Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A sweet minimal voyaging ride...

Some very interesting reading, boiling the frog, and some America's Cup carnage/aftermath...

Yann's been busy.


More about the design and build over at Boat & Koad.

Listening to some good stuff from the Falcon Ridge Folk Fest

So it goes...

Sunday, July 23, 2017

on things being different...

tRump with a telling question, Badtux has a good suggestion, and EBM offers some good advice...

A very long time ago I was once accosted by a fellow cruiser who took exception with the fact that I would, from time to time, do paying work for other cruisers. Apparently, he thought, that asking to be paid for (let's say rebuilding a toilet) was counter to the whole cruisers "we're all one big loving family" vibe. I'm pretty sure that he also said I was a greedhead exploiting and ripping folks off. It still rankles...

In my defense, when working for other cruisers I always used a system of sorts which boiled down to that if someone just needed some help or advice there was never money involved but, if they were perfectly capable of doing the job themselves, then a reasonable payment for the work in question would come into play.

Of course, back in the day, things and cruisers were a whole lot different (Hmmm, I just channeled my dad)...

For starters, most cruisers were a whole lot handier and had a lot more experience in the manual arts. Which is not to say that there are not a lot of cruisers today who know how to fix and build stuff but they are a much smaller percentage of the overall cruising community than they used to be.

Boats were a lot smaller as well. Offhand, in the early 90's, I'd hazard a guess that the average cruising couple's boat was right in the 30-32 foot envelope. Sure you'd find the odd couple  on a 50 foot or larger boat but they were few and far between.

And, maybe the most important difference in cruisers today and in days of yore is there is a huge difference in the amount of money in play. So much money in fact that it's hard to imagine how anyone on a blue collar budget could manage at all.

Which, sorta/kinda, brings us back to the whole working for or marketing to cruisers and being a greedhead thing...

"Huge chunks of money seldom bring out the best in people"
                                                               -My dad may have said that

Back when I was doing jobs for other cruisers no one was awash with lots of cash and, as a general rule, you might say that cruisers as a group were a pretty penurious lot. Truth be told, working for other cruisers was just about the last thing a greedhead would be attracted to as there was just not that much money for the effort.

But, times do change. In a world where a sailing magazine recently referred to a half-million dollar monohull as inexpensive, you're going to find that whenever there are those kinds of sums involved mixed with folks who're not all that knowledgeable or handy...

Well, someone's going to take advantage.

Be careful. Do your math.

Just the other day I noticed someone selling 100' hanks of Endura single braid for $135 which seemed somewhat overpriced. As it happens, I really like Endura single braid and have been buying 100' foot hanks for various rigging projects from Hamiliton Marine at $86 for quite a while.

Just saying...

Listening to Coverville (always a good listen).

So it goes...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Need/want...

Some very needful reading, George Romero is no longer with us, and some soul-destroying duty for the Coasties...

Every once in awhile I find myself thinking that a watermaker aboard "So It Goes" would be no bad thing. This state of affairs is then followed by a perusal of the current commercial offerings, used watermakers, and DIY options available.

If I find anything of interest they are then subjected to the triage system of questions...

  • Do I really want a watermaker?
  • Do I really need a watermaker?
  • Will a watermaker be a cost-effective system aboard "So It Goes"?
Usually, at the end of the triage process I find myself thinking that while a watermaker would be nice, the cost and hassle of installing one simply does not factor into the "need" category and short of some major change in the cost of watermakers or watermaker technology that "So It Goes" will remain watermakerless and I will continue to get a significant amount of exercise rowing to the water dock on a regular basis.

With me so far?

So, the other day, a reader of this blog dropped me a link to a very interesting watermaker and asked me what I thought...

Which triggered the whole "Gee, a watermaker would be no bad thing" cycle...

And that, of course, led to the whole need, want, and does it make financial sense triage tango...

Which then resulted in my purchasing said watermaker which, I suppose, is about to wing its way down to the Caribbean soonish...

Which is a long and roundabout way of saying that in the not-too-distant future you can expect a review of a pretty interesting, not too expensive watermaker.

But more on that later...

Listening to the Rockets

So it goes...

Monday, July 17, 2017

A different kind of wolf, one hundred companies you might want to take note of, and in the "It's about time to drink like an adult" department...

Storer has a great article on evolution of boat building and materials in Taiwan and it's really interesting. Check it out.

You're still here?

Listening to some McGuinn/Byrds covers

So it goes...

Saturday, July 15, 2017

On the question of is buying stuff for your boat less or more satisfying than sailing...

Henry Rollins on the tRump/dumpster fire reality, Paul Krugman getting it right, Dick Dorworth with a letter to Powder, and an important reminder...

The other day I came across a proposed plywood bicycle that I found vaguely interesting (though unpractical and apparently designed by someone who may have never actually ridden a bike) until I got to the price.

$1000-$1400.

Which these days, admittedly, is not all that much for a bike but still it is a lot of money for the design (and I use the word loosely) as shown.

