Saturday, June 25, 2016

______________________ MARINER'S DINGHY (4) _______________________

It seems a bit like the monsoon season here is Whangarei at the moment so what better way to spend my time than to continue the work I have started on restoring Mariners big dinghy.

After having sanded the outside of the hull I have turned the dinghy upright, sanded the inside, removed the central thwart, stern and bow knees and the internal sheer planks all of which require replacing.

It has become a tricky job replacing the sheer planks as the planks have to twist and bend in two directions to fit. To bend the planks without breaking them I have cut them in half length ways and are fitting them one length at a time. The photo show the second (lower) starboard internal sheer plank glued and cramped in position. The port side is awaiting its two piece fit.

After the sheer planks are glued and glassed in place I will laminate in four sets of ribs which will stiffen up the hull and stop it flexing. The ribs will also provide support for some wooden floor boards; something the dinghy hasn't had before.
On this renovation I have realised yet again - you can never have too many G - cramps!

Friday, June 24, 2016

______________________ MARINER'S DINGHY (1) _______________________

 [ This story was posted in April. I have re - dated this post and re - posted it here to give some continuity to the  'MARINERS DINGHY (4)' post (above) ]

Shipmates in April I bought Mariners fiberglass dinghy home. She's a big stable useful workhorse that I will miss using. I have temporarily replaced her with another smaller dinghy while I do some much needed maintenance. She has suffered being permanently moored to the launching pontoon. She gets knocked around by other pontoon users and has to constantly contend with the weather.

 The new dinghy trailer came in useful to get her home.

The gunwales on both sides been severely compressed which has split the fiberglass hull away and opened up the wooden gunwales to the weather.

 The wooden knee in the bow has rotted out due to water ingress.

 The support for the central rowing thwart needs replacing.

This single reinforcing rib is broken in about six places. To stop the whole hull from flexing I will repair this one and add a few more.

At both sides of the stern sections at the sheer level water has rotted out the wooden reinforcing.

There are four raised rowlock pads that will require replacing.

Having another dinghy at the pontoon ready to go means the much delayed winter work on Mariner will not be delayed due to dinghy repairs. 

I will wash, clean and sand the whole hull before chocking her off on a set of saw horses in the carport so that when the winter rains begin I will be able to get on with the repairs. There's never a dull moment Shipmates.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

___________________________ SCAMP (2) _____________________________

This is a picture of the modified Scamp design that is being prepared for a journey through the area of the Magellan Straits and around Cape Horn. In my previous blog [Scamp (1)] I voiced some misgivings about the lugsail rig. I still have those reservations about the lugsail but its not really a big deal. The lugsail is very simple and handy and I would be happy to give this rig a try. But here is the  option for those who share my inclinations for a more 'conventional' rig. It's 'Southern Cross's Ketch rig - which to my eyes looks aesthetically (though not technically) rather like a Yawl.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

___________________________ SCAMP (1) _____________________________

This little ship is, I am sure, well known to small boat aficionados. She is 'Scamp' designed by New Zealander John Wellsford. 

Scamp has been described variously as "Truncated", "A little pig like in looks" and "Somewhat amputated". The people I have heard describing 'Scamp' in this manner have all made these remarks whilst totally transfixed with 'that' glazed look in their eyes. None of them were damning 'Scamp' with faint praise, they were all too busy falling in love with 'Scamps' abundant possibilities; and 'Scamp' has this in spades.

To my eyes she is the logical outcome of putting a sail and a small cuddy cabin on an oversized pram dinghy. I think her looks are attractively quirky and immensely enticing. She contains the paradox of something the size of a shoe box providing commodious day sailing and camping type over-nighting accommodation. Her possibilities are endless. As I type this there is someone sailing one around Cape Horn. She is an Everest of adventure in a small boat just one inch under 12 feet in length (3.63m).

Tumblehome designed into the stern avoids a 'boxy' look.

The unstayed lugsail rig is simplicity itself.

The small recessed cuddy provides shelter. With a tent over the boom the cockpit becomes somewhere to sleep.

Commodious cockpit.
It's 'Swallows and Amazons' revisited - (Albeit to date mainly with us older guys).
This is a very popular design with many being amateur built. She is also now commercially built in GRP.

My only misgiving about this design is the lug sail rig - despite the fact that I am aware how this rig contributes to the boats simplicity and ease of handling:

The mains'l forms a nice aerofoil shape on one tack but when going over onto the other tack the sail shape becomes compromised  by the imposition of the mast cutting across the sail. I always like to sail my boats as efficiently as possible whether cruising or racing and I think on one tack I would find things a bit annoying.  I think I would prefer a mains'l attached to the rear of the mast. I am aware that the front of the lug mains'l acts as a proxy jib of sorts and that altering the rig alters the center of effort and perhaps the position of the mast; but to obtain an efficient mains'l on both tacks I would be prepared to trade off absolute lug sail simplicity with a 'normal' mains'l and a small jib on a short bowsprit. I have seen a photograph of a 'Scamp' rigged as a yawl with mizzen, main and jib with bowsprit looking in proportion and well balanced (but of course with simplicity compromised). Other than this point I think she is a great little boat!

Here is a link to a great Blog about building the Scamp:

Go to the Blog Archive on this page and click the Blogs first page in December 2013 where the log of  building a 'Scamp' design begins.

Here are another couple of good links:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

______ Banned TED Talk: Nick Hanauer "Rich people don't create jobs" _____

Via Business Insider: "As the war over income inequality wages on, super-rich Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hanauer has been raising the hackles of his fellow 1-percenters, espousing the contrarian argument that rich people don't actually create jobs. The position is controversial — so much so that TED is refusing to post a talk that Hanauer gave on the subject. National Journal reports today that TED officials decided not to put Hanauer's March 1 speech up online after deeming his remarks "too politically controversial" for the site...".

This banned TED talk goes some way to explain the disenchantment of middle America with the reality of the policies of Americas' political and economic elites. Nick Hanauers talk exposes the vacuousness of the economic neo-liberal lie. The focus of this rage and disenchantment can be seen in the current round of presidential elections which is turning out to be both dangerous and unpredictable.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Wild Horses can’t keep Kathleen Jenkins from singing | Week 3 Auditions ...

I watched 'Britains Got Talent' on the telly last week. Each performance is an individual personal drama with much at stake. The personal hopes and dreams of the performer hangs by a thread. Such a context is ready made for television. I found this performance particularly moving. As is often said, "There wasn't a dry eye left in the house".