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Thread: Three Thoughts

  1. #1
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    Default Three Thoughts

    Nov/Dec '16 #253.
    Anyone else struck by the demographic difference pictured on page 47, '50s & '60s and like my memory of pix in earlier WB coverage of the Bahamian sloops, versus all the other pix in this article?

    Jan/Feb '17 #254.
    p.30. The paragraph that begins "A good thing about winter cruising . . . " and then the start of the next paragraph, "Cruising in Maine in winter brings out nice and helpful people." Reminds me of the winter I was tugboating and it seemed that every two week hitch on the tug had miserable weather and my two weeks off were so lovely that I ended up sailing rather than fixing the boat as planned.

    Also Jan/Feb '17 #254.
    Dr. Jagels comprehensively demolishes my long-held prejudices against linseed oil. Some days discovering that one has been wrong is more satisfying than being right.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    Regarding Flekkeroy's unexpected arrival here in December of 2015: a whole host of wood boat enthusiasts did all they could for the young couple as they sailed the coast during that winter's relatively mild weather. They and their boat are respectively at work and secured at Gannon and Benjamin now: https://www.facebook.com/GannonandBenjamin/timeline
    "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

    -Mark Twain

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    Hey Ian, why don't you expand on those thoughts. I did not read the articles you reference. Did not buy the Nov/Dec '16 and have not seen Jan/Feb '17

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    This is the deck for matters concerning WoodenBoat Magazine.

    I spent all too many years buying WB at the news stand, mostly in a personal snit at myself for not having enough money lo those many years ago to answer a begging letter from that hippy in Maine. For $100 I could have had a lifetime subscription, but $100 was not within reach that year during a timber recession when I was selling ling cod, well when selling well under the table but more often bartering with others as cash strapped as I was. Kept that up till our local periodical seller turned into an (in)convenience store.

    All of which is a long way around saying that while I am sympathetic to those whose access to WoodenBoat is sporadic, I can't summarize three articles in a way that will make any sense to those who have not shared the experience of reading them.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    I'm curious what 'long-held prejudices' against BLO the Jagels article dispelled.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    Try as I might I cannot keep the difference in practical value between 'boiled' and 'raw' linseed oil. I use a little frequently, both on the farm and on the boat, mainly cut 50% with turpentine or paint thinner, or gasoline (farm/marine gas..."dyed".
    I like oil treatment. Easy to apply....

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    Try as I might I cannot keep the difference in practical value between 'boiled' and 'raw' linseed oil. I use a little frequently, both on the farm and on the boat, mainly cut 50% with turpentine or paint thinner, or gasoline (farm/marine gas..."dyed".
    I like oil treatment. Easy to apply....
    Not a ton of difference, except that raw takes a good bit longer to dry. 'Boiled' is treated either by applying heat, or - more commonly these days - adding heavy-metal driers. These treatments jump-start the oxidation, or 'polymerization' process.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    I believed the myth that linseed oil was food for rot. Silly when you think about it.

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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    Boiled or raw....? The old guys swore on one for certain jobs and the other for other jobs. I just cannot remember which for what. I get the processing difference.
    Actually vegetable based oils can, if not applied correctly encourage mold.....not necessarily rot. When my kids were small I let them 'paint' the Wooden toys we built with whatever cooking oil we had in the kitchen. If left unused touched for a season or two...some were... they developed a mold on the surface. This was easily cleaned off and could be recoated as desired. This is why I cut linseed oil 50% with turpentine or whatever. Applied in this way I have never seen the mold.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    Boiled linseed oil is treated so that it will dry faster and harder.

    Linseed oil is edible, so it will support some kind of fungus or bacterial growth. The question is what kind of bug, what conditions, and how fast will the bugs eat the stuff. The good news is slowly, wet and dispersed, and not the same bugs that digest wood. Once it dries, it is extremely hard to digest because the enzymes that work on the fresh oil don't work on the cross linked oil.

