Barry has some nice footage of portions of our gathering a few weeks ago. He always seems to find something when there appears to be nothing going on. That’s the eye of an artist. There is some good dog paddling going on here:
When will it stop? The symptoms are consistent and persistent, indicating a severe case of “next boat” psychosis: a beautiful design catches the eye, offers a possible solution for some niche of boating I’d like to do or perfect. From there an infatuation develops quickly. Much studying and “rationalizing” time is spent. Once past those tests, I jump wholeheartedly … until, the next one comes along. How I’ve finished the boats I have built surprises me. Thank God there are far fewer lovely designs compared to the loads of uglies never to steal my time.
I was set on the Gartsides’ Lugger, had cut staves for the spars and shaped the boomkin. All was fine until I found he had posted a new design, the Ditch Witch, interesting in concept, but too small. However, it led me to taking another look at his Spartan II, a trailer capable cutter whose dimensions approximate those of the Lugger. Why me?!
To add fuel to the fire, Boat Design Quarterly reviewed the original Spartan. I ordered that issue, read and re-read the feature. Curiosity took hold. I then purchased study plans for Spartan II to which Mr. Gartside graciously added the lines plan allowing me to build another half hull matching the scale of the Lugger for close comparison. A nice enough 2×6 pine board was found for the model’s lifts which were cut, glued, carved, and sanded fair. Details and rig were added.
Here are some final model pics.
This design is a beauty too. For a whole host of reasons, I’m torn between these 2 boats. As luck would have it the staves already cut for the Lugger can be used for the Spartan. I suspect the cutter is another 25% time investment to build. That wineglass Lugger transom is nice. The cutter has a group of sails that would be fun to play with and I bet she’ll plane. The simple Lugger is one I know and love. Her cockpit is more generous and no compression post in the cabin.
Geez! See what I mean?
My middle boy and I met up with Bob down at Lake Chesdin for the day. This reservoir sits on the border of Chesterfield and Dinwiddie Counties. We had UNA and Molly in tow. The public landing has two concrete ramps with a short sturdy pier between the two. The day was overcast and hazy with little humidity, thanks to thunderstorms the night before. The 7-10 mph winds never materialized, but the 0-5 offered some challenging lake sailing. Bob provided and early tow upstream using his Torquedo. The quiet motor pulled to generate an apparent wind that almost felt like sailing. We stopped maybe 2/3rds of the way for lunch before a fun sail home. No, we weren’t racing, but whenever there are two boats on the water …
Molly and UNA traded tacks as we searched for the “luck”. A lot of racing is getting to that luck first.
The Sooty and Caledonia were very closely matched. I’m guessing my added crew made our displacements even. The Sooty does a slightly narrower water line beam. However, I observed that between 0-3 mph Molly slowly stepped away with +60 SF more sail area. Then, from 4-7 (high winds) UNA came into her own and seemed to gain on tacks.
The boats altered passing tacks maybe a dozen times all the way home. A win could not be claimed decisively. However, UNA got to the last bend in the lake first and slid home downwind. Just as we were about to tag base the wind died and on came Molly. She passed us not 60′ further off shore and scored a win in the last 100 yards. Congrats Bob! Looking forward to next time!
Here are 9 seconds of the “race” that typified the day.
Rose, Nip, Little T, Aeon, Molly, Whisper, Caesura and UNA. Sharon and Kirk, Peter, Kevin, Barry, Bob, Dennis, Doug and me with Huck. We all experienced a wonderfully long weekend by invitation from Floyd and Francie to enjoy their charming river house and sail the Yeocomico, a sleepy rural river jeweled with old homes and nestled on the south shore of the Potomac. To eat, sail, eat, sail, drink, eat, sleep became an easy rhythm to fall into. That we did. The hosts’ southern hospitality was sublime. Each meal highlighted Francie’s fantastic cooking and conversation was peppered with Floyd’s “histories” . No pounds were lost on this trip. My mornings started with coffee and country walks with Huck. Full breakfast fare proceeded gentle reaches downriver. Return trips tacked from bank to bank back home. Cocktails were savored with late afternoon breezes under big shade trees. From our roost we saw the sun set and a full moon rise. Lightning bugs, yelping of distant coon hounds, water reflections and tales told tall closed each day. What better way is there to spend with friends? This “bed and breakfast” sailing is hard to beat. Thank you Floyd and Francie! Thank you.
