Part 3 of 3 Following in my Mentor's Footsteps . . . Thoughts going home

Started by Charles Brennan, Dec 06, 2023, 09:51 AM

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Charles Brennan

Now, I remember why I hate Atlanta.
10 lanes and nobody moving; until suddenly they all got up to 10 mph over the 65 mph speed limit.
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And then some Dolt, rear-ended another Dolt right in my lane, forcing a near-panic hard braking stop.
Swell.   >:(
Sudden visions of somebody behind me not paying attention, while I waited for the inevitable clang of bent metal and the CRUNCH! Of broken plywood.   :o
Traffic on either lane to each side of me saw no reason to slow down to 75 mph, or so.
Sat there about 10 minutes with my heart in my throat, until some guy in the lane next to us saw the situation, and slowed down enough for everybody not actively participating in the accident, to squeak over and take off.

Cold from preparing the boat for the road, a little wired from fatigue and out of adrenaline from the near-miss, I decided next time I went through Atlanta it was going to be by way of  Alabama, or Savannah.  :-\

Far enough from Atlanta, and now in Jonesboro, I got a room for the night.
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Yeah, I could get used to having that boat shape behind the truck.
The SCAMP, even in her raw state, was beginning to charm me.
They say these boats are "sneaky fast" in that they don't look like they're going as fast as they are.
2/3rds  of Urchin's sail area, 1/3rd of Urchin's weight, yeah, I could believe that.
Fell asleep, trying to read the assembly manual.

The next morning, I saw (to my horror!)  :o  what I had not noticed in the dark and the rain, previously.
Good News:  :)
Tongue weight was perfect and the trailer was tracking as steady as a church.
Bad News:  :(
That bow was "hunting", just like a sailboat at anchor, only, hunting in the wind at turnpike speeds.
I was afraid of strap-to-wood chafing and increasing oscillation from hull instability making the rig unstable.
Had to slow down from 70+ mph,  to 60 mph.
Definitely adversely affecting my ETA.
I stopped off at one of those Super-Centers catering to long-haul truckers, figuring they MUST have ratchet straps.
I had theorized that my two cam straps weren't able to exert as much force as a ratchet strap could.
The store had a bewildering array of tie-down devices.
Hmm . . .  this one's rated for 5,000 pounds . . .  ya know, every boat and trailer I own COMBINED, doesn't weigh 5,000 pounds.
I got a much smaller one that was the most bang for the buck and  reinforced the nose tie down.
That's the blue strap in the  pic below.
The "bow hunting" was greatly attenuated and I was back up to speed on the highway.

Hey . . .  is it just me, or has "fast food" gotten really slow?!?   ???
Pulled in for lunch and on a whim, got a Wendy's peppermint frosty.
Immediately flashed back to that horrid toothpaste, used by sadistic Dentists every where.
Don't recommend it.

Early afternoon, I finally made it home.
I wondered what Urchin thought about sharing a carport with an Interloper.
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I suspected I knew.
My Grandmother never tired of telling us of the night my Grandfather came home with a woman and seated her on the front porch, while he came inside and explained that he was leaving her and her two infant daughters, just as soon as he packed up a few things.
He reconciled with his daughters later in life and we even had family reunions, although my Grandmother usually made herself pretty scarce on those occasions.

I DID know how I felt.
I felt just like the elderly couple bringing the family Golden Labrador Retriever to the animal shelter because the assisted care facility they are relocating to, only accepts dogs under 15 pounds.
None of this is Urchin's fault and I still love Urchin as I have, since first spying her at a Boat Show.
I got old, she didn't; still as functional as ever, perhaps even more so, after half a lifetime of tweaks and improvements.
Admired her lines every time I went out past her to go to work, with her sitting in the driveway waiting patiently, for me to get my priorities straight.
The still, small, voice of that mischievous internal troublemaker inside of me, whispered: "Why not keep her, for when you DO have help to handle her?"
Tempting, but unrealistic.  Over 60% of my sailing is done single-handed and the percentage has actually increased slightly, since I moved to north central Florida.
No, Urchin needs to go to someone who will use her, appreciate her and also give me the resources to keep sailing in a more simplified manner for (hopefully!) another decade.

