A story must be told from beginning to end— it simply wouldn’t make sense any other way. And so I figured, with the story of this boat, that it must begin with the beginning. Still, this story is unique in that its ending has not yet been written. We have only the beginning (a life-long dream of building a boat) and the “real-time” progression (a 19-foot speed boat in the makings). Will the dream be fulfilled? Will the boat actually meet the water? Will it sink or swim? Unlike other stories told in retrospect, the risk with this story is that even the author doesn’t know how it will end.

This week, in “real-time,” I hit a road-block with the boat. As often happens on adventures, I met a new friend who was kind enough to come over and give some experienced feedback. Brad Collins grew up building boats with his dad and has gone 100 MPH in a tunnel hull racer.

The first model boat test had gone quite well. I put the 1/5 scale model in the neighbors’ hot tub and loaded some cans and weights to have it settle down to the waterline.

first float test

So when he told me that it was too heavy in the back and would sit off-balanced in the water, I thought I just maybe should check it out. Frustrated, I pulled out my sketches. I measured and worked and re-worked formulas. I found out about the definition of a moment arm: “Torque, moment or moment of force, is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum, or pivot.” The fact is a 450 pound motor at the stern can move the Longitudinal Center of Gravity around 2 feet back on my boat, which creates a lot of tip up in front.

Next, it turns out that the 1/5 scale was really a 1/4.5 scale and so the weights I had used were too light and not positioned accurately enough. I filled the bathtub with water and loaded the boat model with soup cans to test it… again.



Brad was right and the real boat was suffering from too much wishful thinking. I should probably wait to write this “chapter” until we are caught up to speed, until after this issue has been (hopefully) neatly resolved. But perhaps it is also important to capture the present tense of this story, as I sit at my desk sketching and figuring, and even I do not know what will happen next.

And so, as I continue to go backwards to document all that has taken place from the beginning until now, I have also decided to show you some glimpses of “real-time,” which we will call our “Currently” series. “Currently”… I am frustrated and determined and reminded that no great under-taking is accomplished without perseverance and commitment.


This is God’s great Redemption. Only He can take all of the threads of our lives, pleasant and difficult, and weave them into a beautiful tapestry. It is too soon to quit.

3 thoughts on “Roadblocks

  1. If we give up when the going gets tough, we will never experience the gratification that goes along with accomplishing something great. ~Deb

  2. Totally agree that it’s important to tell the story when it’s still unresolved and the final outcome is uncertain, because life isn’t like a movie where we know how it’s going to end. Thanks for sharing the twists and turns.

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