Sunday, June 20, 2021

An interesting new design...

Something worth reading from Dick Dorworth, Badtux making sense, and on the subject of American Samoans...

Over at the Junk Rig Association forum it would appear that David Tyler is working up a new Junk rigged design that bears watching.

You're still here?

Listening to a South African playlist

So it goes...


Saturday, June 19, 2021

Parachute cruising...

Something to think about the next time you go out to eat, how to deal with that worker shortage, and in the "plywood satellites in space" department...

The other day I read an article about Parachute Science which got me thinking about how a lot of cruisers do pretty much the same thing.

"In Fiji, as in other lower-income countries, parachute science occurs when international scientists, often from wealthier nations, travel to a country to complete fieldwork and then leave without meaningfully engaging with local researchers or communities."

Replace the words "International scientists" with "First world cruisers" and it becomes an apt description of how a lot of cruisers operate with minimal interaction with the local community.

Worse yet, is there seems to be a growing number of cruisers that not only do the whole minimal contact/engagement with locals thing but when they do it with disdain and a whole lot of attitude.

Case in point: I'm on a mooring and the adjacent mooring to me are all private and for rent and I find myself witnessing a lot of cruiser/local interaction of the somewhat embarrassing sort. What happens is a catamaran come up to one of the moorings, ties up and apparently ignores the sign on the mooring that they should go the the marine store and pay X amount per foot for the pleasure of not having to deploy their anchor. 

With me so far?

Almost all of the cats (and yeah, I've asked myself why it only seems to be cats that gravitate to these moorings) jump right in their dinghies and motor off to one of the local bars instead of paying for the mooring. When the owner of the moorings finally loses patience, launches his boat and goes out and asks for the payment in which their answer seems to be nope we're not going to pay. Then when asked to leave since they're not paying and they refuse to do that as well.

Apparently, the logic of someone who is sailing a fifty-foot catamaran runs something like this...

  1. The mooring is vacant so I am entitled to pick it up.
  2. Having to dinghy in to shore to pay for the mooring is such an imposition that I should be able to stay on the mooring for free.
  3. If the owner of the mooring comes to the boat asking for payment they'll either say it's too expensive or that the guide book said there were free moorings so they should be free and if you want to charge for the mooring you're trying to cheat them.
  4. When asked to leave the mooring the cat owners dodge is to say it is a matter of safety, there is an issue with their windlass, or the anchorage is too crowded to be safe in which cases the mooring should be free.
  5. The subject of conversation on the cat after the owner of the mooring leaves in disgust having failed to get his payment  becomes "How greedy these islanders are" (remember sound travels incredibly well over water so if you don't want the guy in the boat next to you to hear your conversation, go below to have it).

The first time I witnessed this sort of cruising behavior I was surprised at the audacious assholery of the catamaran crew that did it. The second time it surprised me as well. The third time I realized it was now a trend and, now having lost track of how many times this particular episode has replayed on the moorings, I pretty much just assume that anyone driving a catamaran and picking up a mooring apparently thinks the sun shines out their backside and that rules or common decency simply do not apply to them.

That said, these cat folk do seem to be interacting and engaging with locals in their own particular way. The downside is it's a way that will cause problems for every good minded cruiser that follows in their path.

Listening to Friends of Clay

So it goes...

Friday, June 18, 2021

What I'll be doing this weekend...

Some good advice for a Plastic Free July, twenty facts/figures of note, and an interesting computer simulation of galactic expansion...

Since it's a brand spankin' new holiday weekend I'm looking forward to a bit of quality time with some needful boat work and the ever elusive goal of reclaiming the dinette table top as something other than just a horizontal surface for stuff to accumulate on.

Time to get to doing...

Listening to Reel Big Fish

So it goes...

Thursday, June 17, 2021

in the "Old plastic bottles" department...

Something on the subject of parachute science, an interesting fact, and 25 corporations you might want to think twice about...

It would seem that Premium Ropes has a new rope available that is made from 100% recycled material.


Beats putting plastic bottles into landfill all to hell.

Listening to a literary playlist

So it goes...

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

On the subject of YouTubers and B-Movies...

An important freedom, a good cause/raffle, and a Flag day reminder that the District of Columbia (but let's not forget Puerto Rico, the USVI, and Guam) deserves to be a state...

