Sunday, May 1, 2011

An evolutionary dead end

The smart cats evolved into lions and tigers, pumas and panthers – kings of the jungle, tertiary predators, the top of the evolutionary food chain.  The dumb ones on the other hand ended up as housecats.


Just as I was sitting down (on the deck, in the sun) to eat a wonderful dinner Marilyn discovered that idiot brain was missing.  I managed to convince her that he was either gone or OK and waiting while we finished dinner wasn’t going to make any difference except of course that dinner would be cold if we dropped everything to look for Brainless the Second.  So we ate dinner and then I went looking for the fool.  As you can see I didn’t have to look far.  He looks deceptively relaxed in the picture but in fact he was more than a little disturbed by the fact that he was too stupid to find his way back out.  The trap is complicated enough to fool a crab so it shouldn’t be any surprise that it is also complicated enough to fool our failure of evolution.

This morning we were treated to a sail past by most of the West Coast Workboats that were still here for their gathering.  I think they did it to honour some guy who died over the past year but by the looks of most of them honouring a comrade who died in the past 12 months is likely an annual event.  Whatever the excuse it was fun to see all of them parading around the bay.  We launched Hawkita so we could watch from water level.

I counted something over 20 boats doing the grand tour around the bay.  Not all the boats that were still in the marina participated in the parade and some left before it started so I’m guessing that they had maybe 30 boats in total show up for the weekend.  Some of them were more attractive than others but most of them looked like pretty seaworthy accommodations.  A couple in particular were really well done. 

I won’t pick on one that looks bad but Raincoast Spirit (below) is a good example of one where the converter obviously paid attention to aesthetics as well as functionality.  The rear cabin has been added on top of what would originally have been the working deck.  Note how the new cabin top line picks up its direction from the line of the original cabin and blends with the sheer line to the aft.  (the sheer line is the profile of the boat minus the cabin)  Rather than trying to match the new cabin to the original cabin the builder has deliberately separated them with an obvious break that mimics the drop in the sheer line below it.  Very well done.

Romance (in the picture below) is an example of one with a particularly bad cabin line so I won’t show it in profile but the workmanship on the boat was absolutely exquisite.  I didn’t pay attention to what he used for drawings because obviously they came from somebody with a bad eye but the boat’s fit and finish could be stacked up against the best fibreglass construction in the world.  The boat is built in cold molded epoxy which means that it is a wood/epoxy sandwich.  In this case the hull is 3 layers of 1/4” x 8” cedar with the first two layers diagonal and the last layer lengthwise.  He used nylon staples to clamp the cedar layers and of course everything would have been slobbered with epoxy.  When its all done the hull is every bit as strong as a fibreglass hull and perhaps stronger plus it has some of the weight and warmth of wood. 


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