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Free Range Human, Sailor, Writer, Artist, Videographer  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Ladder of Success
 The odd thing about sailors, OK. One of the odd things about sailors is that we often disregard the knowledge and skills of somebody who went to school a long time and no doubt spent his entire career figuring out what works best on the very boat you own.

Still, making modifications to sailboats for good or questionable result is at the very heart of the sport. Besides wandering through a boatyard looking for new ideas is as close to a mystical experience any of us are likely to have. 

Custom Rudder Compac 23
Custom Rudder Compac 23

There have been of posts on the Compac Owners Association website recently about making a better rudder. However this interesting invention was overlooked.

The real purpose had more to do with the wheel steering system on this Compac 23 rather  than rudder art.  Somehow the idea of wheel steering on a Compac 23 and this particular rudder setup seem made for each other.

When building the trailer for HideAway I used 2 x 6 guide on boards set tall to catch the keel at the earliest possible moment.   The system keeps the boat centered in a cross wind and makes loading easier.  Sometimes an unfortunate gust of wind or my inattention would bring HideAway on the wrong side of the guides adding another scar to the keel.

Clearly sharper minds were at work to produce not one, but two versions of the Bounce & Glide Keel Guide

Made from what looks to be plastic drain pipe and held on with galvanized through bolts this guide will keep you centered in the universe of your understanding without much separation of boat dollars and your wallet.

In this deluxe example wood is carpet wrapped and held in place by a complicated but sturdy frame of Schedule 40 plastic drain pipe for a gouge free keel.  Note the new rollers for ease of loading.  Oh, the decadence.

You see sailing is as much about the tug of the wind in your sails as the discovery of a new approach to an old problem. You're a Sailor-man & Tinkerer Too!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lunch is packed. the gas tank full and mixed, the drive to the marina complete.  The only thing left to do is make the final decision -

To sail or not to sail? 

Often the decision is easy, ranging from "just launch and go" to musing about how high the waves are breaking over the sea wall in the Gulfport Channel as large oak tree limbs dance the Hully Gully.  The view from the end of  "A" dock gave further evidence that Boca Ciega Bay had worked it's way into a tither of white caps making waves breaking on the jetty tower taller than the average senior adult.    

Unwilling to risk breaking something expensive the HideAways sought refuge on the clubhouse porch where other melancholic sailors held court telling tales of great courage in conditions much worse than this mere summer breeze. None suggested a romp on the bay would be troublesome, noting rather that they would sail if something or other wasn’t preventing them from doing so on this particular day.

Always in search of the perfect photo, the Capt grabbed his camera and wandered dockside returning just ahead the rain instead with this moderately odd video.