Thursday, June 22, 2017

Someone you should check out...

A book I'm looking forward to reading, resignations of note, and in the "Too bad we can't have anything nice" department...

My back has decided to become problematic, lots of stuff needs doing, extra-strength aspirin/acupressure only go so far, and sitting at a keyboard is pain personified.

So...

Go read this blog instead... All sorts of boats and good stuff.

Listening to some great 1976 music and feeling just that little bit old.

So it goes...

Monday, June 19, 2017

Regarding the stars and bars and how not to make friends and influence people...

More depressing news, murder most foul, and about what bullets do to bodies...

Every once in awhile someone will pull into an anchorage flying the stars and bars. The flag, in fact, which in an enduring symbol of the treasonous war in defense of slavery.

Anyone with a room temperature IQ should realize that there are some places where flying such a flag just might not be a good idea and sends a really bad message... You know, like anywhere in the Caribbean.

Ya think?

Trust me, you really do not want to be these guys.

Listening to some Paul McCartney/Brian Wilson covers

So it goes...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Just a thought...

An apt film connection, some Flint Michigan justice in motion, and Badtux being depressingly apocalyptic...

I've been thinking quite a lot about sailing/cruising, boat design, and the fact that no one I happen to know is getting any younger.

What passes for design of boats that might be acceptable to folk of advancing years seems to fall in to two categories... Adding stuff that makes sailing easier and getting rid of the sail and selling folks on the idea of the wonderfulness of the internal combustion engine. Neither of which really solves the inherent problems that need solving but do make suppliers of consumerist goodies happy.

I get it. Designing a boat that is not a lot of  excess work to sail, comfortable for a person of possibly less than optimum mobility, and comfortable is no easy task. Made all the harder because designing such a boat requires real skill and is akin to swimming upstream against strong currents of thought and moneyed interests.

Still, since a goodly number of boat designers are of "a certain age", you might expect a design or three to pop up once in awhile...

Listening to Rosalie Sorrels (who is no longer with us)

So it goes...

Friday, June 16, 2017

Some DIY goodness...

Brazen acts of sucking up, a sign of the times, and "Being Jewish in Trump's America"...

HEO has an excellent DIY project most boats could use.



Check it out.

Listening to some Beatles covers

So it goes...

Saturday, June 10, 2017

World stuff and boat work...

Wendig gets creative with the Comey hearing, some needful situational awareness, and about that fourth cookie...

"I said I roll with the flow. Wherever it goes and it's rolling out of here..."
                                                                                                                     Michael Nesmith

 
Things are changing.

I'm not really sure what the hell that actually means. There are a whole lot of things in mid-morph and the jury is apparently still out on what it will all look like at the end of the current metamorphosis.

That said, I'm pretty sure you could safely bet serious money on the fact that, however things turn out, that it ain't going to be pretty.

I've always been someone who embraces change, tries to keep a a positive attitude, and rely on the a deep-seated belief that, in spite ample evidence to the contrary, folks in general are basically good and, given half a chance, will tend to do the right thing. Admittedly it's getting a bit harder to support my SOP and avoid becoming mired in despair.

As it happens, boat work helps...

Today I'm going to cut down a mainsail and resew it. The good part is at the end of the day I'll have a new sail to play with and, for a given amount of time, my mind has been liberated from thinking about caustic subjects for an all too brief respite.

More about that later...

Listening to Jeffrey Foucault

So it goes...

Thursday, June 08, 2017

100 million a year...

Badtux brings up HST, why you need to eat more beans/less beef, and in the "My feelings exactly" zone...



More information here.

Listening to Bay Ledges

So it goes...

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Something about carbon fiber...

Badtux nails it, about that "Big Lie" and in the "Why am I not surprised" department...

I often read in the boating press about the advantages and general wonderfulness of carbon fiber and I suspect you do too. The thing is do you ever read about how using carbon fiber can actually save you money?

I thought not.