I recently had an interesting conversation about the business model that is YouTube sailing videos, with someone who was bemoaning the whole idea that supporting cruising by begging is wrong.

For the most part, I don't think that making films to provide income is any different than writing articles for sailing magazines or books. Last I heard, writing about sailing, cruising, and fixing up boats is considered a job and certainly not begging. 

Fact of the matter is that making films, more often than not, is a lot of hard work.

Anyone who knows anything about the business of film or video is aware that the central core of the economic model is that the work is viewer supported in one way or another. So asking someone to support a series or channel they are watching is nothing at all like begging. However, the line gets a little hazy when someone starts asking viewers to subsidize a new boat or underwrite their endeavors past the fair price of the proverbial movie ticket.

That said, I'm not a big fan of YouTube and it would be my last choice as a venue to exhibit any film I'd make. Partly because the whole YouTube vibe is somewhat mercenary and has that huckster/carny edge that the old movie houses that only played B-films that were heavy on violence, cleavage, and titillation like the "Love-Slaves of the Amazon" ilk, to get bums on seats. Or in other words...

Click Bait!




I'll go on the record here and say that while I don't believe in God, heaven, or hell however, if those things did exist, there really should be a special place in hell where people who don't deliver on film poster and click-bait promises spend eternity.

But, back to YouTube where you get the added extras of having your film peppered with commercials in all the wrong places and at the end of your video YouTube suggesting a selection of videos for a doctor who squeezes pimples, some maga fodder from Fox news, a video of some woman trying on bikinis and, of course, cute kittens. Which, I guess, is the sort of videos YouTube thinks cruising/sailing audiences are into.

Listening to a Clash cover

So it goes...


Monday, June 14, 2021

A strong case for plywood...

Donkey Mountain makes a good point, a bit of important hindsight, and the word for the day is “aridification”...

RM Yachts makes the case for plywood. 


Listening to Artur Menezes

So it goes...

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Just another pissed off day in paradise...

A major accomplishment in assholery, a reliable source of profit, and something about tree burials...

Every once in awhile I'll find myself in a marine store looking to buy something or other but it's become a fairly rare occasion. Which is sad in a way as I really used to enjoy spending time in a chandlery, if for no other reason than I'd often get good ideas on how to cobble up rigs and suchlike. 

Not these days though...

Truth be told, the only thing I seem to get when visiting my local marine store is getting pissed off. Like yesterday when I needed to get a handful of machine screws and found the 3-inch 1/4" machine screws were $4.99 a piece.

Admittedly, I'd just come from the local Ace hardware where they did not have any 3-inch 1/4" machine screws but the place where they should have been said that if they had them they'd cost $1.99 a pop.

I mention this because the place I normally buy machine screws stateside sells them for 25-cents if you're buying just one and 23-cents each if you buy twenty-five and they'll ship them to me down here in the Virgin Islands for free.

Being both frugal and not an idiot, I decided to not buy any screws locally. I'll order them stateside and get them in a few days. Still, the idea that the "friendly" local marine store had jacked up the price to that extent really pissed me off. For those adverse to doing math, my stateside seller sells 25 machine screws for $5.75 with free shipping and the local store would charge me $9.98 for 2 screws.

As a quick reference West Marine sells 25 of the same size machine screws for $10.49 not cheap but certainly not the model of avaricious greed-heads our local marine store seems to be channeling.

On the way out of the store we passed their masking tape which cost $10.55 a roll while Walmart sells the exact same tape for $3.83 a roll which is just adding insult to injury.

Such marine industry hijinks pretty much accounts for why I don't spend much time in marine stores anymore.

Listening to The Veldt

So it goes...

Friday, June 11, 2021

Hurricane boats...

Someone's acquired a new boat, transporting baby salmon, and in the "I hear Home Depot has some good deals on pitchforks" department...

I rarely ever look at boats on ebay. Partly because I find Craigslist a much better source for finding used boats and partly because the ebay environment seems to have become overly expensive as well as hostile. But, as it happens, I found myself looking for something and took a glance at sailboats for sale.

Where I found a 2005 Bendytoy 343 with a Buy It Now price of $24,997.00.

The reason it's so cheap is that it's a hurricane boat and being sold off by the insurance company which acquired it when they paid out to the insured party as a total loss.

