Wednesday, May 25, 2022

taking a few days off...

EBM nails it, more election fraud by the usual suspects, and someone who shares my opinion of Ted Cruz...

I'm going to take a couple of days off from anything related to the internet or media.

See you Monday.

Listening to some Dylan covers

So it goes...

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

on the subject of 12 volt working just fine.

This gave me a nightmare, mainstream bat-shit crazy viewed from abroad, and in the "Just what we don't need or want" department...

Some while back, I had a couple of 50-watt solar panels fail. What can I say but shit happens. As the seller of the solar panels refused to honor their warranty as, apparently, they defined "Lifetime Warranty" as being until the panels died. 

I'm still pissed off.

Anyway, since I planned to try and fix the panels but never quite got around to doing it, our electrical budget has been a bit compromised. Not an overly problematic state of affairs as we just cut back a kiss on our consumption.

Which, I'll point out, is not all that hard. We've been doing the boat ting since the days before solar panels when 99% of our power aboard was produced by an Ampair Aquair water/air unit like this.

It worked just fine.

That said, in those days we didn't have anything electrical on board except for instruments, a few meager interior lights, and navigation lights. Our VHF radio and our RDF at the time operated on AA batteries. Still, it worked pretty well while sailing in the Med, Africa and over to the Caribbean.

These days, we're still a 12-volt boat where electrics are concerned. I'll admit we do have an immersion blender that operates with a 300-watt inverter  but I think it's been about five years since it's been used. Which, I suppose, makes me the last person anyone should seek guidance from on an integrated solar/diesel system that would power a large village or a couple on a catamaran who wants to be comfortable and sail with all mod cons.

I mention all this as the next up project is redoing the solar mounting aboard "So It Goes" and part of that is to redo some of the wiring into a more cohesive (dare I say elegant?) loom. Hopefully it will make a bit more sense than the ad hoc assemblage that has somehow grown into a 10-gauge spiderweb which lays in wait for the unprepared.

The thing is, that 12 volts makes sense for folks who don't want to complicate their lives to the extent that it gets in the way of the simpler life some of us were hoping to find in sailing.

Oh yeah, if anyone sees an Aquair in good shape selling for cheap drop me a line...

Listening to St. Paul & The Broken Bones

So it goes...

Monday, May 23, 2022

Getting out the popcorn...

A ray of hope in Russia, the downside of living in an idiocracy, and in the "Don't let the door hit you on your way out" department...

I'm looking forward to this film!

The Race to Alaska – OFFICIAL TRAILER from The Race to Alaska on Vimeo.

Listening to Nilüfer Yanya

So it goes...

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Not for the linear polyurethane fan boys...

Just another day in the fossil fuel death spiral, an added advantage, and in the "As far from sporting as you can get" department...

When it comes to boat paint I'm a big fan of Rust-oleum Topside because it does the job and is cheap at $20.99 a quart. That said, not too long ago I used to pay right around $10 bucks a quart. 

I also use Rust-oleum 'aluminum' protective enamel for the hull and it only costs $12.99 a quart. It's an odd paint being mostly aluminum but a single test coat I put on in 2017 (just after Hurricane Maria) has held up really well. Next haul out I'll be doing two coats which will only take a gallon and cost less than $50 bucks. When you consider that a single quart of one part polyurethane these days goes for $50 or more that's a huge savings. The only downside is that a lot of folks think I have an aluminum boat.

I keep meaning to compare and test the Rust-oleum Protective Enamel in white to the white Rust-oleum Topside as it's less than $12 dollars and seems quite similar to the "marine" version. 

As I'm not a fan of linear polyurethane silliness for cruising boats I won't bother to point out what AwlGrip and reasonable facsimiles cost.

Listening to some variations on a theme songs

So it goes...

Friday, May 20, 2022

Sven Yrvind on balanced lug rig...

Misinformation madness, something needful about top soil, and in the "A Freudian slip of note" department...


Listening to some covers of fifty year old songs

So it goes...

Thursday, May 19, 2022

a film worth watching...

A comic of note, John Scalzi reflecting on that post ten years on, and in the "Years of breathtakingly moronic decisions motivated by mindless greed, vicious partisan hatred, blind ideological dogmatism, and a total unwillingness to think about the long-term consequences of short-term decisions" department...

Best sailing film I've seen in ages.


Listening to Olivia Rodrigo covering No Doubt

So it goes...

