Three weeks ago I had this dream of paddling and poling across Nebraska, but no dreamboat. Now I have built a boat, though not much of one. Most FAQ: "Is that all?" Best description thus far: "It looks like a surfboard crossed with a boogey board, and that on hormones." At least I think she was describing the boat.
I designed it myself, though "design" is a bit lofty. Mostly I, with help from Lihua, a Chinese acquaintance, started by laminating common old everyday rigid foam insulation and then sanded and squinted and sanded and squinted some more until I was satisfied and, more to the point, out of time. Then we fiberglassed so that we could quit sanding and squinting. Yes, it was pink insulation, which I would not have preferred, all things considered.
Sixteen feet long and 32" wide, weighing 52 pounds dripping wet, it is supposed to float in about an inch of water, fully loaded. But then the Leaning Tower of Pisa was designed to not lean, and "fully loaded" is a phrase fraught with difficulties. We shall see.
Christened Plattepus I by my wife Tammy as she smashed a banana over the bow on May 3, 2007, it has already surpassed my expectations by floating. In addition, much to my surprise, it goes forward when I push on the pole. Steering and handling will hopefully come later, with practice. Within five minutes I had a long list of things I would change if I had it to do over again, which is a pretty good parable of my life experience. Sadly, I do very few things over again, wasting many valuable lessons. Perhaps you, dear reader, will request a copy of my "wish I'd done it this way" list and learn from my misadventures.
In the meantime, adelante.