|Interview I||Builder Profile||Sailing Stuff||BYYB News|
|BYYB Profile||Launchings||Regattas||Sailing Stories||Builders Tales|
|Book Review||The Sailing Edge|
By Rick Winn
Interview with Paul J. Heyse Mr. Editor, The Gaff Rig
Rick: What first interested you in sailing?
J: When I was a kid I would go fishing with my father out
in some of the local harbors around New England. My dad would
row our 15 boat out to a good fishing area and we would
drop anchor and fish for the day, then he would row us back into
the boat ramp. Sometimes he would have to row for an hour to
get back in. Well, one day we were out in the harbor fishing
and I saw my first sail boat. It was a gaff rigged oyster smack
sailing out of the harbor to the oyster beds outside the breakwaters.
But there wasn't just one, several more sailed past us that morning.
Rick: What boats have you owned and what is your sailing experience?
J: I have had several boats in my life so far. My first sailboat,
besides the one my dad and me built, was a converted lifeboat
off of an old freighter. It had a steel hull and an aluminum
mast with some old tanbark sails. It didn't sail well, but was
fun anyway. I gave it away to a friend when I moved out of New
England. For many years I did not own a sailboat because I worked
in boatyards and got to go sailing whenever I wanted on boats
up to 50'.
Rick: Why did you become interested in boat building?
Paul J: I became interested in building boats with my father in the 50's as I related earlier. It has lead to working for boatyards and boat builders on both coasts of the U.S. for over 25 years. For me it is something I really enjoy and am good at doing. In my opinion it is the best way to get the type of boat you want for far less than if you bought a production boat. And every one of them is a learning experience.
Rick: Why did you choose a Stevenson's project boat?
Paul J: I was looking for a small easy to trailer sailboat to have fun in. When I came across the Stevenson Projects web site I was intrigued with the designs. They where good looking, small, easy to build boats. Not like the racing designs I was doing. I also found several web sites of people who where building the Weekender. It looked like fun. So I purchased the plans and video and have had fun with the project.
Rick: Why, in light of your experience working with a Stevenson's project, should others choose a Weekender, Vacationer, Pocket Cruiser for a first boat project?
Paul J: For first time builders who have little to modest woodworking skills and do not wish to fund a large budget any of the Stevenson designs are a good choice. The learning curve is not to steep, and the purchase of materials can be spread out during building. The boats are light in weight so easy to trailer, launch, and retrieve. And with that modest budget a nice daysailing or overnighter can be built that will last for years with proper care and maintenance.
Rick: What are your thoughts on being a part of the BYYB? (i.e., why join, support, and participate?)
Paul J: The BYYB is a real good thing. When it was formed there was no such organization anywhere for backyard builders. By becoming a member of the BYYB each builder helps a family of other builders to promote their hobby of building a sailboat or their interest in sailing. Regattas or get-together's are being set up all over the country. This is something that gives each builder a goal to shoot for after finishing his or her sailboat. They also provide a chance to meet other people who have built the same or like boat and the opportunity to look them over in person. And of course, there is the opportunity for some friendly sailing.
Rick: Where would you like to see the BYYB go in long term development?
Paul J: I for one would like to see the BYYB grow and develop a stable base of members around the U.S. and the world. I would like to see many regattas in different parts of this country and in others as well. I hope that in the future there might be some type of national regatta held that members from all over the country attend. I would also like to see the BYYB become the best association of home builders of sailboats the world has ever seen and be a role model for others to follow.