Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Some DIY wonderfullness...

Some needful reading, a free book I'm looking forward to reading, and did someone say "Tall bike"...

Atom Voyages (always a great resource) with just about everything you need to know to build your own Atom Solar Tracker. 


Listening to Brandi Carlile

So it goes...

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Looking for input...

A social network of note, some seriously scary shit, and in the "understanding the anti-vax pro-horse dewormer mentality" department...

In my current search for boat building materials that are sustainable, non-polluting, and affordable I find myself often frustrated by the general lack of good information on materials like bamboo, flax, jute, and hemp. As it stands, most of the available information on these items tend to be less than technical and all about how these various materials are the new hip thing as a decorative material.

So, I'd really love to hear from any readers that actually knows something about these materials or happens to know someone that does. Seriously, I thrive on input.

Now, with that request out of the way I have to get to doing on the new tabernacle...

Listening to Dave Davies

So it goes...


t y T Y

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Some blogging issues...

Covid at the yacht club, a free class at MIT I'll be catching, and in the "The insanity just keeps coming" department. And yeah, I'm really tired of linking to Covid crap. Deal with it...

On the blogging front, my computer has developed an issue that, every once in awhile, deprives me of the ability to use the letters "T" and "Y". Which, as it happens, are two letters I seem to use a lot. The thing is, I actually like my computer so don't really want to replace it and then there's the fact that I'm cheap...

There is a sorta/kinda fix that works. So, when the T's and Y's go walkabout I have to shut down the computer, remove the battery, and push the power button for fifteen seconds. The problem with the fix is that it tends to be needed while I'm in the process of writing the blog and the whole turn-off-the-computer-remove-the-battery-push-the-button-for-15-seconds-replace-battery-turn-on-the-computer-and-hope-it-worked tends to leave me wondering just what the frell I was writing about. The fact that it is an issue that may recur a few times in the process of writing and needs to be repeated as needed pretty much has me a bit gun-shy where writing is concerned.

Now, hopefully, I'll sort out a real fix but in the meantime I'm considering going back to pencil and paper for the duration...

Listening to music from a very good year

So it goes...

Support BoatBits

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

an example of how "cheaper" and "better" go together...

On the current state of assholery, an apt Twilight Zone, and on the subject of budgets...

For a variety of reasons I've been thinking a lot about building affordable masts and sensible rigging to put them up with.

Which is somewhat out-of-step with what most people are doing as it seems that most folk seem to be more in the "Let's just see how expensive we can make it" school of boat building. Rather than the few asking 

"How do we make this better while cutting the cost at the same time?"

who seem to be in short supply. 

As I mentioned before I'm pretty impressed with Reuel Parker's current riff on a plywood mast and reading his follow-up article in the May/June 2021 issue of Wooden Boat Magazine that combined with a judicious use of textile rigging it's possible to put up a better rig for a whole lot less money than most think possible.

Better yet, the mast in question is super easy to build, lighter than any mast you're going to be able to buy, and, after perusing used masts on CraigsList, quite a bit cheaper than an old beat up mast on the used market. What's not to like?

So, why am I the only guy doing the happy dance?

One of my projects this week is installing a new tabernacle on "So It Goes" around the current mast and sorting out that it will work for the new mast I'm planning to build soonish of the Parker variety.

Listening to Ghalia Volt

So it goes...


Saturday, September 04, 2021

Regarding the boat designer builder interface...

Some well earned karma, EBM on that Texass thing, and in the "Just so wrong" department...

The other day I had an email from a guy who, apparently, needed to tell me that he would never build a Bolger design because his boats were ugly and. since Phil was no longer living he would not be able to answer questions that arise in the building process. 

Now, for starters, I personally feel that Bolger's designs are anything but ugly and some of his designs are actually beautiful. That said, I'm aware that some folks take issue with some of his designs like our Loose Moose and Loose Moose 2 but, as far as I'm concerned, I'll just point out that when form and function come together in a positive manner the design will reflect that.

On the subject of not choosing a design because the designer is not around to answer your questions, I'll just point out that the designers job pretty much ends when the drawings are done as any good design will have all the information you'll need to build the boat.

