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meester

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meester last won the day on October 17 2018

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About meester

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    Male
  • Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
  • Interests
    Nimrod SoF canoe, puddle duck, Core Sound 15 in progress

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  1. Hi Amos, I love that organizer. I have been using a backpack with lots of internal pockets in different chambers, and it's awkward to find stuff. That looks like just the thing. It looks like there's about a half-inch pleat tucked into the side of each pocket to give volume. Is that right?
  2. “A spouse who will go camping on a boat with you is worth her weight in gold.” - Brian Forsyth We arrived at the ramp just before sunset, and I was nervous. My previous two overnight cruises were trial and error, with lots of little mistakes, lots of learning. But this cruise was special. This cruise would be the first for my wife Melanie, and I wanted her to enjoy it. This Spring Cruise was the big show, the final exam. Or at least that’s what I thought. When I asked her to marry me, I was pretty sure she would say “Yes,” but I had doubts she would put up with the little discomforts of sharing a 15 foot dinghy. There was nothing about that in the vows. Even the “for better or for worse” clause doesn’t cover sleeping in a dinghy. Husbands doing dumb stuff are on their own. "What about bugs?” she asked. “Oh sure, there are mosquitoes, but the tent has netting.” I didn’t mention that I had been repeatedly pierced by Maryland’s most ferocious, wild, man-eating animal on the previous trips. What if there’s a thunderstorm?” “We just anchor in a little cove where the trees will protect us from wind and the land will protect us from waves, and we wait it out. If there’s a big storm in the forecast, we go home.” But what if the trees fall on us, I wondered, or if the tent blows off? Or lightning? Lots of stuff to worry about. Then she asked the Big Question. Are there places where we can stop to go to the bathroom?” Oh crap. “Oh, sure. There are a few places. Here and there… Maybe a porta-potty at the ramp… maybe… Not really, no. Not any.” “But check this out!” I showed off my custom-built, wag-bag-based, okume and epoxy, personal comfort and hygiene facility with an understated modern design and natural wood grain finish to delight both the modern boater and generations to come. “Won’t that be great?” My customer made a funny face – the one with the pursed lips and the wrinkled up nose – and said “Hmm.” Sensing defeat, I deftly changed the subject. “You know, there’s a pizza place in Queenstown that we might sail to if the wind is right.” Genius. So after struggling through DC’s rush hour traffic and a brief delay at the Bay Bridge, we arrived at the ramp, I hustled through the rigging, and we launched as the sun disappeared over the horizon. I had picked out Deep Cove as a possible anchoring site about a mile away, and we sailed, then rowed into the cove as the last light lingered in the western sky. Melanie loved it. I set up the boom tent, turning our boat into a bedroom. Melanie loved that, too. “It’s like a popup camper on the water!” Melanie slept well, woke up smiling, and she was still smiling later. I didn’t sleep much. Our breakfast of oatmeal and coffee was rocked by an enormous wake that burst through the narrow entrance to Deep Cove. For the sake of objective reporting, I should mention the possibility that maybe I just lost my balance a little, but that report has not been confirmed. A little later, as we sailed out into Langford Creek, we caught sight of Norm Wolfe’s tanbark lug rig and green hull making haste to the ramp. We gave chase, but we weren’t able to catch him. I think it was probably Norm’s wake that I had felt earlier. Or did I imagine that? Like I said, I didn’t get much sleep. We sailed across to Town point at the mouth of the Corsica river, stopping to chat a little with Mark and Ed in their Dovekies. In 2016, when the US kicked the Russians out of their compound at Town Point near Centreville, I was hooked. I have read enough Tom Clancy novels to have a really vivid imagination about the shady activities that would take place in such a shady facility. When I found the place on Google Maps’ satellite view I noticed two things. First, a lot of trees – definitely shady. Second, it was on the shore, with a view of the water. I felt immediately that it was my patriotic duty to sail by in my little wooden boat and make some intimidating display of defiance. Maybe dump out a bottle of vodka or some caviar to show contempt. But no, that wouldn’t be right. I was raised by a couple of recovering depression-era farm kids, so no, that plan would be too wasteful. Maybe I’d make some rude gestures, or maybe I’d even moon them. Haw Haw Haw. The sixth-grader in me liked that plan. Economical, too. When the time came for decisive action, we were anchored 100 yards or so off shore from the red brick mansion of the former Russian compound, and the adult in me had regained control. We were rafted up with Brian Forsyth sharing a little lunch and enjoying a good chat, so I was in polite company, and I refrained from rude gestures. Anyways, the Russians were long gone, and the State Department employees that keep the place now don’t deserve any grief from me. The water turned glassy smooth as the forecast turned rough. I rowed a little and then we sailed a way up Langford Creek on occasional puffs. When the wind filled in a little, Melanie took the helm and sailed on a reach back to the ramp with enough speed to make Mellimac chuckle and splash through the water. Later, Melanie said that “sailing fast” was one of her favorite parts of the trip. We cranked Mellimac back up on her trailer, cutting our trip one night short to avoid the incoming weather. On the road home, we stopped in at the Queenstown Pizzeria. For future reference, there’s free docking on the end of the Queenstown dock, and the Pizzeria is about 4 blocks away. Good pizza. By land, there’s room for a couple of vehicle & trailer rigs at in the Queenstown Commisioner’s office across the street. Melanie drove the car, Mellimac trailed obediently behind, and I slipped in and out of awareness in the passenger seat. “We didn’t need reservations or anything, did we?” “Nope.” “So we could just – go? Anytime?” “Uh huh.” “When can we go again?” Zzzz.
