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Maria CS20 104 Finishing Masts and Rigging

Maria CS20 104

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The Saga of Maria CS 20 104......a continuing blessing and project:


A hey and God's blessings to all and I am glad we are back and getting close.  Don't really remember when we started this adventure but I think I got the plans in 2008 and cut first wood in 2009.  Hull folded in late summer of the same year and all fillets in placed and glassed on the interior.  Summer in Louisiana comes in hot in August so we cut and fitted pieces but did not continue assembly until about April in 2010 when we continued with the build.  Life got in the way but the dream never died, the hull stared at me every day when I could not do much due to cost and unemployment.  My bride had made sure I got most of my needed materials in the beginning but working alone it was the best de-stressor I have ever experienced.  Took my time and spent lots of time pondering as I built and beefed up some parts and pieces and built furniture for grand children and did house repairs.  Went to WAY northern Maine, incredibly BEAUTIFUL state, hiked and hiked and drove over 2000 miles to see all I could while working in Madawaska at a paper mill for a year.  Mother in Law got sick I came home to Louisiana and spent 8 months working in Arkansas, another beautiful state.  The HULL continued to stare at me as I left at 5:00 am and returned at 5:30 pm.  The hull was lonely and I would  often pat her on the bottom and let her know I still loved her and we would be together as soon as possible.


I found you cannot do a wife or a mistress ( boat) any good when you've only got an hour or two each day after eating, sleeping , chores and repairs with grandbabies rolling at your feet and living in your house.  I of course insisted that the babies had their cribs and cradles in our room where PaPa could tuck them in at night after I got to bath them (my wife and I fought over who got that honor).  I was blessed to get them up and changed in the morning, cleaned and rediapered and fed and then tucked back in with grandma before I headed off to anything I could find to bring in a few bucks.  Things were not as difficult as I might seem to make out, we were just damned busy being a family.  The father of these babies is in the Navy and was on West PAC, twice during this time and we were blessed to have our youngest daughter and her boys here with us.  This was as joyous a time as I can ever recall in all our life and we gets more of them and more of them.


All in all the hull and deck came together and I had some help here and there.  Looked great and built wooden  masts ( incorrectly, they will become flag poles, home made of course).  Mother in Law went to be with the Lord, she was with us full time for 8 years and God what an amazing LADY she challenged us and blessed us in every way.  We were LUCKY to have her with us for as long as we did, I think our kids learned more about what a family is and does and should be in those years she was here and we all participated in her life and meeting her needs as she prepared to see our Lord.  She made us a full family of four generations under one hood as it were, now we are the third generation in this household as our children and grandchildren surround us.


So why do I expound upon our life and my dream of a boat.............because it is good to have a dream and ...because life gets in the way!  Then I and you deal with it and we make our priorities the right ones, and the dream is still there waiting and we NEVER give it up.  We just keep the priorities straight and the rest can and I believe will happen if you stay focused on the right things at the right time, as much as you can. I can also promise I did not always want the priorities to be the ones that had to be, it made me MAD as HECK....OFTEN.  Frustrating, Oh my goodness... yer DARN RIGHT......so what!  I discovered, (not that I did not already know it) that it was not about me, and it ain't about you, it is about yer family, the work that takes care of them and then maybe it can be about your dream.  Get it right and you can have them both, the dream may change a bit, the time line might shift a bit... or some............. or more than you want or expect.............or you change and find a different but the right balance and when you don't even realize it, the dream drops back into your lap because you did the right things.  You honored your God and Your family first.  It happened to me!


I just recently ( several months back actually) bought the mast kit for the CS20 they are amazing and I got them built over a period of several months, this was after I gave our Graham a serious case of the moans (per Carla by the way) when he read my post about my home made wooden mast, un-tapered and home modified.  I am glad he moaned and responded quickly and they got me squared away and I bought the kits and other necessary materials to continue the quest.


We built the masts, they are amazing, we did the bushings and the stops and we fitted them together and they are so cool and so aligned.  Life jumped in and we found the cabinets under the sinks were rotting and needed attention, we fixed them and then we redid all the counter tops in the kitchen with quartz stone backsplashes.  I did redo the boat decking during this time, stripped and sanded the surface, re-stained and resealed and it looks amazing and we, by the by, have never launched my mistress.... yet..........SUCKS.....yes but I got to be with her, caress her surface and protect her spirit when I refinished the deck, and she looks really great.  Then life got in the way and I went to Montana for most of this last summer to complete a work project........life just gets in the way.


This week to jump into the future........we put the masts into the boat and they align port and starboard, fore and aft, with a bit of twisting and a little encouragement. A bit of alignment is needed to make the 3 degree rake, but we will do it.  You, ME, those who build these beautiful beasts, we do IT!   The masts are beautiful but without tracks, although we have them and we are figuring out what is next.  We have the materials and the technology and the know how and we move forward at a pace that is never fast enough, but it is forward.


