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Showing posts from 2017

Book Review: Hand, Reef, and Steer

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When I found s/v Ripple at the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle I wasn't looking for a classic wooden boat, I was looking for a marine Winnebago to putter about Puget Sound with friends and family. I knew what a gaff rig was, but I'd never sailed one. I'm not sure if I knew what a cutter was. None of that mattered: I was in love. Only after having inked the check did I learn the mantra of gaffers: "she's slow and points like a blind hound dog, but the rig is squat and safe and will take care of you." In the intervening years I've cruised through British Columbia and as far north as Inian Island in Icy Strait, Alaska.  I had fingers enough to count the hours of sailing without power on that 88 day trip.  Its the Inside Passage, and sailing days can be scarce.  Did I mention I'm oldish, often single-handing, and lazy?

Recently a sailing friend gifted me a copy of Tom Cunliffe's Hand, Reef and Steer, and the veil has fallen from mine eyes.  This b…

Gold Leaf Name Boards

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Ripple came to me with her name on her transom, but refinishing the transom on an earlier haul-out left her nameless, and my best intentions to renew the proclamation of her identity were defeated by the press of... well... sloth.  In defense of my failure, I did not want to have to re-apply the name to the transom each time I varnished, especially as the overhanging transom made it difficult to read the name in any case.

Name boards are the answer. Mine have been waiting patiently in the queue of winter projects.  The recent loss of my workshop space near the marina finally triggered the project.  Moving my shop to a spare room in our condo meant that any spare moment was a putterable moment. I lost my table saw in the bargain (neighbors being what they are),  but what I gained was immeasurable: a clean, warm shop-space three steps from the kitchen.  Now, instead of a cold, drafty, impossible-to-clean work space, I have a small, compact shop with my workbench, all my tool-boards, an…