  3. Hi David, Are you asking about huge skegs that would keep the boat upright at low tide? I have seen dinghy cruising stories from the UK that involve sailing up a river on the tide, drying out overnight and then sailing out on the next high tide. Looks like fun. Here's my philosophy. The purpose of the boat is to give you joy. It follows that the best boat design is the one that gives you the most joy. If you want to explore gravely beaches, and if fear of hull damage is taking the joy out of it, then go ahead and add skegs. You'll give up a little speed, but much joy are you getting out of that fraction of a knot? Are there other ways to solve the problem, say with fenders wedged between the keel and the beach? If you do decide on skegs, permanent, tough and durable? Cheap and replaceable? Cheers, Bob
  4. Hi Tobias, Your Muckla is a handsome boat. I guess I just like dark-colored hulls. The Diablo and CS20 hulls seem similar to me. Anything beyond the effect of length of water line on hull speed is too subtle for me, but the CS hulls are known to be fast. The biggest differences I see are in the sail plans. Going upwind or on a reach, the sail is acting as an airfoil, and long, thin airfoils are more efficient (lift / drag). Gliders and airliners need high efficiency, and they tend to have long, narrow wings. Going downwind, the sail acts as a parachute, providing drag. Parachutes (like spinnakers) tend to be fatter. Since the Diablo has this tall bermuda rig, I'd guess it might beat the CS20 going upwind, and the CS20, with its sail area split between two shorter masts might have an advantage downwind. Is speed your only criterion? The CS20's cat ketch rig offers advantages in ease of use. Tacking involves just moving the tiller. There's no jib sheet to winch in, and there's no boom to duck under. Speed is good, but I think stopping is often overlooked. The ability to stop and rest, think, and adjust is important for safety in my opinion. With a mizzen rather than a jib, you can haul in the mizzen, loose the main and the boat will weathercock right into the wind while you take a break. If you are interested in getting into the technical details, I can recommend a couple of books. In my book pile, "The Nature of Boats" by Dave Gerr describes a lot of the tradeoffs that go into boat design. "High Performance Sailing" by Frank Bethwaite is a technical treasure covering everything from weather to foil shapes. Having said all that, the best boat is certainly the one you can sail. Bob
  5. Geek alert! 316 stainless becomes magnetic when it's cold worked (bent, hammered, spindled, mutilated etc.) You can file a nice piece of non-magnetic 316 and pick up the filings with a magnet.
  6. Hi Don, It was great to see you at the messabout. I like those booklet charts too. I've been using them on the Chesapeake, just printing them out on regular paper and putting them into plastic sleeves in a 3-ring binder. After the outing, I draw my approximate route and keep the page as a momento. It's not as secure as your method, but I also have a waterproof GMCO chart book for backup. The one thing I don't like about the booklet chart is that the lat/long minutes are only marked on pages that cover the edges of the original paper chart. The few times I've gotten lost down the wrong creek, it was tricky to find my position on the chart from the lat/long on my GPS. Bob
  7. Hi y'all, I just signed up. I wasn't sure if I could make it but things look good now. Steve, I figure I'll stay on my boat, but I'll pack a tent along too. Are you looking for a shelter? Bob
