The Chine bLog family is back from a tropical vacation to Puerto Rico. While there,I did get my paddle on:I finally explored the stand-up paddleboard (SUP) phenomenon. No photos exist,this by fortune,not by design. There was a strong breeze and the water was choppy. My windsurfing experience served me somewhat from a balance standpoint,but it was definitely a “first outing”performance. I enjoyed it,made a little progress,and fulfilled a long-overdue need to try this paddling form.
So,what do I think? I don’t see myself rushing out to add a paddleboard to my fleet. The skills and body motions required are unique and there is no doubt you get a different workout than in a canoe or kayak. I like to take in the surroundings and explore while I paddle,though,and,while there is no doubt one could use a paddleboard in this way,it feels like these craft require more concentration on balance and such than I would care to devote.
It is clear that stand-up paddleboarding is the latest thing in recreational small boating,getting some of the mass-audience buzz that kayaks did 15 years or so ago. If paddleboards continue to be a big piece of the paddling establishment I would be completely fine with it. From a holier-than-thou,natural-power-purist standpoint,paddleboards are absolutely legit,especially if the lot is liberally sprinkled with non-plastic offerings like Chesapeake Light Craft’s Kaholo. Many people can and should have fun with them and I hope they do.
This said,though,I expect stand-up paddleboarding to be like windsurfing,not like kayaking. Windsurfing got huge buzz in the 80s and then tapered when many recreational users found the sport too hard to do routinely. Kayaking came on because of its simplicity,particularly with beamy recreational designs. You still see a good bit of kayaking rental traffic because the kayak form is genius in allowing someone to cover some distance without having to get too distracted from the surroundings. I think stand-up paddleboarding will prove to be too hard for the average recreational user to enjoy over a longer term and this wave will crest and the sport will be left to a smaller number of core enthusiasts. We’ll see what happens,I guess.
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has a great fleet and will be the better for adding the restored skipjack,ROSIE PARKS. I have blogged about her before and the museum does a nice job of tracking the update in its blog. I checked in on her while I was there. She’s coming along nicely.
See the “before”pictures in this post from 2007.
It happens all too rarely,but I was able to cash in a Christmas gift an spend another great day with Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum‘s Apprentice for a Day program. The current boat is an enhanced reproduction (a reproduction with some more modern updates incorporated) of GHOST,a deadrise bateau from about 1920. She is a longtime fixture in the museum’s collection but has not,as I understand it,seen the water in that time. Little is known,therefore,about her performance. She is just she of 16′LOA with a beam shy of 6′. In her day she carried a sprit rig with 146 square feet of sail.
I found her reincarnation with two rough side planks clamped on to molds and an oak stem. Her chine logs and transom were in place –check out that upsweep in the chines and the laminated keel –as were the initial stab at that most curious of Chesapeake boatbuilding creations,the chunk bow. Rather than planking the forward portion of the bottom,where planks could get twisted and tricky,the builders took a page from the dugout-builders of yore and carved pieces from solid stock. Arduous,but it did the trick.
Our first task was to fit the bottom-most port side plank (the bottom will be diagonally planked). » Continue reading Learning to plank –a great time as a CBMM Apprentice for a Day »
Chesapeake Light Craft’s John Harris had a great blog post a bit back on two faering designs he developed. The post gives a good overview of these lovely Scandinavian working boats,but the thrust of the piece is that John designed his own faering for stitch-and-glue construction.
At the moment,plans to make a fully-fledged kit for this boat are in limbo,but here’s hoping CLC goes forward with it. While their current fleet does have a nice traditional feel,notably,in this case,the existing Iain Oughtred-ish Skerry,this faering design extends the offerings to include a more interesting,“exotic,”traditional boat. That,in turn,introduces kit builders to designs beyond the more established set. Understand I have absolutely nothing against dories,skiffs,and prams –I just want a wider interest in all the other kinds of craft the world has to offer,and kits like CLC’s are a great avenue for achieving that end.
I was even more intrigued by the second boat Harris introduces,a scaled up version based on a Scandinavian craft called a fembøring. This craft includes a small,aft cabin. Harris’s boat includes such a cabin as well as a sliding seat,a lug rig,and a self-draining cockpit. An exceptional pocket cruiser / camp-cruiser,in other words. This one is unlikely to make it to kit form,though I believe I read Harris correctly that plans could be available. It’s a pretty cool-looking boat.
Klaus Schmitt has responded to our post last night with three more designs he has sketched up. He is definitely in a nice vein –classic workboat-inspired yachts. All look like they would be comfy and pleasant while not looking far removed from hauling a barge or a net. Of the first,Klaus writes:“[The first] is a raised mid deck cruiser…a nice way to get some room inside without [the sheer] looking too lumpy.”I agree the approach works well here,thanks to the strong trim on the sheer plank.
