Thursday, April 24, 2014

an interesting rig...

Moldy Chum (the best fishing site I know of) points out something crazy (or is it crazy making), problematic aspects of revolving doors, and benefits for a few at the expense of many...

Since we were speaking of rigs outside the mainstream you should take a look at this...


The Lateen rig on this Antonio Dias design makes a lot of sense, it's been around for just about as long as folks have sailed, and it can push a boat along quite well with a very small investment in gear.

It's pretty as well...

Listening to Beau Jocque and the Zydeco Hi-Rollers

So it goes...



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

on the need to step back...

On the politics of solar energy, what's a fair profit, and in the "we've been lucky so far" department...

Whenever I mention junk rig (as I did in the last post) my email fills up with folks commenting both pro as well as con and it's quite illuminating because everyone seems to be looking too close.

Which is a lot like the old conundrum of not seeing the forest for the trees...

Now, I like the junk rig and it makes a lot of sense for some people but it is not a panacea or a religion that suits everyone's needs.

That said, a lot of people are attracted to the rig with a certain religious zeal and like most zealots their beliefs are based more on faith of supposed miracles rather than any sort of reality.

Which is funny as a goodly portion of the mail I receive on the subject (both pro and con) is from people who have never ever sailed a junk rig but are convinced of its wonderfulness/horribleness and serious true believers.

There are any number of excellent simple rigs that we should be looking at for cruising as an alternative to the same old same overly expensive, frail, and complicated Bermudian/Marconi rig other than the junk but the advantage of the junk rig is it is a popular rig of the minority sort and there are quite a few people proselytizing with a great amount of missionary zeal... So, it's easy to fall into and that's no bad thing.

Really.

Of course, jumping into a relationship with a new rig (think Las Vegas wedding) does not always make for a long and happy relationship which is why you might want to take a few steps back and think it through...

Listening to Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes

So it goes...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sometimes an alternative choice would be a goodly thing...

C&L makes a good point, so does Ian Welsh, and a class you might want to consider...

I was looking at the Barros Pop 25 design again the other day and it is still a pretty great little boat.


That said, the more I think about it, the rig really starts to bother me. The cause of my irritation is that the cost of the rig is way too much of the overall building and outfitting budget to make me a happy camper.
Which is not to say it's a bad rig but it is an expensive rig and, for a boat designed to be a serious budget cruiser, it seems somewhat out of place.

Maybe it's just me but an alternative rig would open the design to a lot of budget builders who get stopped dead once they start adding up the costs of the rig.

Which is not to say someone with a copy of "Practical Junk Rig" or "The Chinese Sailing Rig - Design and Build Your Own Junk Rig"
would have much trouble sorting out a more affordable rig and sail plan but still s simpler "normal" (or what passes for one) rig would make the Pop 25 a lot more attractive for its particular niche market.

Listening to Guadalupe Plata

So it goes...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

a possible future project...

In the wow department, this, on the other hand, is depressing, and in the disease masquerading as the cure department...

For a while, I've been mulling over the idea of building a new speargun...

It's not that I don't already have a perfectly good speargun or a quiver of hand spears but it has occurred to me that there is a need for a more cruising friendly one.  One thing I know for sure is cruising sailors have some special needs that are not being met by the various companies who produce spearguns.

Since no one else is building something along those lines or appears to want to, maybe I should.

Then again, maybe not...

Listening to Jerry Riopelle

So it goes...



Saturday, April 19, 2014

looking for empathy in all the wrong places...

Orange jumpsuits might be just the thing, tricky bastards, and a passing of note...

I was reading an old post yesterday by Antonio Dias that made a lot of sense. Dias happens to be a boat designer I admire and author of "Designer & Client: Eight Boat Design Commissions, from Kayak to Cruiser".

It was a great post...

The last couple of weeks I've suffered from a certain malaise of spirit regarding the whole living on a boat and cruising gig brought on by an overabundance of input from the Rebel Heart brouhaha which underlined the fact that there are a lot of people flying the sailor/cruiser flag that are, for want of a better description, just not very nice people.

I'm not a stupid man and, as a firm believer in Sturgeons Law, it's not like I have any great faith that folks are inherently good but, like a lot of people, I do willfully ignore the facts and tend to give folks the benefit of the doubt more often than not.

The result is I get depressed when, yet again, folks prove to me that human nature is not warm and fuzzy in the least...

Which brings me to another post by Antonio Dias that made me vibrate like a tuning fork the first time I read it because it spoke to my dreams, doubts, and reservations while addressing the love/hate battle going on in my head where sailing/cruising was concerned.

Maybe you should read it as well...

