Monday, 21 August 2017

Buoyancy test

I've started making some buoyancy tanks for the Airolite canoe. I'm not totally sure how I'm going to do them, so I won't post my work here just yet. But I thought I should just check and see how the boat floats without any buoyancy tanks added. So after my paddle this afternoon I shoved her under. Only she wouldn't go! This is as far as she'll go under:
I shoved that low side down, but it just came back up: that's as much water as she'll take. I thought she'd sink much lower.
And I tried to get her to stay inverted, but she just turned back right-side up. Good little boat. (She gets waaaay more comments than the Golightly.)

I'm thinking of calling her Bobber-Ann, 'cause of how corky she is. But I may keep that name for the next (slightly larger) one (if it happens), and just call this one Bob. hahaha!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

New navigation aids

The Canadian Coast Guard recently renewed all of our fixed navigation aids.

Here's the old one by the Songhees rock:
The old one is a round pillar with a round concrete base.
Whereas the new structures are more utilitarian, square:
Sitting on pilings instead of a concrete base in this case.

And here's the old one on the other side of the entrance to the Inner Harbour (remember, Red-Right-Returning):

It's a round pillar atop a square concrete pad.
The pad was replaced by another pad  in this instance, I guess because it was more accessible at low tide, but the top got squared off:

Painted planes

Victoria has a number of floatplanes that have been specially painted. Here are two:

This one is painted to look like an Orca:
The weeds in the foreground are wild fennel. Grows everywhere here.
While this one celebrates Canada's 150th:
(the flag is on a passing ferry)

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Paddling in the Gorge

Found a blackberry patch in the Gorge today. Yum! It helped that the tide was high.
Most of them were ripe, just not these in the foreground! I liked the colour mix.
I launched from a dock in the Gorge waterway that I was unable to before with the Golightly. I guess I could have rolled it down the hill to the ramp, but the ramp has a jog in it that I don't think the Golightly would get through without being lifted up to pass the railing. Also, it's a grassy hill that would be quite difficult to pull the boat up on return.
The green boat motoring in the background above is the Victoria Harbour Ferry's Gorge Cruise boat that Phoebe and I went on. The two dark spots on the water to the right are a swimmer and a dog. I was told that the water was a good temperature.
Whoever made this dock did a great job. That low part is perfect for getting in and out of boats from.
The part that looks like a sunny-side up egg in front of the boat is the fibreglass seat I made at John Booth's, with my back cushion sitting on top of it. Inside the backpack are: water bottle, cell phone, camera, some extra clothes, pee jar (with lid)*. If I'm planning to be out longer than an hour, I bring sunscreen as well.

The cell phone and camera have their own waterproof cases, and everything gets tied to the boat so that if there is a capsize, it doesn't all float away.

Before I paddled off, some friendly people helped me learn and practice getting in and out of the boat at the dock, using the paddle as a brace. So many years paddling kayaks and I'd never had a problem with entry/exit until now. Partly it's old age, partly it's the tenderness of the boat, I guess.

* Guys have it good on the water, I can drink as much as I like and not worry about finding relief, as long as I'm wearing shorts and loose (boxer type) undies. Actually, zip-off legs pants work, too. This seems to be more important as I age.

Foot brace

I made the foot brace on Monday and finished it up and installed it on Tuesday. Warm weather and polyester resin made it a quick job. It's a bulkhead, really. I first made a joggle stick out of a piece of cardboard, then recorded the shape of the section on another piece of cardboard that I clamped in place in the plane of the bulkhead, then transfered the shape to another piece of cardboard that would be the pattern. Kinda like this:
(If you make the teeth irregularly shaped, you don't need numbers.)

The cut out bulkhead (¼" foam) got a thin skin of glass cloth on each side, plus a piece of carbon fibre tape along the top for strength:
I drilled holes and tied it into place with marline:

Not as nice looking as the rest of the boat, but it's very light and it does the job.

I've used this boat more than the foam & glass kayak so far this summer. I'm lovin it.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

New boat!

I was sold at "10 lbs". And I'm glad!

This boat just came up on UsedVictoria last night, and I went to see it this morning. I couldn't resist. I thought, "well, at least I can use it for little trips now and then." It didn't cost an arm and a leg.

This is the photo from the ad:

It's a Sweet Pea Mark 2 Geodesic Airolite by Platt Monford. It's 8' 3" long by 30" wide.
Here's the photo of it from their page:
I would hesitate to take a kid or a dog along, just because of the tippyness factor.
Here it is on top of my car:
Definitely a few sizes smaller than the Golightly!
I took it out for a paddle this afternoon and I'm very impressed. First of all, I can lift it! All by my self! With one hand! Amaaaaazing!

Secondly, it's a great little boat, believe it or not! It's like a little cork. I love the way it bounces over the waves. It paddles very easily because it's so light. And it even tracks well. I used the seat I made for the kayak, and a piece of foam at my back against the cross-brace. (The back still hurts after an hour, but I'm resigned to that.)

I'm now planning some additions: a foot brace, and some foam flotation inside the gunnels. Shouldn't add too much weight (he said, hopefully). And I'm thinking that I'll be able to take it car camping. I haven't done that since the kids were small; I've been stuck on boat camping. But that's not happening, and this looks like it's more easily done and just as much fun with less work, which is what old fogeys require.

New foot brace

A sinus infection has mostly kept me from playing on the water for the last few months, however, I did get out a few times.

Here's the new foot brace, which is great:
It's a piece of foam left over from building the boat. It's glassed both sides, and is fastened to the original 1" x 1" brace with Sikaflex and screws. The backpack just fits between it and the bulkhead.

I finally tried out the sail rig with the new amas! It was in Oak Bay, in about 15 knot winds with gusts. She flew! There was slop that came in from waves bouncing off the lee ama, but it was manageable.

I'm really happy with the new amas: they worked just as I wanted them to. But—I've decided not to use the boat to sail in again! It just takes too much time and effort to put it all together at the ramp, and then get it into the water and back out again and taken apart and put back into and onto the car. 

She may go up for sale soon, we'll see. At least there will be some amas for sale.