Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Old Man and the EC

The Everglades Challenge 2007 was an experience that I will never forget and as Mike, Matt, Chris and I returned home from Florida I was already thinking about next year. These past months, visions of solo Kruger adventures and wild class 4 boats danced in my head daily and filled the margins of my class notebooks. I though I might go solo and build a Sandflea or maybe just a Matt Layden design after seeing Wizard yet again amaze everyone or maybe a faster trimaran to compete with the Tridarka and the Adventure Tri. The new Holopuni OC3 Mark 2 would be awesome 2 up but price and distance make it impractical. more drawing and dreaming....

Then I remembered how much fun it was to have company on the race and I started thinking that another team might be possible. Mike wants to do it again and I have also sparked interests in Tim and Adam. Tim is now interested in the UM in a sea kayak and Adam is hoping to enter the EC in a Laser dinghy/sculling conversion. Anyone else who is thinking about doing the race for the first time or just not sure it they will have the time, all I can say to you is DO IT!

So...... After a suggestion from my mom (Sandybottom) and some quick research, I proposed that my Dad and I should build a Graham Byrnes designed Core Sound 20 and race together in 2008. Hazaaaa!

My Dad (who is not an old man) was reluctant at first. He has acted as land crew for my Mom during every Watertribe event and Team RAF's as well last year and has always said he liked it better on that side of this race. But it just seemed to fit. I need a boat and a sailing partner and he wants a boat (especially a Byrnes design) and I want him to sail with me. Anyway, we already started so now he has to do it.

On a side note, RidgeRunner and GreyBeard (also EC vets) are also going to be racing in a CS-20 so double the fun! Doug has been working on his for a while though and is quite a bit farther along. We will be pressed for time to get the boat done for March. Boy does that sound familiar.

Some background:
Graham Byrnes, owner of B and B yatch designs is a naval architect and passionate expereinced sailor who is a three time Everglades Challenge veteran and took home the win for class 4 in 2007 with his super fast EC-22 finishing in 2 days and 8 hours and 56 min. Graham took my Dad (DancesWithSandyBottom), Wizard and I out for a sail after the race in Key Largo and we got to see just what his boat was made of (fast stuff).
His Cat Ketch rigged designs are efficient, easy to rig, easy to sail and easy to reef. Its a wonder they are not seen more often. My Dad fell in love with the EC-22 which is really a souped up version of the Core Sound 20 with all the go fast mods for weight reduction and maximum sail area. After shooting Graham a few emails, he was excited to help us in any way he could and we were excited to be building such a well designed boat.

Progress to Date:
The very next weekend (last Saturday) we visited Graham and his wife Carla at their shop in Vandermere, NC where we got to talk to him more about his design, see his workshop and...pick up some supplies. Thanks for a great visit Graham (nice dock!). We returned home to a cleaned out basement which we had prepared the weekend before and started work immediately so as to maximize the time we were both at home since I am still studying full time in Raleigh, a 40 min. drive away. Here are some shots of our progress from 1 weekend! As my GrandPop would say..."I don't mess around". I like to think this is a phrase shared by all of the Stewarts.

"There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats".
-Kenneth Graham


To Make a Difference!! said...

You ole salty sea dog...

You are twice as far as last year... Your new boat has a home with heat!!


Kristen said...

Awesome stuff, Alan. Look forward to following progress.

Chris P. said...

Sooo... How is it leaving your basement??

Adam said...

Just signed up for EC 2008. I'll be back in town sometime Monday with the laser. I'll give you a call so you can check it out with me.

Alan said...

Good question, The door you see in the background is 76" tall and with both sliding doors removed the 74" wide boat will be able to escape when turned up on edge.


Chris P. said...

Ah, so there's no need to take a sawzall to your house... Where's your sense of fun?!?