Listening to Quicksilver Messenger Service

So it goes...

Friday, April 18, 2014

a little light reading...

Something from the DUH department, apparently lethal force not needful, and Tom Cunliffe with some excellent sailing advice...

I've been reading "Fluke" by Christopher Moore and it's reminded me just how entertaining his books are so I might just dust off  "Island of the Sequined Love Nun" to read next.

If there's one thing I love about being on boats is it's a great place to read...

So, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the foredeck to read a couple of chapters and keep an eye out for turtles.

Listening to Guy Clark

So it goes...



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Not that I have any expectations of success...

This is just nuts, from coonskin hats to suicide parties, and if the last one was not depressing enough Ian Welsh has just the thing...

I'm not sure if any of you have noticed but, apparently, sanity has truly got up and left the building some time ago and is now residing on some undisclosed island where Elvis spends his days on the beach strumming his Gibson J200.

Then again, maybe the guy with the J200 just looks a lot like Elvis...

The fact remains that a world without sanity or Elvis looks a lot like a world without hope. Which is why I sorta/kinda like to think that they're still around and, if I voyage to out of the way places far from milk runs and cruising rallies, I just might find that undisclosed island in the ultima thule.

Everyone needs a goal...

Listening to Dread Zeppelin

So it goes...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Something you won't find at WEST...

Some food for thought, this got me thinking, and, apparently, someone who might have been better off with a bit more cogitation...

Speaking of thinking, it would seem that Grivel has come up with a better mousetrap locking carabiner...



I can foresee an upgrade to my harness tethers in the near future...

Listening to Blackie & The Rodeo Kings

So it goes...



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

On avoiding stasis...

Some alarming stats concerning seafood crime, Krugman making a lot of sense, and you know it would be no bad thing if someone did a boat building/rehabbing workshop along these lines...

I finally got around to buying a handheld depth sounder for the dinghy and it's been a "Why didn't I do this ages ago" experience.

I mention this because while a firm believer in running stuff through the need/want computer (a re-purposed wayback machine for those who care about such things) and always do a cost benefit analysis. That said, there really is a case for just buying the damn thing when your head tells you that something is needful.


It's easy to get carried away in research and finding the best thing/best deal/best alignment of planets when buying stuff but it is really a lot of time-consuming hard work and, like some folks say...

"Time is money"

I mentioned over at VolksCruiser that the older Columbia 34s seem to be a good boat at an excellent price point and yesterday there seemed like a lot of good deals floating around. Of course, the problem is that what's cheap today may not be cheap or available tomorrow and that folks who are indecisive tend to miss opportunities when they reveal themselves.

Which is not to say that you should be jumping into stuff without thinking or doing needful homework but that over-thinking is just as great a problem as not thinking at all.

Listening to Spirit

So it goes...



Monday, April 14, 2014

A quick thought on the whole "marine" thang...

On pervasive market values, musing on a messy business, and Lefsetz with a great post on Jesse Winchester (who, sadly, just passed away)...

The other day I mentioned that I was having issues splicing a rope made by Samson called Tenex and, like a lot of posts, it got some people writing. Some to ask me about the rope, others to advise me how to deal with the splice, and several to tell me I was an idiot because Tenex is not a "MARINE" product.

So, to answer some questions...

There are two sorts of Tenex. Tenex Tec which I have been using for a couple of years and Tenex which is new to me and is a bit different hence the issues splicing the other day as it behaves quite differently than the Tenex Tec.

Both ropes seem to be aimed at the arborist and commercial rigging markets. I also see a lot of Tenex/Tenex Tec being sold in venues who deal with commercial fisheries.

I was attracted to it because it's a polyester, doesn't stretch much at all, has excellent UV resistance, tough, is comfortable in the hand, and is cheap in comparison to other ropes with the same strength/characteristics. Point of fact, I first started using it as a tail material for high tech halyards using small diameter Amsteel (Dyneema) but then discovered the Tenex Tec had a lot of properties that made it extremely useful for a lot of stuff on the boat...

And, I did mention it was cheap, didn't I?

What you need to keep in mind when deciding what products to use on your boat is not whether it's a marine/non-marine thing but will the product or products do the job. If you take a look at the specs of either of the Tenex ropes you'll see that it is actually a very impressive line. My advice is to always figure out what your needs are first and then find a rope that's a good match.

Oh yeah. as far as the problematic nature of splicing the Tenex... It was not a problem at all once I realized I was simply using the wrong splice. The Tenex Tec works great with a Brummel splice but the Tenex not so much in the way I like to work. The easy answer was to simply look at the Samson site and see which splice they recommended.

Listening to Jesse Winchester

So it goes...