West Wight Potter 15 Project Update

To undertake the restoration or rebuilding of a boat is “mostly about having the perseverance that it takes to learn and to see the project to the end.”

So, earlier this year, (1/2022) I purposely forget both the amount of time, money, blood, sweat and tears in the project without yet having gotten near a body of water such as a lake, river or sea. From the top of my head I think I’ve spent about $1500 on the initial purchase of the boat and trailer; another $1500 in trailer upgrade so far; about another $800 on epoxy fiberglass type materials, about $400 and about $1800 on a new 6 hp Tohatsu outboard.

Why just yesterday I added a post to a West Wight potter sailboat group that I belong to on Facebook that went like this;

“The cut on my ring finger felt so deep I thought I hit a major finger ring artery. She ran for the garage medical kit while I applied pressure from a nearby rag previously soaked in acetone.

Since the bandaids didn’t stay on for long or helped in stopping the bleeding I used duct tape instead. I’m never ever using butyl tape on boat windows again, I now said to myself. Previous to this I was trying to remove it with a razor knife in a “now we’re working backwards sort of way.

She said; “I can always finish it for you if you bleed to death”. Yeah right I said. Then she offered up that she could sell it on Craigslist as an almost complete boat project or better yet; give it to our son Mike.

Mike – the son in Tacoma with a Gremlin and a Matador still waiting on parts after ten years? He’d probably park the West Wight potter 15 right between both vehicles and call it a day.

We both laughed. And that my friends is just another small boat boaters day in the life of messing around in little boats.

Enjoy the project thus far. Today we finished the window install and just applied the first coat of Spider Boy red paint. See some of you later in the year at the Salish 100.”

The “operative “ words here my friends is that messing about on anything involving a small boat is just simply fun. This may already be a given for some of you reading this but to others feel free to read on.

I found on Craigslist, a garage friendly trailerable little sailboat that in my estimation would teach me a little about boat building. Well fast forward to today; I can honestly say that it was worth the entire experience, in both time, money and the lessons I’ve since learned.

They say that the second boat you build should be the one you keep. I agree with that estimation but, only if you are planning to cross oceans with it. I’ve spared no expenses on the little boat we now refer to as the Sailing Vessel Spider Boy. Why just this morning I vegetated on YouTube about a simple little five minute video showing me how to pour flotation foam into the little boats bilges.

This model of sailboat that I purchased is essentially, a dinghy with a cabin. Back in the early 60’s this very model, a West Wight potter started the pocket cruiser craze.

Spider Boy is a 1980 West Wight potter 15 foot, hull number 1,000. Months later she is ready for final exterior paint, flotation, installation of the floor and rigging.

This is the type of project that without a vision in sight; one can easily abandon it and move on with your life.

The first picture is how she looked from a safe distance away. The second picture is my vision when I purchased her; to sail her in the upcoming 2022 Salish 100 event this July.

The above picture is of the cabin interior of a newer potter.

Should you start your own sailboat or boat restoration project? Do you have a proper workspace? How about the necessary tools? Are you a perfectionist? Then don’t even go close to a boat project.

A work in progress.

Once the vision is set, the journey is the destination.

Trawlercat 3/20/2022