Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cockpits of shame part 2, Transom extensions, and dying boats

,We are anchored today in the bay off the city of Pointe A Pitre Guadaloupe. Our daughter Lillian will be flying in here soon for her spring break visit and sail with us as far as Dominica. 
I love all types of boats, sailboats , multi hulls, power boats, classic boats,pontoon boats, you name it I want to know what the thinking is behind it.
Here in the French islands you get to see lots of one off home made sailboats of all kinds in all kinds of states of decay. The French have lots of great designers that have answered the call for designs to be amature built in steel and aluminum. Bernard Moitessier a famous French sailor sailed all over the globe in a steel ketch called "Joshua". He is a national hero, as he is mine. He was part of the flood of Frenchmen wanting to build their own vessels and sail of to the south seas. Lots of these boats did and have been all over. When looking at some of these photos you will have to consider the fact that all of these boats have at least been built by an amature and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to end up here. For lots of these boats that was the extent of their cruise. As I say" People sail boats about, boats don't sail people about." So the dream for many met the reality of real ocean sailing and living.
It's mostly a downwind sail from Europe to the Caribbean and when here there is lots of mostly hard on the wind sailing getting to a from the islands. You need a good sea boat and crew that can go to weather with ease and no fuss . This fact starts sorting out the real sailors and their boats upon arrival here. Another good sorting out place is in GeorgeTown in Great Exuma in the Bahamas. It's called chicken harbor as its been all day hops from North America to here and when you leave from here all sailing is going to be to weather in deep water with long hauls in between. Lots of sailors return a few days later after their first real sail to weather in 6' seas and realize that's not part of the reality of the dream they had. Lots give up, most just come to the realization tha day sailing and simpler cruising goals will suit them fine. 
I love long off shore passages. My dream is to sail around the world some day on my own vessel taking the long routes. I have a family that does not share this dream so I've done lots of other sailing trips to fit our two different sailing goals. My girls love living aboard and short jump cruising. This works for me. I get my offshore sailing time in by doing deliveries and single handing the HFM down to where it gets easier sailing. Also downwind sailing is sooooo... Much easier on them. Once Lillian is finished with collage and has been launched into the world on her own I will then take off on my around the world sail. Rachel will fly and meet me in a few places. So far in the mean time I have logged 65,000 sea miles keeping us all happy sailing about the Atlantic Basin. Life is good.
Told you they were out there ! 8' stern extension I saw yesterday .
So much room on deck. Been watching too much Formula One racing cars.
Canadian sloop with a ton of stuff . All production boats should just design boats to fit all this stuff on in a more seaman like manner. 
A French designed and built Amel ketch that has figured it all out. So sleek and functual. 
A Swedish  sloopish that has bitten the bug badly. They have a Bimini over the dodger!
All GPS antennas do not need to be put on deck. Mine have always been below right next to the unit.
Radar is the only thing that needs to be up a bit. VHF needs only be on your deck as every thing is line of sight and everyone else has it on top of the mast. 
Why does every body put the solar panels on a separate monkey bar platform when not using the hard top on top of the cabin? Most sails are in stack packs today as you can't furl the sails the old way as the booms are so high now to avoid the deck crap.
Inside the Florida Room... Check. Dinghy hoisted up on monkey bars... Check. Honey what have we forgotten to do? Trust me I do this all the time.
Today's state of the art catamran sailing to weather successfully ..... With both engines running.
Nice sloop with a pile of junk about.
This chin up tower is a third the length of this small steel sloop.
Who needs welders. 
Look at the anchors on the stern . The thing I have found is that you can see the dream under all this rust. So sad. But never doubt the boat as nine times out of ten its owners have been all over at one time or another.
Couple of French sloops having followed the craze. 
More stuff.
Room - Ma-A- Ran .

Using the now defunct mizzen boom.
I like this
Still alive
Ever hopefull
Le French ideal.
I have not tried to sell study plans or my sailboat designs for the simple reason that to make a boat into a reality takes a huge commitment from your life. For me and others it is and will be the only way to go.
For this reason I have not wanted to try and sell my dream. What I am trying to do here on my blog is to give insight, encouragement, to those of you that know you are up to the task and know that you can make it happen. For others I say, go sail on a rough overnight or longer passage with a competent sailor with your partner before you start looking at boat plans. If this goes well then I suggest buying a used boat first and get your own sea time in . Then when you can't stand it any longer then design and build your dream boat and get back out here as soon as possible. Life is short, enjoy the process .

1 comment:

Efraim Grosse said...

Great serie of posts! A couple of suggestions for possible themes, if I may: "Save a junkie" and "Sensible cruisers" (there must be some out there!).