Wednesday, April 25, 2018

in the "Take a bit of care" department...


This week I read of two separate incidents where someone was killed in a boatyard while working on a boat. Not actually a rare occurrence as it happens.

Think about that for a moment.

Sadly, boatyards (especially DIY yards) are notorious for being unsafe as they are a mix of toxic materials, dangerous conditions, unsafe working practices, and too many people working without a clue to possible outcomes of their actions.

Over the years I've been in boatyards where people have been poisoned, had masts fall on them, been electrocuted, had a boat fall on them, sawed off various body appendages, fallen off masts, been blinded, screwed or nailed a hand to a bulkhead/hull, impaled by flying pieces of metal/wood, been concussed, caught on fire, and gotten into fights that left them in intensive care. In too many of those accidents the people wound up dead.

Which is something you really might want to factor in if you're contemplating building or fixing up a boat/VolksCruiser. There's generally a safe and sane way to accomplish your goals and the alternative may just ruin your day or, possibly, the rest of your life.

Just saying...

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Regarding the word "CHEAP"...

Just this morning a reader of VolksCruiser wrote to tell me the problem with cheap boats is that they are more expensive in the long run and that,  just maybe, I should focus on boats of a higher quality more expensive caliber. Because, you know, you get what you pay for.

Oops, I just threw up in my mouth a bit.

First, lets look at what Merriam-Webster has to say in regard to the word "cheap"...

Definition of Cheap

a: charging or obtainable at a low price (a good cheap hotel - cheap tickets)
b: purchasable below the going price or the real value
c: depreciated in value (as by currency inflation)

a: of inferior quality or worth (tawdry, sleazy, cheap workmanship)
b: stingy (example: My uncle was too cheap to pay for dinner.)
c: contemptible because of lack of any fine, lofty, or redeeming qualities (feeling cheap: I felt cheap, full of shame and guilt)

gained or done with little effort (a cheap victory - talk is cheap)

of money (obtainable at a low rate of interest)

Like a lot of words "cheap" seems to have a variety of meanings attached to it but for me the primary meaning where boats are concerned I use cheap as being charging or obtainable at a low price.

Also in this mornings mailbag there was a friend pointing me to another CAL 34 for sale in San Francisco at what appears to be a very nice price of $12.5K.

I'll go on record and remind everyone that I think the CAL 34 is an excellent design which were built to a fairly high standard but not without their problematic issues. The fact that there are lots of fifty-year old CAL 34s still floating right side up and sailing speaks volumes in their favor.

Of course, it's pretty easy to say a 34-foot sailboat for $12.5K is cheap because it is and that's a goodly thing.

Right now, in my neck of the woods, there are a lot of "Hurricane" boats popping up for sale on a regular basis all of which proclaim to be cheap. Boats without rigs, boats with holes in them, boats that spent more than a little time underwater. Almost all of which are selling for a big chunk more than the CAL 34 in question and will cost lots of money and time to put right if possible.

So, there's "cheap" and then there's "cheap" which are not the same thing at all...

Choose wisely.