Presenting the Umunum

Posted by Monterey Matt on Sep 20, 2006

Getting ready for the formal launch tomorrow, but I thought y'all might like a picture of my sweetie/shebeast, the Umunum.

You can click on the link below to see a picture of the hummingbird onlay, which got smashed up during a sanding accident but which I left on in all its homely beauty anyway (I have another on the other hatch.) I decided to put the inlay on too late in construction, so it became an onlay, but it was because the name of the boat hadn't come to me until later.

Why Umunum?

Umunum is the local native word for 'hummingbird'. When I first started building this boat, I had to build outside on a deck. A very friendly hummingbird kept me company all during the early phases of construction.

The local "big mountain" to the north, not as big as Fremont peak or Mount Madonna, but big enough, is Mt. Umunum. This is coincidentally where the "high site" transceiver for US Coast Guard radio transmissions is located, a fact not unimportant in my life.

And Isla de Umunum is an island up in Elkorn Slough, another great yakking place locally, where a tribe of locals once lived and boated around. I'm planning on doing my "sea trials" this weekend up there.

Finally, one of the several major interruptions in this project was caused by the delightfully unexpected arrival of a baby son...when I first heard the fluttering of his heart on the ultrasound, it was in the middle of the first round of construction of this boat, and the pitch or something wasn't correct, so it sounded vaguely like one of those old nature film recordings of a hummingbird's wings.

Among other major interruptions in this project:

(0) The literal meltdown of my computer, which toasted almost all my construction pictures, alas (I'd just backed them up a few days before, but the CD didn't write properly for some reason.)

(1) the collapse of the roof of the garage where I had been doing the building, resulting in tarping of the kayak for over a year.

(2) being forced to move (the landlord was tearing down the house) and having literally no place to put the boat in the new house.

(3) the usual life stuff - active duty, childcare, etcetera - getting in the way.

(4) temporary misplacement of all the remaining parts after the move in (2)

(5) a fight with the new landlord, since resolved, about whether I could work on the boat in the carport (I won.)

(6) Sloth, insouciance, temerity at certain stages of construction, a Type A/B personality (overinterest in perfection combined with undercompetence in execution), and a certain disinterest in finishing because I knew that the fun would be over at that point (until I get the money together for a second kit, of course...)

I want to sincerely thank EVERYBODY on the forum, and especially those of you who have been with me from the start on this. Insert cliches here: but I could not have done it without you, not nearly so nicely. I owe everybody a beer...!

And to those of you just starting, or contemplating a buy/build: it will get done, and it will be a great boat, because if *I* can do it, anybody can. The design is forgiving, the boat beautiful, the experience really interesting. My only regret is that by the time I got good at a particular skill or step, I was already done with it 8-). two!

- Matt

Click here for a picture of the hatch with onlay