Thursday, June 28, 2018

Everything most folks need in a 26-foot package...

I've always liked the Ecume de Mer...

It's a lot of boat in a 26-foot envelope.

Don't believe me? Check it out.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

in the "relative cost of burgers" department...

The other day someone pointed me to a couple of Craig's List self-steering gears to illustrate the argument that it was impossible to sort out a cruising boat on a frugal budget.

One of the gears was a Hydrovane for $4K and the other was a Monitor for  $3.8K... Which, I suppose, means that if you find two expensive wind vanes that proves all vanes are expensive?

So, I got on Craig's List and spent ten minutes searching and found an Aires for $450, a Navik for $895, and an ATOMS for a kiss under $600. All of the gears appeared to be in very good to excellent condition. Such good condition in the case of the apparently pristine ATOMS that I was very tempted to call the owner and ask how much he would charge to ship it down the Caribbean because the ATOMS is a truly great windvane and, in my opinion, much better design than either the Hydrovane or Monitor.

Still, as it only costs me about $300 all up to build a vane it would not exactly be the frugal thing to do...

Think of it all like a hamburger. You could go to some super hip bespoke cafe and spend a hundred bucks on a burger, then again you could to someplace that makes great burgers for $12, and, lest we forget, you  can always buy the fixings for a super burger to grill at home for a whole lot less.

The fact is you can almost always make do with something up to the required task on a given budget if you just bother to do your homework and apply the need/want/utility test.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Hazy details...

A very long time ago PBO had a short article on building a hatch for a sailboat based on the Maurice Griffiths double coaming design. It was good albeit sparse on details but included all of the information one actually needed to build the hatch. I cut this picture out of the magazine and added it to my files...

The next month in the letters section of PBO I was surprised that there was a negative review of the article as being worthless since it did not include dimensions and a few other details that were, apparently, outside the ability of the reviewer to figure out.

Over the years I've come across a surprising number of folks building and repairing boats that seem to exhibit a pronounced lack of , for want of a better word, imagination. Then again, some might just call it laziness.

For me the above drawing of the hatch construction is really all one needs. It shows how it goes together and I don't have any issues with the fact that it does not tell me what glue to use, the type of hinges needed, or the thickness and type of wood used.

The fact of the matter is most details for the hatch are going to depend on the size of your boat, the size of the hatch, and what sort of materials you have available. Telling you that the hatch should be built of 7/8" stock is just going to cause you all sorts of problems if you don't have 7/8" stock available and, I suspect, that your local lumber yard will only have 3/4" stock anyway.

Of course, you could do what a guy I know did and order some teak from a shop a couple of thousand miles away, have it milled to a precise dimension of your choosing, and then shipped at ludicrous expense to where you are which will result in very nice but way-too-expensive hatches for the likes of us of a VolksCruiserish nature.

Sure details count but you really only need two things for a successful boat project and that's the general concept of how it goes together and, most importantly, the fact that the concept of the project actually works.

In the case of the Griffiths hatch it goes together like the drawing and thousands of hatches to this general design have been built and they work...

All you need to know.