Saturday, January 21, 2017

Did someone say lug?

Dark days ahead, neo-nazis doing what neo-nazis do, and in the "That didn't take very long at all" department...

Purple!


Voile Magazine has more.

Listening to the Real Good Radio hour

So it goes...

Friday, January 20, 2017

Yeah, and about today...

Someone has some serious penile compensation issues, today in the "greed = stupid" department, and some timely advice for today and what follows...

Today... Well from where I'm sitting it is a great day to work on the boat, run some errands, and reflect on Wendig's post from this morning.

Might even watch an episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" which makes a lot more sense than the current state of affairs.

"I'm beyond tired. I'm beyond scared. I'm standing on the mouth of hell, and it's going to swallow me whole. And it'll choke on me. We're not ready? They're not ready. They think we're gonna wait for the end to come, like we always do. I'm done waiting. They want an apocalypse? Oh, we'll give 'em one. Anyone else who wants to run... do it now. Because we just became an army. We just declared war. From now on we won't just face our worst fears, we will seek them out. We will find them and cut out their hearts one by one until the First shows itself for what it really is. And I'll kill it myself. There's only one thing on this earth more powerful than evil. And that's us. Any questions?"
                                                                                     ... Buffy

Might also drink copious amounts of rum and cry a little...

Listening to Green Day

So it goes...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

on the subject of freedom...

Crimes however you want to define them, laugh deficient, and Trump chooses a "yachtie" congressman (Speaking of which, have I ever mentioned how much I detest the terms "YACHTIE" and "Yacht"?)...

The other day I got an email accusing me of "Tilting at windmills" and pointing out that the only way to achieve freedom on a boat was to have a large income and a big fat bank balance. Which, not to beat a dead horse, is a far too common thread to a lot of the emails I get to BoatBits.

So it does go when you're paddling against wind and current...

There's a quote (and no, dear reader, it is not the faux Mark Twain quote that everyone uses) by the late Edward Abbey which pretty much sums up the freedom does not rise from the possession of large amounts of cash argument.

"Freedom begins between the ears"

Listening to some great Warren Zevon covers

So it goes...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Just a little nervous...

Trump's new overlords checking their connections, about those frelling nazi wankers in Whitefish Montana (a place I hold dear and once called home), and, something (heart), that you won't be seeing in the foreseeable future in the White House...

I just had a couple of new sails built by a Chinese loft in Hong Kong and I have to row ashore and pick them up as they arrived yesterday. So, right now, I'll have to admit to a certain nervousness about just what they may be like.

Which is not that I did not research the loft, checked their reviews, and did the needful due diligence but, as the last sails we had made by a top USA loft (starting with an N and spelled e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e) which we paid a premium for because it was a US loft (only to find the sails were built in Malayasia) and had so many just plain stupid (as in did they even look at the information they'd asked for?) mistakes and issues, that I'll admit to being just a little gun shy where sailmakers are concerned these days.

In the so far so good department, the personal contact and interaction with the loft was both professional and detailed and they seemed very keen on getting all the information right to avoid any possible problems while actually seeming to care in the process.

So, hopefully I'll have some more news to report one way or another soonish!

Listening to Kelley McRae

So it goes...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The price of safety...

What some people might be thinking, about that seafood you might be buying, and the word for today is “preemption”...

Safety, maybe it's just me, but it bothers me that so much so-called safety gear is expensive. Not that I want or expect companies to lose money or forego a fair profit on safety gear but it does say something about some peoples moral compass when they gouge simply because they can.

Which is not to say that, from time to time, I am pleasantly surprised when a new bit of safety gear comes out that is both something that will actually add to the safety of folks aboard and comes with a reasonable price tag as well. Like this new product from Exposure Lights who are no stranger to safety and man overboard gear...

A watch sized "tag" that you can wear like a watch or put on your PFD or harness. Which communicates with a phone or tablet based app to alert those onboard that someone is no longer within its range.






The app then directs you towards the overboard crew.






Simple, needful and the sort of tech that will save lives... Right?

So, what's the price?

According to my information the app is actually free if you buy the "tag" and the listed price for a tag is 24.95 pounds or just about $30. At that price it makes sense to get four tags for the boat. In fact it's a no-brainer and the result is a safer boat. Plus an attaboy to the company for coming out with a needful piece of gear and not pricing it at an inflated price just to make that extra profit. Check it out! 

For a quick comparison you might want to check out the AutoTether at $249.95 which is really just a loud noisemaker (or motor kill switch) which goes off when it's sensor goes further than 100 feet from the receiver. Is it really worth 10 times the cost?

On the other hand, we should count ourselves lucky that the purveyors of marine safety gear who do gouge are not nearly as ruthless as the Big Pharma companies who think raising the price of a $13.50 pill  (which made a profit at $13.50) to $750 a pill is just good business no matter what the effects are on the users.

Listening to some Jim Croce covers

So it goes...



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Anyone with a good way to get bloodstains off a bulkhead?

Something everyone should read, demolition derby update, and, for a change, some positive news about a film I'm looking forward to seeing...

After digesting most of the news yesterday and awaiting the Trump press conference this morning I just can't seem to get my head around boats, boatbuilding, and other nautical pursuits other than lifeboats.