So, at best, we're actually talking about someone selling a $5-10K boat for $24,997.00.

Let's get back to that phrase TOTAL LOSS for a moment and consider what that actually means.

I'll go on record that buying a storm damaged boat for cheap and rehabbing it is not a bad way to go for someone with some serious frugal boat building and repair experience can result in a great boat. I'll even go so far as say that depending on the boats total loss condition, a cheap enough selling price and availability of a place to move said boat for little rent I might even consider such a boat.

Of course, I'd never ever pay almost $25K for such a project because that would be stupid. Considering I can find the same model for around $70-$85K and I can't see spending less $35K in materials, another $5-10K in expenses, and the cost of three to six months of my full time labor to get it done.

Then again, if you were able to buy the total loss wreck for $5K, had a yard to put it in, a whole lot of free time, and some wizardly boat building skills it might actually be a viable project.

In general though the best advice I can give someone considering this sort of hurricane boat project is to avoid it with prejudice.

On the other hand if someone gets it and does a YouTube channel of the rehab it will be fun to watch in a dark comedy of errors vein.

Listening to a playlist from 1987

So it goes...

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Today's ongoing dinghy dilemma...

 Some news about Guam, a 3D printed prosthetic leg, and a podcast site well worth listening to...

Small Craft Advisor sent me an email this morning about their new issue as well as a link to a survey on dinghies they want to have filled out. They also had a link to Duckworks Portage Pram which, in my opinion, is a very interesting, attractive, and workable design.

At 6'10" and 35lbs (more or less) it makes a lot of sense as a tender for a smallish sailboat crewed by a couple. The bottom line is that it will get you to shore and back by oar, carry the sort of loads a cruising couple needs, and not take up an excessive amount of space on the deck while making passages.Better yet it is quite attractive and has a lot of character.

Truth be told, it's a dinghy I'd really like to build and am looking forward to the day when someone wants me to build one for them.

As it happens, I'm just about back in dinghy building mode as we're getting back into full-time cruising ASAP mode and I'm caught between three dinghy designs... 

The first is the old standby Bolger Tortoise which at 6'5" does pretty much what the Portage Pram does while admittedly a bit less pretty. That said, I've rowed hundreds of miles in all conditions with the Tortoise and have never found it wanting in terms of performance. The added bonus is with a Tortoise as a dinghy you also don't have to worry overmuch about someone stealing it.

The second dinghy on the short list is an eight-foot B&B designs Two-paw nesting dinghy which is no slouch in performance and only takes up about a 4' X 4' space on the foredeck while nested.

Lastly the the third choice on the list is a Bolger Nymph but widened by six inches for a bit more stability because I might want to be able to fly fish from it.

Did I say three designs on my shortlist? Maybe it's four...

Reuel Parker has a couple of dinghies that recently caught my eye, his PRAM 8/9 a quick build minimal material arc-bottomed pram that appeals.


Another Parker dinghy that really got me excited is his PERIAGUA 14 design which at 14-feet is way too big to store on deck but cries out "Build me!" in spite of what common sense dictates.


 

So many good designs and so little time...

Listening to

So it goes...

Sunday, June 06, 2021

S 48° 52.6' W 123° 23.6' ...

Somewhat spidey-sense inducing, a good cause, and in the "Where the hell are the perp-walks?" department...

The other day someone asked me where I'd like to sail off to.

Now, in a general way of thinking, I've always considered the best way to sail someplace was more of a that-a-way, yonder, or wherever the wind takes us sort of thing. Being also somewhat superstitious I never say we're sailing to Puerto Rico but 'towards' Puerto Rico because having the audacity to imply you have total control of a voyage is akin to tempting fate to prove you wrong.

I'll also add I never ever begin a passage on a Friday either.

The thing is, there actually is a place I want to sail to and it's not Fiji, it's not Greenland and it's not  an island, country, or continent. It's just a place in the Pacific known as Point Nemo.

I'll be honest and admit that I'd never actually set sail to Point Nemo but I just might set a course towards New Zealand that sorta/kinda might get up close and personal with a certain Lat & Long location of note.

Like I said, I'm somewhat superstitious.

Listening to Eva & the Vagabond Tales

So it goes...