Friday, March 24, 2017

a couple of folding dinghies...

A comparison of note, a bit of needful information, and in the "it's tough living in tRumps America" department...

Folding boats, in general, make a lot of sense and they have been around since the 1800's. Just check out this Berthon Collapsible Lifeboat for an example.

The basic premise makes a lot of sense and what's not to like about having a dinghy you can store tied to the lifelines or similar location?

Like this one...


Makes all kinds of sense...

Which brings us to the Wooden Widget Fliptail and Origami.

First off, I have to admit that while I really like both of these designs but I do have some issues with light skin dinghies for cruising purposes. Partly because I row 99% of the time and neither of these boats is an optimal solution for any kind of serious commuting by oar and partly, because they are so light, that climbing out of the water become problematic without adding some sort of Rube Goldberg complication to the mix. That said, if you are like most people cruising you'd only occasionally row short distances and use an outboard 99% of the time.

The good news is they work great under sail or with a small outboard and, being so light, the sort of performance you'll get with a 3hp engine will surprise a lot of folks. If you want to row a little more I'd go with the Origami as the plywood sides offer more support and you can get your back into it.



Quite a few folk have pointed out to me that skin boats are not as tough as a hard dinghy which, in my opinion is not true at all. I'd expect a Fliptail or Origami done right should last just as long as a plywood/glass boat if not longer as modern fabrics and adhesives are a whole lot better than they used to be and flexible materials tend to hold up better to the things that destroy dinghies better than rigid ones. The downside of skin boats (as with inflatables) is UV exposure.

Building a folding boat is quite a bit more fiddly than stitch and glue hard dinghies and there is something of a steep learning curve to the process. On the plus side Wooden Widget takes that into account and provide super detailed plans with lots and lots of detail so, as long as you bother to read and follow the directions, it's not hard to avoid insanity and find yourself with a practical nice looking dinghy. On the other hand, if you can't be bothered to follow the plans you'll find yourself drooling while beating your head against the wall and thinking that Donald Trump makes sense...

Need I say more?

Seriously, JUST FOLLOW THE PLANS!

More dinghies on Monday...

Listening to a plethora of Chuck Berry covers

So it goes...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

and yet more dinghies...

What real voter fraud looks like, some not exactly surprising news, and in the "You'd really think that the President of the frelling US of A would have more important issues to deal with than a cute kitten website" department...

So yeah, more nesting dinghies.

The FishBote is too big for my purposes nesting at just a kiss less than six-feet. That said, it is an easy build, rows well, and the only thing I'd change is to add some enclosed flotation. Over at the Adventure Adrift youtube channel they are doing a three-part series of building just such a beast in Mexico to replace their stolen Walker Bay which is worth checking out.

The Woods Designs Duo is another nesting dinghy that nests into a 5' 6" X 3' 3" footprint with a nested height of 22". With a beam of only 3' 3" some may express concern with stability but I've never had any issues with stability in any of our Bolger Tortoises with a beam of 3' 2" so I'd discount that issue from the start. I should also add that for sailing (and general safety) purposes Woods has added two inflatable tubes that make a lot of sense in the whole hard dinghy does not play well with other boats thing and do make the boat unsinkable as well.



There is a huge amount of information on the Woods website you should check out but the bottom line is it is a pretty neat boat that is quick/easy/cheap to build.

Some different approaches to the dinghy stowage issue next...

Listening to Ryo Fukui

So it goes...


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Some more on dinghies...

Ugly Americans (or how not to endear yourself to the natives), some fact checking, and Latitude 38 asks the 14% question...

Yep, the PT11 is as close to a perfect tender as I've come across but, the snag is, it is just that little bit too big to stow on my available deck space. If plans were available (they're not) I'd just scale them down a kiss but as they are not one needs to look elsewhere.


Which brings us to Danny Greene's Chameleon. Danny Greene has been designing and building nesting dinghies as long as I can remember and the Chameleon, while now a somewhat long-in-the-tooth plan is actually quite evolved.  It does the job and rows, sails, and motors well.  It's also stable enough to fly fish from and a 210 pound guy will have no issues pulling himself aboard from the water when needed. The problem for me with this dinghy is its nested space requirements is 5'4" X 4'2".

While nested length and width are crucial to stowage so is the nested height is just as important and the Chameleon comes in at twenty inches.

All in all a very nice design.

The B&B  Spindrift S11-N is another nice design.which nests in a 5'7" X 4' 7" space and has a nested height of 24". 


With a nested length of 5' 7" it is too long for my space and to be honest the 24" nested height is just too high and I really should have bought the S10-N design which is 5' 2" X 4' 3" with a nested height of 21 1/2 inches.

The Spindrifts sail well, row well, and  motor well. Designed with more sail area than most nesting dinghies if sailing with some attitude is your thing you might want to check them out.

Another B&B design is the Two Paws 8 or 9 pram dinghies. The TP-8 nested size is 4'X 4' 1" and the TP-9 nested size is 4' 8" X 4' 4" with both having a nested height of 20". The Two Paws are a little less fiddly to build and, to my mind, a bit better suited to life as a tender.

More from the list later...

Listening to Robbery Inc

So it goes...

Monday, March 20, 2017

The current benchmark...

Donkey Mountain (who posts far too seldom) nails it, so does  Crooks & Liars, and EB Misfit scores as well...

