My father – a boat builder

In the early 80’s, my father was disabled and had to leave his work at the shipyard. This was not easy to handle. He was in bad shape and had no hobbies – except for smoking, doing his crossword magazine and entertaining visitors he had very little to do…

My mother and father had a different rhythm. He got up at three o’clock in the morning. She got up at nine in the morning. It meant that he had six hours to pass before she came and kept him company. It was a blessing for us all when he finally got an idea that he could build model boats.

We all had so much fun with this. I can still remember the excitement from this when I visited for Christmas and the first boat was ready on the slip…

The boat was called Tor Jan after his grandsons. The choice of name makes me think that he had no trust in living long enough to make another boat.

At easter in 1985 we took the boat for a test drive. After several test in the bathtub – something the little boy loved, it was time to take the plunge…

The weather was beautiful. We were full of nerves but it worked perfectly – until we lost control with the steering. There was no way we could bring it back to shore. There was a lot of running and screaming and in the end we had to use a boat to bring it home. I don`t think we ever did that again:)

There would be many boats. And it started with a walk in the woods to cut out the subject that would later turn into a boat. He bought nothing but made ​​it all himself. Many boats were made ​​on behalf of friends who wanted a copy of a boat they had previously owned. I do not think he asked for anything more than a bottle of wiskhy in payment…

In 1987 he received the ultimate challenge. A company in Ålesund which would build a new Catamaran at the local shipyard needed a model that they would use when looking for financing. This was a task he enjoyed. It was challenging and he was in contact with people who needed his knowledge…

 In addition to the excitement of building the boat came the joy of being invited to the christening of the boat. Champagne parties was not what my parents were most accustomed to. I long for this was the only mom was talking about when we talked on the phone. My father’s health was not so that they could travel to the baptism but they had at least the pleasure of the invitation…

This was an event that would interest the public and thus came up the newspapers – even in our home…

The boat my father is showing at the top of the page was his fun thing. It is called “Whisky” and yes it was filled with whisky. It had a tap and you could fill your glass with a drink. It is standing on a cabinet with a lock. My father kept the key in his pocket. What secret did he keep in there? Among other things – he hid the chocolate he received as gifts. Every morning he would unlock the cabinet and get one piece of chocolate and no way was he sharing with the rest of us.

The boat he loved the most was a copy of the boat he once owned himself back in the days when he was a fisherman…

This is my brother`s boat. He remember this boat – I don`t. You can see that my brother grew up in a time when the boat was a daily part of his life because all his work books from school is filled with drawings of this boat:) This model filled the prime space in our hallway and I had totally forgotten that until I found this photo.

This photo is from 1988 – one year before my father died and the boat is the last one he built. Today`s challenge is this – what do we do with all those boats? Because they are big. We really do not have the space to store them. This question is biting us in our ass. We can`t have them and we can`t give them up because we admire the man who made them and love him for it.

This is a part of my story I have wanted to document for a long time but I just could not get myself started. When setting up the inspirational files in Stacy Julian`s class Twelve at Big Picture Classes I added “Boats” to my “Things”-file. And as I worked through some old files looking for a photo to add in to my “People”file I came a cross a photo of the test drive we did back in 1985. I didn`t know we had this photo and this got me focusing on looking for more photos. For the last month I have added more photos as I found them.

I could have told this story in one page but I wanted to make sure all the photos and newspaper-clips were together and taken care of. It will be placed in my “All about us”-album where I keep stories like this. Stories that do not belong anywhere else but which affects us all as a family.

Exited to look for the next story:)

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5 Responses to My father – a boat builder

  1. heather d says:

    Elin, love that story! I hope you find someone who will love the boats as much as you and your family. Maybe a maritime museum?

  2. Karen Moore says:

    I truly enjoyed reading your post about your Dad and his boats. I’m sure you’ll find a special home for them!

  3. alexa says:

    What an amazing boat-builder he was! They deserve to have a permanent home where more people can admire his skill … and your pages are a lovely and detailed tribute.

  4. Eks says:

    Love that story of your dad and his boats, its so loving. Great that you scrapbook that worthful pictures of him and the boats, the story of your family.

  5. Vilka fantastiska båtar! Jag blev helt fascinerad av bilderna och helt upptagen av att läsa alla historier och texter. Fina layouts!

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