Tuesday, August 19, 2014

In the ongoing quest for sharp tools...

Nope, no climate change here so best to move on, not your same old same axe, and an insightful slam-dunk from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar...

My dad always used to say that you can tell a lot about a man from looking at his tools and, like a lot of the stuff my dad used to say, he was right.

Truth be told, I'd be embarrassed to have my dad see the current state of of my chisels...

The thing is, working on boats is hard on tools. Chisels and  other wood cutting tools were never designed with glass fiber, hybrid composite structure, and epoxy glue in mind and it takes its toll.

Which is why I perked up when I saw this...


It's a smallish affordable sharpening station by Dremel which looks to be just the thing to get those chisels (plane blades, drill bits, scissors, knives, etc) back to the standard they aspire to...


The concept of no longer being ashamed of my tool bag really does appeal.

Listening to Jason Isbell

So it goes...

Monday, August 18, 2014

This is handy...

John Oliver making some sense, SeaWorld collecting on its karma account, and if you'd like to read about something seriously nuts...

Something tasty from Antal.




They call it "the Hook".

Listening to Trampled by Turtles

So it goes...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Half a million give or take a few...

This is seriously scary, a rather astute riff on the game being rigged, and today's award for Kafkaesque shenagigans...

It's come to my attention that some time today someone will have the rather questionable honor of becoming the 500,000th visitor to Boat Bits... Kind of boggles the mind.

So, I'm going to take  a break today and maybe have a beer...

Tomorrow it will be back to the same old same Selfie-free, somewhat contrarian, and anti-consumerist Boat Bits grind. Thing is, I think I'm getting the hang of this gig and might even get it right by one million visitors... Well, one can always hope.

Thanks for visiting and actually reading what I write from time to time.

Really, Thank you.

Listening to Rebelution
 
So it goes..

Friday, August 15, 2014

Something that works on boats...

Badtux making sense, Ian Welsh on the long suck/deep dive, and this sure sounds like deserved Karma to me...

I really hate cigarette type plugs... They're cheap, cheesy, and dangerous. I remove them from various 12-volt objects that come with them and replace with Anderson Power Pole connectors which happen to work finestkind but are still cheap and not inclined to melt or cause a fire aboard like the aforementioned cigarette plug.

They really are pretty awesome.

A natural progression is using Anderson poles for power distribution...

Do I really need to tell you just how awesome and useful something like this would be aboard a boat?

Listening to Emily Portman

So it goes...



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Something you'll want to read...

Just another example of greed run amuck, Charles Doane makes a good point about shipwrecks/Cruisers Forum, and about those "False balance" blues...

PBO just released their September issue and it's well worth reading.


Lots and lots of great stuff within but maybe the best article is a "test" comparing two near identical boats sporting junk and Bermudian rigs. Really a must read for anyone who's interested in junk rig.

Do yourself a favor and give it a read...

Listening to San Fermin

So it goes... 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

just the same old same conundrum...

Something well worth your time, another side of drought, and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "Throws like a girl..."

I'm currently jumping through a bunch of mental hoops trying to sort out which dinghy to build. The fact is there are any number of great dinghies out there but the problem is finding a design that will stow in the allotted space as well as being the sort of workhorse that can put up with the loads and abuse I regularly subject it to.

Nesting dinghies make a lot of sense and I have plans for Danny Greene's Chameleon, the B&B Spindrift, and Wood's new Duo but when nested they all seem to seriously impair the view forward while sailing...

The Wooden Widget folding designs make a lot of sense but, being skin boats, they are less than perfect for throwing 75' of chain, 100' of warp, and a forty-pound anchor in the bottom when needing to row out and set extra anchors to windward when a big storm threatens. That said, stowed in front of my hard dodger you'd have great view forward while sailing...

Fact is, any hard dinghy on the coachroof is going to be problematic and there is no other space aboard to place a dinghy that makes any sense so just about anything you do is a bigger compromise than I actually care to make.

Bummer.

Tad Roberts has the right idea in his Future Cruiser series where he designs in proper dinghy stowage..

"The cockpit is huge by modern standards as it's the place you spend the most time. Options for protection are considered, dodger and higher coamings forward. Transom door and outboard rudder/tiller simplify access and self steering. No holes in the boat's bottom. I have a idea the solid pram dinghy will sit in the cockpit (becoming the cockpit footwell) in these boats, perhaps under a solid flush cover in the larger boats."

Which would sort out the problem finestkind.

Listening to Guy Clark

So it goes...

Saturday, August 09, 2014

the wonderment of ink on paper...

Somewhat dire, when did the "new" American spirit include death threats, and is this nuts or what...

I just replaced my copy of Parker's "The New Cold-Molded Boatbuilding" (When will I ever learn not to loan books I don't want to lose?) and my bookshelf is now complete again.

I like reading books on boat building... For one, they make me a better craftsman but, more importantly, they make me think and grow. Way back when I was building Loose Moose 2 Parker's book seriously rocked my world but all these years later I still find that just about every time I pick it up I still take away something new.

How great is that?

Listening to Tropical Popsicle

So it goes...





Thursday, August 07, 2014

a new fridge...

Troubling, some needful reading, and in the "we're all really screwed" department...

We recently replaced our our old fridge for a slightly larger one. Partly because a little more volume would be no bad thing and partly because the one we had started to behave a bit oddly performing somewhat less than optimum.

The initial idea was to sort out whatever was causing the old fridge to misbehave and then use it as a dedicated freezer. You can file that into the seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time drawer as we simply do not have the room for a dedicated freezer and, as we've somehow managed to survive/thrive for thirty years without such a beast, why bother since a trip to the local marine consignment shop is a lot less work than major surgery to the boat to make space... Kind of a no-brainer decision.

The new fridge is performing way above expectations and the lemonade aboard "So It Goes" is almost painfully cold. The little bit of extra volume makes for a a simpler life and when something perishable is on sale (like $1.99 a pound pork chops) I can double up which alone will probably pay for the cost of the new fridge within a couple of years...

Doing the happy dance!

Listening to Lucius

So it goes...

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

How to get that great boat for less...

A rough beast slouching toward cataclysm, not exactly paying their fair share, and a bass guitar of note...  

The story about the Danelectro (built of masonite) bass hot-rodded by Dan Armstrong fits in very well with my thoughts that the easiest way to get a really great boat on a budget is to start with a good boat that's cheap and just make it that needful bit better.

Nuff said...  

Listening to Ray Wylie Hubbard

So it goes...

Sunday, August 03, 2014

close, but not that close...

Badtux on "Peak Stupid", in the "nobody's stupid enough to let things get out-of-hand" department, and not really stupid at all...

So, I can cross Bertha off the list.

Today I can relax and pick up the extra couple of anchors and tackle I put down. Fun stuff.

Next comes Cristobal...

Listening to Renaud

So it goes...