Friday, November 10, 2017

Building Ice Boats in Montana

A boat building party!  Four new converts to Mini Skeetering, all from other landsailers and iceboats, friends I sail with regularly.  John is hosting this woodfest in his cabinet shop in Lakeside, MT, and is eminently prepared, with frames cut and coated, stringers milled, and skins epoxied.  As a result, we have Phil's boat ready to pop off the jig when he arrives from Portland, in a snow storm, the first of the season.  Feels like winter, an impetus to build with purpose, ice is coming!  Bill Eisenlohr and Tom Schock  show up to contribute expertise and raw labor, having built three of these craft between them.  So far.

Internal parts go in, deck stringers are wrestled into place, glued and clamped.  Leave to harden, build a few cambered, laminated planks.  Lunch at Perks, the Bozeman boys roll in, in a snow storm, still!  They arrive fully stocked with precut parts, and we immediately throw frames on jigs and the mayhem commences!  We now have five boats in various stages of construction, and as many as nine dusty and determined wood workers scurrying about, back and forth from the chop saw, tablesaw, and bandsaw, fitting the bits, slathering with epoxy and tacking 'em into place.

Another couple boats to dry overnight, we retire to John and Laura's warm and welcoming home for a magnificent barbecue, happy chatter, and an early retirement, as we're wasted,  and tomorrow promises.

Saturday morning sees us popping two more hulls off the jigs, and the fury continues.  We have now discovered out strengths, and we're perfecting our assumed tasks, and the speed at which the boats come together accelerates, with each boat taking shape faster than the last.  Jim drives down from Somers, another early adopter of this lovely design, and offers his insights.  Scott works determinedly in his metal shop next door, fabricating the metal parts for runner chocks, mast base tubes, and steering components, some of which will be installed before the strip planks are applied to the decks.   By evening, the last boat is off the jig, with all deck structure in place.  

We're back at the Eisenlohr's for pizza, beer and TWO Montana college football games.  Split, one win, one loss.  And desserts!  Laura is hostess extraordinaire!   Again ready for horizontal at an early hour,

Last morning has the wood shavings flying, with power planers and belt sanders movin' material, shaping all the deck framing, sculpting those graceful bows.  Phil exits to catch a plane, and by noon Dave, Pat and Lance's boats are loading into the trailer, and they blast back east, in a snow storm.  Hope they made it!

There's something special about building your own boat, in the company of like minded fellows who share this strange passion, to sail on hard surfaces.  Fast!  That grin I'm so fond never left my face for four days, thanks boys!




Dave Farmer of Spokane WA.

New Hobie Wave owner

Mitch Robinson received his brand new Hobie Wave this last June. He indicates he has had a lot of fun with his new Hobie and wanted to share a pic and video with everyone at FunToSAIL.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Americas Cup Downer

Are you sad that New Zealand the winner of the America's Cup has announced that future racing will be on monohulls? In addition the America's Cup World Series on foiling cats ends, more bad news. Even though all this is sad news indeed, there is good news that foiling cat racing is still alive and well via the Extreme Sailing Series. What is the Extreme Sailing Series? It's like the America's Cup World Series but on smaller cats of 32' with soft sails versus hard wing sails... Plus boats cost about 3 hundred thousand dollars versus millions. To me the Extreme Sailing Series is more realistic to continue for the long term, it's possible for those with smaller bank accounts to compete, and so on.
Check out the Extreme Sailing Series at their website extremesailingseries.com and also on their YouTube channel. I will be regularly posting videos and news on FunToSAIL, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Monday, October 30, 2017

Fun Hobie 16 sailing on the ocean

Securing the Halyard

A common question I receive is how to secure a Halyard to the mast so one end does not come loose and slide up the mast creating a situation where you have to lower the mast to retrieve it. I made the following video on how to do this. Kind of a rough video but it gets the point across.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Lost at sea

Two women and two dogs were lost at sea for 5 months. Luckily they were discovered by a Japanese fishing vessel and then a US Navy ship was sent to rescue them. Check out the store via this video...