Jock and his contemporaries represent the link between today's boatbuilders, who craft their vessels in a variety of exotic materials, and the generation that built only in wood. From the time the first lofty gum was felled in the early days of the island to provide a straight keel for one of the first schooners built in the fledgling colony, Tasmanian ship and boatbuilders have had the advantage of a vast supply of top grade timber close at hand. With only a few tools, an axe, a hammer, hand saws, adze and some pit saws, the boatbuilders were able to turn out world-class vessels. At Muir's boatyard, this tradition was maintained. Interviewed nearly thirty years ago, Jock described building an ocean-going boat thus: ' "It is not only a question of money. Time and patience are essential because boatbuilding can never be entirely mechanised. It has to be done with loving care and the right timbers take time to find and season." In those early days, Jock was building mainly in Huon pine and King Billy pine for strip planking glued together, the woods chosen for their durability and elasticity. For the backbone and ribs he used blue gum and sometimes stringy-bark or swamp gum. He was quoted as estimating it took 5,000 man hours for the boatyard to produce a sea-going yacht, costing (depending on the degree of finishing off required by the owner) about 200 pounds upwards per foot of length. As mentioned in an earlier chapter, Jock had some very definite requirements of his boats. He was quoted as saying: "The boat must be easy to steer either in a hard breeze, or in a big following sea. Her movement must be minimised in order to allow the crew as comfortable a ride as possible -you can't expect them to rough it night and day for days on end. Furthermore, a boat that is jerky on the sea is not only uncomfortable but upsets the constant flow of wind and tends to slow it down." With such attention to perfection, no wonder that John Muir's abiding memory of his father as a boatbuilder was total commitment: "When he was working on a boat he would become totally absorbed and involved in the concept."