This site is here to tell the building of my NIS26. There are many elements that have come together to ensure this boat touches the water, but one of the foundational, Michael Jansen, passed away 21st February 2023.
Michael and I went to Kindergarten together and never lost site of our friendship.We both loved boats, both of our families had a similar journey. His uncle and father built a Hartley Cabin Cruiser together, they’ve owned and raced dinghies. Michael and I sailed together through out our teens. Michael helped my build my Whilly Boat, he crewed on Fresh Aires, we sailed Robert’s Charlie Fisher many times together.
Robert Ayliffe and Michael’s paths joined early on, but it was Michael’s engineering skill in CAD (computer aided design) that, along with Chris Dearden, brought the Sharpies onto the computer drawing board. Chris had drawn the boats for computer cutting of kits, and Michael continued Chris’ amazing work further developing and modifying the designs with Robert and Bruce Kirby.
Most recently he designed a change to the centreboard allowing for a narrower chord while improving the theoretical windward performance, and importantly allowing for a 17cm drop in the height of my centreboard case. This doesn’t sound much, but straddle the case and you’ll quickly find out what he has given me.
When I considered building this NIS26, Michael was the first person I phoned, his counsel was always sought, and he never failed to be a supportive voice of reason when I became carried away.
Speaking of which, it was brought to my attention that the head (toiler) on the NIS26 is quite large. Well who ever said that about a boat? What kind of person? Someone not so large? A masochist?
I messaged Michael this concern, “should I gain more living space at the expense of pooping space?”. Where will I be spending most of my time? He reminded how we used to rate toilets, and how I was no longer flexible, and I have two daughters and a fancy wife. And to leave good design well alone. A modern sage.
There is so much to say about this beautiful man, I expect I’ll be cursing his death at every turn, but mostly when it comes to launching the boat and heading off under sail.
Below these pictures I’ve included the eulogy I gave for Michael at his funeral in Geelong, March 10, 2023