Most of the folks we know in the marine “business” (an oxymoron for sure) play the game for love, or because they simply have no choice, they are pulled to it. The hours are long, the outcome often uncertain, and the risks higher than many economic endeavors.
The intellectual and emotional recompense – the catnip in the equation – comes at different points for different folks. For some it is watching their creation slip down the ways, or seeing a lovingly crafted interior stripped of its protective covering for the first time. For others, it’s a clean wake flowing off a nicely crafted buttock line.
In our case the payoff usually happens during sea trials, when we get a chance to feel the vessel come alive under our feet.
Often, after too many 18 hour days, we’ll keep ourselves going by imagining the current project in its element, sliding down a wave on a long surf, or smoothly punching through a sea.
On rare occasions the shiver happens now: the design elements suddenly coalesce, the preliminary data has been vetted, there are quick solutions to the various design issues that occur, and we suddenly get that feeling in our gut – this is special. In the past 30 years we’ve felt this three times; with the 38 foot catamaran Beowulf Vll, the 78 foot ketch Beowulf, and with Wind Horse.
We’ve just felt the earth tremble again.