    Demographics can be a touchy issue. I think that the pictures reflect the influence of racing. The locals had a great time with their boats. Then they got competitive, which got expensive, and attracted the the rich tourists who priced the poor locals out of the game. At least someone managed to write the rule that you have to have (hire?) a local skipper. Look at the 3 man crews and funky sails in the old pictures and the 8 or more man crews on the new ones with their sponsors names on the boom.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    I was wondering about the demographic evolution of boatbuilders who get written up and of the sailers. I've not been down there since the late '60s so my ignorance is fairly comprehensive.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    This is the deck for matters concerning WoodenBoat Magazine.

    I spent all too many years buying WB at the news stand, mostly in a personal snit at myself for not having enough money lo those many years ago to answer a begging letter from that hippy in Maine. For $100 I could have had a lifetime subscription, but $100 was not within reach that year during a timber recession when I was selling ling cod, well when selling well under the table but more often bartering with others as cash strapped as I was. Kept that up till our local periodical seller turned into an (in)convenience store.

    All of which is a long way around saying that while I am sympathetic to those whose access to WoodenBoat is sporadic, I can't summarize three articles in a way that will make any sense to those who have not shared the experience of reading them.

    I'll stray from this thread a bit, but relate to it a bit too.

    I subscribed to Woodenboat magazine the first year it came out. Your phrase "a begging letter from that hippy in Maine" struck a chord with me. I remember thinking back then, "why should I pay some hippy to reprint articles and sell them to me, what do hippies know about boats anyway." But as the years past, I picked up copies of WB at booksellers, read them at the library, and for quite a few years now, I've been a subscriber. I've often been impressed with and enjoyed some of the articles.

    How do I judge the magazine? As a kid starting out in the late 50's I raced dinghies from grade school through college and beyond. My go to magazine was "One Design Yachtsman, the Magazine of Sailboat Racing." Along with that interest, I was pretty much weaned on the Motorboating Ideal Series of books - there must have been at least 40 volumes that I devoured back then. I enjoyed them all, and along with being on the water, developed a sense of what worked and what was more bother than worth. I think of this in the present whenever the new issue of Woodenboat arrives in the mail. And it probably determines whether I'll continue to subscribe.

    Today number 255, March/April 2017 arrived. I scanned it and got stuck on "Designs: Sketchbook, UKPIK, a 15'- 2" Utility Boat." Sometimes I enjoy this section, but from time to time, me I've noticed some odd conceptions. In this case I thought "What the hell is this, will some neophyte actually build it, and if he does, what are his expectations, and will they be met?"

    UKPIK - 15 feet long, 5' - 5" beam, 7 inch draft, full standing headroom, and a derrick for carrying an 8 foot pram dinghy across the 4 foot long cockpit. Wood stove for heat too. Has internet boating fantasy arrived in print?

    A plan view shows the dinghy swung out over the side for launching ( I guess the skipper managed to get out of the pilot house door somehow to swing that dink out). I noticed the bottom sheathing of two layers of 33 ounce biaxial cloth, and a number of other details too. I noticed a sentence in the text: "The proportions.....put UKPIK into the toy-appearance" category of boats that I usually try to stay clear of."

    But the designer didn't stay clear of it, and presented the full monty. Did my years of reading those Motorboating Ideal Series and spending time on the water ruin me from appreciating creations like this?. Should I reconsider my subscription, and just thumb through the odd issue of WB at the bookstore, buying only an issue that really appeals to me? Pulling an old book from my bookshelf and visualizing good old practical designs in modern materials and techniques has a lot of appeal and is free.

    I'm left with the thought that I'd really like to see the designer of UKPIK build that boat himself in his own back yard, weld up and install the wood stove that he mentions to keep the boat cozy, build the dinghy too, and launch in the middle of January for some winter cruising during a fine weather break. Then report back to us in a fresh article.

    Maybe I'm being too brutal? Why shouldn't there be a little boat for the masses? Dreams are nice, but some innocent fellow just might build this dream and find out that it really isn't the dream he imagines. There again, if only dreamers enjoy designs such as this and never build them, the disadvantages if the design will never be known, but maybe magazine sales will even increase on the back of dreams. Who knows?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    Dave, you are being a little brutal. McGowan is attempting a variation on Bolger's great and crazy sketches. To even row a stroke or two that way means one has the courage to contemplate in public the ridiculous. And manage some sense right there. I really like the stretch and the reflective process. It's a sort of: "Here's what could be done with these desires."

