Nearly four years ago Adrian Galindo’s NIS 26 Mk2 kit flat pack landed in his purpose built boat building shed in Hove, one of Adelaide’s popular near beach suburbs.
It'’s some workshop. An industrial coffee machine, no mere Sunbeam or Breville, this looks like a chrome plated theatre organ.
The sight of it led to thoughts of Blake.
“Was Jerusalem, builded here, amongst these dark satanic mills?”
I think so, especially when Tom, or Finn, the Galindo brothers, make coffee there.
The shed has a proper dunny, a loft with sleeping facilities and proper stair cases. Adrian built his shed for Electra, his kit based Mk2 Norwalk Islands Sharpie 26. ‘Based’, because like many owner builders, Adrian is a deviator. Deviates.
To that end he also has welders, massive grinders, face plate sanders, flat bed sanders and, complementing the wheezing coffee monster, a pretty good sound system.
He’s also a well known Adelaide audiologist, which is flash way of saying that he helps people who believed that ear protection was for wimps, who now say, “what”, a lot. Some of that involves electronic hearing aid solutions and, in intractable cases, there’s rumours of cattle prods.
He likes electric and electronic stuff.
By the time the flat pack landed, Adrian already had a big washing machine motor pulled apart, and metres of heavy duty copper wire running around in preparation for his take on the future, the all electric power plant for his new Bruce Kirby 8m Sharpie.
Discussions in the shed has and still does range around about installing Tesla Wall power storage systems, electronic wind vanes (no more neck cricking looking up the mast), lengthening the coach roof. Shifting bulkheads about. Adjusting the CB set up. And much more.
It surprises most of us that the hull, with its radiused bottom has moved ahead so quickly.
Until we meet Helen.
Helen, Adrian’s bride and mother of their children Tom and Finn had grown weary of shed divorce. Helen drew a firm line in the sand.
Electra has to be launched by Australia Day.
No one messes with Helen. (‘Helen’ – Another Greek reference?)
On the day before launching, it was noted that the carbon masts swung up nicely in their new tabernacles. Tick that box. One thing works. The electric motor was ‘not ready’. There were no lazy jacks. The sheeting had not been run out. There were no vangs. There was no reefing sorted out. Tension!
And things of that nature. A scary amount of ticking still to be done.
I distinctly heard Finn discussing homicide.
As the boat slid into the azure blue waters of the late summer Adelaide foreshore, I was torn between going home and hiding, or staying to complete my promise that I’d help Adrian see his boat to the water.
It was far from finished.
Fate has a way of making as public as possible any short comings. The word ‘launching’ is too close to ‘lynching’.
Stuff ups cause happiness. Too many people at that launching had happy looks on their faces.
Since the electric motor still had its entrails decorating the floor of Adrian’s shed, last minute alternative auxiliary propulsion was provided by friend and master boat builder, Ron Jesche. His 3hp short shaft out board motor was cobbled to the transom the previous day.
I spent launch morning denying the cheery crowd; threading various cobbled together vang, out haul, boom sheets, and my new rudder box controls, and a myriad of other items ready for the first sail.
The frequent, and loaded enquiry, “It’s not finished yet, is it?”
Nowhere to hide.
By the time the boat slid off the trailer, eight grown up people were in the cockpit and scattered around the coach house roof.
It didn’t look good. None of them had any experience with this type of boat, especially one as undressed as this one.
They looked far too happy.
Fate, in its contrary way sometimes smiles upon the risk takers.
Almost no wind, very slight swell and little chop. Perfect conditions.
Electra, notwithstanding her randomly placed human cargo trimmed beautifully, ends well out of the water.
The sails ran up sleekly, the carbon masts flexing slightly at the tips in the zephyrs. The superlight carbon booms; so light that when Adrian picked one up, he fell backwards against the unexpected lack of mass.
To my surprise the ‘lash up’ running rig seemed okay, no tangles, no disasters.
Off the trailer, and then the beach, Electra gathered her skirts, stepping out and away from the shore. Shy reaching, bow kissing the swells and rising slightly at each one, swooping along, making full use of her waterline length.
Almost no breeze. More tuning. The main vang, pulled on made a difference, made the boat look less like a set of chopsticks fighting over a table cloth; the spectra mizzen outhaul traveller snugged the sail foot to the boom, all conspired to lift and drive the boat quicker.
Ron had rowed Ali and I out to his beautifully crafted motor sailor to act as a safety ship, and to follow Electra.
The big 65hp engine had to work to catch up, when we did it was to be rewarded with the sight of the newest NIS Mk2 really moving along. Fuss free, light helm, rudder working well, easy to lower and raise from the cockpit, a very easy, light air rocket ship.
Electra was sailing, fast.
Finished? Not yet. The electric power plant is still to be completed, running rig and other details to be finessed.
That’s boats. They are nearly finished when you eventually sell them!
We’re looking forward to seeing her settled into her new running rig, tuning the controls.
Adjusting and finessing upon experience, and extending the lore and excitement of these incredibly capable small ships, everywhere she goes.
The planning is that she will be in Hobart for the 2017 Festival, and the further plan is that she won’t be coming on a trailer!
Electra joins kit NIS 18 Mk2 Didi, kit NIS 18 Mk2 Yawl Missie Lee kit NIS 23 Mk2 Route 66, kit NIS 23 Mk2 Rosie Red.
Great company indeed.
Congratulations to the Galindo family for their faith in the designers, and all their mates who pitched in, and especially to Lula the dog, who really does know how to get excess people out of the workshop.
PO Box 843 Mt Barker, SA 5251
m 0428 817 464 p 08 8391 3705