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But there is much work ahead of me; not the least of which is learning a new vocabulary.
"Carlin"?!?!   ???  What's that?!? Hey! Wasn't he a comic back in the 60's and 70's?
Checking the assembly manual, it appears that progress stopped somewhere around page 33.
Did an inventory and also discovered some missing pieces, which I had expected.  Missing a cockpit floor doubler, the seat tops, one of the four rudder cheeks and the rudder blade.
Also have a surplus bulkhead #6 and more online research showed that they had changed it and so apparently, my hull incorporates all the latest improvements.
So, I'll need two more sheets of 9mm BS1088 plywood and if I can swing it, half a sheet of 12mm plywood.
That's not bad at all, compared to everything I gained, including 8 months head start on labor.
The brute work is largely done and the finicky details work lies ahead, something well within my wheelhouse.
Doubt if I'll have it finished in time for the Cedar Key Small Boat Meet in May, but I for sure intend to be there, one of these days!!  :D

Following in my Mentor's Footsteps,
Charles Brennan

Captain Kidd

Charles, this is absolutely exciting!!!!

I had noticed that ad in SCA and had saved it. Thought about going for it since it was really the deal of the century for a small boat builder. Not sure my wife would go for it though. Glad you got it. I believe you're going to enjoy the Scamp. I've followed it since it was first designed and it is hugely popular. Keep us posted on the progress.

BTW: If you're needing some ply, might want to check Bedard's in Tarpon Springs. That's where I bought mine. JF was very helpful.

Norm L.

Good on ya, Mate. That in so many ways is a perfect set up for you. As one with OCD, everyone knows you will now be safe in the car port for many months.  ;D

Thank you for the mention of Capt. Charlie. A sailor and builder that most of us wish we were.

As soon as I saw the photo of the boat on the trailer my thought was that it is a perfect sea boat but not exactly aerodynamic. I'm not surprised it took a bit of buffeting and am pleased there were no larger surprises under tow.

As Captain Ron (the trailer sailor one) said, If it's going to happen, it's going to happen on the Interstate.

Doug SC

Congratulations!! I also saw it on SCA. Glad you made the trip, and I hate driving through Atlanta too! I look forward to following you finishing the Build.

I have admired some of Bedard's small boat designs. Wish I had access to marine ply close by. John Welsford is coming out with a slightly bigger Scamp called the Scallywag. Plans for it should be available this December. I look forward to seeing them.

Charles Brennan

Captain Kidd, Glad to see I wasn't the only one who concluded that was "the deal of the century!"  I wasn't sure my wife would go for it either, which is why I discussed it with her at dinner.
I was aware of Bedard Marine as a source for Okoume plywood, as well as Boat Builder Central in Fort Pierce and Seafarer Marine in Fort Lauderdale, about 6 miles from where I used to live.  Certainly miss having anything boat related close by, from when I lived down there.  Up here in north central Florida, EVERYTHING is two hours away, or more.
Ah, well.
I will certainly keep everyone informed of my progress, although the Holidays take up a major chunk of my time and I expect not to get anything serious done until after the New Year (actually, after Epiphany).

Charlie Jones and I used to dream about sharing an anchorage together, somewhere.  With him in south Texas and me in south Florida, I used to think it was just a pipe dream.
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Charlie Jones taught me differently.

So the NEW dream, is sharing a beach at Atseno Otie Key, with my SCAMP and your CIY 16 Disciple Ship, someday! :)
Hey! It could HAPPEN!! :D

Charles Brennan

Charles Brennan

Norm, As one with CDO (Like OCD only alphabetized, like it SHOULD be!)  :-\ I have to admit, you are right!   ;D
I spent nearly as much time looking in the rear view mirror as I did looking ahead at the road, on this trip.
Spent my high school summers working for a boat trailer manufacturer, with no idea of the value of the experience it would provide for me in later years, dealing with so many types and weights and shapes of boats.  This road trip has inspired some really specific ideas as to having a more robust winch stand/bow support and the hull slung much lower on the trailer, to keep it in the truck's slipstream to minimize all the buffeting and of course, make for easier launching in all of Florida's roadside puddles that the state laughingly calls: "Unimproved ramps".  That to me, is the cool thing about making things yourself: Reduction of Compromise.

Charles Brennan

Charles Brennan

Doug,  . . . . . "finishing the Build"
From your lips, to God's ears!!  ;D
I sat on JF Bedard's River of Grass (RoG) at a Cedar Key Small Boat Meet, but did not actually sail in it.
Woulda been a cool boat in my 20's or 30's, but I'm now too arthritic to get around inside it, easily.