A little back story, the first time I ever came across the words carbon + fiber used together was in the early 70's when my dad came home with a new obscenely expensive golf club. The next time was when (mid-70's) I was designing backpacks and tents for a company and the nice rep from Easton have me a huge box of carbon fiber rods, profiles, and tubes to play with in the hopes I would use them in upcoming designs (I did). Later on, when I mentioned I was building a bike frame, he gave me two carbon frame tube sets which I proceeded to turn into touring bikes.

At about the same time, a friend who was a guitar tech told me that a good way to keep my 12-string guitar necks from warping was to add a couple of small carbon rods under the fret board. They worked finest kind!

My eyes were opened to the myriad possibilities of carbon and as a result I've used it on surfboards, guitars, automobiles, and, yes dear reader, boats.

So, you might say, I have a certain amount of hands on/practical experience with the use of carbon and I like it. Fact is, the thing I like about it most is how it saves money when used with a little thought.

I mention this partly because just the other day someone emailed me and asked how my mast beam on "So It Goes" has held up over the years. For those unacquainted with CALs and their mast beam issues the problem is the mast beams are steel and most all need to be replaced at some time or other because they rust out. When I replaced mine I built a new beam in laminated plywood with carbon reinforcement instead of going the accepted route of having one built in stainless steel. A whole bunch of years later the beam is still rigid, rot free and non-problematically doing its job.

Admittedly the reason I chose to do the beam in ply/carbon/epoxy was more to do with the staggeringly expensive quote I got for a guy to weld up a stainless steel one and the fact that I happened to have some scrap marine ply of just about the right size, a roll of 6" carbon fiber unidirectional tape, and plenty of epoxy on hand so a new beam meant no out-of-pocket expense.

For those with a need to know  It would have cost me maybe $100 total at today's prices to build the beam in ply/carbon/epoxy while I'd expect a stainless one would cost at least $600 or so at the very minimum.

A little carbon in matrix with wood is a wonderful thing.

Of course, today there is a lot of bad science used around the word "carbon" and the engineering of marine gear seems to have morphed into and all-or-nothing approach which seems to be good for the people who sell carbon fiber and related services but not so good for folks who have to pay for it.

Take the 12-string guitar necks as an example... Guitar necks have, in general, a lot of stress due to the forces of the strings. A 12-string has lots more which tend to cause "issues". Most 12-string necks are strong enough in general but a little extra climatic stress or not keeping the guitar in tune mixed with maybe a little less than perfect grain structure in the wood chosen for the neck may add just that extra bit of force which may result in a warping of the neck. Adding a bit of carbon to the mix gives the neck that little bit of extra strength to make the neck bombproof. A simple, cheap, and easily added to the guitar building process without hassle fix.

Now, the current marine engineering solution would be to make the 12-string neck completely out of carbon fiber with the most high tech carbon and epoxy vacuum infused and baked in an autoclave. The resulting neck with be like 100 times stronger than the wood neck but at such a high cost that you cannot afford to buy it. On the other hand, the wood/carbon composite neck is more than strong enough and only add a few dollars to the cost of the neck. Less often makes more sense.

The important thing to keep in mind is that, in a composite structure done right, each element of the structure needs to pull its own weight and in wood/carbon composite all the carbon need to do is to "help" the wood and not replace it.

Used correctly carbon added to the mix saves money used incorrectly you're just being scammed.

Listening to Grateful Shred

So it goes...

Sunday, June 04, 2017

A difficult question...

A much needed (and appreciated) message from France, regarding drugs/addiction, something to keep in mind, and this just sucks but you can do something about it here...

The other day someone asked if I could recommend just one book for someone getting into sailboats and wanting to go cruising should read.

I'm still thinking...

Fact is, there are lots and lots of very good books ( we'll just ignore all of the really bad ones) on the subject but, truth be told, I've yet to find one book that says all the needful stuff between its covers.

Which is not to say that there are some contenders but, every time I find one that comes close, I come across something within it that takes it out of the running.

Maybe someone out there knows the answer?

Listening to Andrew Joslyn

So it goes...

Friday, June 02, 2017

Stuff...

Good stuff from a surprising source, something worth reading, and California has the right idea...

Sailing Anarchy has a great post about sailing that everyone should check out.

Really.

Listening to some music for change

So it goes...