Sunday, June 17, 2018

a race of note and a luddite pleasing app...

A depressing note, EBM on  the subject of "hearts and minds" and in the  "racist, misogynist, bigoted cult of personality that worships Trump" department...

I'll admit I'm sorta/kinda looking forward to the upcoming Golden Globe race in the hopes that it will give a shot in the arm to the idea that seamanship actually matters. Plus, it really should be a pretty good race and is more or less accessible to folks who actually have to work for a living and not just the same old same money wins and rich folk behaving badly affair which seems what most racing has become these days.

On the subject of eroding seamanship skills I'm actually quite impressed with the newish FastSeas routing app as it seems to do the required job for an affordable price (or free) so you might want to add it to your tool set and check it out.

Listening to Fármacos

So it goes...

Saturday, June 16, 2018

On DIY not only being a cheap-seats hobby...

Some recent historical perspective, a story worth reading, and in the "pictures & video of kids in dog cages might give the wrong impression" department...

I've gone on record about my feeling for what passes for foul weather gear in these modern times and, while not exactly a Luddite, I do find myself an unhappy camper when it comes time to purchase new gear.

The thing is what I want is something like this...

Pretty much just a cagoule and this one is available as a pattern from Rain Shed. As it happens, Green Pepper also does a nice pattern for an anorak/cagoule that looks like it would do the job...

So, most of the hard work is already done for me except for bringing the whole cagoule-as-boat-foul-weather-gear into the current century. Now, as someone who once-upon-a-time used to design mountaineering and backpacking gear for a paycheck, all I have to do is what everybody else does in the design world which is to look around and steal other people's ideas and, hopefully, improve on them in the process.

The first place to look, for me at least, is the folks at Stormr who seem to be making the best foul weather gear around. If you don't know who they are check this out...



Seriously, they had me at the word n-e-o-p-r-e-n-e. Not just the smarts of using neoprene either they really seem to have done an excellent job on the details. Chief of which is using wetsuit zippers and as Stormr's parent company is in the business of making wetsuits they actually seem to understand the concept of making foul weather gear that is designed to get wet (unlike these guys). Really, if Stormr made a cagoule style I'd be all over it but, as they don't, I'll have to get creative and get the sewing machine out.

The thing to keep in mind about DIY is that it is not just about saving money but a whole lot more about getting something that suits your needs more precisely than what's available on the market and doing it yourself is very much a satisfying pursuit in its own right. In this case, I know exactly what I want and have a few extra ideas that may improve it as well so I'll enjoy the process and what's not to love about that?

Anyway, hopefully sooner rather than later, I'll let you know how the new cagoule works out...

Listening to some covers from 1978

So it goes

Friday, June 15, 2018

A boat sized router table...

EBM with some concise situational awareness, Badtux nails it, and  a pithy (but true) observation...

This looks like just the thing.



I've even got space aboard to stow it when not in use.

Doing the happy dance.

Listening to Itsuro Shimoda

So it goes...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What's an AIS transponder cost?

An important find in Native American cartography, some needful reading, and still more bad news regarding plastic...

So, yeah. what does an AIS transponder go for these days?

How does $105. sound?

I've seen these AIS transponders going from around $105 to $215 for the deluxe versions which include an SOS button. They're simple, robust, waterproof, and cheap. Which is pretty much what you'd expect for something designed to attach to a net, long line, or buoy that you don't want someone to tear up or bump into and be an aid in finding it when you come back looking for it.

Now, obviously, an AIS transponder like this is not exactly designed for yachting (boy do I hate that word) use and all it really does is broadcast where it's at with a message of "Don't hit me I'm here". That said, isn't that really the point of AIS transponders?

For those with an interest in such things the company that makes these is Matsutec but there are, apparently a number of companies  (one being Hongrui but let me know if you find others) that produce such beasties

Anyway, just something to think about.

Listening to Neko Case

So it goes...

Monday, June 11, 2018

So, here's some interesting news...

Krugman making some sense,  a Tony Awards night of note, and in the "So what happens when two dictators have a meeting?" department...

Roy McBride of CKD Boats in South Africa is now doing kits for the Danny Greene Chameleon nesting dinghy.

CKD not only does good work with top quality materials but they are surprisingly inexpensive even with the shipping costs from South Africa. Definitely worth checking out.

Listening to The London Ukulele Orchestra

So it goes...

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Soft shackle meets evolved toggle...

Today in the "How do they sleep at night?" department, something interesting about Mars, and a vivid reminder of the sort of things being done in our name...

This is all kinds of cool.



Nodus Factory is a company I'll be keeeping my eye on.

Listening to Nils Lofgren

So it goes...

Friday, June 08, 2018

A movie I must see...

Slow moving hurricanes, regarding climate refugees in America, and kids in cages...

A reader just pointed out a film that Glen Hansard happens to be in and it's about a boat!


THE CAMINO VOYAGE - A 2,500 km MODERN DAY CELTIC ODYSSEY from Anú Pictures on Vimeo.

Definitely on my must see list.

Listening to The Commitments

So it goes...

Thursday, June 07, 2018

George Buehler is no longer with us...

Some evolution in thought, a summer reading list, and in the "Dumb as a sack of hammers and we are so fucked" department...

I just read in the new WoodenBoat that George Buehler passed away back in February and I'm still trying to get my head around the idea of a boat design world without him and what that means.

Melquiades the Buehler design I've always wanted to build


On one level, George was perceived by many as something of a dream merchant and not always in a good way. That said, I don't know any successful designers of sailboats who do not qualify as sellers of dreams because it just goes with the territory.

Maybe what made Buehler different is he was more of an equal opportunity dream merchant both  upfront and unapologetic that his boats were designed for folks on a budget.

Personally, I both loved and hated some of his designs and often disagreed with some of his thoughts on design and construction. Then again, I can also say that about most designers of boats I respect because no one gets it right 100% of the time and if you're not making some mistakes you're not evolving or getting better.

The bottom line is George got it right somewhat more than he got it wrong and that's a record anyone should be proud of. He was also a nice guy and never took himself too seriously.

He'll be missed.

I suspect that folks (like these) with dreams larger than their bank accounts will continue to build his boats and sail of into the sunset and, when you think of it, that's a pretty good legacy.

Listening to Glen Hansard

So it goes...


Wednesday, June 06, 2018

So many great details...

Attempted murder by another name, a bit of situational awareness, not your fathers GOP, and Sailing Anarchy with some good points on sailing politics...


Yann Quenet has a lot of pictures of the construction process of his Baluchon design and a lot of them had me saying to myself "What a brilliant idea", "Isn't that simple", and "That will save me some money". In other words; seriously good stuff.

For instance:

This picture...


and this one...






Just sorted out an elegant solution to a problem that has been causing much consternation aboard "So It Goes" and saved a chunk of money in the process.

Lots and lots of great ideas well worth checking out. Need I say more?


Listening to Third Coast Percussion

So it goes...