Several years before moving to OceanView, Tom and Alice sold their 45-foot sailboat, mostly because it was becoming difficult to find crew to sail with. He became interested in building a new type of boat after seeing a video. “It looked fairly easy to sail by myself, and could carry two or three other people. Plus, I just loved the design.” As he and his wife, Alice, planned their move to OceanView into a brand-new, customized Schoolhouse Cottage, he had their new cottage built with a full workshop in the daylight basement, specifically planning to accommodate the completed size of this future boat with special doors that would be wide enough to get the boat out when it was completed!
Starting with 15 sheets of computer-cut plywood, Tom completed constructing the vessel in just under two years. “It was slow going, but a really fun project,” says Tom. “I’ve built two small six-foot sailing prams before, but they were two-week projects rather than two-year!” The boat is called an “Ilur” – named after a small island off the Bay of Biscay in Brittany, France. The Architect, Francois Vivier, is from that area, and all his boats are named after geographical locations in Brittany.
Tom chose to name the boat “Griffin” – the name of his father’s former business partner with whom he started a custom furniture business after WWII. Tom’s mother, an artist, had originally designed the Griffin logo, and his sister, also an artist, helped him convert the logo from an old letterhead into an electronic format that could be reproduced on the sail for the boat.
A crowd of Tom and Alice’s neighbors gathered at their cottage for a champagne christening celebration, admiring the beautiful craft Tom had created.
Tom said he is especially grateful to OceanView’s Maintenance Staff for all their help moving the boat out of the basement and onto the trailer for its trip to Handy Boat Yard in Falmouth. Tom stood in his boat as it was lowered from a dock and into the ocean for the very first time!