Saturday, March 8, 2014

Finishing the Bowsprit

2014 03 08
Last Day in Jolly Harbour, Antigua
We Leave Tomorrow.  What a Relief

James George, Harbour Wood Shop, Jolly Harbour
Above you see one of the best finds a yachtsman could ever make: James George, a shipwright with twenty years experience, a knack with wood and a love of his job.

James and his helper Colin pictured here took on the job of reaffixing the bowsprit to Meredith once the repairs to the wood and fibreglass had been effected.

Originally Tony, of Tony's Fibreglass, was to have done this end phase.  Tony did a great job of removing the old rotted pads and epoxying new pads in place.  His work was impeccable.  Unfortunately when the job was half done Tony asked to be paid to date and we were happy to accommodate him.  We never saw him again.

James is a different kind of craftsman and a very conscientious man.

The result is a lovely bowsprit gracing the clipper bow of our dear Meredith, secure against the tensions and pressures imposed on her by the rigging, all insults to her integrity repaired with care and great attention, new deck pads of much greater strength than those with which Meredith left the factory.  We are satisfied.

A list of recommended shops in Antigua:

James George at Harbour Wood Shop in Jolly Harbour - carpenter and shipwright

Chippy Woodshop in Falmouth - good work but expensive and they falter on the paperwork

Tony of Tony Fibreglass, Jolly Harbour - knows his stuff and does good work.  Do not pay him until the job is done.

Trevor the Machinist at Antigua Slipway, English Harbour.  Another man who loves his work and who produces metal that is as much art as it is useful building components

Antigua Slipway, English Harbour: The only chandler in Antigua worth the name.  You can get everything from electronics to stainless rod to bulk epoxy and all the stuff in between.  I even found some empty cans.  Sounds weird to buy empty cans but when painting you can transfer paint from the large container to the smaller empty can and save wear and tear on the paint.  Their competition, Budget Marine, is expensive and I found kind of snooty, at least in Jolly Harbour.  The Budget Marine in Falmouth has much better customer service but their prices are still high.

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