I'm on the John Welsford SCAMP FaceBook group and have been following the progress of Scallywag.
Initially, I flashed back to the 70's to buying high-end audiophile FM tuners using the latest-greatest MOS (Metal Oxide Semiconductor) transistors to get the least THD (True Harmonic Distortion) possible.
I had just purchased a state-of-the-art Panasonic tuner, hooked it up and sat down to enjoy our local classic music station, while appreciating the fidelity and clarity of the signal. Opened up my new issue of Stereo Review magazine and read in growing consternation, about the NEW Complementary Symmetry Metal Oxide Semiconductors (CMOS) and how much the THD was going to be improved. :o
Spent the rest of the night, gnashing my teeth.  >:(

I was afraid of committing to a SCAMP and then deciding what I really needed was a Scallywag. 
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Ultimately, I decided against it.
Looked at clinically, Scallywag is just a wooden Windrose, with its nose cut off and the jib moved to the stern and not really buying me anything, other than a lighter mast and a little less rigging to tangle.

The main Deal Breaker was the same one I'm already facing with Urchin; hard to move around in a confined cabin.  I need a more open boat, these days.  One of my criteria was also a more simplified rigging and sail handling arrangement, than what is on Urchin. An extra mast and sail does not meet that criterion. The additional weight was also a concern.  The tabernacle arrangement isn't much different from a ComPac Sun Cat which would have made that choice even closer.

If you were to imagine an age-based forced progression/transition (as I got older, stiffer and weaker) the boats would range from Windrose, to Sun Cat, to Scallywag, to SCAMP.
Why not eliminate all those middlemen?  ;)

Same thing I did with Short Rib.
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Was once down in the Florida Keys, cleaning the day's catch with another Time-Share guy, who asked where we had caught all the Snappers.  "Just out from Coffin's Patch." We replied.
"Where's your boat?" He asked, pointing to his own 26 foot cabin cruiser, with twin outboards.
"There." I pointed to Short Rib.
Guy freaked.  "26 miles off-shore in that?!?!  :o  Oh, Dear Lord!  I hope you have an EPIRB somewhere on that thing!!"
Told him: "Hey! When a million dollar yacht goes down, what do they climb into, to save their butts?!?
All I did was eliminate the middle-man!" ;D

Same deal with the SCAMP.
At this stage of my life, I'm embracing minimalism, My Man.

Hope this clarifies,
Charles Brennan

Doug SC

Charles, I have faith in you finishing! Do add lazy jacks to the Scamp. Have you picked out a name yet?

I can't afford to build the ROG but really like the concept. I still camp on the ground and sleep in backpacking tents, but after driving a long way I get out of the car like an invalid old man. Your marathon trip to get the Scamp was impressive.

I have thought it would be nice to have a mizzen sail after sailing with my friend Rusty on his Shell boats Blue Heron. We sailed and camped on it when we went down to watch the check-in and start of the EC challenge last March. I loved how you could balance the sails and let it sail itself. Therefore, my interest in the Scallywag. Thanks for the diagram.

I do enjoy my Potter 19, but the Scamp has beguiled me, and I tend to sail it more often now. Although, I sail as crew on a Flying Scot in races at the club the most.

The sprit sails on Rusty's Blue heron are super easy to put up, but it is a bigger boat with a pilot house and wheel if you want to get out of the weather while you sail. It has no keel to raise, and you can sail very shallow water without needing to raise the rudder. The two rudders are in line with the skids. Thought it would be a good choice for two in the EC300. Here are a few photos of his Blue Heron.

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Captain Kidd

Quote from: Charles Brennan on Dec 07, 2023, 08:39 AMSo the NEW dream, is sharing a beach at Atseno Otie Key, with my SCAMP and your CIY 16 Disciple Ship, someday! :)
Hey! It could HAPPEN!! :D

Charles Brennan

It could! Cedar Key is on my list of places I'd like to sail. And it would be my honor to anchor next to you and your Scamp.

Riley Smith

Yep, a bow roller and bow stop will help take the wiggle out. The "new" trailer I have the catboat on is a little catawampus and the boat is a little crooked. Some of the brackets will need to be readjusted. Which means cutting them off with a grinder and new bolts, so it hasn't been scheduled yet. And aw heck yeah, I pulled an overloaded trailer through Atlanta with the company F-250 and understand. It's a whole 'nother trip with a trailer. That stretch of highway illustrates one of my prime "it ought to be..." scenarios where a person is given three free legal shots in their life with anything under a .51 caliber. (Use them wisely!!!)  I'm thinking you'll love the size of that little boat!

Wayne Howard

Connie and I have been to Atlanta a few times but we were always lucky on the timing. Arriving in the afternoon and leaving in the morning. I still remember driving past the 8 mile long backup on I-20 as we were leaving. And it wasn't stop-n-go traffic. Every time I looked at the other side of the freeway, those cars were stopped.
Wayne Howard
Master and Commander of S/V Impetuous
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing.