My letter, which - to the general reader - may seem a bit harsh, is meant only to point out that this gentleman, while (I am sure) well-meaning, is going to kill someone. People like this, like Col. Kilgore, have "that protective aura about them:" and usually come out without a scratch, all the while proclaiming either, "Circumstances conspired against them", or "The experts all had it in for me because I wouldn't join the club...", etc. We've heard it all before and seen it all before.
I am NOT an expert boat-builder (nor do I play one on T. V. ) but I am empirically quite conversant with construction techniques from wood thru concrete construction and am a fair judge of what will and what will not work at sea. This is one that will not.
I am hoping that just once, someone in authority might consider the fact that - despite the best of intentions - allowing this person to actually go to sea in that contraption is akin to handing him a loaded gun. No-one will actually be responsible for the catastrophe, of course, but the catastrophe WILL occur.
I perceive from your email's last line that you may see some validity in my opinion. If so, I think the best thing you can do is to not give this fellow any more publicity and to pass along these thoughts when asked for background by the next publication that inevitably will see him as "Don Quixote with a watery Rocinante".
As to how someone in Philadelphia became aware of your article, I have been following Mr. Lane's progress for just under a year, since I was sent a link to the Marin Journal (IIRC) and an article by Jessica Bernstein. I've been hoping against hope that he'd come to whatever is left of his senses, but apparently it is not to be.
Thank you for your reply... I quite enjoyed the style in which your article was written despite being less than sanguine about the content.