I got up early on this Thursday morning to tow the boat up to Bridgeport, Connecticut where I had agreed to rendezvous with Clint to he could take the boat up to the WoodenBoat Show, which takes place Friday-Sunday this weekend at Mystic Seaport. Clint had emailed me a while ago asking if I intended to go to the show. Yes, I replied, I’ll probably go up for the day on Sunday. “You should show your boat in the ‘I built it myself’ display”, he said. But that requires the owner to be there all three days to display his boat. I still have a job and couldn’t really get away for that long. I think Clint was just angling to borrow my boat to display at his booth. Chase Small Craft is a small business that is still in the fledgling stage, and Clint doesn’t have a fleet of floor models of all of his designs to display. But I’m sure it’s easier to sell more kits if he has a finished copy to show to prospective buyers. So we struck a deal for him to come down from MaIne and pick up Grey Fox, display it at the show, and I would come up Sunday to see the show and then trailer the boat back home.
Somewhere in there Clint encouraged me to enter the boat into the “Concours d’Elegance” contest. Sort of the boat show’s version of the “best of breed” at the Westminster Dog Show. He said “I’ve seen all the photos you have posted of your build and the boat is a beauty. I think you could win.” I’ve been to the show once before and the level of craftsmanship of the amateur builders who show there is phenomenal. I don’t think there is any way I could win with my glued-lapstrake kit boat, but Clint said he would enter the boat in the contest and be there for the judging, so what the hell, it’s entered. We’ll see.
At the appointed rendezvous point in the truck parking lot at the rest stop on I-95 in Bridgeport, I give Clint a way-complete look at the boat and the little add-on features I put into it. My oar-stowing rig, the reefing arrangement, etc. He straps the mast to his rack and hooks the trailer to his truck and he’s off to Mystic. See you Sunday, Clint!