Ever price one of those fancy portable boat air conditioners? About 800 bucks! Ever price the same BTU household air conditioner? About 100 bucks or less! Sense a project coming here? And it’s one that is especially relevant given our recent hot weather!
people strolling the sands of Sunset Beach, at Cape May, pay much attention to
the crumbling concrete remains just off the beach. They may look at the shore
side marker naming the wreck as the remains of the concrete ship, “S. S.
talk about fans for a boat? Well, if you only use your boat for day trips, you
can probably skip this section altogether. However, if you do overnight, keep
your boat at a dock or camp-cruise, a fan or fans might just be the key to a
successful outing and a good night’s rest.
I haven't been very active on the Virtual Boatyard lately, but I do have an EXCUSE! I'be been hard at work on a facebook page and website for my wife, Pat's, line of clothing. We call it the Admiral's Cabin. The facebook page is www.facebook.com/theadmiralscabin and the website is www.cafepress.com/admiralscabin. Clothing and gear for the Admiral on your boat!
Several readers have emailed me inquiring about dog ramps.
Boat owners love their pets as much as anyone and want to be able to take them
along on their boat. That can be a hardship for the dog, depending on the
design and layout of the boat. High freeboard, as well as narrow and steep
boarding ladders, makes it difficult or impossible for larger dogs to safely
board a boat.
Here’s a surprise for you; fiberglass boats have wood in
them. Older boats, like our project boat, Daydream, have a lot of wood in them.
While the hull, deck and other parts may be fiberglass, the interior is often
created from plywood and lumber.
I’m too smart for my own good. Okay, a lot of times then. I belong to a fair
number of Internet boating forums; sailing, power, boat design and boatbuilding
are just a few of them. Last year, around the middle of March, the discussion
on one of the boat design forums turned to paddle boats. Not those one or two
seaters you paddle around the lake, but real boats with Mississippi sternwheeler
type paddle wheels.
discussion revolved around designing a smaller one for private use in somewhat
sheltered waters. I followed the ebb and flow of the email conversations and
looked at some of the web sites mentioned. At the same time I was looking at
the calendar and realizing that April 1st was approaching. As usual,
I put two and two together and came up with five.
use a CAD program to do the illustrations for my “how-to” columns and soon put
it to work making some preliminary designs for a small stern wheel powered
boat. It was addictive. As the design took form, I added more and more details.
Then the brilliant idea struck. I would go ahead and do a more finished drawing
and release it as a new design on April 1st as a spoof.
all seen those concept drawings in the boating magazines, right? XYZ
Corporation announces their new, state of the art, high-tech, turbo powered
“Whatzit”. Complete with stylized renderings with a couple of models lounging
in the cockpit. I’m convinced that many of these are trial balloons. “Let’s get
this drawing published, Fred, and see if we can get anyone to order it. Then
we’ll build it.”
that was my plan. I finished the drawing you see here and came up with a name
that sounded like it belonged to a character boat. “Winton M. Green”, my middle
name, my father’s middle initial and my mother’s maiden name. It sounded good
and seemed to match the boat. I sent the drawing and text off to a couple of
publications. Most didn’t respond. One said they wouldn’t touch it with a
ten-foot boat hook as the last time they did something like that they were
bombarded with inquiries from folk who didn’t understand the joke.
should have told me something but it didn’t. One on-line publication did pick
it up and published the drawings and my email address. BIG mistake. I
immediately began getting messages asking detailed questions about the design,
the power plant, performance figures, when it was going into production and how
much it would cost.
one, but no one, looked at the date and thought it was an April Fool’s joke,
nobody! Here is the text from a typical message:
I saw your drawing of the Picnic
Paddlewheeler on Duckworks.
I have been looking for plans or at least a starting point for a paddlewheel boat
for the shallows of Biscayne Bay here in Miami. I also live on a fresh
water canal, which sometimes has an abundance of seaweed, where it would be
more of a novelty, but still make it through the seaweed without clogging the
impeller which happens to our jet boat.
I have found several resources and even plans for smaller paddlewheeler boats,
but no firm hull offsets for something of the size of your Picnic
I am curious as to how far you have gone in your design. I would be
interested in seeing more details about it, such as draft and displacement as
well as top view profile.
only didn’t the reader get the joke, they were mad at me because the design
wasn’t finished, wasn’t available and wouldn’t be in production. The on-line
magazine even added the drawing and text to their archive, so I’m still getting
I was, with a design for a new genre of boats, the “Picnic Paddlewheeler”, a
ton of inquiries and no boat to sell, all the result of trying to pull an April
fool’s joke. That’ll teach me, at least until the next time.
if you want to build a Picnic Paddlewheeler, just send the check to me at
I have to confess, I’m a soda
freak. I like the stuff, in almost all flavors, as a mix or by itself. That has
caused me some problem aboard my boat. My stash of soda cans and bottles is
stored in the bilge where the motion of the boat occasionally causes a leak.
The resultant mess is a job to clean up. Then there are the problems of the
space that they take up and the problem of properly disposing of the empties.
A vendor at a local boat show was
passing around free samples of soda that tasted good! I stopped by the booth
and found that it was a make-your-own soda machine. I noticed the same vendor
at the Annapolis Powerboat Show and stopped for a more in depth look at the
device. The system, as offered by SodaStream www.sodastreamusa.com/), consisted
of a dispenser unit that contains a carbon dioxide cylinder, one liter bottles to
contain the mixed soda and bottles of flavoring concentrate.
To produce soda, one of the bottles
is filled to a mark with cold tap water and then screwed into the carbon dioxide
dispenser. A button is then pushed to dispense the CO2 into the bottle. The
level of carbonation is controlled buy the number of times the button is
pushed. After the CO2 is dispensed, the bottle is removed and a capful of the
flavoring concentrate is added.
The cylinder of CO2 is good for
about 110 liters of soda, while a bottle of concentrate will produce over 12
liters of soda. The selection of concentrates is wide; everything from cola to
energy drinks is available in either regular or diet versions. Refills for the
CO2 cylinders are ordered on line and shipped by UPS. The same applies to the
bottles of concentrates.
The cost per liter of soda works
out to around $.30 a bottle. The best part, though, is the reduction a soda
cans and bottles to be disposed of, there aren’t any! On longer cruises, the
soda machine itself goes on board. On day trips, I just take the one liter
bottles in the cooler. Satisfied customer? You bet!
The guts of the soda maker, showing the CO2
cylinder and the actuating button on top. Newer models may look slightly
One liter of cold tap water and a cap full of
concentrate makes one liter of soda. The concentrate bottle cap acts as the