December 2005

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point form

Gillian has just pointed out to me that putting little dashes in the front of every sentence
– like this one here
does not actually make my emails any shorter. i’m blaming yahoo for their ridiculous tiny box in which you compose email; it’s dang hard to tell just how much blather you’ve horked onto the cathode-ray page until after you either
– hit the “preview” button, or
– get the mail sent back to you as part of a reply.

Or maybe i ought to blame myself. Shit, you have no idea what this looks like unedited, do you (guffaw, guffaw, guffaw)

This is a neat resource! Well worth a gander for those interested in historical ships. There aren’t many cruising boats to be found herein, but the research sounds well-informed and comprehensive.

more flames

Another thought… marine liquid-fuel stoves seem to be going (have gone?) the way of the dodo. At first sight of Centaurea’s Optimus, several visitors have immediately suggested replacing it, or somehow converting it to propane.
Weelll… a few points to consider:
liquid fuel is, on an absolute level, no more dangerous than a pressurized gaseous fuel, and somewhat less explosive. However, with propane, there tends to be a reliance upon systems to assure operator safety, while with the Optimus, it’s up to the operator to assure their own safety.
The second pont is to dredge up sailing some sailing icons: the Pardey’s mantra of “Go small, go simple, go now!”, and after reading of journeys aboard Suhaili (complete with liquid-fuel stove), the realization of “If it was good enough for Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, it’s good enough for me.”.
Thinking more about it (especially after seeing how well the Optimus burns, and noting how less arduous the 7-step lighting-prodedure actually was), i’m left wondering where all the best and brightest of marine liquid-fuel stove technology has gone.
The first answer that comes to mind is from the world of trekking/backpacking. They make a whole wild range of multi-fuel compatable stoves for backpackers these days, which have managed to help sustain most all of my adventurous friends at one time or another. A quick web search has revealed a whole slew of fresh thinking in portable multi-liquid-fuel stoves, but nothing in the way of new marine liquid-fuel stoves.


i’d like to say i made great leaps and bounds on the boat today. Wouldn’t that be nice? Ended up having a pretty mellow day aboard. i rebuilt the Optimus kerosene stove, and boy, does it cook! A little exciting with all the pressurized jet-fuel leaking here and there… whenever i had a leak or flare-up, i just stopped, cooled, and took that part down to it’s bits, substituting new ones from the well-stocked spares box.
Also continued oiling woodwork. i think that the teak panels have been all pinted white at some point; there’s traces of white around the seams, etc. i had debated painting a few more surfaces, but the woody look appeals to me. The danger is, of course, that the interior gets to looking too dark, but the white deckhead (ceiling), cabinsides, and bilges seem to brighten things up enough.
The 5 small non-opening ports admit more than enough light, even if they are crazed and hazy. The main cabin has one small opening hatch fwd, plus the companionway hatch. The v-berth foredeck hatch is plenty large, and draws a great quantity of air into the boat even without the windscoop in place. The only real gloomy space inside is the head… there is a 4″ hole in the deck above the head, capped with a plastic lid; maybe it’s for a cowling of some sort. A dorade vent above the head would be ideal, but i’d almost prefer more light; even leaxan-topped dorades don’t admit enough light. However, James has a beautiful “juicer” deck prism somewhere… hmmm…

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