a mite noisy. In any case, Steve was sympathetic; perhaps if he drove around the block a couple of times the problem could be rectified? An officer with compassion…if we only had more like him.

Our boatbuilding garage was on a corner lot, open to the street, and Steve became a regular visitor to our boatbuilding projects. Several years after we first met Steve he visited our office and stated he wanted to build the GLEN – L “Tiny Might,” a little inboard runabout. Steve, however, had never built anything; not a birdhouse, not put up a fence, NOTHING. And, he had NO tools, other than maybe a saw (didn’t know what kind) and oh yeah, a hammer.

Steve was a nice guy but he had no business building a boat and he was told just that. Steve waited until all the expert advisors had left and then he ordered the plans for the Tiny Might from an office clerk. So much for all the good advice.

Well, Steve’s story had a happy ending. Steve had more “D” than most. He built the boat (yes we helped a little with some fairing), but other than that Steve built the boat; that takes a lot of “P”.

Steve later sold the boat, made a nice profit and used the funds for a down payment on a house. He still gives us the credit for helping him buy a house, but we can’t take credit, it was all Steve and a lot of D&P.

Over the years we’ve had many builders with handicaps build boats from our designs. There was the local elderly man who built a small cabin cruiser; no problem, although he was in a wheelchair. Many with physical impairments; amputees, stroke victims, etc. have been able to surmount their obstacles and do a successful build.

Yet a recent phone call from a builder topped them all, (to date). The gentleman wanted our thoughts on which of several designs would be best for him. We reviewed several suggestions and he mentioned his seven year old son would be his helper. Our comment was that a youngster of that age “could not be much help.” The prospective builder’s comment to that was that the lad was a big help to him as he was blind.

There was dead silence on our end for awhile, then the obvious question “How can you try to build a boat if you are blind?” The answer “Oh, you learn to adjust; we’ve built two boats previously.” We were so shocked by the answer we forgot to find out more on how he overcame the obstacles and did the impossible.

If that person hears about this article, we’d sure like to have more information on your build and we’re sure many others would too.

The above individual has more D&P than most, but it sure does make you think, doesn’t it?

If you are a normal average person surely you, too, must have enough D&P to build a boat.

Let’s go, time’s a wasting!

by Glen L Witt

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