Monday 24 October 2011

Tying Up Loose Ends, Volume Three: Report from the Skunkworks

    "And possibly the complications..."
                          -Men at Work

Objectively, I know three things.
1. Owning a boat is not rational.
2. Building a boat is even less rational
3. Least rational is designing the boat and THEN building it.

Where do I sign up?

Way back in Blog Post One, I threw out this line:

"Maybe I might even find the answer to a dilemma I'm facing.",
hoping somebody might take the bait.

Alas, not even a nibble, so I guess I gotta end the suspense unprompted and unprovoked.

Here's the deal:
SWMBO and I love
Whiskeyjack. We also enjoy Legacy. We love the Dock where we spend our summers. But...

There's always a but, isn't there?

We want more space in one package, without having to leave the Dock because we exceed the max length. 26 feet(ish) is the magic number. It's great to have living space on two boats in one location, but when the dock is in our wake, we can't take both boats with us. Well, we could, but that is an absolutely overly complicated and utterly stupid solution, even for me.

So, last weekend, deep into a six pack of Neustadt Springs 10W30, I realized that if we can't go LONGER, we gotta go WIDER.  I began planning, and sketching and thinking and next thing I know I realize what we really need...

... is a catamaran!
Right then, is there a production cat that meets our length spec?
The Catalac 8M might just do it, but $30K+ is big dosh.
Or a Heavenly Twins... rare on this side of the big water. A Hirondelle is too cramped...

So, we need to build one!

Okay, let's cost this out, and then let's double it, and then let's work up a schedule and then triple it and then...

and then I bought a parts boat. Now I'm committed.

First sketch off the drawing board:

   Starting to flesh out the layout:

   Final design revision for now- sleeker lines, more contemporary appearance, and easier to build.
   Basic design parameters-
     Plywood, stitch and glue construction.
    Max 26 ft. length, 14 ft. beam, 2 ft. draft.
    Accomodation for four, five in a pinch, with a queen size berth forward, single aft in port hull, dinette coverts to another single or cozy double.
    Bigger galley.
    Head aft in starboard hull..
    Full headroom in hulls, 5 feet on bridge deck.
    Hard bimini.
   Deck stepped rig.

     Budget:  Four figures.  Low four figures.
     Schedule:  500 man hours to be rigged,  in water and sailing, another 500 hours to full fit-out and finish.

    On Friday I picked up some basswood and over the weekend  started building a 1:20 scale model. to prove the concept.  To date hulls are built and bulkheads installed.  Now, if it was only as simple as scaling up the time by a factor of 20, I'd be damn near finished by mid January!

   As always, your input is appreciated.

    Thanks for taking time to check us out.  Please feel free to "Talk the Dock!"  Link us, follow us or just tell your friends.

Sunday 23 October 2011

Need Proof that Dock Six is a Magical Place?

     "Never believe it's not so..."

      The dock is looking seriously sparse.  Eric is out, Both Jims are out, Hillary is out, 20th Hole is out, Drifter is stripped and ready to haul...

 The marina office is closed, the gas dock is closed, and the wi-fi is shut down.  Okay, okay, I get the point-  the season is rapidly coming to an end. To further emphasize the point, the last few days have been rainy, windy, cold and generally miserable.

     However, there are still some decent sailing days left between storms.  Today was one of them.  Too nice to pass up even though SWMBO was AWOL, I headed out solo.

      Not strictly Dock related, but in other marina news, Demeter III  has been sold.  One of my favourite boats in the marina, skippered by a character, she hasn't moved much in the last few seasons.  With a new owner, whether she will remain here is unknown.


  The "fawl-yedge" is not as pretty as it was last year at this time, likely because most of the leaves were blown off the trees last weekend.  But crappy leaves always look better from the water.

     Of course no decent sailing day is complete without Jack...

     ...and Baasje

     I should be smiling on a day like today, but attempting to take a decent self-portrait and sail at the same time  leaves me with a collection of either a) out of focus shots or b) "okay, focus, range, steer, focus, frame, *click,* crap"  serious concentration pictures.  This is the best of a bad bunch.

   As usual, while I was snapping shots of Jack, he was snapping shots of Whiskeyjack:

     We have had a buttload of amazing sunsets this season.  Tonight was no exception.

And the payoff- if this isn't magical, nothing is.

     Thanks for taking the time to check us out.  Please feel free to "Talk the Dock!"  Link us, follow us, or just tell your friends.

Monday 17 October 2011

Two-Burner Meal of the Week #5- T-Day Turkey with a Twist

    "...bird,bird,bird, the bird is the word..."
                                -The Trashmen

     Yeah, I know, it's been a while.

