Wednesday, April 30, 2008

End of Semester

End of semester, but not end of blog.
I have learned I don't know many more things than I already knew I didn't know. That is a good thing since I am too old to die young now. It keeps me humble and pretty plain spoken.
I have a dream to live simply and well. Being content in the now is a part of that. Now my favorite "Red Design" professor might protest that contentedness leads to complacency; I protest that idea. The kind of content I am talking about leads to lower stress and more productivity by channeling the energy into action rather than anger.
What does that have to do with boats? I am not sure except that boats are a huge part of my life both in the physical as well as the thought sphere. Beautiful buildings, furniture, products and beautiful boats are hard to define, but I am still planning on trying to quantify some of the paradigms and would like to continue those discussions with interested people.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Recycled Sailboat

Every issue the back page of WOODENBOAT magazine lists boats for free. I wrote to the gal who offered this one in hopes of scoring it for my thesis project, but too late. She had already given it away. She sent me pictures anyway. It is a beautiful boat even though it needs work. I am glad they kept it so well.

The company started 1894 with cabinet-makers, little later was produced also ships.
1935 began it to be produced pulkor what today is a small part of the employment.
We undertake all kinds' cabinet-maker works from piece of furniture cabinet-maker to husresningar.

I am wondering if my Dad had one of their early boats, and it somehow wound up in Long Island, New York?? I tried to email them in English but did not receive a reply (but I also don't know Swedish). Unfortunately I have very little additional information about it, but I am attaching pictures of it for you with a few other small facts I can offer:
  • Small Bronze tag in the inside of the boat says 'SEGEBADEN , Tel. SATER 15 , Patent , No. 25' (see picture)
  • 15-16 foot length, all teak or mahogany wood of great quality
  • strip planked, some very nice detailing
  • steel center board (?)
  • no obvious rot
  • marconi rig
  • still has it's cotton sails (not in great condition), the mast in decent shape
  • bronze screws in to floors (?)
  • There are no frames, it was made without them
  • was kept in his garage for at least the last 40-45 years, was used in Oyster Bay, on the north shore of Long Island, New York sometime before then. Dad used it in the 1950's.
A friend of ours thought it was made no later than the1920's or 1930's judging from the way it was made, but I have no way of confirming this. Someone else speculated it may have been a racing boat, one of several made of one type for a particular event. The boat looks better in person than in the pictures.

So, this is really all the information I have about it. We live in Cutchogue NY, on the North Fork of Long Island, about 20 minutes west of the New London, CT / Orient Point, NY ferry.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Inside Work

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Cool smoke makes the bees settle down, but at first it makes them buzz really loud. By now the queen should have been laying eggs, but I can't see any yet. Lots of capped honey though. I am amazed at how much comb they have made in two weeks. They have filled out about six and a half, seven frames both sides. The two mason jars on the front of the hive are feeders for the bees. It takes about six pounds of sugar to make one pound of wax.

Beeswax has many uses in furniture making.A lot of people make cosmetics and remedies from it, some make ornaments, one friend of mine makes candles from it. It smells wonderful. I did not know about cleaning products. Did you have anything specific in mind?
I am not expecting honey this year. Usually you leave the honey for the bees to winter over on in the first year, unless you have an especially long nectar flow that year. After that you can get anywhere from 50-100 pounds of honey per hive.

Wine Glasses

Wineglass sterns are an elegant detail. Many boats have them as they make a fine transition of form from a buoyant stern to a skeg or keel. Here is one on William Penn's gig. They allow a designer to create a long straight keel which improves tracking when rowing or sailing, while allowing rocker for minimal wetted surface and turning. A wineglass stern allows a longer more secure mount for steering gear. Reducing width at bow & stern waterlines also reduces the amount of power necessary to drive the craft through the water. This is an important consideration for human powered boats. Both the tuck-up and the shadboat have more of a "champagne" glass, a bit wider than a wine glass.


Shadboats were designed for fishing and can hold a ton or more of product. The more fish inside on the bottom, the more stable they become. They can be rowed or sailed. The construction is a lot rougher and heavier than a tuck-up. These boats are carvel planked like the A-cats. This produces a smoother, quieter, more efficient hull through the water, but uses up more wood in building because each plank must be spiled and carved to fit the frames. This would be a great picnic boat. You could take out a bunch of people for a daysail. Look at the cockpit arrangement. Very social.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Half Hulls

Half models are a way that designers can try out a form for a boat and refine it without spending a lot of time or money. Lifts can be made, or points and lines transferred from the models to loft a full set of lines for a production boat.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tuck-ups, Sea Bright Skiffs & Shadboats

Tuck-ups were the working class racing boat, a kind of "muscle car" of the 1880's. They are fast, unbalanced, and tricky to sail. Fun, fun, fun. They are lap-strake construction, a very light way to build using planks. Sustainable. This is similar to the way the Vikings produced their boats. Using riven planks means there is very little waste and the tree goes farther. Tuck-ups usually carry a crew of three, but the racing rules state that all crew do not have to be present in the boat at the end of the race. In light air, crew might be jettisoned and have to swim home. We actually lost the tuck-up cup in St. Mike's one year due to that rule. I'll get to skiffs and shadboats later.

Form Aesthetics

Why I like the forms I do.
have pics coming soon.


Bronze castings to be machined, these are the nuts and tiller shank for the steering gear. The small bronze chain is one of John's great ideas. It runs through the limber holes freeing up any junk that might block bilge drainage.

This image shows the centerboard case on the port side. The case is held together with a very traditional method using bronze drift pins. The drifts allow the wood to swell and shrink against the grain, as it would do anyway, but because it can slip, it shouldn't crack, keeping the water out of the boat.

View from the stern, access ports cut in the bulkheads.

The laminated cabin sides, and the boat showing where it will fit.


Curves from flats, lines from curves, form from sticks: it all make life interesting to look at. Parts of the core to the seven foot centerboard, mahogany corner rounds -trim for the cabin, and deck beams again, nicely planed to a slight crown.

This is beaded paneling for inside the cockpit. Prestained and then one coat of sealer, to be followed with another coat of sealer, a coat or two of varnish, sanding, installation and then four more coats of varnish.

Bamboo Raft

I found this little model of a bamboo raft-boat in the museum. I am not interested in using bamboo in this mode, rather trying to use it's structural properties in a new way. Perhaps end-grain rings or trimmed and sliced ribs; I will just keep rolling it around in the back of my mind. I cut a lot of bamboo a couple weeks ago. I still have to limb it. I read a snippet regarding a burn/smoke/heat type process to keep the stuff from splitting. Will have to follow up on that when Adapt is over.

Front & Back

Moring, looking east from my kitchen window.

Afternoon, looking west, out the back door. The garden gate is a scoll-cut piece of recycled cement plywood. It makes me smile in the winter when there are no flowers. I originally made the gate to keep the dog out of the garden because his big feet smushed everything.