We had done the bow deck, the side decks, and a good portion of the cabins already, why not finish the job?
And yet, we hesitated.
Rebuilding this section meant removing the electrical and mechanical components that gave us power to and steering of our little boat. Without those components, why, Moontide would become -- dare we say it? -- a BARGE!
Not that we personally have anything against barges. Aside from its unfortunate use as a verb, a barge can be quite lovely.
However, they are also used to haul trash. And they aren't really considered... boats.
So it was, with these thoughts in mind, that we carefully removed the wheel and control cables, steering box, deck, frames, carlins, and pretty much every rotten part of the back of the boat we could 'til we reach the hull. (See above)
Then we started putting it all back together, adding a few features that we hope will both customize, and modernize the boat while retaining her Marineresque character and qualities.
It's funny about boatbuilding. Maybe other forms of construction are like this, too. But we know this about boats:
you work and work and work, and even though you know your accomplishing tasks, nothing really LOOKS different.
And then, one day, things strangely begin to take shape. Pieces that you never thought you'd get to reuse are suddenly part of the assembly.
We realized all this as we put the wheel back on this evening.
Yes, we have so much to do: paint, rigging, chainplate, masts, sails... and yet.
And yet, our little barge has triumphed, and transformed. She is once again, truly, a boat!
Welcome back, our Good little boat! Welcome home, Moontide!