Saturday, December 15, 2018

A very long trip in a very small boat...

Chuck Wendig on mushroom tacos, going interstellar, and in the "Why am I not surprised this guy is not doing a perp-walk?" department...


I'll be honest and say that not everyone has what it takes to sail twenty-nine thousand miles in less than 129 days on a sailboat not quite twenty-two feet. That said, you might want to keep the fact that it's been done (in some style and comfort) next time someone tells you that you need something bigger.

Listening to Little Steven

So it goes...

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

on why knitting needles make sense...

A noteworthy program, some obvious common sense, and a bit of needful perspective...

The other day I was looking through my overflowing rigging bag and noticed I really needed a couple of fids in the bigger-than-I-normally-use department on the off chance that I might need to splice some bigger than normal dynex. Being prepared is, more often than not, a goodly thing.

Since I use Selma fids and D-splicers for most of my dyneema work I decided a bigger Selma or two should do the trick.

Like this one...

 
That said, while I do truly admire the Selma fids I'd forgotten that they were kind of silly expensive and a 1/2" fid would run me over $20 or so.

A $20+ dollar fid does not bring a smile to Mr Cheapseats.

I could get Sampson aluminum fids which are nearly as good in most ways and somewhat better in a couple but they cost between $10 to $15 which is a lot to be paying for what boils down to a single knitting needle.


As it happens I already have quite a few small knitting needles in my rigging kit already...

Which had me looking up the cost of aluminum knitting needles in the 1/2" and 5/8" zone only to find that a pair of 1/2" needles and a pair of 5/8" needles together would cost less than a single Sampson fid.

I'm pretty sure you can do the math.

Listening to a Scottish playlist

So it goes...

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

speaking of twin keels...

On dire reports, G&T making an accurate but depressing point, and a corner best avoided...

While not exactly an American thing twin keels in Europe seem to be regaining their popularity.


Like this Gilles Montaubin design built by L' Etabli Marin.


 
Lots more information and pictures can be found at the L' Etabli Marin  site.

Listening to Neil Young

So it goes... 

Sunday, December 09, 2018

and...

Something to listen to, a little needful reading, and just another good reason why you don't want to be using Facebook...

Speaking of MingMing.



Listening to Gyða Valtýsdóttir

So it goes...

Saturday, December 08, 2018

a very good read...

Worrisome news on the North Atlantic conveyor, a strange rumbling, and a Nativity scene for 2018...

The new Yachting Monthly is well worth some time. Featuring very good articles about a junk rigged voyage into the arctic,  bilge keels, and a new mooring design (to name just a few). Strong on content as usual which, sadly, can no longer be said where most sailing/cruising magazines are concerned.


Nuff said.

Listening to Israel Nash

So it goes...

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Scow...

Sailing Anarchy has a video you need to watch, at MIT they're doing the happy dance (as am I), and some books you might want to check out...



There's a lot more about the David Raison designed Revolution 29 over at the always stimulating Interesting Sailboats blog.

Listening to Death Cab for Cutie

So it goes...

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

cheap horsepower...

A visual aid to the madness, another threat to democracy, and the question I ask myself everyday...

I was persusing AliBaba the other day and came across a bunch of dirt cheap diesel engines .

Seriously cheap like this one.


What's not to like about a new water-cooled 10HP diesel engine for $400?

That's cheaper than what Volvo gets for some gaskets...

Sure it's old tech but old tech diesel engines tend to be work horses that run forever and are easy to fix when they do have problems. The fact is that an engine like this would make a whole lot of sense for a variety of boat designs if one had some basic mechanical licks and an open mind...

Hey, it even a hand starter!

Admittedly, 10HP is small by current standards. Of course, me being an old fart who still thinks that that Colvin's "One HP per ton" advice continues to make sense I'd be all over this if I were building a sharpie or VolksCruiser design.

Listening to birthday boy Southside Johnny (and the Jukes of course!) who just hit the big 70

So it goes...

Sunday, December 02, 2018

a brilliant bit of kit...

G&T with a common complaint, something regarding beef, and it would appear someone's been stealing...

This is really quite neat.

Billed as a GPS Backup Kit from the folks at Starpath it contains all of the tools you need to find out where you happen to be. Which, I suspect, is some kind of cool.

So, what's in the bag?

  • Davis Mark 3 plastic sextant
  • Quartz watch set to UTC, with 7-year battery, individually rated to give correct UTC on any date. (How we do the watch rates.)
  • GPS Backup with a Mark 3 Sextant (the instruction guide and needed tables)
  • 3x folding magnifier (to help read the sextant's vernier scale)
  • Plastic sextant case with locking handle
  • Douglas protractor
  • Roll-up 12" ruler
  • Clip and edge bar to facilitate Polaris measurements
  • 2 pencils, sharpener, and eraser
  • Notebook with graph pages
  • 5 Universal plotting sheets
  • Waterproof dry bag

Pretty much all you need to find out where you are wherever you happen to be...

How cool is that?

The sextant is actually very good (I use it's big brother). The booklet by David Burch is concise, to the point, and as fool proof as you can get. Top that off with a Casio timepiece and the miscellaneous bits (the plotter is what I plot with) that you need and, hey-presto, you have a brilliant bit of kit that won't break down or fail when you need it.

Of course, it's not quite all you need to navigate but add a compass and a means of measuring boat speed like a trailing log or a Knotstick then you're all set to go anywhere you want to.

Which is the whole idea isn't it?


Listening to Tower of Power

So it goes...

Saturday, December 01, 2018

a bit of maintainence...

Juanita nails it, a note from on high, and a timely cartoon from the "It would be funny if it were not so true" department...

I spent a little bit of time with a couple of chisels and a whetstone yesterday.

It's easy to forget how simple manual tasks can be an aid to the thought process once you get into the zone. Making metal sharp with a stone has a way of breaking down distractions and allowing access to an inner focus that seems to work for me.

Even better, not only did I sort out a couple of boat work issues that have been perplexing me but I also have a couple of wickedly sharp chisels as a result.

Listening to Levon Helm's daughter

So it goes...

Thursday, November 29, 2018