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

things are not getting better...

A required read, EBM reminds us who the usual suspects are, and something interesting/depressing about podcasting...

Today, instead of writing this blog as I wanted to do, I watched a bit of the House committee on UFOs. Sadly, it was a lot of talk with very little content. I wanted some serious information. Then again, I’d also like to see a lot of perp-walks as well.

Neither, it seems, is on the horizon.

What I was going to write about was that I came across an old North Face catalog and that in 1975, the North Face Cagoule was selling for the grand sum of $36.50. I’m pretty sure I spent less for mine, but even back in olden times I seldom ever bought anything that wasn’t on sale, being both poor and cheap.

I used the Cagoule on many backpacking, climbing, and mountaineering expeditions where it kept me dry better than any other rain gear I’ve ever used.

When I started getting serious about sailing, the Cagoule became my go to foul weather gear and worked so much better than any bespoke marine foulies available then or now.

Might have been the best money I’ve ever spent on gear.

I really should buy some material, get out the sewing machine and make a new cagoule to replace the three not quite good enough foul weather jackets that are mostly just taking up locker space.

I don’t even have to design one as there’s an excellent pattern available.

Come to think of it, maybe I should make a couple. One that would be a clone of the North Face, one and another where I’d use neoprene like my old Great Pacific Iron Works foamback cagoule that I used after I wore my North Face out. 

Still nothing interesting on the UFO front and I’ve concluded that, considering all that’s wrong, our only genuine hope of getting out of our current mess is an alien intervention.

Listening to a Tiny desk concert

So it goes...

Monday, May 16, 2022

the reality of accidents happening...

More on book bans, Wil Wheaton weighs in, and in the "She would know since she wrote the book" department...

Latitude 38 has a cautionary story about a Pearson Vanguard and a reef in American Samoa that you'll want to read.

Help if you can.

Listening to Big Sam's Funky Nation

So it goes...

Sunday, May 15, 2022

So, here's the question...

Book bans, something about speculative fiction, and a plethora of climatical bad news...

So, I saw this Columbia 26 MK2 selling for $500 OBO in New Orleans.


Obviously, the boat is in desperate need of a cleaning and I've an ominous feeling that the interior might be even more daunting,

Still, the Bill Tripp designed MK2 is a very cool boat and with a little work and talent, might make someone a great little boat. The advantage of a small cheap boat is that the labor and materials to bring it back to life are small as well.

Looking at the selling price of more turn key examples of the design, the average seems to be somewhere around $3500. So, the question is can one restore and outfit this boat for less than $3K?

I'm guessing that, providing there is a reasonable place to put the boat for a month to work on it, you do all the work yourself, and avoid buying anything marine, it's possible. If I were doing the boat I'd budget for $1500 with an extra $500 just in case. I'm pretty sure that's a doable project.

One proviso though: on any project like this it's vitally important to keep within that budget framework and only fix what needs fixing.

Listening to some Talking Heads coverage

So it goes...

Saturday, May 14, 2022

If you're reading this you're not stupid...

Well worth a read/watch, about those mangroves, and in the "Free speech" department...

Arthur C. Clarke pretty much nailed it with this quote:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." 

I was thinking about this when I read something about watermakers being a highly sophisticated system that anyone without copious and serious tech juju or deep pockets should avoid.

I'll go on record and say that's just bullshit. Making fresh and potable water from sea water is just simple plumbing that has nothing to do with high tech or magic. If the science behind how watermakers work exceeds your grasp, it is not because the science is difficult (it's not), it's because you're educationally and mechanically deprived.

I agree that folks on boats should understand the basic concepts of how things work where boats are concerned, and heartily recommend that they should not go to sea without such knowledge. However, I don't buy into the excuse that most sailing related skills are too technical for the average guy/gal to sort out because it's all pretty simple.

If you believe otherwise, someone has sold you a bill of goods and, more than likely, the sellers are doing it because there's a profit in fleecing you.

Seriously, if you're reading this there's no reason you can't manage a splice, tune your rig, or (dare I say it?) build and operate a watermaker.

You're not stupid.

If by chance your knowledge is a bit fuzzy on a subject, just do a little research and read a book. Like I said, you're not stupid and it's way past time to be letting an industry get away with telling that you are.

Rant over.

Listening to a whole lot of Stevie Wonder covers

So it goes...