So, while I beat my head against a bulkhead and ponder the whole "How the frell have we come to this state of affairs" here's a great episode of a very interesting and entertaining video series I've been watching...



Listening to the Ramones and boy do I feel old

So it goes...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

some advantages of simplicity...

The con artist getting conned, today in the "I'm not all that sure that being someone's bitch is what I'd call a good relationship" department, and the word for today (as well as the foreseeable future) is TRUMP'd...

Yesterday I was reading an excellent post by Webb Chiles which talked about being a certain age and sailing... A subject that I tend to ponder a lot more these days.

Meanwhile, I noticed that Cruisers forum has a thread on how to adapt to being an old fart but was disappointed by its content which seemed to be either get a trawler or to simply throw money at it. Well to be honest there was someone saying eating better might be the answer... Not much of the downsize and simplify anywhere to be seen.

Which sorta/kinda brings me around to the next boat and why it's so small A big part of the reasoning is a small boat is less expensive to build, outfit, and cruise with. Then there's the fact that a small shoal draft boat can pretty much always find a spot to anchor where bigger boats fear to tread. Lastly, another part of the equation is a smaller boat is just easier to sail and maintain.

All the needful in a small package


The phrase "Small boat, small problems" really is true.

On the other hand, a small complicated boat winds up being expensive (which I could live with) as well as becoming prone to the sort of problems that electric/hydraulic systems without a manual option tend to engender (which I just don't want to deal with).

The fact is, while I can deal with a 66-pound anchor now with a manual windlass I'm not so sure that I'll be able to do so 10 (or even 5) years from now. Getting older sorta/kinda sucks but if you keep it in mind while making decisions you can make the most of it... Color me embracing the reality and just being proactive. Which, I hope, makes me that opinionated old dude ten years from now who still anchors under sail and not "That guy" who can't leave an anchorage because of an electrical fault in his windlass.

Just saying...

Listening to the Marcus King Band

So it goes...

Monday, January 09, 2017

and a sorta/kinda answer to the derelict boat problem...

Something that makes sense, something that does not (unless they are trying to keep you in the dark), and in the "someone is making someone rich" department...


RESURRECTION - Rescue of a VW 1955 panelvan - Forest find ! from AirMapp on Vimeo.

Listening to Tift Merritt

So it goes...

Saturday, January 07, 2017

about that E-begging thang...

The stupidity, it burns, nothing of any importance here unless you have an IQ above room temperature, and a question of note (if your IQ is above room temperature)...

The other day I was watching a video series online that, at the end of each episode, asked for people to support their efforts via Patreon which. to my mind is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. Apparently not a view shared by all...

Scanning the comments to the episode I saw several viewers who took exception to the idea and termed it E- begging and worse. The phrase "Go get a job" was repeated by several. That said, the phrase that leaped to my mind reading the comments was...

"Frelling assholes"

The thing is, making a video program, writing, making music, and other creative pursuits IS WORK and it is really not too much to ask for someone to pay for the product of such work. The fact that the folks in question make their product available for free and use the pay for it if you want to support our efforts model is both admirable and generous. As someone whose day job was being a camera operator, I can tell you that making a film or video is, at best, hard work and the logistics of cruising or boat work and making a film of it as you do is anything but easy. It's very hard work.

To call such an enterprise "begging" or "E-begging" does the folk who work so hard to entertain and educate you a great disservice.

Of course, there will always be hyper-critical-mean-spirited-Monday-morning-quarterback-assholes who will, because they don't have any real talent themselves, criticize and bully others who do. Which, in my purview, alone is more than reason enough to support folks working hard to show us a bigger world in an entertaining manner.

Show some love and do the right thing...

Listening to Eric Clapton who, I expect, used to hear the "Go get a job" phrase on a regular basis way back when.

So it goes...

Friday, January 06, 2017

Just a simple compass will do just fine...

A bit of good news, a cat who surfs, and, just maybe, the best 2017 resolution I've come across...

Not so long ago I came across a guy who does not use a compass on his boat his reasoning is that his cockpit mounted GPS chart plotter is all he needs. He went on to say that he much preferred the you-are-here-arcade-like-display to the tiring act of trying to keep focused on some number on a spinning ball that won't stand still.

This is where you'd expect me to go all Luddite rant on your ass I expect...

You'd be wrong.

First of all, it's his boat and he can navigate it any way he wants to because, you know... freedom.

Secondly, well he's sorta/kinda right. Steering a compass course is often tiring because you have to keep an eye on some magic number and just like white lines on a highway the act of watching them tends to put you to sleep. There really has to be a better way...

Of course the GPS arcade display is one way to go but, me being phobic and all about anything that depends on electrons working on a boat the way they were designed to on a regular basis, I'll leave that solution to more adventurous and foolish folk. Which is why my compass of preference is a simple cheap grid compass...






The beauty of the grid compass is you just set the course you want to steer (let's say 184 degrees) by turning the bezel and then all you have to do is keep the needle between the lines. Simple as all get out.

Better yet, since they are so "last century" that you can buy them for cheap and, as it happens I just bought one for the not-yet-built-next-boat for just $32 bucks...

What's not to like?


Listening to Gov't Mule kick some ass

So it goes...