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salt and wood

Re use it or lose it

Tag Archives: sea craft

A simple well-balanced boat employing a sand and water filled bottle as ballast and hull. A wind rudder (the white foam) is situated over the bow area to assist in pushing her straight. Apart from this there was a wide plywood deck and some bits of a paddle ski (or something?) that gave her some interesting ‘skimming’ qualities as she moved over the water.

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Its been a while between boats but managed to throw this clunker together over the Easter weekend at a cracking Autumn day down at Yarra Bay. Followed by a swim. No great new triumphs of technology to reference here. But she sailed well and zigzagged out beyond sight quite quickly. Zigzagging as the rudder setting and sail alignment competed for dominance. Named by my son for the number of snags I hit in trying to put it together.

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Mellow because its yellow and Flying V because the keel is a V drink bottle and a reference to the Gibson Flying V guitar. Self-righting flotsam boats with a sand and water filled keel was one revelation. But adding a glass bottle instead of plastic takes it up a notch, being heavier, serving the purpose better. Glass bottles are a scarce material for a flotsam boat as obviously most that find their way into the sea sink. Somebody has to drink enough of the contents to create buoyancy and recap the bottle before it goes overboard. Which means glass bottles on the beach are either accidentally lost overboard or the result of obsessive-compulsive litterers. In a similar vein rudders are more difficult to come by, as they need to be fine flat and dense. Fine flat and dense things tend to sink when they fall overboard. The rudder on this boat is a piece of angle bar that was unscrewed from a piece of ply that it hitched to shore on. It fitted pretty snugly over the rectilinear timber hull. I used a bit of flotsam and rope as a sled to collect bits for this one, on this grey day it must have looked like a scene from ‘The Road.’ You can see in these pictures that the aluminum can rudder made way for the angle bar rudder by launch time. The handle of the detergent bottle strapped to the bow is an air rudder helping pull the bow forward. How did she sail? Well there was a slow consistent breeze but now real wake off the bow to talk of at launch. I think the sail was set a little to far back causing her to stall at times. So to tell the truth she was doing as much drifting as sailing out.        

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