Then again, if you don't have the needful skill set to build a given design it's really time to either acquire the skills or choose a design that better reflects your abilities. The bottom line is that it's not the designers job to hold your hand and spoon-feed you what you should already know...

Listening to a Captain Beefheart cover

So it goes...

Thursday, September 02, 2021

An interesting Tri...

On the subject of getting away with murder, some needful situational awareness, and in the "Dealing with bad/scary news" department......

While the available headroom might be a little tight for someone who's 6' 5" there's a whole lot of cool design in the Tricat 30.

 
Listening to too many dead  musicians

So it goes...

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

a race I'm actually interested in...

Some seriously scary scenarios, an interesting take on farmyard pharmaceuticals, and in the "Rock Chewin' Stupid" department

Now this could really be interesting.


More info as it develops.

Listening to a bunch of covers

So it goes...

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

speaking of hemp and flax...

Some Supreme Court induced fuckery, a quick dose of insanity, and a different sort of Afghanistan story that's well worth reading...

While it's been decades since I last drove a car but I do keep an eye on what's happening on the automotive front.

As it happens, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport caught my attention as the body is constructed partly of natural fibers including hemp and flax which mirror the strength, stiffness, and weight of carbon fiber. On the plus side, hemp and flax are both sustainable raw materials and much less costly than carbon or glass fiber.

Of course, using sustainable materials in an automobile that is a black hole for the use of petroleum products is just so much greenwashing but it does point out that natural composite structures are a reality and given the right sort of project (spelled b-o-a-t) could make a whole lot of sense.

Listening to The Beach Boys

So it goes...

Monday, August 30, 2021

some times a bit of brute force is no bad thing...

A very needful read, L,G, & M also getting it right, and in the "We need real action instead of thoughts/prayers" department

A couple of tools you won't find on most people's boats is a sledge hammer and a crowbar. Now, I'll be the first person to admit that a sledge hammer or a crow bar do not quite fit in the refined tool category but they do have their place.

For instance, I needed to make a small adjustment to the rig that would otherwise require taking the boat into the local boat yard to use their crane to lift the mast a couple of inches which would have also required the expenditure of too many hundred dollar bills for the lift.

Then again, the reason I needed to adjust the rig and mast step had a lot to do with the fact that the crane operator in question was the cause of the needed adjustment/fix to the rig as the initial mast stepping was something of a clusterfuck and I really did not want to repeat the experience.

Now, if I were someplace where they had bridges I'd just lift the mast and re-step it using a simple block and tackle but down here in paradise you don't see a lot of bridges...

So, what's a poor boy going to do?

Which is where a crow bar and a three-pound sledge hammer come into play. A half hour of elegantly applied brute force with the added assist of a bit of leverage from a small crow bar did the trick finest kind.

There are lots of ways and situations where a sledge or a crowbar might be just the right tool for a given problem.

Anyway, it's something to keep in mind...

Listening to Jason Isbell

So it goes...

Saturday, August 28, 2021

a new exciting design...

An interesting read on modern journalism, something regarding  rare earth elements, and in the "same old same false equivalency assholery" department...

As it happens, Michael Schacht (that Proa File guy) just sent me a very interesting drawing of a design for home builders he's currently working on...


The design is an evolutionary offshoot of his Bug Out Boat design that has come about in the quest to get a bit more displacement into the B.O.B. which entailed getting away from flat panel plywood construction.

Yeah, a fiberglass multihull for home builders that makes sense!

Now, while I find the AVION a very neat boat, what really excites me is the construction method. Michael has sorted out a system that involves just a few simple to build and inexpensive molds that allows the builder to fabricate a bunch of shaped panels that will, when put together, result in fair oval hulls. 

All in all an excellent way to build a good boat quickly and inexpensively.

I know that Michael will be putting a much more detailed article on the design and building method together that will be on Proa File so you might want to bookmark Proa File or add it to your RSS feed. Of course, as soon as there is any new Avion info available I'll be sure to mention it on Boat Bits,

Listening to Mike Zito

So it goes...