It took longer than I had hoped to rebuild the lateen yard so that I could get my skin-on-frame outrigger canoe AL DEMANY CHIMAN under sail again. Recently,though,I finally completed that task and yesterday morning life and the weather gave me an opening to get “the sail canoe”under sail for the second time.
Truthfully,the weather could have helped a bit more –the wind was fairly light and flukey. This said,I did have a nice little sail and made some progress towards having the sailing rig fully tuned and “done.”The new yard did well and the reworked main sheet arrangement was much better. I think I also have identified the right spot on the yard for the halyard.
Left to do is to do some thinking on the leeboard. The boat definitely wants the lateral resistance to go upwind well,but there are two issues. First,the bracket I designed to clip the board to the gunnel just isn’t working. On port tack it was just about pulling up and over the rub rail. I think I am going to need to use a bracket the crosses the hull and clips under the inwale on both sides;this is the more common arrangement I have seen in Gary Dierkingand Todd Bradshaw‘s books.
The other problem is that the board will still not reliably stay down,even after I added leather washers. Not sure what my next step is on this one.
I’ll also be playing with the steer oar to try to improve it. Steering will be something I’ll be playing with further,I suspect.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife,nor his manservant,nor his maidservant,nor his ox,nor his ass,nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. (Exodus 20:17)
So that final phrase is fairly open-ended,but is thy neighbor’s Watson Fellowship covered? Because if it is,we’re screwed. We say this after receiving an email this week from a visitor named Will Meadows. Mr. Meadows has recently graduated from university here in the U.S. and succeeded in winning the prestigious fellowship,which grants $25,000 for “a year of independent,purposeful exploration and travel —in international settings new to them —to enhance their capacity for resourcefulness,imagination,openness,and leadership and to foster their humane and effective participation in the world community.”And what will Mr. Meadows do with this gift? Here is where the envy part comes in. He writes:“Traveling for a year non-stop as a Watson Fellow I will build and study traditional canoes on every continent (besides Antarctica).”No one told us we could do that when we were 21! We want a do-over!
In all seriousness,this is an amazing project and we truly commend Mr. Meadows for winning the fellowship and choosing this incredible topic. To be clear,we’d support almost any permutation of this project,but the particular itinerary / boat selection is a great mix. Meadows is covering many major styles and building materials,so the results will allow a great study of strengths and weaknesses as well as unique factors in the evolution of different boat types. In his words:
The global journey begins on lake Titicaca on the border of Peru and Bolivia where at 12500 feet beautiful reed canoes are made throughout the lake. The native peoples of Titicaca live on floating islands of the same reed harvested in the lake ecosystem a. From there,I build in Zanzibar with the dugout builders of the island,traveling into mainland Tanzania and Uganda as well. After a brief stay in the United Arab Emirates with a palm frond boat builder,I work with Maori war canoe builders on the North Island of New Zealand. Canada calls next in the spring with the intricate birch bark canoes of the north woods. The year ends with a summer building traditional Kayaks in Norway and a stay on the Mekong in northern Laos.
We are,of course,eager to stay in touch with the project. You can too –Mr. Meadows is writing about his travels and sharing his knowledge at the Humanity’s Vessel blog. It’s on our RSS reader and should be on yours too. Please join me in wishing Godspeed to Mr. Meadows!
Double-down on Friendship Sloops –with which we have no problem –because Great Harbor Boatworks posted a nice set from the Southwest Harbor Friendship Sloop Race on its Facebook page (thanks to Thomas Armstrong of 70.8% for the share). The lead-off boat in the photo album is the one below,which is a cutter we believe named RESOLUTE. She is so beautiful it hurts.
We here at Chine bLog are just getting back into the grind after a nice vacation at our fave port,Cuttyhunk Island,MA. We got in some good paddles in the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe,AL DEMANY CHIMAN,and,along the way,key our shutter ready for interesting craft that were also there. There were several of note. Below are some highlights.
An interesting-looking pocket-cruiser ketch
Sweet little gaff sloop
A well-appointed mini-tug
Workboat-inspired power cruiser DORETHEA L
As in the past,we are inclined to award a Boat of the Trip,given to that vessel that best captures our heart,pure and simple. The ones above are all nice,and we were thinking we’d have to make a tough choice,but then,on the last full day,the dark horse appeared and sewed up the award. I saw her from the house,about a mile away,and knew I had to check her out. Up close,I found what I expected:a gorgeous sheer,fine woodwork,and tons of character. She’s the delightful lovechild of ROSINANTE,a Maine lobsterboat,and a 20′s commuter. We call that fusion of tradition,my friends. In the end,with no disrespect to the other entrants,it wasn’t close. So congratulations to BARNACLE of Guilford,CT –you’re the Boat of the Trip!
Bow-on view of BARNACLE,from Guilford,CT
Here’s another image courtesy of of Facebook,this one on the WoodenBoat Facebook page:two lovely Friendship Sloops,with full sails set,racing (I believe) at one of last year’s Friendship Sloop Society events. Just amazing boats. Ultimate photo credit,I believe,goes to the Friendship Sloop Society,to which I need to pay more attention.
I learned recently,via the Cheaspeake Maritime Museum Facebook stream,the the Apprentice for a Day program completed the North Shore Sailing Skiff I worked on for a day this spring. As expected,she came out quite well. She’s a nice design overall,and I hope I can take a few pulls in her at some point.
I friend of mine sent me a piece recently entitled “Origami Kayak”. I thought “this must be a gimmick,but it will be fun.”I should know better,though:said friend has a good eye. The article talks about Oru,the Folding Kayak,and it is truly a kayak the folds out of a case similar to an artists portfolio. The product is launching soon,so I imagine you’ll be more than happy for me to cross-post the promotional video:
This actually looks like a decent light kayak. It has reasonable pleasant,Greenland-ish set of lines and seems to set up fairly quickly. Would I want to go far afield in it? Probably not –the boat seems like she’d ship a bunch of water (stash some buoyancy bags in the case,folks!). Would I want to play in a rock garden in her? Definitely not. But suppose you were going on vacation overseas and wanted a boat to explore beyond the resort. Wouldn’t this be a great solution? If it really goes for $500,that’s a ton more reachable than a Folbot. I like it –nice work!
We had a nice family paddle at our standby put-in of Mason Neck State Park. Mostly overcast,but warm and calm,good for trying out the rebuilt ama. I’ll have to test it more,but my initial observations are that we working the aft end SEEMS to make her a touch zippier (biased observation noted) and,as planned,water mostly stayed out of it. The main hull is also drier thanks to some touch-up of the skin seams at the bottom of the stems. And fun was had by all. Good to be underway again.
John Harris of Chesapeake Light Craft recently published a nice piece,“Lug Nuts,”on the virtues and characteristics of the lug rig. I’d recommend it for anyone picking a sail for a small boat (or selecting a boat to acquire.
Last weekend I was also able to wrap up work on the refurbished ama for my skin-on-frame outrigger canoe AL DEMANY CHIMAN. I had noted previous progress a bit ago,and I had stalled for a while because life took over. Work crises tamped down a bit and the weather improved,I brought the ama to the front lawn of 1 Chine bLog Place for some skinnin’.
The process went smoothly and I was sorry I had put it off for so long. I was pleased I even felt comfortable enough to make some adjustments to approach midstream without fear of things going awry. Here are the results. In addition to the presumed enhancements to seaworthiness,I actually think the ama looks a good bit better too. Next step,we gotta get this boat in the water for the season…