Monday, April 19, 2021

on the subject of mission creep...

A question of importance, ongoing water issues, and an app for our times...

There was an interesting article in today's Washington Post about a study on how people tend to add complexity as a way to solving simple problems. Which, at least in my experience, has a lot to do with the issues people have where boat problems and decisions are concerned...

We all tend to add too much complexity and that enables the dreaded mission creep which all of us boatfolk are prey to.

Which is ample reason to simplify rather than complicate as a general rule.

Just saying.

Listening to Frampton covering Harrison 

So it goes...

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Speaking of better rigs...

All kinds of scary, Kimmel makes a point, and and in the "Yeah, climate really does effect the economy" department...

How about a DIY mast solution?

 

The current May/June issue of WoodenBoat magazine has an excellent article Building Box-section Masts with Plywood by Reuel Parker that is well worth the price of admission.

Listening to Soldat Louis

So it goes...

Friday, April 16, 2021

On building a better rig...

 Killing our mother ocean, a book on my must read list, and in the "No cure for selfish stupidity" department...

Someone recently asked me about my opinions on chainplate materials for his switch to textile rigging. The main part of the question involved whether to use expensive 316 stainless vs the use of much more expensive titanium. When I told him that my choice would be Delrin I'm pretty sure he thought I'd lost my mind.

Now, I'll admit that I'm pretty sensitive to the importance of having a bombproof connection between the rig and the boat and I might be extra careful as I lost a rig to a stainless steel chainplate failure and in the same time period two different friends lost their rigs due to the failure of titanium tangs. So it's a subject that I've given a lot of serious thought to especially where textile rigging is concerned.

A lot of folks now favor the use of carbon fiber or composite chainplates glassed in to the hull which has the advantage of spreading the rigging loads over a much greater area and dispenses with the negative factors of stainless steel and titanium. If I were building a new boat I'd seriously consider this avenue but since the person in question is refitting an existing boat so it's not as easily done and somewhat problematic.

Some time ago, in my ongoing research to make textile rigging more affordable, it occurred to me that if using textile rigging metal chainplates are really sort of a one step forward two steps back kind of thing. You're still using parts that are prone to failure, not exactly textile friendly, and, to add insult to injury, are really quite expensive.

Since the main purpose of a chainplate is to distribute rigging loads on to the hull all we really need to do is to find a more textile friendly way of doing it. 

My first thought, since we're talking "rope", was something akin to a thimble but then realized that any circular or teardrop shapes would be better at distributing the shroud loads to the hull. Better yet the disc or teardrops would not need to be in a metal at all and any high density plastic like Delrin or HDPE would work just fine. The only metal at all in the shroud to hull matrix would be through bolts and backing plates.

The upside is that the plastic chainplates are both inexpensive and easily fabricated by anyone with a DIY bent. The downside is they're not the same old same so if you were to go with the idea I'd factor in that you'd have to do a lot of explaining to passers-by of the less than bright sort. Of course, if you're doing a textile rig you will be having those sort of conversations anyway so not really a factor.

I'm currently writing a more in depth how to on applying some creative frugality to textile rigging design so that anyone can build an inexpensive, user maintainable, and bombproof rig.

More about that soonish.

Listening to Nick Lowe

So it goes...

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Good stuff

Good news on the solar front, the return of almost normalcy, and some very good points... 

A new video from one of the few channels I look forward to seeing.

 
 
So it goes...

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A new addition to the cockpit?

Something you may want to read, an apt climbing story of sorts from Dick Dorworth, and EBM with an interesting link...

Stewmac has an interesting workbench I keep coming back to.

 

A big problem on any 40-foot or less sailboat is it's really difficult to have a real workshop or decent workbench where you can build hatches, various boat wood butchery projects or the odd twelve-string guitar. In my case the last couple of days I've been rebuilding some hatches which has me working, mostly on my knees doing the needful joinery and fiberglass work.

I'll go on record here and say that if you're six foot five working on your knees in the cockpit really sucks.

Which brings me to the Stewmac guitar workstation which has a form factor that would allow one to work standing up with the added advantage of being fairly easy to modify to allow it to be demountable and would not take up too much room in a cockpit locker when not in use.

Better yet, for those of us on a budget and adverse to Stewmac prices, it's not exactly a difficult chore to backwards engineer the concept and build an even better for your own needs version. Hell if I can build a guitar building a better work bench is child's play. 

Hell, with a better bench I could save time and with that extra time might actually be able to start building Cruisercasters because no one's building a do everything boat friendly electric guitar for boatfolk who can't quite get in sync with so-called travel guitars.

