By Pedro Pires de Lima
Snipe sailor, Artist and a good man
I crewed for my uncle from 1972 to 1974. We sailed a lot, but mainly he wanted to improve his boat. A wooden boat, still sailed by his daughter, he changed from bow to stern.
At the age of 12, I learned how to helm the boat during all the hours he was lying on the deck looking at the way the bow opened the water. He glued some pieces of wood in that old fashion narrow bow and sculpted them until the first “Fat bow” Snipe was born.
The helm was growing fatter each week! 5mm more, 10mm more, 5 mm yet again …
It was hard to helm the boat with him lying there in the back staring at those water vortexes . 2 inches wide? Was that too much? Ok… lets sand it!
The hull was always shining like a mirror. He painted it coat after coat, probably more than 10 times during those 2 years. After each coat, sanding endless hours….
All trim ropes had a scale. He knew exactly how he wanted all adjustments. I will never forget all those slow phrases explaining what each small change affected the way the Snipe moves.
In those days we didn’t have coaches, but I was the luckiest, I had the best!
He knew how to teach, he was Professor in the Oporto Art University, “Escola de Belas Artes do Porto”, where, to my knowledge, he was the best student there was.
I still miss him.
Sometimes I still wonder how Tito will trim his Snipe in that special weather condition day.
He was such a special man probably because he was a Snipe sailor …