      In the words of Inigo Montoya:
     Lemme esplain.
     No, there is too much.
     Lemme sum up.

     Lately the dirt-job has put a serious dent in Dock time, but that's okay- we can use the income for the supersecret project under development in the skunkworks at stately Jones manor.  And, according to our insurer, stately Jones manor has needed to become more stately- I held the usurious bastards  insurance company off until fall, but now it's time to deal with railings and galvanized plumbing, which according to my insurance agent is a household ticking time bomb.  (Don't even get me started on galvanized plumbing.  I think it's the peanut allergy of the home insurance industry.)  So between working 12 hour days and  home maintenance, there has been precious little time to blog.  The weather, largely cold and miserable recently, has done it's part to firmly jam a spanner in the gears, providing precious little to blog about.

     Anywrench, I needed to get back on the boat bad. 

     The weather gods must have heard us, since the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend was absolutely gorgeous- sunny and warm.
     Mostly no wind, but two out of  three ain't bad.

  Finn was happy to be back as well. He got a chance to catch up with the kids from slip 105

     My parents decided to high-tail it to Chicago for the Thanksgiving weekend, meaning that the usual over-the-river-and-through-the-woods-to-grandmother's-house tradition is on hiatus this year, so SWMBO and I decide to do Thanksgiving dinner aboard Whiskeyjack.  

     Thanksgiving dinner just ain't right without guests, though, so we invited Jack. He brought his most excellent four layer dessert.
And his sister Judi and his brother-in-law Jakob, visiting from the Netherlands.
And Melanie.
Who brought wine.

   Cooking the typical behemoth 174 lb. holiday turkey just ain't gonna happen in our galley.  So we decided to do something different- Peking Turkey.

    The recipe is here:

(  BTW, fresh cilantro makes a small boat smell really, really good.)

     And then, we cheated.

    We hauled out burner number THREE, our grille.

   While the grille warmed, I stepped down into the galley and worked up the stuffing


(Full disclosure: We didn't really cheat.  We ran out of alcohol when refilling the burners this weekend so we were down to one working burner on the galley stove.)

With the grille hot we loaded the breasts into it, snuggled a tinfoil wrapped ball of stuffing into the remaining space...

, and set to work on the sides- stuffing, steamed green beans with hoisin sauce and mashed turnips and potatoes.

    An hour later we flipped the breasts and pulled the stuffing off the grille.  One look told me it was too late.
Hell, it might have been too late when I started- mandarin oranges really have no place in stuffing.

After an absolutely awesome sunset...

We cracked the bottles and dug in.

      Yeah, the presentation is lacking, the stuffing is AWOL and the biscuit has a bite out of it-  it was tasty.

    Seconds were had and the plates were cleaned, and then we dug into dessert.
    Jack's awesome four layer dessert and SWMBOs low-calorie pumpkin pie.

   As the season winds down, it's the memories that sustain us through the long cold winter. Here's another good one to add to the album.  Happy Thanksgiving, Jack, Melanie, Judi and Jaap!

    And, as always, thanks to all of you for hanging out with us.  Please feel free to "Talk the Dock!  Link us, follow us, or just tell your friends.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Tying Up Loose Ends, Volume Two- Out Like A Lamb

                "You just slip out the back, Jack..."
                                        -Paul Simon

      When we last left the Power (Drinking) Squadron, sundowners were being downed, grills were being sparked up, and laughs were shared well into the night.

      Oh, what a difference a week makes.

      Saturday morning, September 24:  A beautiful day-  the sun is shining, the temperature is mild, and JD is heading out.
Uh, wait, dude, the lake is THAT way!

    Ohhhh, he's not heading out, he's PULLING out.  Dude, it's not even the end of the weekend, let alone the end of the season!  Oh well.  See you next year, JD.

     Following close behind is Mark.  Is it something I said?

   Okay, well at least James is still hanging in and hanging out, right James?
   His slip is empty.

  So, which members of  the regular cast of motorized misfits remain?  Rick and the 20th Hole, Greg and CocoBliss, and Jim and Marianne and 2 Cant Anchor Us 2...

  And ALL of the sailors.

  Just sayin'.

  Thanks for taking the time to check us out.  Please feel free to "Talk the Dock!"  Link us, follow us, or just tell your friends.


Oh, No Good Can Come of This...

          "Oh, I'm out of control..."
             -Doug and The Slugs

     Drawing board?
     Moaning chair?

    Uh oh.

    Things are gonna get interesting in the skunkworks buried deep under stately Jones manor.  Stay tuned.