Listening to Los Lobos

So it goes...

Friday, April 09, 2021

A coming attraction...

Something of note on the music industry, a good point, and on the subject of Water Wars...

Just the sort of video project we need more of.


Listening to five good covers (and yeah I never thought I'd ever link to a Kid Rock track).

So it goes...

Monday, April 05, 2021

an old lust revisisted...

About that application, on why infrastructure is important, and it would appear that GMC/Hummer have completely missed the point of sustainable vehicles...

A couple of weeks ago I came across a Herreshoff 31 Cat Ketch for sale up in St Paul Minnesota. For those unacquainted with the Halsey Herreshoff cat ketch design here's the plan.

Back in the early 80's I seriously lusted for this boat as it was as close to the picture I had in my head at the time in what would make a near perfect cruising boat. If the draft had been a foot or so less it would have been perfect.

The fact that the boat for sale up in St Paul had an asking price of only $1300, had me looking at airfares and wondering about the cost of yard space...

The other tempting factor is the idea of fixing up a boat and then getting it to the sea via the Mississippi river.

Listening to the Iron Leg Radio Show

So it goes...

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Might as well just add another project to the list...

On the subject of kitchen design, a quick slice of hindsight, and in the "Taking credit where no credit is due" department...

Today there are scattered showers that are keeping me from working on a couple of hatches that are top of "I really must get these projects out of the way!" list.

Like everything on "So It Goes" all the various projects have to go through the Need/Want meat grinder to see what gets worked on. Obviously I need to sort out those hatches but, in truth, it's not the job I really want to do.

Which means, that since I can't work on the hatches I tend to invest time in fabricating cunning plans for the projects I really want to do. Which, as it happens, has me looking at ever more clever ways to build a better mast and rig.

The fact is that there is really nothing wrong with the current mast and rig other than, as is hindsight is 20/20, I've realized I could have built the current mast lighter, less expensively, and quicker. Another factor is that I could do a better tabernacle arrangement as well which would allow me to drop the mast and raise it in a more stress free and easier manner.

Of course, the mast in place works just fine but the urge to improve and make it better is that gnawing urge that I keep coming back to.

One of the improvements I wanted to incorporate in the new better mast and rig was a product I found very interesting and should have been something of a game changer for folks doing textile rigging... the Nub.

The Nub, which was a brilliant bit of design, seems to be no longer available. Then again, it is a very simple concept that could easily be reverse engineered by someone with a router and a couple of feet of Delrin rod. 

A task I really should add to the projects list...

Listening to some Queen covers

So it goes...

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

on how not to spend...

On maps being wrong, light at the end of the tunnel, and in the "Pretty much common knowledge" department...

This morning, while I was waiting for the coffee to brew, I watched a video of a guy with an Oyster go on about various ways of not getting taken to the cleaners and saving money while your boat is in the boatyard. For what's it's worth, his advice was mostly spot on.

Of course, the best way to save money in terms of boat work is to have a boat that does not require the hiring of people to fix it. Or as Lin and Larry Pardey said...

"If you can't repair it, maybe it shouldn't be on board."

The good news is that for the most part, there's pretty much zero rocket science involved in sailboat systems so it's within the abilities of most everyone to sort problems when needful. For those jobs and repairs you don't know how to fix there is always a good book on the subject you can refer to.

On the other hand, since a lot of folks don't like to read, they go to their forum of choice and try to get their information there. Which, considering the large amount of erroneous information I see on the various sailing and cruising forums, might not actually be your best bet and an excellent way to screw up beyond repair whatever needs fixing.

To make things easier to save money on repairs and suchlike, confine the various systems aboard to equipment that is simple and user repairable and where user repairable is not an option (spelled most electronics) choose items that are affordable enough to carry backups for redundancy. 

More on some simple user repairable systems and redundancy strategies soonish...

Listening to Aquarium Drunkard

So it goes...

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Not a good idea in sight...

A sane reaction to the ongoing situation, someone's scared shitless, and in the "Just your usual rampant stupidity" department...

Some days I just don't know what to write. I mean, I had a couple of ideas when I sat down to do this post but neither of them seemed to pan out and mostly I've just been looking at this blank void on the computer, typing a word or two, and then erasing said words. Which is what I've been doing for the last hour or so.

It would appear my heads just not in it today...

So, here's a really great post on frugal cruising that I've wanted to link to for ages. It's so good it will make some folk's heads explode.

Listening to the Texas Tornados

So it goes...