The next is “a small motorized pinky that will take you most anywhere. Incredibly seaworthy boats.”And sooo gorgeous. This is easily my favorite of the three. I love the lines of a pinky and this is a great take on the tradition. In fact,it really is what we call a Fusion of Tradition boat,is it not?
Finally,a boat Klaus call “a tough little motor sailor.”Indeed –no one is kicking this one out of the anchorage without a fight. And who’d ant to anyway? Charming.
We here at Chine bLog are pleased to welcome back sketcher extraordinaire Klause Schmitt. He writes that he has put his work up for show in the last year and hopes to again,so here’s hoping this morsel of design goodness –a tug-inspired classic yacht that echos a couple of his past works we’ve shown –will preface more. Keep ‘em coming,Klaus!
The leeboard bracket is giving us a tough lesson in the physics of lateral resistance. My first attempts showed flaws in the bracket to clip the board to the single side gunnel. The second attempt,from late summer,is below. I followed the published models and build a bracket that clips to both gunnels.
This system worked well enough at keeping the bracket in place,but I still had the end that meets the leeboard all wrong. I realized two things. First,the bolt was too thin –at 1/4″it was being bent by the leeboard’s upward,outboard pressure on port tack and upward,inboard pressure on starboard tack. Second,the “face plate”provided too little bearing surface for the board (and the bolt on the outside was too small as well). There wasn’t enough to keep the board clamped in place.
In the Fall,then,I enlarged the “face plate”and make a much bigger knob to clamp in the leeboard itself. The worked much better,but the “face plate”still came apart. In the face of these forces,then,I have now buckled a bit and,how shall we say it…screwed the snot out of it. I am still resisting loads of fiberglass cloth and big metal L joints,but there is more epoxy and bronze than before. I am hoping this will be enough. I find the bracket rather graceful as it is now (scrap white oak FTW!),and don’t want to have to revert to something clunky and ungainly. Physics may overpower,though.
Hello,dear readers. Or all two of you that haven’t written off Chine bLog. We have been on a bit of a hiatus here at the editorial HQ of Chine bLog. No excuses,just haven’t gotten to much writing.
We have been in the shop a bit over these few months. As Christmas presents,I designed and built paddles for my kids. The larger one,for my daughter,is modeled on Cree style. My son’s is Tlingit-ish (I blunted the tip for improved wear and to limit weaponization potential). All in all,I quite happy with them. They are fully varnished –scoff away,purists –and I managed to but a strip of thickened epoxy along the blade tips for wear. Looking forward to getting them out on the water this spring!
[Editors note:we are doing something here we loath,which is to back-post content to fill in a hole in time. Our only excuse is that the content is genuinely form the period in time,but we never got around to sharing it. Enjoy regardless.]
With the season winding down,we made it out to the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s,MD. With the sailing rig on AL DEMANY CHIMAN complete,it seemed right to put her up for judging again,hoping to beat the second-place finish of two years ago. We also we looking to spread the new sail and try our hand at a race.
Judging looked tough from the outset. Looking around the little green,there was a bumper crop of skin-on-frame boats. Check out the pictures.
The one guy –I didn’t get his name –was showing three,including a Greenland-style kayak he had tricked out with faux-bone spears,mocked-up arctic tools,and even a neoprene “seal.”The others were more straight-forward,but were really well done. AL DEMANY CHIMAN held her own,though,impressing with uniqueness and creativity. We got many nice compliments again. In the end,though,that qajaq was too much,and we took a proud second again.
The race proved much less successful. It was blowing modestly,and for good measure we tied in a reef (worked great!) and headed out with the fleet. Things felt good,with the latest iteration of the leeboard bracket holding it down OK and seeming snug. But then…we came about and the board pivoted up. Athwartships. The bracket failed again in a new way. Ugh. Discouraged but resolute,we headed back in,more iterating ahead of us. In retrospect,we should have given the race a whirl anyway,lateral resistance be darned. But there is always next year…
I took the afternoon off to get AL DEMANY CHIMAN sailing again –I’m still tinkering with the leeboard and steering –expecting I’d have a peaceful outing in light airs of Pohick Bay,VA. I had that,but I also got a pleasant,unexpected surprise. As I was launching,I glanced out and saw someone rowing a large craft with different lines –definitely not a gig or the like. It took me a minute to glance at her more to begin guessing,and,when she got closer I made out a distinct skin-on-frame look. Man of Aran –a curragh,there in the Potomac tidewater! In moments she was ashore and there were two out-of-the-ordinary boats on the beach,both skin-on-frame craft!
The owner / builder is local and is a hardy rower. He was back from a few mile piece,pulling his 20-some foot boat solo (she has seats for three). Check out this nice Irish lass: