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Tom Lathrop

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Posts posted by Tom Lathrop

  1. Its a Walkabout and may be the only one built.


    I went over to the B&B Messabout from Oriental today for a beautiful and mild day and many fine boats.  Maybe the nicest was the new 28 foot sportfisherman that Graham designed.  Really fine work. Great to see all the new and old boats and great to see friends, old and new.  Carla's birthday celebration too.  Heck, we deserve all the good fortune we can get these days.  All the fried chicken, BBQ, fixings and drink that you could eat.

  2. The designer has been kind of laid up for the whole time that this thread has run on.  Age has taken the lead role in allowed activity for some of us. 


    I do not think the hull extension "bracket" is in any way ugly or that it messes up the performing lines of a Bluejacket.  The BJ 27-271 underwater shape is essentially the same as the BJ25.5 with a extension motor mount.  I think the longer Bluejackets run a bit easier than the shorter ones but that is fairly common among the type as long as the L/B ratio does not get too great.  No problem here.  There are many ways to structurally incorporate the "bracket" with the hull.  I tend to like the method that transfers the cantilever load of the motor to the hull instead of just to the transom, which would require some strengthening of the transom area.  Therefore a hull extension seems better in several ways to a bracket.


    With any hull extension, (opposite for a bracket) the boat will tend to run at a slightly lower trim angle than its sister with a transom mounted motor.  Good thing for performance I think.

    • Like 1
  3. OK, I am able to follow the logic of whatever system anyone chooses to use.  In the USN we used knots, etc and that was fine as charts and literature followed that system.   When I started to use small fishing boats in the 1950's, on inland lakes where no one had ever even seen a nautical chart, only statute made any sense if you wanted to be understood correctly as everyone clearly assumed that was the system used. 


    Our first sailboat in 1970 had us using knots and nautical miles but all the waters we cruised and the waterway charts were in statute miles. Navigation was with a lead line, compass and chart.  This meant that all such measures had to be translated clearly to avoid confusion.  There does not seem to be any system that all can agree on but I find it silly to use any system that needs constant explanation to be interpreted correctly.


    I use statute miles and MPH without apology to any who think it less nautical because I think it causes less confusion..  Frankly, I wish we had opted for the metric system for everything long ago.

  4. Paul,


    Very honest and informative story that could have turned out much worse.  My first capsize occurred in about 50+ MPH in October on the Chesapeake before I knew anything.  There were over one hundred boats in similar circumstances and boats had no extra flotation beyond the wood they were built with.  Rescue boats were over worked and I was in the water nearly an hour.  Among other lessons we found out that  hypothermia is real and recovery can be long.  Only a few boats stayed upright due to skill, circumstance and/or luck.  No one could handle that kind of wind in a CS17, no matter how well prepared and skillful.  Stay off the water when such wind is in the offing.   Us cat ketch sailors know that we should release the main when pressed but that would have been of no use in your situation since you had a built in guarantee of capsize.  Water ballast has added a really great level of safety to the Core Sounds with only minor loss of convenience and unnoticeable loss of performance in most cases.

  5. 11 hours ago, Mark Baumgaertner said:

    Interesting how you guys refer to it as VMG instead of what most Mariners at least on the west coast refer to it as SMG (speed made good) or CMG (course made good). As a licensed deck officer and 23 years as a Coast Guard rescue boat operator I had never heard of VMG. Anyways thank you for your explanation.  After looking the term up on google search it is a sailing yacht term to describe upwind sailing as you guys previously stated, which might be why I wasn't familiar with the term, even though I'm no stranger to sailing either. Learn something every day!


    Velocity and speed are not the same things.  Velocity has a direction component and speed does not.  Lots of engineering students have gone off track by confusing the two terms.  Therefore VMG means speed made good in a specific direction, which can be upwind, downwind or crosswise.  Neither SMG nor CMG are as well defined although CMG can be so defined if you wish.

    • Like 1
  6. Our Spindrift 10 was named Scoter.  Bay River Skiff was Loon,  Liz named all the Birder kayaks.  She also named the Lapwing.  8 foot tender was Chirp.  Grand Slam 7.9 was Merlin.  Hunter 22 is Rooster.  Windmill 15.5 was Harbinger.  There are some outliers like a 13' runabout Scamp and BJ24 LIZ was named for her.  There are more birds than boats so there will be no shortage of bird names for anyone.  Mike and Linda's Red Knot continues the tradition.

    liz pilothouse sole 2.jpg

  7. 13 hours ago, Blkskmr said:

    Tom,   Thank you.  We had a very nice sail. Were you sailing as well?   I just did a quick post on an idea I borrowed from you about the mizzen sheet.  It worked well. 




    We were out but not in a sailboat and had Bluejacket 24 LIZ out.  I have either sold or given to others almost all my boats.  There comes a time for that and doctors say that my time has arrived to take things easier.  Here is a photo of Avocet.  Avid birdwatcher Liz was impressed as the avocet is her favorite bird.  Sorry for the quality as she had the camera on the wrong input and Photoshop plus my skill level can only do so much.  Wonder where the other 43 boats were in this picture?

    avocet 1.jpg

  8. Oyster brings up another apparently lost art which is, how to cut up a chicken for frying.  Every year for Thanksgiving Liz and I get together in Cherry Grove Beach, SC with her relatives for several days of eating and jawboning, but mainly eating.  Sometimes my contribution is a smoked turkey but mainly I cook three fryers.  Now a Fryer is not just any chicken but the proper southern name for a chicken young enough to have the best and tastiest small parts, not the big and chunky, not to mention older and tougher birds.  I do cheat a bit and cook in a Frydaddy and Grandpappy outside as the kitchen stove is always crowded with other cooks inside.  I do most of the cooking that includes oil or grease outside, which gains points with the important people of the household.  Chickens, shrimp, arsters, soft shelled crab, okra, corn dogs as well as other bits find their way into the deep fryer.  Fish are best done in a cast iron washpot over an open fire but that is another story.


    We used to get our chickens from the Village Butcher in New Bern until they changed hands and the new butcher had no clue on how a chicken should be cut up or what the pieces should look like.  How someone got to be a butcher without this necessary skill, I have no idea but some chicken lovers just turned up their noses at the unrecognizable pieces on the plate and moved on to other fare.  Among the 40 or so hungry eaters are always plenty of experts of southern culinary fare who look with disfavor on anything that looks as if it may have come from KFC.  Not my fault but I was embarrassed just the same.  Several Thanksgivings ago, the Yankee spouse of one local actually brought a tub of KFC to the feast and was forced to take a re-education program before being allowed back to the table.  Now we, mainly Liz, cut up our own chickens and everyone is happy once more. 


    Occasionally one family will bring a boiled county ham to the feast.  Now, it's probable that most of you have never heard of or even considered that a salt cured country ham could be made edible by boiling it but, behind such assumptions linger the greater truths.  As a lover of salt cured ham, I myself had some trouble getting past the apparent sacrilege of boiling such an already tasty cultural icon.  Nevertheless, an epicurean delight awaits the adventurous eater who is lucky enough to be offered such a treat.

  9. Ordinarily, I get a chuckle out of Chick’s reported episodes but this time, he done gone too far.  He started messing with southern fried chicken in such a way that I can only surmise he was preparing a talk for the Friday evening liar’s club meeting.  Any true southern  boy who has wrung the neck of a chicken for supper will cringe at some of Chick’s research.  Notice that I said supper as we southerners eat dinner in the middle of the day as all civilized people do and supper is what southerners eat before going to bed.

    Early cooking of chicken was either boiled or roasted over a spit as the local supermarket had not yet started stocking lard and frying in a pan was only possible for meats that supplied their own fat for grease.  Rabbits were a big part of southerners diet and they could not be fried either until a source of grease was found as they are known to be the leanest meat to be found, with hardly any fat at all.  Fried chicken might have never made it to first place on the fast food list if Walt Disney had not made all the little kids and their parents squeamish about eating a soft cuddly Thumper.

    Anyway, Harlan Sanders did not come onto the fried chicken scene until the fried chicken was already well established as a southern staple and available at thousands of local eat in or take out joints.  There is some argument about who opened the first fast food chicken place but I know the truth.  A down and out couple attempting to flee the depression era dust bowl decided to fry and sell off their flock of chickens before leaving Oklahoma City in 1936.  Story goes that the first batch was covered with dust as was everything else in the area and they called their fare “Chicken In The Rough”.   They went on to franchise the deal and so rough fried chicken can be had in far flung places, even in South Africa.

    I experienced “Beverly’s Chicken in The Rough” first hand in 1953 in Oklahoma City and found it most tasty in spite of some lingering dust that added some extra “body” to the crust. 

    Some misguided Georgia Crackers may make claims for the “Marietta Big Chicken” in the Atlanta suburb of that name but it you look behind the big 56 foot tall monstrosity that sort of looks like a chicken, there is a typical KFC hiding in the shadow.

