Saturday, October 31, 2020

An Origami Kayak--The Oru Beach LT

 The idea of a folding boat prompts images in my head of cardboard boat races and sinking within 50 feet. However, the Oru is a whole lot better engineered than that, and I've been asked to test one.

                                                        Lifts right out of the box, ready to go.

 Yes, you need to read the instructions the first time, but by the second time it only took 9 minutes to assemble, in the wind, on the deck of an anchored boat. 

There's a lot to like. Very fast for the type, dry in light clop, good tracking, very light, and reasonably stable.  I'm going to have to live with in for a while to form a final opinion, but it's clearly a lot more boat than you might expect from folded paper.

[It is made from a very, very heavy duty corrugated polypropylene, rated for something like 25,000 fold cycles]

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Clearing the Deck

 A standard racing dinghy and beach cat trick is take up slack with bungees and to route lines under the deck when possible. This reduces clutter and speeds work. we don't see it often enough on cruising and day sailing boats.

 In this case, instead of leaving the tail of the shroud adjuster floating on the tramp, from where it is often washed off by waves, I routed the tail under the the ramp via a low friction ring turning block. From there, a bungee stretched to near the bow takes up the slack. Out of sight, out from under foot, and quickly adjusted from the cockpit. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Common Clay

Though I've been primarily working from home and observing, my work requires me to travel through rural areas and stop in travel plazas. The last I visited, just north of Haggerstown, MD, featured only 20% of the people wearing face coverings, and most of those had their noses sticking out. Honestly, wouldn't you feel pretty stupid with you nose sticking out, as though THAT part of you is clean in flu season?

The Pennsylvania turnpike was better. Parts of Ohio were pretty shaky, more so in rural areas. My experiences in North Carolina were unimpressive, with the entire Subway restaurant staff going mask-free. I even declined my food in one McDonalds (Wooster OH) because the food prep staff and manager were mask free. I think it's clear the next Covid boom will be slower (because they are spread out) and across rural areas, because they just don't listen. 

In my home neighborhood it's not like this. Mask wear is very high and climbing. I think I'll stay here. 

This isn't about politics. This isn't about personal freedom. How child like. This is about nature and what it takes to staunch a plague. This is why they teach history and biology in school. It's not like work-changing pandemics are something new.

 From Blazing Saddles