  8. Thanks very much for the update. New Bern has been on the news a lot, but I've been anxious for news about B&B.
  9. Hi All, This past weekend, I accomplished a long-term goal to go on overnight adventures in my boat. I took the Mellimac for a two-night cruise with the Shallow Water Sailors, (www.shalowwatersailor.us). This was their annual Spring Cruise, and nine boats sailed on the Little Choptank River near Cambridge MD. I wisecrack that I'm still looking forward to sleeping on the boat, 🙂 but it was really not that bad. I may never trust an air mattress again. Here are some pictures of the boom tent that I came up. But wait, there's more! It's also a boat cover! I needed a tent, and It'd be nice to keep my gear dry when trailering in wet weather. Do I really need two big canvas things? Here it is in boat cover mode at a hamburger stop on the road. ... and in tent mode. I messed up on the bow section and had to improvise with different material, and then messed that up too. The main roof and walls are flame-retardant polytarp. The roof is suspended from the boom and mizzen using 4 battens -- six-foot driveway markers from the hardware box store. The tips of the battens are held in pockets made from tubular nylon webbing and pulled downward by cords that anchor under the rub rail. I need more tension along the eaves to prevent sags, but good enough for a first shot. It makes a nice bachelor pad and the neighbor kids enjoy it too. The walls flip up to make more of a shade shelter Overnight on the water, I kept the mizzen sheeted in with the snotter tight, and the whole rig stayed steady pointed into the wind. There were light breezes and a few little showers, so the tent didn't get a real stress test. There are bugs to work out and some thinking to do, but overall, I'm happy with the design. Bob
  10. Hi "Ribs," Like you, I put some time and effort into my first fairing board. Then I realized that it'd be good to have several fairing boards on hand with different grades of sandpaper. I ended up being very happy with dead simple fairing boards that are nothing but rectangles of pink insulation foam board. I used adhesive sandpaper that comes in rolls, but it's the same idea as your split sheets. The foam is stiff, but flexes over the curves and it's very light. It worked for me to grip the boards across their edges, but I'll admit that might not be comfortable for those with smaller hands. My 80 grit board gets used a lot where I used to use a rasp for rounding off corners etc. It works faster and the big pink board is way easier to find! Bob
  11. We had a CPR course at work, and my class partner (also named Luanne - go figure) saved her husband's life with CPR about a week later. Get trained.
  12. If the Spindrift rudder gets carved into an airfoil shape, wouldn't you end up removing some of the oily material?
  13. Hi Paul, There is a lot of information and demonstrations online, and lots of ways to get the job done, especially when it comes to starting and finishing off. Turns out that it's almost the same as making lace, except for size and machismo. I think I got started learning from this fellow at the MASCF a couple years ago. I didn't use the jig though, I just used a gauge card -- a thin slat about as wide as net square. https://youtu.be/HfB1XjhYPP0 You can buy netting needles, but making the needle out of a coat hanger is crafty. This video also has recommendations on the twine. Later videos in this series teach the flying dutchman method, which is supposed to be really fast. https://youtu.be/CZfWCyv1eFo My first attempts used twisted nylon twine, and it was too slippery. The knots just came loose and the net turned into spaghetti. "Bonded" netting twine has a polyurethane coating that helps hold the knot. I used a tar-coated nylon braid. http://a.co/9UIHH2c. This was too sticky to use the flying dutchman method. Much easier to explain in person, but PM me if you have questions. Bob
  14. Hi All, Here's a little progress on my winter projects. First, I learned to make netting and I have made nets that go under the decking to hold gear. There's bungee cord across the top and the bottom row is made with smaller loops so that it can be pulled tight. I'm also working on a tent, and I put up a rough draft mock-up to check things out before investing in good materials. The basic idea is to suspend the boom and yard in a lazyjack system between the main mast and mizzen and then hang the tent below that. In the mock-up, I just put the quick & dirty "tent" on top of a suspended spar. There are 4 x 6' fiberglass rods (driveway markers) that hold the roof and then I would add side walls. It could be a lot of windage, so I am also thinking that in a storm, I'd lower the stern end and tie the roof right down to the deck. Thanks to Steve W for describing something like this to me when we were at the messabout. Bob
  15. Wow. Wow. Wow. Gorgeous work. What are the rings around the bases of the masts? I'm guessing they are drip deflectors? What are they made of? Congratulations and Happy New Year, Bob
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