Posted by: oldsalt1942 | February 11, 2012

My Writing Available at Amazon.com

This is a shameless, unapologetic plug for my writing available at Amazon.com.

Newer posts appear below this.

A fictionalized account of the tragic fourth voyage of Christopher Columbus.http://www.amazon.com/Despair-ebook/dp/B004LLIXT4/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1328969137&sr=1-2

A short story about my single-handed passage from Key West to Isla Mujeres on a 26′ sailboat. http://www.amazon.com/Sailing-Alone-To-Isla-ebook/dp/B006531622/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1328969137&sr=1-1

  I spent six months of full-time work editing/rewriting this century-old novel of piracy in the Caribbean so that it reads as if it were written in the 21st century. http://www.amazon.com/Pirate-Caribbees-ebook/dp/B0065RV8H6/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1328969137&sr=1-3

Posted by: oldsalt1942 | October 14, 2014

Latest Inspiration

I know, I know, I keep coming up with different ideas for what might be a good shanty boat to build. Here’s today’s offering. It’s a stretched Chugger. Back in October of 2009 I featured the Chugger in one of my posts:http://houseboatshantyboatbuilders.wordpress.com/2009/10/13/chugger-the-spirit-of-shantyboats/

Chugger

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Bryan Lowe, who built the first Chugger (the red one above) has expanded the original eight by four foot boat to a 12 feet:

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During the building of the Bonne Chance he took a ton of photos that would help anyone interested in building one of their own.https://www.flickr.com/photos/sidshare/collections/72157629210859469/

And he offers the plans, here:http://www.angelfire.com/ego/lewisboatworks/html/ChugBuildPlans_a.htm

In the pictures on this site you can see that the sides of the boat are cut out first and then molded over a couple of frames to get the boat into 3-D shape. Chines are installed, the boat is turned upside down and the bottom is put on. Then additional framing for strength are added later. He also has some sketches for a 16 foot by 6 foot version which I think could be stretched another four feet.  I think building in this fashion would also be easily adapted to building in sections and then bolting and epoxying everything together. Working with sections would make turning the sections over a lot easier than trying to manhandle a 20 foot boat.

I really like the skylight on this one. It would come in handy down here in Panama during the rainy season when you’d need to keep the side windows closed but you’d still get a lot of light below.

skylight

This builder, who calls himself “Bike and Boat” on Boat Design.net where I found thise shots came up with a nice “pop top” idea to add headroom after towing the Chugger to a launch site.

flatjt1

 

Posted by: oldsalt1942 | October 2, 2014

Beautiful Shanty

I spend a lot of time looking at boat pictures on line for inspiration. Here’s one I think is wonderful but I’d want something I could stand up in, at least in the galley area, anyway. Nevertheless, this is beautiful. A small outboard to power it which would be economical to purchase and to run, and look closely and you’ll see the auxiliary power is a set of oars. I don’t think it would be something you’d want to live on full time,but it sure would be a good vacation getaway.

Paul Rainey designed and built his tiny houseboat himself. He’s taken it through Florida and the Erie Canal. I found this at: http://wilkinsonphoto.blogspot.com/2012/06/little-house-on-water.html

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Posted by: oldsalt1942 | October 2, 2014

This Is The Boat I Want!

You know of my unabashed adoration of the Puddle Duck Racer, but this has them beat by a mile…

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Posted by: oldsalt1942 | September 28, 2014

Shanty Boat Inspiration

Anyone who has thought about building a shanty boat knows who Harlan Hubbard and his wife Anna are. If you don’t, well, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_Hubbard.

His shanty boat books are legends and the stuff of dreams to nut jobs like myself.

http://www.amazon.com/Shantyboat-River-Life-Harlan-Hubbard/dp/0813113598/ref=la_B001HPQ6GO_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411849117&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Shantyboat-Journal-Harlan-Hubbard/dp/0813118689/ref=la_B001HPQ6GO_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411849234&sr=1-3

http://www.amazon.com/Shantyboat-Bayous-Harlan-Hubbard/dp/0813117178/ref=la_B001HPQ6GO_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411849269&sr=1-4

Posted by: oldsalt1942 | September 27, 2014

Segmented Construction

Back in June I wrote a post about the possibility of building a shanty boat hull in segments…http://houseboatshantyboatbuilders.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/watch-this-spot-for-future-developments/ And then, as I’m likely to do my mind flew off in other directions.

