Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Just a week from now...

A tRump minion finds his moral compass, something very interesting about lightning, and some views of note through a fisherman's prism...

So, seven days left till something happens.

A lot of people think that they know what's going to go down and, while a lot of those people base their thinking on facts of one sort or another, they don't actually know how it will play out.

Others, using some form of magical or wishful thinking, don't know how things will go either.

Whatever happens will just happen, and you can take my word on it because I play a lot of backgammon and have way too much experience with WTF shit going down when things seemed to be certain.

That said, something will surely happen and, one way or another, life will continue to go on. No matter what happens we'll still all be in a world of hurt because everything is falling apart and very few people are willing to make the hard decisions and sacrifices that are required to sort out the existential problems that plague us. Hell, we can't even get people to wear masks when it's in peoples' own best interests.

Interesting times indeed and, it appears, we will have our work cut out for us either way it goes. Which leaves that the big question is not what happens in seven days but whether or not we have what it takes to fix the things that need fixing the day after.

Listening to Willy Nelson

So it goes...

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Just another shitty day in 2020...

Another spineless politician, just the sort of Democrat we could use more of, and a test for stupidity...

Jerry Jeff Walker is no longer with us.

It's like this year will never end.

Listening to Jerry Jeff

So it goes...

 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

a lifeboat/dinghy of choice...

Regarding weaponized stupidity, dealing with awkward numbers in Florida, and in the "A trail of Covid spikes in his wake" department...

Face it, where lifeboats are concerned,  you can't have too much positive flotation. While the two buoyancy/storage chambers combined with a wood hull assure that the Tortoise won't sink I think it's safe to say there's nothing wrong with a bit more positive flotation in the mix.

So, how best to accomplish that?

As it happens, Gig Harbor Boat Works makes and sells inflatable sponsons, otherwise known as Dinghy Dogs, which are pretty close to perfect for the purpose. The downside is they're, at $375, not exactly cheap.


Duckworks sells some inflatable Beach Rollers that, could be adapted for the purpose and has been used on Richard Wood's Duo nesting dinghy. Priced at about $150 for a pair they give a lot of extra flotation for not a lot of outlay. The downside is they're a little too big for use while sailing the Tortoise.

My personal choice for added flotation is a 52" x 4" pool noodle stuck inside a Sunbrella or reasonable facsimile sleeve which will add a Buoyant Force of 107.24 N Buoyant Force per side for a whole lot less and not interfere with sailing in the process. Better yet, they'd only cost around $20-$25 a pop.


Another advantage is they all make great dinghy fenders.

Listening to Marty Balin

So it goes

Thursday, October 22, 2020

a lifeboat/dinghy of choice part 4...

Insanity in South Dakota, AJ on DIY gear, and a final wish... 

One thing that freaks people out with the Tortoise design is that the mast is not on the center-line. Instead Bolger drew it just inside the starboard hull side which opens up the interior of the dinghy which is an added benefit for its use in lifeboat mode. For those unacquainted with sailing a boat with an off-center mast there is very little, if any, disadvantage in sailing performance.

The rig of choice is a 38 square foot Lateen set on an eight foot mast. The yard (10'10") and the boom (8' 1") are a little problematic as they can't be stored in the boat. I'm still on the fence whether it's worth the trouble making the yard/boom/mast into two-piece spars for stowage purposes or just keep the rig assembled and rolled up to be stowed separately. 

The rudder and the off-center bilge/dagger board are non-problematic and will stow inside the Tortoise while on passage.

Lastly, some thought should be given to adding a couple of reefs to the sail as well.

Next up, a systematic approach to adding some more flotation...

Listening to some social distancing music.

So it goes... 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

a lifeboat/dinghy of choice part 3...

Some seriously skewed/deranged logic, a depressing point well made, and in the "Anger is still the appropriate emotion" department...

Phil Bolger's Tortoise and Big Tortoise don't quite cover all the bases but do have the advantage that they are easy to build. give the most bang for the buck in terms of displacement, row easily, sail well, and are incredibly stable.

So, what do we have to do to make them better?

First of all as the basic design lends itself quite well to stitch and glue and I long ago adapted the Tortoises I've built to that construction method.

