For the next 24-odd hours Chine bLog is reporting LIVE from the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s,MD. As I type on my smart phone,a lovely folk trio is playing in the background while folks eat and mingle. A whole fleet of amazing boats is already here,and I’ll be sharing some in the AM.
The biggest news,from our perspective,is that the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe AL DEMANY CHIMAN finally got under sail today. That was the afternoon’s goal and we got it done. As you may recall,“DEMANY”means “sail”,so she has fully taken her name. Results? Well,winds were light,but we completed several tacks and had no catastrophic issues. That said,we have some work to do. The leeboard is not behaving well at all and was minimally useful. Design flaw there. The configuration of steering vs. sheet will also take some getting used to. All told,though,we’ll call it a success.
[UPDATE] The sailing rig did not fair so well during the blustery next day. While still on land showing off her rig,the yard snapped (building flaw) and the mast partner lashing failed (design flaw). Neither was catastrophic,but we’ll need to deal with these issues before we get back on the water under sail. A guy who was next to the rig when it broke looked at me like my brother just died and said a sincere “I’m sorry.”It was a bummer,yes,but I regard the whole boat as an experiment and a learning experience,particularly the sailing rig. I will learn from this and fix the issues and we will be back. This boat CAN sail –we proved that.
We here at Chine bLog were sad to hear the news earlier this week of the passing of Harold “Dynamite”Payson. If the late,great Phil Bolger deserved eternal bliss for designing the Gloucester Light Dory,Dynamite Payson deserves the same for making the great design so accessible. Dynamite Payson literally wrote the book on building the Gloucester Light Dory,the one I used when I built one at age 16. How to Build the Gloucester Light Dory:A Classic in Plywood was a well-produced,easy-to-follow guide to building the boat,and it made the project possible. I even contacted Mr. Payson a year later to inquire about the feasibility of adding a sliding seat to the boat. He responded graciously to a 17 year-old kid without much forethought on hydrodynamics. I wish I could have met him.
Carl Cramer,of Wooden Boat Publications,did know him,and wrote a nice obituary on Monday. Carl is also quoted in one in the Bangor Daily News that gives more background on the man. Read these and learn about this obviously great man and important contributor to the resurgence of wooden boats.
It has been far too long (we do I always find myself starting this way? SIGH) since we here at Chine bLog highlighted the great posts others have offered the world regarding wooden / traditional boats. Yes,believe it or not,Chine bLog is NOT the only source. Really. It’s true. If you haven’t discovered it already,you should be sure to read the stuff below:
I just finished reading Sons of Sindbad by Alan Villiers. I guess Villiers is a noted mariner and author;I confess I hadn’t heard of him. He went to Aden in 1939,having shipped out on sailing ships for many years. He arranged to join a traditional boom (dhow) on its annual run from Arabia to Zanzibar. He wrote about his months with an all Arabian crew,including observations both on the boats and seafaring as well as the Arab culture. My review? It would have been the better for being about 1/3 shorter,overall. This aside,there were many interesting observations,and I learned a good bit about the traditional shipping of the Western Indian Ocean. The nuggets were embedded,however,within a fairly dry tale. Villiers ran into many discomforts,but there was little in the way of harrowing adventure to keep one engaged. In short,not bad,but not the first book I’d recommend.
Heads up:Paddling.net has a new,cool-looking tool that shows launch sites on a Google Map and allows you to add new ones. I will be taking a look and seeing if I can contribute;please yours too. This will be extremely valuable when built out.
I like that our friends at WoodenBoat and Professional BoatBuilder have launched the third in their series of design challenges. This one is inspired by the burgeoning raid movement and asks for a “fast expedition sailboat.”It must be a new design after September 1,2010 and is due on April 29,2011. The boat must be less than 40′LOA,must be trailerable (meaning less than 8′6″beam and 3,500 lbs),have “spartan overnight accommodations,”and must be able to go to windward in gale-force winds.
I wish I had capacity to enter;someone else should. Let’s see some great designs!