But in my never-ending search for ideas I ran across this interesting build.

http://2010dinohuntingbyboat.blogspot.com/2009_08_01_archive.html

What they’re building is WAY larger than what I’d attempt, or even need. But building it in sections is what interested me.

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Altogether an interesting read about construction of the craft and the dinosaur bone hunt itself.

Posted by: oldsalt1942 | September 24, 2014

Getting Around

One of the first entries I posted on this blog was way back in April, 2009.

http://onemoregoodadventure.com/2009/04/29/the-boaters-car-of-pickup-truck/

None of that has really changed, of course, but thinking about living on a boat on the hook again has the whole dinghy situation churning around in my head. Sitting on the back porch of Dos Palmas Hotel in Bocas del Toro you look out at the Bocas Marina and the anchorage.

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Every one of those boats has an inflatable dinghy with as big a motor on it as it can possibly handle. After sailing to Panama at what was probably an average speed of around five miles an hour now that they’ve arrived they have to zip around as fast as they possibly can while the natives, descendents of those who lived here before Columbus arrived in 1502, have a more sedate manner of getting around.

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I’d be lying to you if I said I hadn’t loved my semi-rigid inflatable when I was on my nine-month tour of Mexico, Belize and the Rio Dulce in Guatemala. I enjoyed zipping around in it, the wind ruffling my hair. But times and ideas change.

My first inclination for a dinghy would be one of my favorite designs ever…A Puddle Duck Racer. http://www.pdracer.com/ I’ve written about these so many times in the past that I won’t elaborate on just why they appeal to me.

Here are a few reasons why I think one would be an excellent dinghy.

  • No asshole is going to punch a hole in one like often happens with inflatables.
  • You can row one whereas rowing an inflatable can be a exercise in frustration, especially if you have to row into a headwind.
  • You can sail a PDR. Ive seen, on line, sailing kits for inflatables, but I’m not so sure how well they’d work.
  • You can even put an electric trolling motor or a very small gas outboard on one, too.
  • The thing is so ugly that theft wouldn’t be a worry. Why? Well, because it would most likely be the only PDR around and instantly recognizable as stolen if you weren’t in it.

And the downside of a PDR?

Unless you’re going to tow it everywhere, there’s really no place to easily stow it on board a 23-foot boat with a 6-1/2-foot beam since the PDR has a 4-foot beam. There’s nothing wrong with towing a dinghy. I towed mine for, literally, hundreds of miles without incident.

They’re fairly heavy. I’d be living at anchor in a place with a tidal range of around 19 feet. That means that sometimes when I’d want to get ashore I’d be afloat, but when I’d be ready to return home both boats would be high and dry, or there would be a lot of sand to drag the PDR over to get to enough water to get it to float again. An inflatable would be even worse.

So, what’s the solution? Is there one? I think so. It would be in the form of what is known as a one-sheet boat. That’s one that is made from a single sheet of plywood. Made from 1/4-inch ply one would weigh around 35 lbs. It, too, would be something that wouldn’t be too attractive to thieves, especially if you painted it some garish colors. Here are a couple of pictures to show you what people have concocted with just a single sheet of plywood.

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And this from the designer of the boat above: http://koti.kapsi.fi/hvartial/oss_sam/oss_sam.htm

simprigalter6

Here’s all you need to build one of those: http://www.simplicityboats.com/minisharpie.html

If you find those interesting just Google “One sheet boats” and in the images section there are hundreds to look at.

Posted by: oldsalt1942 | September 16, 2014

Contemplation

Yeah, yeah, I haven’t posted anything for a while and I know you’re all wanting an update on the quest for my having a shanty boat.

Well, there are a couple of reasons I haven’t posted lately, the most compelling being, I just didn’t feel like it!

But I haven’t been idle. I’ve been deep in contemplation about how a boat should go together. For example, I think, for now, anyway, that I’d like it to have a bowed roof, sort of like a Vardo, or Gypsy wagon:

vardoIt’s attractive and fairly easy to do, and the little overhang on the edges would be good for rainwater collection of which I will write more about later on.

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Another thing I’ve been contemplating is doors and windows. Should I build simple bi-fold doors that secure with a hatch like this? (Note how the lip of the sliding hatch basically lock the doors shut.)

colorful narrowboat

Or should I go with something a bit more conventional, but still off-beat like in the two doors in this photo?

NantesErdreColorfulHouseboats_dianenaoned

Windows are another story. Down here at a little over eight degrees north of the equator, and at sea level, it never gets cold, so windows with glass panes aren’t really necessary. A lot of houses in Panama are built like these:

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IMG_0568window

There was a sliding window on a green boat, I’m sure, that I liked a lot. I must have downloaded it but I simply can’t find it now and have been searching online for the last hour before giving up. Sigh.

