Hi – my name is Barnaby Scott, and I live in Oxfordshire, UK. I am a furniture designer-maker (see Waywood), which means I am in the fortunate position of having access to a fully equipped woodworking workshop, complete with CNC machine – a boat-builder’s heaven you might say.
As for sailing, I should admit that my enthusiasm far outstrips my ability – only my woodworking friends think I’m a good sailor (and my sailing friends think I’m a good woodworker). I currently sail a lovely little boat called a Shilling, made by Willow Bay Boats. Though I love the Shilling, we can’t all fit in her as a family, even for day sailing, and as for overnight – let’s just say it would suit a young couple, preferably very much in love. Perhaps the best way to replicate the experience of spending the night aboard is to try sleeping in the cupboard under your kitchen sink. I might have enjoyed such an adventure at one time, but I’m afraid that era has passed. The sailing is fun and the boat is adorable, but I feel it’s time to move on.
The idea of building a boat first arose some years ago – I forget exactly how many – when my youngest son asked in all innocence if I could make one for him. I don’t think either of us had the slightest idea how long boats took to make or how expensive an undertaking it was, but I regret to say that as soon as I looked into it, the idea had to be shelved. However, I think a deadly seed had been sown! Though time never seems to be easier to find, I feel I really am in a position to go for it now – I know the sort of boat that would suit us and am confident that however long it takes to build it, I will enjoy the process.
Perhaps I am deluding myself, but I am hoping that my experience making furniture, and above all the equipment available, will make this a really quick build. Certainly I am trying to plan it like a military operation, and will not start making sawdust until every last stick is modelled precisely in 3D CAD. From there I can do a great deal of the difficult, accurate and time-consuming work on the CNC machine. The only magic wand I don’t have is the one that does hours of sanding, painting and varnishing, so I can only hope some momentum can get me through those phases when they come.
A huge inspiration not only to take the plunge and build this boat, but to document it as I go along, comes from a boat-building blog that I really enjoyed reading, following it avidly all the way through the process. That blog was by Mike Randall from Australia, in which he documented the building of a Francois Vivier Stir Ven, a boat that I very seriously considered building (one day, who knows…). Well worth a read, and a hugely impressive build. He also seems to have a great taste in dogs!