    Often the wish is far from anything I'd ever countenance.

    Often some aspect of meeting the wish seems a bit strange to me.

    Always the process is interesting.

    The designer is a cross between angel of fulfillment and mediator between client and reality, as I certainly learned as Michael Mason weeded out the stranger of my ideas for 'improving' LFH's Golden Ball.

    The Sketchbook is just that, a sketchbook. Look at any artist's sketchbook: Very little of it gets unchanged into any finished major work but almost all of the sketches are of interest. The measure of the Sketchbook's value is not any of the good ideas it contains, but is rather how it makes the reader's imagination stretch.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    As intended, 'Sketchbook' articles are responses to design suggestions submitted by readers. I wrote up a request for a design and the designers responded with consideration and effort that I really appreciated. See SERENA here: http://www.woodenboat.com/serena-0 Will I build the boat? Not likely unless I somehow come into a lot of (very) free cash, and that would include having the design brought from the sketch to a full, buildable package.

    Ben Fuller, a frequent contributor here submitted the request for what ended up as UPNIK. Given what he had to say about it below, I'll be interested to read more about how his original request was framed:

    "I am afraid that I'm to blame for this one. A simple winter boat that could be trailered, live in a slip or on a mooring. Think Camden Harbor. A winter equivalent of the MITA Lund that I spend time driving. Tender is egg in your beer; the idea of a tender would be to take along so you could land on an island, or you could put the boat ashore the way we do the Lund's I'll be interested to see the text. Some of the inspiration for me was the winter RI clam skiffs which have little shelters on an outboard."
    Last edited by rbgarr; 02-14-2017 at 07:06 AM.
    "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Dave, you are being a little brutal. McGowan is attempting a variation on Bolger's great and crazy sketches. To even row a stroke or two that way means one has the courage to contemplate in public the ridiculous. And manage some sense right there. I really like the stretch and the reflective process. It's a sort of: "Here's what could be done with these desires."

    Often the wish is far from anything I'd ever countenance.

    Often some aspect of meeting the wish seems a bit strange to me.

    Always the process is interesting.

    The designer is a cross between angel of fulfillment and mediator between client and reality.....
    Ian, I loved and always enjoyed Bolger's sketches and style. and those of the Atkins, and Farmer too, and others. It's always dreams versus reality. Imitators have to be wary though, because what came through with the style of the greats was a sense of experience and practicality. I can imagine any one of those greats that I mentioned writing a passage to accompany UKPIK that would read something like this:

    "Let's be frank shipmate. Any fella with the gumption to build this little boat with its 7 inch draft, two layers of 33 ounce biaxial tape, a whole lot of Gouge, and a 6 inch wide sacrificial keel of the densest wood he can get his hands on, and believe me it does take gumption - now that fella, when he gets done is apt to be the practical sort. He'll simply toss a pair of rubber boots in a corner of the cockpit and he'll run that little boat gently up any beach he desires to visit, and the rubber boots will keep his feet toasty dry as he disembarks.

    That practical fella will just know that trying to carry and handle a 20 square foot dink in a 20 square foot cockpit is simply an abomination, and a pair of rubber boots the solution. Now if he doesn't already know this, then some halcyon winter day when he's crossing a tranquil bay, his little stove glowing red hot, when the wind and current suddenly comes up, and by golly some pot warp wraps around his prop..... now that dinghy strapped to the cockpit coamings is gonna be the cause of some mighty strong cuss words. If he makes it out of this jam he very likely will have abandoned that little dinghy. Hopefully some other fella will find it on his beach, none the worse for wear, and put it to better use."
    Last edited by Dave Wright; 02-14-2017 at 10:42 AM. Reason: spelling

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    Somehow I missed this thread and your critique which was did not have the advantage of the full back story hence was a bit brutal.

