By: Thor Purinton
It was a scene that could very well have taken place in 1890: Tattler II, more sail than boat, resplendent in the low sun, pennant fluttering lazily in the light air, her crew in snowy white livery for the occasion. The day was as perfect as could be, warm, sunny, and absolutely still until the moment the sailors raised the mainsail, when a light breeze descended on the lake, enough to fill the sails pleasantly. Onlookers and well-wishers surveyed the mornings activity from the shaded comfort of Louise, a 70′ steam-powered fantail launch.
This was the ceremonial first sail, following a christening held on her owner’s shorefront lawn. A few hours’ worth of genteel fun for most of the guests, but for the owners, as well as Ben, Steve, and myself, the culmination of a ten month construction project, plus a week of rigging, testing, and fine-tuning.
It was a rare pleasure to participate in the proceedings that day. As a builder, it often seems to me counterproductive to spend time at the end of a project patting myself on the back, and if I’m honest, by the time a project wraps up, I’ve had enough, and I’m ready for a fresh start on a new boat. So it was refreshing to see the completion of this boat through her owners’ eyes, as the beginning of something magical, rather than the end of a long stretch of hard work. And I now admit that taking time out of work–out of life for that matter–to celebrate every now and then, is very much worth the while.