If there was one dinghy I'd be interested in buying it's the PT11 kit designed by Paul Bieker and built by Port Townsend Watercraft.


You really should check it out as it, until someone comes up with something even better, is going to be the benchmark that all nesting dinghies are compared to.

Check it out.

More on the subject tomorrow...

Listening to Red Baraat

So it goes...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

another affordable windvane self-steering gear...

Meals on Wheels, some folks who don't have our best interests at heart, Chuck Berry is no longer with us, and just plain interesting...

I've always admired  the Mr Vee self-steering gears which were an evolution/offshoot of the Walt Murray DIY pvc pipe and copper tubing design ethos. I also like the fact that the Mr Vee self-steering gears are the most inexpensive windvanes around in spite of being more advanced than most of their competitors.

It gets better...


WoodenB, the first flatpack self steering system.

Made from CNC routed plywood, based on the design of Y&B.The kit comes with some cnc made plastic parts where wood is not suitable and fasteners are included. Material for the unique Mister Vee windvane are also supplied.

 Now is that neat or what?

While still in development (so no pricing available as of yet)I expect that it will bring the cost of self-steering down to the point where you can actually use windvane and affordable in the same sentence. For anyone considering a you should drop Mr Vee a note and let them know.

Listening to Good Graeff

So it goes...

Friday, March 17, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A quick note on rigs...

An interesting read, Badtux is on to something, and Royal Robbins is no longer with us...

The ongoing dinghy thing will have to wait till tomorrow as I'm running a little behind on projects at the moment. In the meantime, I'll make a comment on a pet peeve...

There is a difference between a sloop, ketch, yawl, and schooner. Calling yourself a sailor and not knowing the difference, especially if you happen to think that your boat is a schooner when it only has one mast, is either lubberly to the max or just sack-of-hammers/voted-for-tRump stupid.

Just do your homework and be very leery of internet forums for your nautical education.

Nuff said.

Listening to Robin's Egg Blue/Pirates Canoe

So it goes...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A handy trick...

In the "if his lips are moving it ain't true" department,a revealing interchange, and every morning my news seems to feature nazi assholes or reasonable facsimiles...

Simple and neat.



Listening to one of my favorite albums

So it goes...

Monday, March 13, 2017

a new dinghy (continuing)...

Something anyone on a boat knows (providing they have an IQ above room temperature),
empty promises, and in the "have you hugged a single-hander recently" department...

 First I'll start out answering a couple of questions generated by yesterdays post.

"Why not buy a RIB or a roll-up inflatable?"

&

"Why not use davits?"

The main reason I have issues with inflatables is that they simply don't row well. Add to that that they are expensive, require an outboard, and  (for RIBs) take up as much or more room on deck than a hard dinghy.

As to davits... I'm of the opinion that davits are unseaworthy for passages. Having been pooped once where the dinghy in davits filled up with water then nearly tore the transom off the boat in the ensuing carnage. Also, having worked in a consignment store (where people bring things that break or fail on a regular basis), I have lots and lots of experience with just how often davits fail in even moderate use. So color me opinionated on the subject.

Anyway, that brings me to the available options which fall into the nesting and folding categories...

I already have several sets of plans for folding and nesting dinghies along with some plans that could be adapted to nesting or take apart options. So that's where we'll start.

  1. B&B Yacht Designs  nesting Spindrift (11 foot0
  2. B&B Yacht Designs  Two Paws (8 foot)
  3. Danny Greene Chameleon (10 1/2 foot)
  4. FishBote (10 1/2 foot)
  5. Wooden Widget Fliptail (9 foot)
  6. Wooden Widget Origami (8 foot)
  7. Wooden Widget Stasha (7 foot 2 inches)
  8. Woods Designs Duo (10 foot)
  9. Yann Quenet's Dinghy-Toy (3.5M)
They're all good designs but they all have some issues or compromises in the mix that keep me from making an easy decision. All of which we will talk about tomorrow...

Listening to Puddles Pity Party cover Cheap Trick

So it goes...




Sunday, March 12, 2017

just another exercise in compromise aboard a boat...

American boots on the ground in Syria, a deal with Russia that should result in a lifetime supply of orange overalls, a clear case of insanity, and in the "jaw-droppingly stupid" files...

Time to build yet another dinghy. So, let's talk about compromise.

Here's the nitty-gritty...

  • The logical space available for storing a dinghy aboard "So It Goes" on passage is a 5' x 4' bit of territory in front of the hard dodger and behind the cabin top hatches.
  • The dinghy needs to row reasonably well in most conditions.
  • Carry loads of at least 100 pounds and ferry 20+ gallons of water with two people aboard.
  • A sailing rig would be no bad thing and, as it happens, since I recently became the owner of a Trinka 10 sailing rig (mast/boom/sail/dagger board/rudder) it really should be able to utilize it.
  • Diving/swimming from the dinghy is important.
  • The ability to stand up while fly fishing is a must.
  •  Able to be launched single handed.
  • Lifeboat capable.


Pretty much sums it all up but not nearly as impossible as you might think.Our current dinghy, a Bolger "Big Tortoise", is actually pretty close to those parameters with the exception that the Trinka rig has way too much sail area to work and, of course, it would need to bisected and nesterized.

We'll start with the list of candidates next...

Listening to David Bromberg & Jonatha Brooke

So it goes...