There’s an old saying that ships and men rot in port, and I’m wondering if the same could be said about boat yards. Zest has been out of the water in Medina Yard, Cowes for three weeks now. Don’t get me wrong, Craig Nutter and his team have been fantastically helpful, and there is a palpable buzz in the yard as the boats around us get ready for the season just starting. But the other boats come and go, and we’re still here.
Much of the work so far has involved disassembling the boat to get measurements for the new bits that need to be made and then ordering the bits and material needed. We’ve also ordered some new sails, and in the process of choosing a sailmaker from among five hopefuls, ended up with a sports psychologist as well.
And boy, could I use one about now, to help me with my nerves, because it does take nerves of steel to stand by and watch all the money drain out of one’s bank account. I suspect this may be the hardest bit, when much of the money has been spent but nothing has been delivered, and all I can do is hope that it will all come together in time. We are asking a lot of our suppliers, I know. Our timeline is ambitious to say the least and this is the busiest time of year for most of them. I am so grateful for all of the goodwill that people have shown towards us and the project and I feel a huge responsibility not to disappoint the many people who have gone above and beyond to help. I do sometimes feel like I have the whole Solent area supporting me, and it is humbling. I’ve even been trading jokes with the @Coweschainferry on Twitter.
With help from some of my many talented friends, I have put together a proposal for corporate sponsorship of the campaign. The sponsorship is not strictly necessary, but it will boost the competitiveness of the campaign and help me to tell my story better and more widely. I think it’s going to be a fantastic story, so it seems a waste not to use it as a platform for a brand or brands I love. I’ve got a few of these in my sights, but if you have any ideas please do get in touch.
I also intend to set up an indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for all the friends and family who have asked if they can help financially. Finally, I will also be continuing to raise money for my favourite charity – Help the Hospices – so keep an eye out for my JustGiving page, a link to which will appear here soon.