I’ll leave with a couple of inspirational paintings by Claude Monet of his studio shanty boat. monet-studio-boat

Monet 1

Posted by: oldsalt1942 | September 4, 2014

You MUST Watch This…

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with houseboats, shanty boats at all, but it is probably one of the most amazing things you will ever see in your entire life…

Posted by: oldsalt1942 | August 27, 2014

Inspiration

I’ve suggested this early on, but there are some great inspirational ideas for houseboats and shanty boats to be found in the tiny house movement. There are a few tiny houses that could probably be successfully mounted on a scow hull or a pontoon base, but generally the way builders have creatively made use of the space available is what I find great.

For the past couple of days I’ve been browsing through this site: http://tinyhouseswoon.com/

I found it through another fantastic blog: http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/

A word of advice…be careful when you click on either site because it’s easy to get lost for hours in them.

Posted by: oldsalt1942 | August 26, 2014

Blue Whales and Me

I was talking to my good friend, Stefan, the other night on Skype. He lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He’s not at all supportive about me building a boat to live on down here. “Why don’t you come back up here and we’ll find you a sailboat you can live on,” he said. “They’ve changed the rules about living aboard at special anchorages, and people are doing it all over.”

Well, the only problem is that land dwellers have been battling people living at anchor in Florida for as long as I can remember, and I first lived in Florida back in 1961! It will never end. Here’s a recent (July 30, 2014) article about local politicians trying to come up with creative ways to prohibit people from enjoying life on the water without paying through the nose to do so for the privilege. As if owning a boat isn’t paying through the nose enough already. http://www.waterwayguide.com/waterway-updates/news/GEN/4103/Get-ready-for-new-anchoring-regulations-in-Florida

One of my favorite lines in the story is from Senator Christopher Smith of Broward County who supports outlawing anyone from anchoring closer than 100 yards of a land residence, and in fact contends that even THAT is too close, said: “There are boats sitting outside of people’s houses…boats within 100 yards, looking into people’s houses, discharging waste, doing all kinds of things in that city’s water.”

Boaters have long been hammered that they are polluting the pristine waters of the United States. In Fort Lauderdale this has been decried for years, especially around what are known as the Las Olas Isles where there are a lot of liveaboards, albeit at docks in the area. For the past few decades the area’s water has always had a high coliform bacteria count and it has been blamed on boaters pooping in their boats and releasing it into the wild. But there is incontrovertible evidence that the coliform count is high because of deteriorated sewage infrastructure of the land dwellings sitting on man-made “islands” that were created from dredged material nearly a century ago (1917).

Decades ago it was mandated that boats with toilet facilities install “holding tanks” or other devices that would keep brown floaters from being discharged into the water. “Pump out facilities” were built so that boats could pull up, pay a fee, and have their noxious effluvia whisked away. I know that around Fort Lauderdale there is at least one floating “honey wagon” that cruises around providing a similar service dock-side. Boat owners who wish to dump their stuff over the side CAN if they sail five or so miles offshore and do it there.

One thing Florida is famous for is its beaches and tourists flock to them from all over the world. But several times every year people are prohibited from swimming in the ocean in southeast Florida because pipes that pump coastal city’s waste offshore rupture spilling millions of gallons of untreated and semi-treated human waste into the water.

What I have always found foolish is trying to blame a handful of boaters for what is, like in the Las Olas Isles area, a land-based problem, but since there are more land-dwellers than live-aboard boaters the boaters become an easy target.

My response to this is to link myself with blue whales and dolphins (porpoise). The blue whale is the largest creature on the face of the earth and it lives in the ocean. It is so big that a young child could swim through its arteries…

blue whale heart

Now, it’s an incontrovertible fact that blue whales eat. And anything that eats, shits. And how huge do you think a single blue whale’s turd might be? I have no idea, either, but I can tell you this, almost without fear of contradiction, so far in my 72 years I have not pooped enough to equal a single blue whale’s turd! And there are thousands of blue whales around the world and each one of them is taking a daily dump in the ocean as are the tens of thousands of dolphins everywhere. And lets not forget about seals and walruses, either. They’re dumping their doo in the water constantly and then people get all bent out of shape because of my single, insignificant contribution? There’s something terribly wrong with that whole way of thinking as far as I’m concerned.

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