    I don’t want to dump too much on our friend Chick and it’s quite possible that he was visited by a ghost (it is Halloween after all) of his Bavarian ancestor Mad King Ludwig who may have influenced his writing

  10. When I was running the early tests of the BJ24, I bolted on a Duel Fin and ran through the usual tests.  The difference was a reduction in speed at all RPM levels.  This indicated an increase in drag with no benefit observed.  I could not detect any significant change in the trim of the boat with the fin.  The natural trim of the Bluejacket appeared to generate a lot of longitudinal stability in trim and overpower any effect added by the fin.  Perhaps if there was a greater angle of the transom a fin would have more effect in lifting the stern and/or depressing the bow but on LIZ, this was not the case.  There is a lot to say about hull trim and the effect of balance and hull bottom design on it.


    I second Graham's thought to add a more forward steering station on Old Codger for both better control of hull trim as well as making long passages less tiring.  Maybe Chick's tolerance for holding that tiller forever is greater than mine.  I get cramps thinking about it.



  11. Down by the stern Chick?  The aft chine is barely touching the water in the photo at rest.  You must be hiding some bags of helium in there some where for the boat to look so light.  Ordinarily, I hate the idea of adding weight to a powerboat but, in your case, maybe Mike's thought of trying a bit of weight in the bow is appropriate.  What does your designer say?

  12. You are correct, of course Dave.  The real villains do their work behind closed doors in the Raleigh legislature.  Not that some of the mess isn't natural but we should not be making it worse unnecessarily.  We usually blame the "heads in the sand" tendencies for ignoring impending disasters but, in this case, the complete lack of a spine allows our leaders to poke their heads up their own asses.

    • Like 1
  13. We are still slowly working our way through the mess left by Florence and our not-perfect preparations. 


    There is one important issue I want to bring to anyone who faces floodwater.  A friend here in Oriental was infected by a virus found in the mix of river flooding and brackish water that is deadly.  My friend contacted it in shallow water in his garage before it was completely drained out.  It started to bother him soon after the exposure and he went to the doctor.  The doctor said he had to get to hospital quickly and he wanted to go to Duke Medical but the doctor said he would not live to make the trip to Durham.  Wow.  They had to amputate his leg and some other bits immediately or he would not survive.  Liz and I visited him yesterday and it looks like he will make it out of the IC with one leg. 


    The virus can apparently penetrate skin without the need for a cut or other raw entry. 


    Another man in Wilmington was less fortunate and died as a result of the same or similar virus/bacteria from Florence waters.  https://www.coastalreview.org/2018/09/public-health-safety-key-issues-post-florence/


    Not to broadcast scare tactics but this is serious stuff that most of us have never heard of.  I've worn boots when in hurricane water and and only once in deep water without protections to encourage hurricane Irene to leave my shop by prying a door open.  Never again though.  Two people out of about a total of 13 or 14 deaths in NC due to Florence is way too high statistically to ignore.

  14. A good starting point, Dave.  Of course, the mizzen will be sheeted in closer than the main.   A cat ketch is not going to point as high effectively as a well sailed sloop or cat.  All the great handling manners of a cat ketch has a price and this is it.  It should be looked at as a challenge to learn how to get the best out of your boat.

  15. William,  The highest stress point of a free standing mast is at the point where it exits the deck.  Some flex immediately above this point helps to relieve part of this stress.  The tabernacle/mast assembly in the illustration looks to be much stiffer than an equivalent length of mast and that it will increase the stress beyond that of a normal free standing mast at this weakest point.  A logical solution to that problem is to make the lower mast section much stronger that the rest of the mast.

  16. I did design a second version based on Dale's problem with space at the base of the tabernacle.  I sent it to Dale by email for his comments but have not heard in return.  I think it is a better solution in that it takes up no additional room in front of the mast base and is remotely locked and released by control lines so you don't need to gain access to the base of the tabernacle to operate it.  This lock could be retrofitted to an existing non-rotating tabernacle to eliminate the need for operating the bolt/wingnut which some find a bother. 

  17. 2 hours ago, Steve W said:

    I know Sea Pearls have roller furling with a boom and an out haul. I like that setup, but it requires a vang. Has there been a sprit rig that has the sail furled around the mast? I can't imagine how that would work, but B & B has amazed me before. 


    All the early B&B cat ketches did.  We just did not reef them, although a few people made some apparently complicated arrangements for reefing them.  Some traditional sharpie workboats reefed by brailing up the sails to the masts.

  18. Dale,


    I don't have a drawing of the CS17 so don't know how much space is available in front of the mast.  Some builders have installed a tabernacle on a CS17 so there may be adequate room for the flop board mast lock, which I think is a plus to have that way up in the bow so you don't have to go there underway if you need to.  I have seen a similar mast lock on another type boat but nothing quite like this or part of a tabernacle.  You would be the beta model although I'm pretty certain it would work.  There are other methods for rigging a gate at the bottom of the tabernacle that don't require any additional room forward of the mast.  The purpose of any of these base locks is to avoid the need to manually set up the bolt.

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