Meeting Joe & Nimue's new addition! - Aug 2011

Fri 2 Sep 2011 15:17
Many serious round the world cruising yachts have a stern arch/frame (usually made out of stainless steel or aluminium).  These affairs are largely utilitarian, in so much as owners can use an arch to fix ariels, antennas, wind generators, sun panels, fishing rods, lights, fenders, ropes, davits, etc. etc.  We were reluctant to have an arch/frame on Nimue, as we wanted to keep her lines as ‘clean as possible’.   However, it was becoming obvious during our travels that one would become necessary, especially as we had bought a new wind generator in the Caribbean, which needed to be fixed somewhere on Nimue’s stern!  We already had a stainless steel ‘hat stand’ which held all our ariels and antennas and rather than just fixing another pole on Nimue’s stern to hold the wind generator, we eventually succumbed to the idea of an arch/frame.  Michael had come up with the idea of keeping it very simple and had already drawn up the design, which included moving the sun panels from on top of the bimini to form part of the frame.  We approached a couple of stainless steel fabricators in Annapolis for quotes, but whilst we were travelling up the coast with Sarah and Kenny on Loon, Sarah had mentioned a name of a guy who had sailed as crew on her boat, Joe.  Joe built bespoke aluminium guitars but also was a ‘dab’ hand at stainless steel welding.   He sounded ideal, so we invited Joe down to see if he was interested in doing the work.  We seemed to hit it off with Joe in an instant and it was not long before he agreed to undertake the task.
Within a few weeks, Joe had the basics of the frame built and we were able to offer it up to Nimue.
Nimue’s ‘simple’ arch design with the sun panels on top. 
Joe is a very interesting chap and a Vietnam war veteran.  However, his passion for building aluminium guitars was something else, which I often quizzed him about and one day as he drove up in his large truck he brought along one for us to see.  It was a marvellous piece of work and Joe was keen to play and sing a few songs to us in the boat yard; quite bizarre, but very, very enjoyable.


Joe with his ‘hand made’ aluminium guitar

..............................and singing a few songs.
We made preparations for leaving Nimue, whilst we returned to the UK for a few months and this also gave Joe plenty of time to finish off the frame.   Joe also kindly offered to drive us to Washington, Dulles airport and despite getting lost once or twice, we were dropped off with plenty of time to spare.
At the Gate waiting to board the Virgin Atlantic flight to Heathrow