  Somewhere in there, in the middle of our confusion and drama, Carla needed prayers as did several others and we all, the B&B community, came together and prayed together as a FAMILY, and we held each other in our hope love and strength and we lifted each other up...so here we are, still lifting each other up, thank goodness and thank GOD!.  This community is one unbelievable group of folks, dedicated to each other in fulfilling a dream, finding friendships, and to a common idea that supporting each other in life and in our hopes it what is most important.  That is an amazing part of what this web site has become, at least to me and our family, and I thank you all for that connection.  Blessings to each and every one of you!


Here is where I leave the building issues of our post for the moment... I had a stroke a week or so ago, don't know when it actually happened, I was at work when I realized my whole right side had gone numb dead center from R shoulder to R foot along my sternum and down my spine, really weird to say the least, and I am unable to support myself on my right leg for long periods.


I was scheduled to be in three plants doing what I do as a Safety Director for three plants and then a few more.  I spent four days in the hospital and found I'd had a brain stem stroke, very minor but I cannot walk correctly, R side much affected but I can deal with it for the most extents, just not comfortable, but I can work on the boat and it gives me comfort and purpose.  I really need to be at work and that is a giant YUK city because I love what I do, especially protecting our people.    Then, because I cannot be at work on site I had to keep busy and......what happened next is I got to mount my masts, and work on a house full of needed items which were way overdue.  We, K and I got them done and had a fine time spending the effort to complete them and the house items look amazing.  I have full control of my speech and thought processes and although I find it a bit difficult to walk much, still have R arm and leg issues, I do get around good.  I can work on the boat and align the masts and we are getting ready to put the sail tracks on and do 4 coats of varnish on the decks and repaint the entire interior of the boat with a very nice ivory oil based paint finish and the put it on the trailer.  I know it doesn't sound perfect, but I have mostly full function and my wife and I are safe and happy and I (we) can finish the boat, I think that is why I am where I am and I get to do this finally.  My belief, my dream, and my prayers, I am spending this time with my wife of 32 years and although we are moving forward a bit slower because of the challenges, it works, we work, the dream progresses.......is life perfect....................NO!  So WHAT...........always priorities!  Keep the faith, I know I am OKAY with my GOD and my family, yes they are worried but we will move forward and I will be okay and I will get to launch........GOD is good, life is good, we are not in control............just keep your priorities......................ALL GOD's blessings to each of you!


I think, for me is that the whole point of this post is that all works to the best of His purpose and I know all will be well in His time and I get to ponder and work at a pace that maybe I should have been at a long time ago.  I have my faith, my family: my wife, children, grandchildren, our dreams and goofy as it seems, our boat and we will launch..................all things in His time.  ANd I have you folks on this post where I go and share my dreams and get to share your dreams and the progress of your lives and dreams..........pretty powerful and amazing stuff.  Keeps me full of hope!  I am happy and still in love with a wonderful woman after 32 plus years and I would tell y'all.........NEVER GET DISCOURAGED, go for it all with GUSTO, but keep our priorities aligned and all will be well!


Blessings to all, I will post pictures of my blue water mistress as soon as I can..............just give me a month or so! 


Jim Atkinson

EM1, SS, United States Navy  1972 - 1981


dream never dies!





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Enjoyed the "read". You may want to post your boating adventures with your "Mistress" under Boating & Crusing Stories on this forum. It would be easier to refer back to them there. We need some good "dreaming" stories to get us through winter. God truly does bless us that "know Him and work according to His purposes"!.

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Dave, with respect, I don't think it was so much about religion as about anguish between making the right, reasoned choices and the fact that they take you further away from what you actually long to do.

And Jim, a stroke is a very serious case of life getting in the way. I wish you to get well, and get to sail your boat really soon. You seem to be pretty close to finishing it, looking forward to lots of pictures. Wishing you the best.

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Jim, a terrific testimony, and there is something in your story for every one of us.  Who on this blog  hasn't felt some bit of escape or therapy or comfort or help from some other place in times of need in working on a boat or dreaming about what that boat can be.  Especially with family close at hand.  Best thoughts to you for a speedy recovery, and may your many blessings abound.  Your optimism and faith in times of trouble are inspiring.  We all wish you speedy recovery, and we all see you sailing on smooth waters with a fair breeze in that oft-caressed hull of yours.  Godspeed.

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Great post Jim!

I have much trouble keeping my priorities where they should be, I wander off sometimes only to pay the price and come back. Sometimes my faith and a walk around our 28 foot hull is all that keeps the dream of cruising and doing the loop alive.





I'm hoping to be locking through to Kentucky Lake sometime around October 15, 2016. Will you be ready to join me by then?

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Not unless there is an act of God!! I will not be able to get going real good on the boat till spring. No heat in the new boat barn, but I will get some things done over the winter. I hope to be in the water in two years but realistically it will be three. Even then I may have to use the boat as a trawler until I can afford the sails and all the rigging for a 28.

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I wish you a speedy recovery Jim.  I agree with you & Steve that that time in the workshop is therapeutic. Send us photos of your boating adventures.


To others related to religion, I do believe it would be nice to leave religion out of this forum.  After all it is about boats and boatbuilding.


I happen to be a Humanist but do not bring it up on this forum because it is not the place for it.  I believe I have a good moral code and do good without God.  We cannot prove there is a God and we cannot prove there is not one so I just leave it at that.  As the singer/songwriter Iris Dement sings, "Let the mystery be".



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