Monday, February 19, 2018

Something interesting...

An interesting must check out post on Sailing Anarchy, a good point, and something you may want/need to listen to...

A better than most YouTube channel you might want to check out.



Listening  my favorite Lee Michaels song

So it goes...

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Boat tools...

A grifters bonanza, another question of interest, in the "insane, willfully inaccurate, and morally bankrupt views" department, and a right on powerful speech every one should listen to and share...

Over at Cool Tools there is some sense being made regarding tools. Feel free to check it out now. I can wait.

Dum de dum de dum de dum...

Yeppers, a brace is a very cool tool but I don't expect a whole lot of boats have one in their tool box as electric drill/drivers seem to be the thing these days. Pity that.

The thing is, a brace is one of the first tools I was handed when I went to work for a boatyard in ancient times. My first task was to remove thousands of screws holding down an ancient teak deck that had come to our yard for a new pristine deck that would not leak and, of course, that meant I'd spend a few weeks on my knees taking off the old deck...

Thousands of screws later, I had calluses on my knees, an over-developed right arm, and a new appreciation for what a powerful tool your basic brace was. Once we laid down the new plywood deck (screwed down using the brace) and fiberglassed it I found myself driving thousands of screws in the new teak decking which doubled down on the knee calluses and added what seemed like (at the time) a permanent black goo spread over my body that marked me as a deck guy.

On the upside of the learning curve I'd found that by swapping my drive arm every other day I could avoid the irregular bicep look and while I may have been the creature from the black goo poster boy I was at least symmetrical. One takes comfort in the little things...

Anyway, that's the reason I tend to associate braces with boatbuilding and boat repair. It's still a tool I use and suggest to folks for their onboard tool kits. They're cheap, a garage sale one might set you back $10, and being simple with nothing to wear out or break there's not a lot of worry about buying a dud, same goes for auger bits and old used ones are cheap.

My current brace which is probably older than I am and 25 bits were bought as a package on ebay for all of $15. Sure they were sorta/kinda rusty but nothing an hour of work with some WD40 and a scotchbrite pad would not fix. Followed by a little oil to keep them that way I have a tool that could be handed down to grandchildren and that in itself, in the disposable world we call home, is a wonderful thing.

On the other hand, I have electric drills and drivers. They're handy, they work, but I can't tell you how many of them I've owned over the years that failed and usually at the worst moment. Do I really need to go in the whole dead battery issue?

Listening to Jade Bird

So it goes...

Saturday, February 17, 2018

An interesting design...

A lecture worth your time, coping strategy, and real numbers/crocodile tears...

Dudley Dix has an interesting design taking shape.


More about it here.

Listening to I'm With Her

So it goes...

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Animals in Puerto Rico...

Regarding what's happening to science, Chuck Wendig talks anxiety, and some math of interest...

Here's some coverage of an important after hurricane story that needs to be heard.  Read it and do the right thing,

Listening to Mt. Joy

So it goes...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

In the "you might want to dust off your Babelfish" zone...

Some very needful reading, a sane voice in Texas, and in the "drug dealers deal it's just what they do" department...

Voile magazine has an interesting interview with Robin Knox-Johnston that is well worth reading and you might want to check out.


Listening to the impossible love playlist

So it goes...

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A very cool tool bag...

Just plain depressing, a conundrum, and G&T saying something important...

In the new Wooden Boat there is a review of some very cool tool bags that had me thinking how neat it would be to reorganize my tool collection. Admittedly somewhat quashed when I discovered how expensive the very cool bags were.



That said, being that I have a lot of tools, use a lot of tools, and living aboard a CAL 34, accessible organized tool stowage has always been something of a major quest/problem. Still, $250 a pop for a tool bag...

Listening to some David Bowie covers

So it goes...

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Group buying...

An interesting fact, something from the "the stupidity never ends" department, and Brian Hancock reflects on the Golden Globe round the world race over at Sailing Anarchy...

When we built the first Loose Moose in a disused hanger at the old Charles De Gaulle airport, the only reason we were able to build there was because we joined a group of other boatbuilders. Who as a group, had the clout to lease a commercial space that  none of us individually could have afforded alone.

At the time, we also joined a French collective of boatbuilders, the Unite Amateur, which did group buying of stuff needful for boat builders. The upside is we got a fairly deep discount on plywood, epoxy, glass cloth, electronics, ports, winches, stainless screws/bolts, stoves, sinks, insulation, paint, engines, outboards, dinghies, windlasses, anchors, chain, rope, sails... The list was quite impressive and it, more than likely, saved us 30% or more on the builds of Loose Moose and Loose Moose 2.

The fact is, if we had not been able to get together with the Unite Amateur and our airport group, we would never have been able to afford to build the boats.

Which brings me to a question...

Why don't we do such a thing on this side of the Atlantic?

I've lost track of the number of emails the blogs have spawned from people trying to find a more affordable way to build, rehab, or cruise a sailboat on a budget. You'd think, with so many folks feeling a pinch that someone or other would have come to some sort of collective buying scheme that makes sense.

Maybe it's the fact that group buying is always going to be a bit of a compromise, Possibly it's the amount of work that goes into it. Or, just maybe, we're so addicted to the Kool Aid of consumerism that paying more just hurts so good and allows us bragging rights as to how we spent yet another boat buck into that black hole in the water.

So, here's another question I'd actually like some feedback on...

What products might readers of Boat Bits be interested in buying in a group situation? What makes sense to your current needs/wants?

Listening to Smooth Hound Smith

So it goes...

Saturday, February 10, 2018

a textile-axis block of interest...

A loss of note, ghost gear, and in the "alternative to just following orders" department...



More about the block here.

Listening to amiina

So it goes...

Friday, February 09, 2018

An alternative to West Marine?

Dumb as a bag of hammers, interesting, and Puerto Rico still needs your help...

PBO has some interesting IKEA hacks for your boat worth checking out.

You're still here?

Listening to Fruition and Baskery cover the Buffalo Springfield 

So it goes...

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

a needful tool...

A curious double standard, an alternative to plastic packaging, and in the "not my definition of treason" department...

It seems that just about every time I get out my digital calipers I find that the battery is dead and, as it happens, the needful coin cell battery is one of those that seem to always be out of stock. So, to say I was interested in this solar powered caliper is something of an understatement.


Doing the happy dance.

Listening to the Iron Leg radio show

So it goes...