    The dink: driving a MITA boat I spend a large part of my summer in rubber boots getting boats on and off places where most folks wouldn't land. Stern anchors and setting poles are tools of the trade. There are times, however, that there is enough bobble, that getting the Lund ashore isn't a good idea. There are also lots of times that having to shift the boat due to dropping or coming tide is a real pain. Rigging haulouts and other methods work if you might be overnight but the few hour visit is the one that is the killer. In several decades of this I miscalculated once, and with the help of my crew and beach debris managed not to have to spend the night on the island. So the "perhaps" in the letter.

    All of this done perhaps best the way the local clammers work and we work in summer: aluminum and add a deck house. Part of the challenge is to do this in wood, rig the boat so that landing on a rocky beach would be trivial, hence the heavy structure below the waterline where a layer of high molucular density plastic might work better than sacrificial wood
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    Ben, if I was forced to carry a dinghy aboard UKPIK then I would probably reluctantly settle fof a Sportyak 213. They've been around for many years, come in at about 40 pounds, 7 feet long by 3'-9" , row better than an inflatable, can carry two people, and stay afloat when full of water. Light enough that on a calm day you might sling it up on the cabin top in disgust to get more cockpit room (of course adding even more to the top hamper of that little boat).

    They're pretty tough and thick skinned but you don't want to puncture one. A tenant left one in my slip when he departed. I looked down at it, noticed that it was full of water, and happily thought "I've just got a free dink." I reached down to pull it up on the dock to drain it out, and was shocked to feel several hundred pounds weight. The damn thing had a split in it as was full of water. The styrofoam core had fully soaked up.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    I saw the cartoon in WB issue 255 and had much the same reaction as Dave Wright. I do not think Dave was too brutal. In fact, I think the such a critical review is helpful in getting others to make their comments as most of these cartoons have gone by with no comments here whatsoever. I tried to elicit comments once but no one came forward. I would never set out on my home waters in all too common conditions in such a short and high windage little boat with assurance that I'd get back home.

    Another offering that I am critical of was, among others, the little cruising boat LOON, as no amount of flowering description could hide some serious misgivings resulting from a closer look at this very admittedly handsome little craft. It turns out that a boatbuilder friend of mine is building a LOON for a client. It also turns out that most of my criticisms have been addressed in redesigning the boat for the actual build. So I applaud Dave for his comments and if any think he was too brutal, don't just say so, but actually point out where he went too far.

    Woodenboat puts these quicky and often quirky designs out as an anticipate enhancement to the magazine for the buyers of the magazine. To say that critical comment is unwarranted makes the thing useless in my mind. So, right on Dave, I'm with you.
    Tom L

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    I certainly don't mean to even whisper that criticism is bad. It's good.

    And in fact, the Sketchbook crew could do a real service by initiating their own critique based on what they gave away trying to fit the brief. They do hint at this in discussion, but I mean a summing up brutal look, like, "A little wood stove could be nice here but some thought needs to go into whether one could fold oneself into that space without burning one's shins." Every designer must have at least some reservation and it's interesting to see what he or she thinks are compromises that might have been decided a little differently.

    It also might be well for the authors in a burst of self-criticism to raise at least in passing engineering issues that are not worked out and could even cancel or change things - like little twitches in scantlings that could make the boat unstable or prone to porpoising or gripe.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Three Thoughts

    In this particular case, since I am to blame, I think closer reading of the design brief by both designer and commentators would have been useful. The fundamental exercise was to get a boat that could provide winter shelter, able to operate at modest speeds, be light enough to tow behind a 4 banger, light enough and tough enough to land on a cobble beach. The ablity to manage a dink was egg in your beer, and could have been dropped as not feasible in the length set out. What I don't know is the weight trade offs; how much would a few extra feet lengthen the boat against dropping some of the nicety of accomodations which were not part of the brief. These would certainly be part of the next round. This problem could have been solved by an 18 footer with a simple plywood shelter on it as used by fishermen, but it wouldn't have been as much fun.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

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