About a month ago I spent a few days helping a friend resurrect his backyard shed that had burned to the ground. One day we used the tried and true 24 oz hammer to raise 3 of 4 walls. The following day the right “wing” was quite sore. On the next visit, a framing nailer was available for use. I knew it would be more efficient, but experiencing the difference was an enlightenment. The tool moved to the top of the wishlist. I searched for a deal. Got an Hitachi.
We were quick with Project #1: more sawhorses. Made from 2×3’s, they’re sturdy and relatively light.
Project #2: Mothers Day Adirondack chairs. Got tired of buying “disposable” plastic ones each year.
With galvanized ring shank nails, these projects are darn near impossible to pull apart. How do I know? I measured twice, but should have thrice. Had to pry off one of the curved back horizontals. Tore it up. Wood dough is good. Primed and 2 coats of Rustoleum should keep these in service for years.
I now see all kinds of use for wood cut offs. Awesome tool!
After last weeks’ aborted trip in Reedville (particular details are witheld on my end) we had several days of rain. However, Monday, my buddy Kevin with “Little T” and I with “UNA” decided to give sailing another go. This time we headed south to Beaufort, NC. The Beaufort Maritime Museum graciously allows us to use their event parking for our trailers overnight as the public ramp on Town Creek does not.
The first night we sailed Little T along the Beaufort waterfront to return to anchored UNA after dark. A good breeze from the SE greeted us the next day. We sailed against wind and current into the ocean to tack along the beach to Cape Lookout. Waters were almost tropical, the tour of the Lighthouse interesting and the sunset fantastic. The following day we cruised around Lighthouse Bay before reaching back inside along Harkers Island and into the cut along Beaufort again against wind and current. Little T motored. However, UNA tacked and wiggled up the channel and reached the museum pier first by a good 10 minutes. That was some of the best sailing.
After a burger at Clawson’s (highly recommended), we decided to go to Morehead City and sail along it’s waterfront, but after a 1st then 2nd reef in the main, I was tired of getting wet. The beat became a bash with increasing winds. The day’s sail already was reward enough, so we cracked off, rolled along Radio Island and reached back into Town Creek. Schedule also demanded my return. We said our goodbyes over a chart session where Kevin decided to go downwind up the Intercostal to anchor in Dumping Creek and on to Ocracoke the following day.
Despite my shorter trip, it was well worth it. Got some video of parts here:
A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY MEANS WIND SPEEDS OF 25 TO 33 KNOTS AND/OR SEAS OF 5 FEET OR GREATER OVER THE COASTAL WATERS ARE EXPECTED TO PRODUCE HAZARDOUS BOATING CONDITIONS TO SMALL CRAFT. INEXPERIENCED MARINERS…ESPECIALLY THOSE OPERATING SMALLER VESSELS…SHOULD AVOID NAVIGATING IN THESE CONDITIONS. MARINERS SHOULD PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE MARINE FORECAST…AND CONSIDER WIND AND SEA CONDITIONS IN PLANNING.
Today’s Small Craft Advisory was genuine. Winds were at the lower end and seas were more like 2-3 feet, but on the nose with pervasive white caps. We put in at Shell Landing Boat Ramp in Fleeton, VA with the second reef in the main. After thrashing out of Cockerel Creek, we bashed to weather into Ingram Bay. hiked on the rail, in short order we wished for the third reef in the main and one in the mizzen. It was a very wet ride, but thankfully the day was warm. Turning up the Great Wicomico gave some relief from the seas, but not the winds. They were steady and apparently building. UNA took it all in stride. Just after 1 1/2 hour sailing, we paused along a nice stretch of beach on the southern shore to “dewater”, grab a sandwich and put in all the reefs we could find. Turning back toward Fleeton, the spray flew as we reached back down river. It was a glorious bright blue windy day. No time for photos on the run, but here are a few from lunch.