Garage? No Cars Allowed: The Chester Yawl – Chapter 7

I have had three garages in my adult life. One of them sheltered an automobile for one night. That seems more than generous to me. I look upon cars as practical transportation fit to live in the outdoors much like a redneck’s hound dog. The space that is normally reserved and labeled on architectural drawings as the domain of automobiles is, in my rigidly held opinion, too useful a space to waste on a machine so lacking in relevance to my passions. I will grant a small exception in the case of the right classic motorcycle as long as it is clear that it holds secondary importance in the true purpose of this holy chamber.

The true and rightful purpose of this venue falls into two primary categories: Shop space or boat storage. This leaves variability in utility as in the designation of “shop” as a place for working in wood, metal, clay, watercolors or even well-stacked Legos.  the storage aspect is properly open to anything in the whole wide world as long as it can be reasonably described as a boat: paddled, rowed, sailed, motored or equiped with military surplus rocket engines. Just as in sail area to displacement ratios – happiness is measured by the square foot.

My current garage is a two car (the word “car” is used here strictly for context) affair with an attached shop area. That is where I have my workbench The top is part of a former bowling alley. On the opposite wall is the standard large expanse of pegboard from which a variety of hand tools dangle off metal hooks. Lots of shelves and hidey places make it easy to horde supplies. The space is well lit during the day by a surplus of windows. I love the space but by the time you allow for a table saw in the middle of the floor it becomes apparent that it is not suited to large projects.

The main portion of the garage where normal people keep, well you know what, just cries out for a small boat or two to be abuilding. Where my theory of garage purposing breaks down comes in relationship to the property owned by but not often used by the members of ones household. Things that have been outgrown seem to take root in my garage and apparently the road to hell is paved with the specific good intentions that should lead to Goodwill. I won’t go into futher detail but let me just reiterate the adage that nature abhors a vacuum, also open floor space. For more on this look up George Carlin and “stuff” on YouTube. All will be made clear.

To relate this to the Chester Yawl let me apprise you of Dave’s situation without violating too much of his privacy. Ever since being laid off he has been faced with a job search in an economy that is at best an employer’s market. As so many people have done he has recently downsized various aspects of his life. This has meant moving to a more affordable housing situation. Consequently, the shop that housed this project so far is no longer available. I know that Dave regrets this and I sympathize with him. We moved the yawl into my garage where it can continue to be massaged with sandpaper and eventually be clothed in sparkling varnish.

Dave had asked for my help with the varnishing and that will now be easier  to coordinate. The day we moved the boat into the garage we spent a long time sanding the rails and a portion of the inside of planking. Additional sessions of sanding by Dave have the yawl almost ready for the shiny stuff. We will be cleaning up the dust and going over the relevant places with tack cloths.  Applying varnish will hopefully be the subject of my next chapter in this long saga.

Working around the boat is a little cramped. But there is enough room to swing a brush. In spite of the compromises made to miscellaneous storage it feels good to have a boat in the garage. I take it as a positive sign that one day I will win the storage war. I have established a beachhead and am determined to move forward: one square foot at a time.

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