Secondly, I've also learned, after rowing hundreds of miles in Tortoises, that the side panels of the dinghy could use a bit of reinforcement by adding a pair of stringers (1" X 2") located at seat level to the side panels. These serve double-duty as they also provide a place to put transverse thwarts which will suit our purpose better than Bolger's longitudinal thwart.

The aft deck on the Tortoise (aft and foredeck on the Big Tortoise) are very important design features and it makes sense to turn them into buoyancy/storage chambers. Since I'll be building the smaller Tortoise I'll also be adding a second deck and buoyancy/storage chamber to the bow as well.

Otherwise the design remains pretty much the same as far as construction goes and most folk should be able to put one together in twelve to sixteen hours of actual labor and the expenditure of between $200 to $300 out of pocket for the row only version. 

Of course, we want a more dynamic lifeboat so we'll need a sensible sailing rig and I have a couple changes on that front which we'll get into next.

Listening to a whole lotta Caroline songs

So it goes... 

Monday, October 19, 2020

a lifeboat/dinghy of choice part 2...

Something worth reading, signs of the times, and how I'd like to see our talking heads take on politicians...

So, today's question is what do we actually need in a dinghy to make it do double duty as a lifeboat? 

Well, for starters, the dinghy has to be big enough but it also has to be stowable on deck and, to make matters even more complicated, able to be launched by one person without help.

Since we plan to use the dinghy as a lifeboat it also stands to reason that it has enough positive buoyancy to be considered unsinkable and big enough to carry a couple with enough stores, gear, and water to keep them alive till they're rescued or able to sail to safety.

Not asking a lot now are we?

Just for chuckles, let's remember that the dinghy also has to do its job of being a dinghy getting hard usage on a daily basis.

Which in simple term means we're looking for a small as possible with a biggish interior unsinkable dinghy that's as tough as we can make it, as well as being light enough for one person to manage and capable of daily hard use. 

Tomorrow we'll get into some specifics.

Listening to some covers from 1978

So it goes...

Sunday, October 18, 2020

a new/old production boat...

A bit of needful reading, an interesting typeface, and some good points being made...

So, it would seem that Chantier Brava has a new boat in production.

Who'd have thought that Philippe Harlé's seminal 1963 Muscadet would return as a production boat in 2020?

Color me both surprised and happy.

Listening to the Beatles

So it goes...

Saturday, October 17, 2020

a lifeboat/dinghy of choice...

On the GIGO front, Sail Delmarva making a very good point, and a new citizen speaking out...

The other day a reader wrote asking for my opinion of the Portland Pudgy dinghy. The short form is that I think it's an excellent dinghy and when you consider that it can be used as a lifeboat as well it makes a whole lot of sense.

That said, like just about everything that floats on the water, it's a compromise but, as compromises go, it's better than most.

Which, sorta kinda, brings me to my next dinghy build which is going to be the tried and true Bolger Tortoise. The Tortoise and I go way back and over the years I've built quite a few and each one has has been a testbed of sorts as I tried to improve and refine what is just about the simplest and easiest to build dinghy design around.


 

This time around I plan to modify the overall design in favor of making it a better dinghy/lifeboat in the process. Which, I expect, will cause some folk to freak out with the idea of the lowly diminutive Tortoise doing double duty as a lifeboat. Of course, I should add that I've already crossed the Atlantic with a Tortoise as the designated lifeboat which shows I have some faith in the viability of the concept of using a dinghy as a lifeboat.

Admittedly, building a Tortoise or Big Tortoise as a dedicated dinghy/lifeboat requires a bit of compromise and a bit of rethinking but quite a bit less than you'd expect due to the overall simplicity of Bolger's design. 

Next up is the need/want list for the Dinghy/lifeboat and the thinking behind it.

Listening to five good covers

So it goes...

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Warning; Content may be woodie inducing...

Chuck Wendig with all you need to know about voting, some horror stories for your hard drive, and on the subject of climate change gentrification...

I'd write something today except I'm too busy trying to absorb all of the wonderfulness involved in Stephens Waring Yacht Design's take on a very appropriate tech modern wooden mast in their current post "Modern Wood Mast: A Photo Essay".

Listening to Gracie Abrams

So it goes...