Thursday, December 10, 2015

Annie Hill, update.

For background to this post refer to my post dated Oct 29th

I called in on Annie Hill today,  in part because I was in the area for an engineering job and wanted a break before I drove the 2 hours or so home, in part because she and her friend Marcus are always good to visit, and in part because I wanted to see how she is going with building her new ( junk rigged of course ) home .

Chopping a rebate in a floor timber, she's more accurate than I am, I do that with a multitool and fill the gaps with epoxy!

Bow view of Siblem, there is not a lot of indication of the real shape as yet, but it will come.

She’s got the bukheads made and stood up, the daggerboard cases built and the insides glassed, they’re stood up and fastened in place, and she’s working on the notching for the stringers and some additional floor timbers to take the keel bolts.

View from aft, there is another frame to add 500mm aft of what you can see, its the transom and the twin skegs mount between there and the bulkhead you can see, the cutout visible is the motor mount.  An outboard, inboard, so to speak. 
LOTS of space in that boat for a 26 footer. 

For Annie this is a learning process, her other builds will have been as a helper to a skilled builder so here she is, 60 years old and busy learning how to do it so she can have a little ship that’s truly her own. Go girl!

Her “Fantail” has been sold by the way, so now she’s really committed!

So why build a new boat? One, there is a lot of thin water around New Zealand, and when you live on a very small income, you need to moor in the places that no one else sees as valuable, that plus they’re often the really interesting places anyway. That plus this boat has been designed to suit her proportions,  she’ll be able to see over the cabin top out of the cockpit when sitting down for example.
Oh yes, and at 60 years old, looking to live on board for the rest of her days, she said “ I don’t want to die on a boat made of frozen snot” ( fiberglass as L Francis Herreshoff described it).

The boats name, at this stage anyway, is “Siblem” that’s an acronym for “Small is beautiful, less is more”.  She says that the name might change, but that’s very much the philosophy.

I helped for a little while, just a took a few shavings out of a rebate with a chisel, so I’m now a member of the “Siblem club!”  There arent many of us. Very exclusive you know!
In reality I’m priveledged.  I plan to visit every month or so, will keep you posted.

 One more thing, Marcus has a junk rigged, cabin version of a Portland Pudgy sailing lifeboat for sale, I should have pics in a few days ( reminder to Marcus, hear that Marcus!). If anyones interested in a cheap but very interesting mini mini cruiser give me a shout.  She's in Whangarei New Zealand.


  1. Another great blog entry. Thanks for keeping us up to date on your doings

  2. There are so many things I love about this post, not sure where to start. I admire the Siblem philosophy- we are in the process of donating half of our belongings due to that very belief. It's amazing how much stuff we pack around that we simply don't need.

    Impressive build, too.

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  4. Should finish reading Voyaging on a Small Income this week. Very enjoyable read. Nice to see a picture of Annie and read of her plans

  5. I hope to be travelling up there to visit her again within the next couple of weeks, its only a two hour drive each way and its not too hard to find an excuse to take a day off to visit her.
    Will report on progress.