Thursday, July 31, 2008
"The Whale Hunt" is a compelling piece of storytelling, primarily visual and not for the squeamish. Jonathan Harris has created here a beautiful and honest work of art based on an Inuit whale hunt. I ran across it researching aboriginal whaling in the context of contemporary seasteading, looking for the Bequia whalers and their small boats. More on them later. While I am definitely opposed to industrial whaling, especially when it involves endangered species, I feel that the Aboriginal Whaling Act allows indigenous peoples to preserve their heritage and traditions, and thus is an act of conservation. Yes it's grisly, but no more so than the daily slaughter most of us participate in, if indirectly. Maybe less so. Most native peoples offer up a prayer to the sacrificing animal. Please post comments. And visit the website for (lots) more. Note that the middle photograph includes a umiak, the skin on frame open boat of the Inuit.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Brian Schulz is a kayak designer, builder and runs classes to pass along his skills and knowledge about traditional and modern skin on frame kayaks. His passion seems to be surfing these things on the Oregon coast. His beautiful website is packed with information and and photographs. While he doesn't sell plans he publishes some as open source. (!) Personally my feeling is that skin on frame kayaks are some of the most aesthetically pleasing boats, period, and Brian seems to be building some of the best.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Speaking of seasteading, Steve Roberts has been working out his own version/vision of nomadic lifestyle for over two decades, first on a recumbent bicycle and more recently on a variety of vessels. Artist, writer and editor, engineer and visionary, Steve is a cutting edge techno-nomad avantgardist who is exploring a lifestyle based on the sea and reporting back to us the results of his research. Two blogs and a website. I first heard about him many years ago from my brother, who is a friend of a friend. I was particularly engaged (infected?) by this short peice. I know from our communication that Steve is currently on a shakedown in Puget Sound, Gig Harbour today. Then heading "back to the north and wilder country". Follow his progress aboard the Amazon 44 steel raised-salon pilothouse cutter Nomadness here. http://www.nomadness.com/blog
Monday, July 21, 2008
Voyager 26's are few and far between and this is at a good price. For these boats. You could go anywhere in this boat. Double ended. Seaworthy. Beautifully and strongly crafted, these boats are not well known but are sought after by those who get it. Somebody get it.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
The Ethnic Catamaran Company based in Pattaya, Thailand produces a nice site called a tiki in thailand. Mostly concerned with the building of a James Wharram cruising design, the blog also includes the occasional musings of the author. Creed O'Hanlon's company's mission statement includes not only building traditionally inspired pacific craft but also exploring the brave new world of seasteading and waterborne community. Ideas which I also find fascinating, but there really seems to be a dearth of information on the subject beyond what one can find about the Seasteading Institute, which seems a bit corporate. I suppose my vision, not refined or worked out at all, would be a bit more hippie, something like a floating New Alchemy Institute ala John Todd , et. al. Anyone out there who's interested in this, please post a comment! ps. the wonderful photo of a sqaull moving in off the North West coast of Borneo, above, I found at a Tiki., its origin is unknown. The dhow photo is also from the Tiki in Thailand site.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
In the aforementioned attic I discovered several bits and pieces of 60's boat media, including this intact but somewhat dishevelled sales brochure from O'Day. Anyone interested enough to peruse the whole can click the title above. As my profile states I am currently renovating, NOT restoring, an early (1961) Daysailer. Designed by the legendary Uffa Fox and commissioned by George O'Day, Olympic star of the day, the boat is still in production and there have been over 16000 built. There is an active owners group with an informative and useful website here. http://www.daysailer.org/
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
My friend Jasper purchased this boat a few years ago and he's been making improvements ever since. She's a Phil Rhodes design and is hull #1 in a production series designed, at the time, for racing and cruising the Chesapeake. One of the earliest fiberglass hulls, built in 1958 in Denmark by Danboat and sailed to the US in 1960. I've been helping Jasper work on her from time to time and have been rewarded for my efforts with daysails and mentoring of my sailing abilities. He's the kind of guy who wanders off to fix something on the bow or down below and just says"Tom, you're in charge". Leaving me to figure it out, a great way to learn, Socratic method. We may be replacing his tired and dysfunctional Westebeke Diesel with a nifty new Atomic gas power plant this weekend. By the way, for those who love Scandinavian heritage, the boat was formerly named Vindalf.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Gavin Atkin publishes one of the best boat resources on the net at his intheboatshed. A designer, he includes links to FREE boat designs and other resources. The build and adventures of one of his boats is chronicled here:http://www.theinvisibleworkshop.blogspot.com/
Sven is a designer, builder and writer about boats, and a freind and collaborater of Matt Layden. His website is a beaut and you can follow his current project, which incorporates much of Matt's philosophy. http://www.yrvind.com/
Friday, July 11, 2008
Proa are fascinating boats, indigenous, fast, ancient and were employed to populate the Pacific. Their builders were also amazing navigators, relying on small maps of bamboo & shell, knowledge of the stars, currents, and swell direction to go just about anywhere they wanted. Click the title above to visit this one, but also:http://www.wingo.com/proa/links.html .
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Iain Oughtred is an Aussie now living in northern Scotland. Though his history with sailing began with racing modern boats, over the years he has evolved into a designer of modern wooden craft based on Scots and ultimately Norwegian heritage. His seaworthy double enders are a delight and by all accounts his plans are works of art. Primarily a designer of open boats he has in recent years branched out to include serious keelboat cruising craft. No website, get a catalouge here: Struan Cottage, Bernisdale, Island of Skye, Scotland IV51 9NS. Tele...01470 532732. or here:http://www.jordanboats.co.uk/jb/index/html
Monday, July 7, 2008
When I first saw them, Matt's designs seemed a bit silly to me, but then most really good art is objectionable in some way when you first see it, because you're is not prepared to understand it. On closer inspection, these seem to be meticulously thought out and very practical boats which, Phil Bolger et. al. notwithstanding, are defining both a new aesthetic and new possibilities in design and cruising. Matt doesn't have a website but Dave and Mindy Balduc are friends and have been sailing his boats for years. Click this link to see their site about microcruising. http://www.microcrusing.com/
Amazingly beautiful, these small craft form the backbone of Norways boatbuilding heritage and are apparently still in use today, and not just as museum pieces. from Vikingskip og norske trebater, a sort of online museum of Norse boat evolution pulled together from archaeoligical evidence and recontruction/replicas.
Some very nice photographs of what I assume are reconstructions. I can't read the Norwegian but the pictures indicate there is a very strong and active community in Norway dedicated to preserving their heritage by rebuilding these seminal boats and sailing them with vigor.