Saturday, January 24, 2015

The power of negative input...

A little worthwhile reading, some stuff you need to know about, and something worth a listen to from Jay FitzGerald...

Way back when I was building our first Loose Moose (a Phil Bolger 'Jessie Cooper" design), I expected a certain amount of hassle of the negative input variety... Hey, it was an "Odd" boat and not what most people think a boat's supposed to be like.

The thing is what I did not expect is how easily seeds of doubts planted by others tend to take root and grow like Kudzu if you're not paying attention.

A good example of bad seeds growing out of control was the mainmast... The Jessie Cooper design has a free standing mainmast with a balanced lug rig and this seemed to bother a lot of the folks who visited the build site because...

  1. The mast did not have standing rigging
  2. The mast did not have a track
  3. The main halyard had a simple sheave at the masthead which was considered insufficient
  4.  It was wood
The seed of doubt that took hold and kept me up nights was the issue people had with the simple sheave ... People thought that since the sail had both a yard, a boom, and a chunk of sail area that I'd never be able to raise the sail without significant added mechanical advantage in the form of more blocks and a winch.

So as the seed grew into a bush of doubt, I found myself looking at winches and other various schemes to add a six-part purchase to the top of the mast. This, of course, slowed down the work effort and distracted me from stuff I should have been doing...

Worse, now that I had decided there just might be a problem with the halyard sheave all of a sudden anytime someone pointed out a possible problem/issue, which anyone who's ever built a boat knows happens daily, I found I was much more receptive to allowing it to take root.

One morning I woke up to find I thought the whole boat sucked... Not exactly the sort of mindset you want in the home stretch three weeks before you launch your boat.

Since I really had to finish the boat I put the doubts on hold with the resignation that "I'll just finish the sucker and then redo the mast after" .

Once on the water with the boat floating right side up I felt a lot better. So I stepped the mast, rigged up the sail, and, fully expecting disaster, proceeded to raise it. No problem at all and the sail, and yard zipped up the mast faster than the proverbial greased pig..

All that worry for an issue that never really existed.

That said, some of my friends who had issues with the weight of the sails, yard, and boom all had boats with masts that had tracks and even with big winches they had to huff, puff, and strain to get their mainsails up. In most cases, sail track adds an amazing amount of friction to the equation and that's why everyone thought my simple sheave arrangement would not work. They were used to all of that friction that the balanced lug simply does not have and I was stupid enough to listen...

Listening to the Rolling Stones

So it goes...