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By now, dear reader, you will know that I have a strange affliction in which almost every day something grips my stomach and says: YOU must BUILD a sharpie NOW!
I guess it’s partly because I’m not terribly skilled in the carpentry department, and however elegant they may be, sharpies always look a lot easier to build than any round-bottomed boat.
It’s a bit like that moment when you buy your first house and walk into a DIY shed. Young and impressionable, you look around, size up the hardware and the free instruction leaflets, and all of a sudden you’re thinking ‘I could install a new back door and put in a central heating system system while I’m at it – and everything I need is here in front of me, right now. I CAN do anything if I want to! DIY sheds are of course meant to make any man feel that way. They even fill them with a syrupy love song soundtrack to remind us we can do it all for our partners…
The idea that I have the power to build a sharpie is only one of the reasons I get gripped by them. Another is that I read Howard Irving Chappelle’s book American Small Sailing Craft far too early in life – I wasn’t yet 40, and it had a terrible and long-lasting effect. And yet another is that they can be such elegant boats, despite their relative simplicity.
Here’s a sweet example of one of these boats. It’s an 18ft sharpie that many sharpie enthusiasts read about first in Reuel Parker’s The Sharpie Book. In this case it was built by a chap called Mack Horton, and a very nice job he has made of it.
Anyway, I’ve included it here partly because I’m nuts about sharpies, and partly because that warm blue sea and water is really attractive when viewed from Southern England in February!
Mack Horton builds a sharpie here:
If you don’t know about Reuel Parker, the source of Mack’s plans, click here:
Are there any other Brits out there with a liking for sharpies? If so, why not comment below and get in touch? We could form an underground movement…
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