Boat Burning
January 1 2013

Boats are born of land to fly on water and when their time has come, they are to be released to the air. Every January 1, we ring in the new year by saying good-bye to those boats that have fulfilled their service.

This year my contribution was a prototype I'd made out of cheap materials. I could have painted it and sold it to some sucker and he'd have gotten a get a season or two out of it before it fell apart. Remember, boys and girls: Use ONLY plywood with waterproof glue. Water resistant doesn't count.

This is the QT Skiff I'd built - just over 13' long. I put it together on November 16 and discovered the plywood wasn't waterproof the next day. I removed all the screws and set the boat outside - unpainted and unprotected. This is it's condition after only 6 weeks.

The wind pushed her around a little, stressing the bow and popping the glue. If I'd have left the screws in, it would have been fine.

This is the condition the inside - all that mold in just 6 weeks of Oregon winter weather.

The plywood separated at the cleats at the stern, too. Failure of plywood, not glue.

We had a pretty good turn out at Greg's place. I tried hard,but I couldn't convince Greg to move the burn pile over the the Coastal Cruiser, but he's still in love. I tried to get him to toss that Dillabaugh on the pile, too, but he was having none of it. If you want a 14' Dillabaugh, get in touch with Greg.

Don't worry, boys and girls - Greg is an EMT (Sarah, too.) Once the boat and pile had been coated with old gas, it was time for the fun.

Two years ago, the pyre was successfully started with an expired flair. It went so well, Dan tried it again this year.

Take a closer look at that pic - how's that for timing?

Flares are tough to aim, apparently. This one just hit the dirt and burned a patch of nothing.

After the rocket flare burned out, Greg tried a road flare. There was a lot of gas in the boat, so he was trying to carefully toss it into the puddle of gas under the pile.

It was harder than it looked.

Eventually, he just stuffed it into a cardboard box at the back part of the pile and let it do the work.

It took a while, but things finally got burning.

We've been doing this for years and this was the first time someone thought to bring a Christmas Tree to the party. We'd set it in the bow so it'd look like Kate Winslett.

After a bit, Greg thought it'd be time to shoot through the hull and into a gas can that was refusing to spill its fuel.

And finally, things really got going.

And there you have it, the boat gods are appeased for another year.