In case anyone thinks I am some kind of wooden boat poseur… I was recently cleaning stuff out and came across a bunch of old checks, including some of the first I ever wrote. Inclued was this one, from 1985: my first subscription to WoodenBoat. Keepin’ it real…
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!
Two quick notes on contests, one germane to this blog and one which is shameless, self-serving promotion (but a good cause nonetheless). We’ll get the latter in first. My company, Forum One Communications, has entered the Sunlight Foundation’s Apps for America 2 contest. Our entry is called DataMasher, and it lets you relate government data sets to see interesting relationships. We made the top three and need your vote to win. Please check out our instructions and learn how to vote. Thanks!
I also like to see that WoodenBoat has launched a second version of its design challenge. I posted about the first one a bit ago. The second riffs off of it, asking for a bigger boat that is equally fuel thrifty. We look forward to seeing the results of this one. I like they way WoondeBoat is moving power boating forward with these contests.
Congrats to our friends at WoodenBoat, publisher Carl Cramer in particular, for launching the new blog My Wooden Boat of the Week. It looks like it is what it sounds like. This week’s entry is on training boats used in New Zealand. Interesting little boats. We’ll keep an eye on this blog to see what else Carl puts out there. Welcome!
Not long ago, I noted a great article Tom Jackson of WoodenBoat did on selecting the rig for the boat he was building. A more recent issues, #205, the November/December 2008 one, includes a follow up piece that is also worthwhile. Jackson decided to make his own sails even though, in his words, “I had never so much as used a sewing machine before.” Jackson opens his hand on the trials and tribulations of this project, but ends with a nice “go for it” that those of us who wrestle with the boundaries of our creative abilities need to keep in our minds.
Alas, I doubt I will be able to make it – again – but other show get thee to Mystic, CT on June 26th-28th for the 2009 WoodenBoat Show. Its at Mystic Seaport, one of the better maritime museums around, so that in itself is enough reason to go, but there looks like there will be tons of special goodies there for this big event, including another I Built it Myself exhibition of home-built craft..
I have seen a couple design contests around. I love these. WoodenBoat has a challenge out now. It asks for a small power boat with low fuel use, a response to the rising costs of boating. Here are the specs:
- 166 to 186 overall length, stem to stern (transom)
- 25-hp maximum power
- Must burn less than 2 gallons per hour while maintaining a 15-knot cruising speed and carrying 650 lbs (four adults or equivalent)
- Trailerable weight (with engine) must be less than 2,700 lbs
- Must be able to safely (if not comfortably) get home against a steady 15-knot breeze with higher gusts, and a 2′ to 3′ chop
An open contest like this, with a focus on solutions to a noted issue, is incredibly cool. There will definitely be more and better ideas to emerge from this casting of a wide net. It will be exciting to see what innovation comes out of this.
I read an article last night that prompted me to reflect on how I rate the value of a magazine article. One could imagine a star system, like those for restaurant, movie, or record reviews. Zero stars means that, at best, the article gave me nothing – no entertainment, no new knowledge, no nuggets of wisdom to chew on – basically it wasted my time. One star means that I was entertained on some level but basically got nothing out of it. Two stars gave me a little something new, and so on. Five stars, then, would be an article that is entertaining, includes several new bits of knowledge, presents a solution(s) to an interesting problem, and basically leaves me thinking ‘I absolutely need to clip this out because there is 100% certainty I will want to go back to this again.’ Allow me to introduce you to a Chine bLog-certified five-star article.
The piece is “A Suit of Sails,” featured in the latest issue of WoodenBoat (May/June 2008, Number 202) and written by Senior Editor Tom Jackson. Jackson is building himself a lovely Nomans Land Boat (some discussion on the type in this thread) and is trying to design a sail plan for her, there being no original one on which to base it (at least one that is known). Jackson outlines eight possibilities, walks through pluses and minuses for each, cites a few experts and principles they offered, and provides sketches of each option. Not only do you get Jackson and his experts’ views on one level, but you also get the perspective of Jackson as a boatbuilder, working through a problem as it has hit him. The article thus has a great multifaceted discussion that is both incredibly useful and incredibly entertaining. Five stars, Tom.
Oh – and, by the way, the boat in question is gorgeous and will, no doubt, be another gem for the Maine coast.
We at Chine bLog are immensely proud to have received a comment in the last week to a post from from two years ago. The post was on a great issue of WoodenBoat magazine and noted, among other things, a nice bio of Rudder founder and Bermuda Race originator Thomas Fleming Day. That someone found a two-year-old post was interesting, but when the comment comes from someone named David Fleming Day, it got us quite excited. David, we assume you are a descendant of Thomas. Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your perspective on this great man.
We are thrilled here at Chine bLog to announce that our efforts have again gotten us in the pages of WoodenBoat. PEACE OF THE PUZZLE made it into the Launchings column for this month’s issue (March/April, #201). Thank you much to the team there for selecting this boat!