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Anke and I live aboard WAYWARD, and wrote about it's design and construction at

Access to the net comes and goes, so I'll be writing in fits and spurts.Please feel free to browse the archives, leave comments where you will and write... I'll respond as I can.

Fair winds!

Dave and Anke
triloboats swirly gmail daughter com

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Look at Box Barge/Scow Sailing

SLACKTIDE sailing to windward in about 20 knots of wind.
For some reason, the fairly extensive white caps didn't show up,
and I apologize for the wind-in-mike effect.

If a pitcha's worth a thousand words, how much fer a movin' pitcha?

A Look at Box Barge/Scow Sailing

If one were to go looking for some video of cruising-sized, box-barge/scows under sail... well... it's thin pickin's.

Despite the fact that sailing barges and scows once carried a good deal of freight in Europe and North America, very little information as to how they sail is readily accessible (okay... google, right?).  One can only infer that their numbers prove they must have been able to compete against curvy dog rivals.

We had extensively sailed LUNA, a fine sailing hull modeled on Phil Bolger's AS29. It's a square sharpie... much like a barge, but with ends pinched in. It's full rocker sets it off from the large, mid-ships deadflat that help keep Triloboats relatively quick and easy to build, and was a common feature of the sailing barge/scows of yore.

We reasoned that the barge/scow form couldn't lag too far behind. But as a precaution, we built SLACKTIDE as a proof-of-concept before committing to WAYWARD, a full-sized liveaboard cruiser. After all, sailing engineless in SE Alaska, ya need to be able to get out of yer own way!

To make a long story short, box barge/scows sail reasonably well. We've had no problems going anywhere we wish, and that involves many places and situations most wouldn't care to take their sailing home, no matter its capabilities.

Things I note about box barge/scow hulls:
  • Heeled, they present a V to the water.
  • Upright, their entry is rather fine (directing water downward for lift, rather than parting to either side... this is true even with relatively abrupt bow curve).
  • Easier aft curves release water well and make for an easier driven hull.
  • More abrupt forward curves don't seem to hurt, and do seem to reduce pounding.

The videos embedded here allow a look at how three models sail. Cast of Characters as follows:

SLACKTIDE (26x7x1) is a Triloboat Junk cat-Ketch with rather abrupt end-curves, intended to prioritize carrying capacity over speed.

SPIRIT (36x12x?ft) is a Civil War Cargo Scow gone Blockade Enforcer, with easy lines prioritizing speed.

ALMA (60x22x4 is a San Francisco Hay Scow Schooner. Her lines are quite abrupt with a long deadflat, prioritizing heavy lading.

So here ya go... a movin' pitcha look at box barges under sail:

SLACTKIDE running under reefed sails in confused seas

SLACKTIDE close-reaching in light air.

SV SPIRIT sailing on several points.
Note the view of the bow waterline... not much fuss.

This hull, compared to the others, is a relative pig to handle, 
yet comes about slow but sure.

Monday, April 2, 2018

(Almost) DIY 'Spun' Honey

DIY Spun Honey
Photo with recipe by hardlikearmour

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honeywas a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh.

(Almost) DIY 'Spun' Honey

I've always had a yen for 'spun' honey (aka whipped, creamed, churned, set and fondant honey).

Spun honey tastes just like regular, but behaves much better. It is generally much more viscous than liquid honey, so is much less prone to drip and run all over the place. This DIY version is even better behaved!

I was lauding spun honey's virtues to a cruising couple of friends, while lamenting its higher cost. They had a solution!

Turns out the 'spin' in spun honey serves to mechanically break down large crystals as they form. It may even be a structurally alternative crystal to that pesky kind that turns it into a gloopy glop of sugary chunks. This alternative crystal is smaller, and therefore uniform and much finer.

My friends take a wide mouth container and fill it with liquid honey, then seed it with a spoonful of spun honey (commercial, or from your last batch). Holding at about  57degF (14degC), stir every few days for about a week, until it has thickened to a lugubrious, uniform paste. Cap and use!

In many cases, we'll start by heating liquid honey in a double boiler to quite hot to remove all crystals of any kind, then cool it until it's warm (not hot) to the touch before adding seed. Too hot and you'll break down your seed crystal. Once converted, store in a cool place to keep it firm.

The result is a docile spreading honey that stays put.

Guilty Pleasure

Since I was a kid, I loved spooning honey and peanut butter. Powerful energy kicker for a cold day at the helm.

DIY spun honey is perfect for this... take a quarter dip of honey on a spoon, then a full dip of peanut butter.

Pop it in your mouth and bliss out!