Monday, October 15, 2018

A bit of good reading...

Dumb as a sack of hammers, a lying sack of shit dishonorable man, and in the "Speaking of deadbeats" department...

The latest Junk Rig Association Magazine is out and it's a good one.


Of course, you need to be a member to read it.

Need I say more?

Listening to five good covers

So it goes...

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Stuff not making sense...

NASA's OMG, a brief history, and in the "voter suppression/stealing elections" department...

I was recently reading an online exchange regarding electric propulsion and found it nearly impossible not to start banging my head against the nearest available bulkhead. My problem being that while both sides of the argument were very passionate neither seemed to have done their homework or bothered to look at the big picture. To call it a mess would be something of an understatement.

Granted, electric propulsion on boats of a certain size is, at best, going to be a problematic affair fraught with many obstacles, dead ends, and a propensity for inducing insanity but still, for some, a viable propulsion choice with a great many advantages.

So why is everyone getting it all wrong? Seriously, color me all kinds of perplexed...

The answers ARE out there.

There is a large body of good information on the subject available so no need to re-invent the wheel (pun intended) and it should be quite easy to do the research then cookbook an appropriate system. All that's left is doing your your need/want test and cost benefit analysis. Sure it requires some work but no rocket science involved.

Apparently, for a lot of folks, it's more about feelings, making it up as you go along, or tRumpian logic. None of which will get you where you want to go. On the other hand, they do make for head banging inducing discussions that don't make a whole lot of sense.

The bottom line is there are a lot of good reasons to go or not go with electric propulsion... It's a complicated subject. Most of what I hear these days from both sides of the discussion does not make sense. Do your own research, avoid the forums/YouTube, and be very wary of people trying to sell you something.

Just saying...

Listening to Weir & Oates

So it goes... 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

What happens when you avoid politics...

Not exactly the way I'd deal with a neo-nazi robo-caller but it does bring a smile, USPS in peril, and this is just all kinds of neat...

I got the following email from Budget Marine yesterday.

Dear Valued Customer,

The United States has recently implemented additional tariffs on a variety of products like steel, aluminum, and a number of finished products.

Although the effect of these tariffs might not affect Budget Marine and its customers immediately, if not reversed, prices on the affected products will eventually experience an increase.

As the leading retailer of marine equipment in the Caribbean, we feel compelled to properly inform our customers of issues that affect their spending power and any price increase that might eventually result from the additional levies on selected products.

Budget Marine is committed to closely working with its vendors and will explore all alternatives to mitigate the effects the tariffs might have.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank each one of you for supporting Budget Marine over the years and along with our suppliers, we will keep you informed of any changes if and when the occur.

So yeah, politics do affect cruisers and boat folks so best not to leave politicians unsupervised by the people they work for.

Just saying...

Listening to Judee Sill

So it goes

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Something you might want to check out...

Electric canal boats, not quite 5th grade, and some bad news for folks with outboard motors in the US of A...

Every once in awhile, one of the charter boats we work with will do a repositioning cruise outside the norms of the same old same crewed charter thing that offer interesting opportunities at a better than the normal rate.


Guiding Light has just such a deal and will be sailing from Grenada to Puerto Rico in mid-November and is offering a two-week "cruising experience" charter from November 9-23, 2018. As it is just the sort of charter that readers of Boat Bits complain does not exist these days, you might want to check it out.

Listening to a far too timely song

So it goes...

Monday, October 08, 2018

and on the prospect of autonomous container ships...

Today in the "obviously not a great priority" department, a comparison that makes way too much sense for comfort, and 2040 is a number you need to know about...

This sort of thing makes me sorta/kinda...



... nervous.

Listening to Death Cab for Cutie

So it goes...


Saturday, October 06, 2018

An alternative sustainable fuel source?

A thing to think about, an unfair situation, and a quick reality check on space...

They had me at coffee grounds!

Listening to some Marty Balin (who is no longer with us) covers.

So it goes...

Friday, October 05, 2018

next dinghy build...

Sarah Silverman making a very good point, some interesting news, and an insight of note...


Plans available from Instant Boats or in Dynamite's excellent "Instant Boatbuilding with Dynamite Payson".

Listening to some songs on a common theme

So it goes...

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Crap...

Wrong/stupid on so many levels, a film you'll want to see, and in the "theft on a grand scale" department...

I've been meaning to write something regarding the recent decision of the powers that be in and around Annapolis to sorta/kinda prohibit use of "composting" toilets for long term (over a week) cruisers. Like most problem issues it's complicated and made worse by the fact that most of the people discussing it don't seem to have a grasp of what they are talking about.

For starters, just the fact that most so-called "composting" toilets are not really composting toilets is all kinds of problematic from the get-go and, as "composting" toilets become more and more popular and too often misused, it's only going to become a serious issue.

So, I really do need to write more on the subject because no one else seems to be doing it. I don't blame them because MSD's are not a fun and frolicsome subject at best and sorting out some sort of solution to the problem is akin to beating your head against a bulkhead.

But, being that I have been a long time booster of "composting" toilets and still think that used correctly they are the most effective and least polluting toilet available to us, I feel honor bound to give it a try.

More soon come on the subject.

Listening to Willie Nelson

So it goes...

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Something for your research files...

In the "Sure sounds like a concentration camp to me" department, an excellent situational awareness brief, and Sea Shepard (a group that deserves your support) makes an offer...

Our friends at ProaFile have some very interesting science you'll want to check out.

Need I say more?

Listening to Oblivion Her Majesty

So it goes...

Sunday, September 30, 2018

on why 'tech-immune' is my new mantra...

Something from the "Free rein or hobbled?" department, EBM with an important reality check, and, yeah, greenwashing is a thing you need to know about...

Here's something from Rivendell Bicycle Works that popped into my inbox recently and caught my attention.

Be proud of your tech-immune bike
I've fixed enough on my own bikes, low maintenance though they may be, that I consider myself a  bike-saavy person. I'm no Leonard Zinn or Mark Abele, but I'm competent working on Rivendells or like bikes. I don't dread creaks or feel helpless when it's time to replace cassettes.

I do feel helpless though when we get the odd walk-in with a problem on an e-bike that isn't cut-n-dry obvious.  Luckily we don't have to work on outside bikes, but jeez, I don't envy the people that do. Looking through bikerumor.com has the same effect. I feel out of the loop and bike-dumb. What's all this with spacing? Boost? There's new disc brake mounting standards?  Leaf springs? Anti-squat? Not to mention e-bikes, where the tech moves so quickly even motors from last year are antiquated.

Maybe all that stuff has a place, but the tech-immune bike should be everyone's first choice. They're resistant to, and definitely don't require, the "latest and greatest", and they're unaffected by changes in standards. Tech immune bikes and components won't end up in landfill because the technology has improved  (or maybe just lateraled) 3000 percent.

Our bikes are tech immune. The frames, as beautiful and as detail-oriented as they are, are super strong and will last 50 years, easily. We don't make frames to ride a couple of seasons and replace; that's a waste. The types of parts that go on Rivendells have been around for decades, can be installed and worked on by any bike rider, and are durable and reasonably priced. Any bike shop mechanic will be relieved to take a break from overhauling suspension forks to work on your Riv. Our components will only get better and comparatively less expensive, and Riv-riders can ignore all the way too pricey stuff manufacturers are churning out these days. Lucky us!
-will

 Whether sailboat or bike, tech-immune makes all kinds of sense.

Listening to some ABBA covers

So it goes...