Thursday, September 19, 2019

A book you might want to check out...

I just read this and it has a whole lot of good common sense information that will save you some serious money.

Need I say more?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Some PBO goodness to check out...

The new PBO, as usual, has some great content in their August issue that is well worth checking out if you're of the VolksCruiser persuasion.

For instance:

Need I say more?

Friday, June 28, 2019

a better than most cruising narrative...

The other day I came across a book that I hadn't heard about of the cruising persuasion. In point of fact, this one...

There's a story told about what happened when Stanley Kubrick decided to make a horror film and started reading books of the horror genre. Apparently, according to his assistant, Kubrick would read a book for a bit and then throw the book across the room against the wall in disgust. This process went on for weeks and the assistant just got used to hearing the thump of flying books as being the new norm around the office.

I get that. But, in my case, it's not horror fiction that hits the bulkhead but what passes for books of a cruising or nautical bent. Most books of this ilk I come across these days are, well let's just say they lend themselves to being hurled with extreme prejudice, against the nearest available bulkhead.

Orca on the other hand, looked somewhat interesting. So, fully prepared to be disappointed, I downloaded the first couple of chapters to my Kindle and found myself enjoying it. So much so that I bought the book and read straight through it.

It's a good book and the best cruising narrative I've read in the last couple of decades. Real people, real cruising, and it will leave you wanting more. A really good read with a surprising amount of depth and humor. Well worth your money and time.

The fact that it is tailor made for the VolksCruiser fraternity is just icing on the cake.

Oh yeah, regarding Kubrick hurling horror novels against his office wall, this continued until he came across a copy of The Shining by Stephen King in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

a cheap dinghy that works...

The other day I happened on a conversation between a couple of folks on the subject of dinghies and what they should cost. Which, apparently, was a chunk more than I'd paid for our CAL-34.

The number of $7K for a minimum RIB and a means of propelling it is just too rich for my blood and to be truthful I'm more of a $300 dinghy sort of guy. Seriously, two or three sheets of plywood, a gallon or so of epoxy/polyester resin, a couple of 2X4s, and a couple of days (spelled d-a-y-s not weeks, months or years) is really all you need.

That said, not everyone feels they can build a dinghy so what's a poor boy going to do? Is it possible to buy a workable dinghy for cheap?

How about the BIC 213?

Back when we lived in France these little dinghies seemed to be in every anchorage or towed behind a rather large number of cruising boats. I even saw the great Eric Taberly rowing out to his Pen Duick in one. They had a lot going for them, they were small, light, rowed reasonably well, were unsinkable, tough, and they were cheap.

Seriously, what's not to like?

The good news is that BIC is still building these dinghies and the current cost of one in tRumpistan is just shy of the $500 mark.

Personally I'd still opt for a DIY plywood dinghy but if you're a tyro or just don't have the needful time to build, you might want to check the BIC out. I'm sure you can figure out better ways to spend the $6500 savings...

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

stuff you need to know...

Sailing With Josh (a blog you really should be reading) with some seriously needful thoughts on living aboard.

Check it out.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Maybe the best VolksCruising channel on the web...

Sailorama is a great YouTube channel of the unapologetic cruising on a budget ilk and if you're leaning towards doing the VolkCruiser Fandango you should really be following them.


For example...


Lots of good stuff and content with the added advantage of a definite lack of the "Look at me we're wonderful and oh so cute" vibe.

Ya think?

Monday, December 10, 2018

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Small boats, small problems and just do it...

Of late I've been hearing the old Pardey mantra of “Go small, go simple, go now” a lot recently and, surprisingly, in a somewhat contentious manner.

That such a simple bit of reasoning can become contentious I find just a bit bothersome...

So, let's break it down.

Go small

Sure, I get the fact that most folks when day dreaming about sailing off into the sunset tend to look at things through rose-colored glasses so see themselves in a sizable "yacht" with all mod cons, mucho bling to impress the neighbors, and an (apparently) unlimited source of income. Why not... daydreams are never about reality but all about wishes. My daydream boat of choice is a seventy-foot sharpie schooner in a world without tRump, where there is universal health care for all, wars do not exist, and I'm a better guitar player than Eric Clapton. Need I say more?

A good small boat, which these days is anything below forty-feet, is less expensive than a good big boat and the smaller the boat the less expensive it gets. Just simple math. 

Some more simple math is that a good smaller boat is going to be less expensive to maintain and run than a good bigger boat.

Of course, cost is not the most important factor albeit the most talked about and the really important thing is seaworthiness. Small boats get a pretty bad rap on the seaworthiness subject though, in my opinion, a completely undeserved one. A good small boat is as safe or safer than a good big boat. Anyone touting the advantages of big vs small on the safety front needs to rethink their old physics notes from college. Bigger does not equate with stronger or safer as a general rule.

One more thing on the whole small/big thing...

Most everyone talking about boat size is using the wrong yardstick and displacement makes a lot more sense when comparing boats. For instance, L&L's Seraffyn at 24' 7" displaces five tons which is just a kiss more than our CAL 34.

Lastly, it's important to keep in mind that a smaller boat is going to be easier to sail and able to sail or anchor in places larger boats may have issues.

Go simple

There is a lot to be said for simple systems but the important points from where I sit is that simple systems are inherently safer and more trouble free than complicated systems and when (not if) something needs fixing they are easier and less expensive to fix. The bottom line is more complication equals more possible points of failure

Go now

Apparently there are any number of ways one can translate "go now" but I really doubt that L&L intended it to mean for folks to sail off unprepared into the sunset in unseaworthy boats but rather that life is short and if you want to do something it makes all kinds of sense to learn to sail and get to doing it ASAP in a boat that won't kill you.

Over the years I've come to the conclusion that procrastination and waiting for everything to be perfect are the two greatest killers of dreams (followed closely by listening to what "everyone says") known to man. So the whole "go now" vibe just might be the most important part of the equation.

The thing is, I've never been a "fan" of L&L and my opinion is that they're just like everybody else in that they get stuff right some of the time, get stuff wrong some of the time, and just like all of us are clueless more than they'd care to admit. That said, they are right more than they're wrong in most things relating to boats and it's important to keep in mind they were way ahead of the curve in terms of making cruising both a lifestyle and a means of making a living doing it.

Which is why I tend to recommend their books with the proviso that one needs to keep in mind that there is not one true path and that's a goodly thing so always apply a certain level skepticism and common sense whatever the source.