Back to Back Issues Page
which way is the wind blowing?
May 01, 2015

DIY Wood Boat

Losing Our Senses

Which way is the wind blowing?windy

It's surprising how many people can't tell where the wind is coming from.

Even though they can feel the effects of a breeze on their skin, many have to resort to some outside artificial indicator to tell them what their bodies are already telling them.

Are electronic gadgets robbing us of our senses?

All it takes to tune into our built in body sense receptors is a little practice and less effort than it takes to switch on an electronic wind instrument.

It's not so easy in very light winds, but after a while, with practice, it can become second nature, try holding up a wet finger.

Exercise your brain allow it to become confident in its incredible computing power.

Knowing the wind direction and strength is essential for the sailor in order to trim his sails correctly but it can be just as important when motoring, especially when docking in restricted areas.

We all have incredible brains that can instantly compute the information from senses, such as those on the skin and visual, to give an immediate, real time and effortless overview of the prevailing conditions.

And of course it all comes for free, we are born with these senses built in and they don't require any external power source.

Your Comments

Watching Paint Dry

Way back in the mists of time when I'd just bought my first cabin cruiser I read an article about watching paint dry.

The article was in an old yachting magazine, clearly written by an old timer.

In it he described how, at the beginning of each season, he wold give his pride and joy a fresh coat of paint.

And, for him, the best part was sitting back when he'd finished, lighting his pipe, watching the paint dry, admiring his handy work and dreaming of the adventures he and his boat would have during the season.

As I said I'd just bought my first little cruiser, all seventeen foot six of her.

She wasn’t the prettiest boat in the yard and her plywood hull was in desperate need of a full paint job but she was mine, all mine.

And the idea of sitting back watching the paint dry while dreaming of our future cruises really appealed to me.

I was almost tempted to buy a pipe.

But even without the pipe it was lovely to sit back admiring my progress.

It's surprising what a difference just a nice clean coat of undercoat can make.

bugsBut then I got to the top coat ...... and the bugs began to arrive.

Where do those bugs come from?

What is it that attracts them to fresh, wet, top coat? 

Anyone got any tips for keeping them off?

It's Shocking

mairmaid lounge

Darlene owner of "The Mermaid Lounge" reported on her own blog that her propellers had suffered from severe corrosion.

I suggested that 'stray current corrosion' might be the culprit as the extent of the damage appeared, from the photos, to be quite dramatic.

Those 'stray currents' can be generated either externally or internally. 

The external sources can be faulty shore power connections or leaks from other boats nearby.

While there are regulations and inspections covering marina and boat yard installations it is rare that either your or your neighbour's boats will be checked.

As boats get bigger, electrical systems get more complicated and add to that the extra 'toys' that are added on a DIY basis and the chances of error are compounded.

The usual errors include, poor groundings, reversed polarities, the mixing of AC and DC wiring, etc.

Loosing you propeller may seem bad enough but what about your or your love one's lives?

'Electric Shock Drowning' (ESD) can get you right at the marina, in the most shocking way.

Most boaters are not aware that such a danger even exists.

The amount of electricity entering the body can be so small (as low 10 milliamps) that often the post-mortem doesn’t catch that stray current was the cause of death.

The problem is that muscles exposed to charged water can become paralyzed, making it impossible to swim or even breathe.

Drowning happens just that much faster since obviously you can’t do anything to aid yourself.

Professional Mariner Isolator-pros2 Fail Safe 30a

Stray current can be prevented through the use of a Galvanic Isolator

None of the rules, standards, recommended practices, etc. will be much consolation for anyone whose muscular system is shocked into paralysis simply for reaching into the water to retrieve something.

And the boater is rarely protected from himself or others by required inspections.

You just have to be committed to doing the work properly, with licensed and experienced help if necessary.

Your Comments

This Month's Wooden Boat Events
1st to 4th May
World Pilot Gig Championships
Isles of Scilly , UK

2nd to 3rd May
Solomons Maritime Festival

2nd May
North Carolina Maritime Museum Wooden Boat Show

2nd to 3rd May
Keels & Wheels 20th Annual Concours d’Elegance

8th to 10th May
Kenter Lap Race

9th to 10th May
Olympia Wooden Boat Fair
11th to 17th May
Semaine du Golfe du Morbihan

16th May
Annual Antique and Classic Boat Show

22nd to 24th May
Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival

22nd to 31th May
Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival
Northern Ireland

23rd May
Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Day
Wisconsin , USA

23rd to 25th May
TS Pinsetraevne
23rd to 31st May
International Cape Cutter Week 2015
Suffolk , UK

24th May
Venice Vogalonga

27th to 30th May
Traditional Craft Salon and Boat Show

29th to 31st May
Wood & Glory XVII

29th to 31st May
Anstruther Harbour Festival

30th May
Ocean to City Race

For links and more events visit the Wooden Boat Events Calendar

And please do let us know about any events that are not already listed

Back to Back Issues Page