Of course, the site I found the bike on is of the "we pimp stuff no matter how stupid" variety. Whose only reason for existence appears to be to get folks to go out and buy something because the outdoor experience is really all about buying new gear as true happiness and Nirvana is just another purchase or so away. Think how cool it would be, how envious your friends, and all you have to do is buy that $57 Titanium Spork...

The sad fact of the matter is the whole buying stuff as entertaining fulfillment is seductive...

Especially around boats.

The problem is that spending money for stuff you really don't need (or even want) is all kinds of counterproductive to the goal of actually going sailing or cruising.

But you already know that...

Listening to Chuck Prophet

So it goes...



Thursday, July 13, 2017

What I'll be reading this afternoon...

Flat earthers, a bit of insanity, and something you may want to read...

There's a new issue of PBO out that I'm looking forward to reading.


Really, how could I resist an article on how to convert a ketch into a schooner?

Nuff said.

Listening to The Long Winters

So it goes...

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Why is stuff like this so rare?

I'm sure they just have our best interests at heart, some needful situational awareness, and in the "paper ballot counted by hand" department...

It would seem we're living in a Best of times/worst of times continuum. For instance, we live in a world where it's become a lot easier to design and build an affordable needful bit of boat gear. Computer aided design, manufacture, and new sales models make serving a niche market both possible and potentially profitable.  Better yet, it allows folks to build products like this autopilot...


Which really rocks and is high on my want list.  Both better than what is sold by the marine establishment and a LOT less expensive. What's not to love?

So, here's the question...

Why are we not seeing more small startups with good ideas, better quality, and affordable (non-gouging) pricing?

Listening to some Ringo covers

So it goes...

Saturday, July 08, 2017

regarding yesterdays mailbag...

Krugman pointing out the important facts, some timely needful advice from Wendig, and Moldy Chum making a good point...

Wow, did I get a lot of mail regarding yesterday's post. Here's something you hear all the time and it was oft repeated in yesterday's mailbag.

"A cheap used boat will cost you more in the long run..."

Sort of an old wives' tale that. Of course, most wisdom of this sort has a basis in reality and a lot of people confronted with a boat develop an irresistible urge to start spending money like a drunken sailor. So, while I don't believe it's true as a rule, I do believe one should admit it is a possibility and take steps to avoid the humiliation of a boat project gone clusterfuck.

So, here are a few good reasons you may not want to rehab an old boat to go cruising on...

  • You don't like working on boats.
Seems obvious as hell but I've lost track of the number of people on boats who absolutely hate working on their boats.
  • You don't feel confident that you can learn the needful skills required to rebuild and maintain a boat.
None of the needful skills are rocket science but if you feel you need to hire a rigger, painter, fiberglass guy, or mechanic, an affordable rehab project is going to be nearly impossible.

  • You don't have a sensible plan.
Folks rehabbing boats without a good plan are in for a world of hurt. A lot of people   think having a list or lists is a good substitute... It's not.
  • You don't have a sensible budget and the ability to stick to it.
Budgets work. If you limit yourself to a given amount and stick to it, you'll not only wind up with an affordable boat, it will be a better boat for it.
  • You need to keep up with what's "hip" and think your boat needs to reflect this.
If you rehab a 1969 CAL 34 or a Columbia 34 they will always be a CAL34/Columbia34 no matter what you do... You can't turn either boat into a Swan or whatever you think is "hip". Which is not to say you cannot make vast improvements to the boats but simply that you cannot make it into something it's not so don't even try...
  • You don't want people to think you can't afford a better boat.
Trust me on this... NOBODY REALLY CARES out cruising. Most cruisers just don't want you to anchor too close to them. That said, if you're only interested in appearances a fixer upper sailboat is just not going to work for you.
  • You think things that cost more are always better than things that cost less.
Just get a Gunboat.

------


Listening to The Maldives

So it goes...

Friday, July 07, 2017

about that near derelict Columbia for $500 and why you might want to consider it...

Flying the unfriendly skies, very well said, and in the "what are our moral paragons up to these days?" department...

I was just reading a post over at Gin & Tacos and it got me thinking about the longevity of production boats.

Or, to be more precise, how well boats built in the 60's and 70's have held up over time.

Want to do something interesting? Go look at some near derelict boat for sale for nearly nothing and let it tell you its story...

Sure, you'll find a little rot and lots of stuff that needs fixing but the basic boat will, in most cases, still be sound.

Fact of the matter is the hardest part of fixing up most old boats is not so much the fixing part but the horrible task of taking stuff apart and removing it...

Well, actually, I've found the worst part of fixing old boats tends to be the removing and sorting out the rampant stupidity/bright ideas of previous owners but then that's just my opinion.

A quick rule of thumb about buying old boats for rehab is that if it floats and costs less than the price of the lead in the ballast it's a doable project.

More on this subject soonish...

Listening to Faux Ferocious

So it goes...