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Saunalautta – The Sauna Boat



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Folding Boat by Oru Kayak

This project is so good, it forced me to resurrect this blog!  I will be watching this project keenly.  Key points for me:

1. It’s a kickstarter project, which I admire.

2. 25 lbs.  Impressively light

3. freaking clever folding design!

My main concern for it right now is the durability of the folding points.  I wonder if repeated beach landings might take a toll and create weak points.  I think for many recreational kayakers, including myself, we aren’t really going to be on the water so often that this would particularly shorten the useful life of the boat.  I also expect patching would be pretty easy.

This is also raises corrugated plastic in my mind as a potential DIY boat material.

Check out the excellent video.  It’s no wonder these guys hit their target in 5 hours!

Oru Kayak: the origami folding boat by Oru Kayak — Kickstarter.

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Zippity Doo Daa

Long time no post, but this somehow inspired a comeback.

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Ridiculously Good Looking Boats

Photo by Kathy Mansfield

Photo by Kathy Mansfield

Among many others, I have long admired Iain Oughtred’s boat designs.  I found photographer Kathy Mansfield has uploaded this stunning set of photos of a variety of Oughtred’s designs sailing in Scotland.  Recently, I’ve been thinking more about building one of Oughtred’s designs, especially once I found you can purchase kits.  I’m eager to find a boat that can be launched and loaded single handed from a beach(< 250 lbs?), and can hold four people with either two people rowing or enjoying a relaxed sail in Boston Harbor.  I don’t know if this is really possible, but it’s my current fantasy.  Sailing performance can be worse than rowing, but stability it very important, and the ability to handle big wakes and unexpected weather.  Oughtred’s beamier double enders like his Ness Yawl look wonderful.  There is a wide variety of choices in this range, both Oughtred designed and others.  Regardless, these photos are just delicious.

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My kind of side car, my kind of bike


Caillou boats made this cool side car for a tandem bike to hold their sailing kayak.  These guys apparently sell boats in only fancy, expensive stores.  It looks to be a fine boat, though I don’t see much backup to their claim of having “a better small boat.”  It appears to be a 17.5 ft sailing kayak with a dagger board, and a 27 sq ft sail.  I have a easier time believing “a better boat cart.”

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Solar boats race 220 km in Holland

It's smart to put a helmet on the brain that built this boat.

It's smart to put a helmet on the brain that built this boat.

Gizmag has an article about the Frisian Solar Challenge that took place last summer in Friesland, a northern province of Holland.  There isn’t a lot of info about the race itself, but the photos are cool.  The race has its own site as well.  This 220 km race mimics the path of a historic ice skating race through 11 cities.  Winning boats complete the race in a little under 17 hours, cruising just over 13 km/h (8.1 mph). 

Look out this summer for more solar boat races in Lake Maggiore, SwitzerlandRio de Janeiro in Brazil and all around the world.

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CMD Redwing 18 – A Pretty Bird

  The Redwing 18 from Chesapeake Marine Design fits many of my ideals for a Harbor cruiser / adventure craft.  It can take electric power with the efficient shape of a launch.  You can beach it, and it has berths.  At 18 ft, it should sit inside most garages.  It has a small cabin. I love traditional picnic launches, but I think Boston requires some protection in order to enjoy spring and fall, the most quiet and thus best seasons for boating.   CMD claims it can be built for $5000 in materials, which brings it out of the far reaches of the price stratosphere, where most boats float. Pang. They have the one for sale whose construction was documented over 3 issues of wooden boat magazine. Redwing 18 – Boat Plans and Yacht Designs — Chesapeake Marine Design.


UPDATE: CMD also wrote up a nice summary of choices in electric boat hull shape choices.  Check out the PDF.

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Elco electrics invite interest

Elco Drop-In Electric in a sailboat

I first read about ELCO in the book Devil in the White City.  The book tells the true story of a serial killer living the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. It simultaneously tells the story of designing and building the fair itself. ELCO was the company hired by Frederick Law Olmstead to bring electric boats to the waterways he designed. He was insistant the boats be electric rather than   steam-powered for their clean, quiet nature. I couldnt agree with him more.  Well, steam is pretty cool these days, but as much as I love the soothing rumble of a diesel engine (I have loved three diesel engines in my life), I hope go electric on the water from now on.  

No surprise then that I surfed over to ELCO’s site to see their current work.  These drop in electrics are interesting in their modularity, and appear to do a lot of the hard work for you in setting up your own inboard electric.      

ELCO Drop in Diesel repacement

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There’s Flukes!

Ted Ciamillo plans to cross the atlantic this summer in this wet-type submarine in 50 days.  The is sub is human (pedal) powered with carbon fiber flukes.  Apparently this fun fin (available for humans as the Lunocet) is 15% more efficient than the best rigid propellors!  I’m lazy, so I’d love to put a fin like this on an electric boat.  

via Crossing the Atlantic in a pedal-powered submarine – Boing Boing Gadgets

Check out the whole article at New Scientist

Here’s the Lunocet getting close to allowing breach.


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Beach Craft of Brazil

Thanks to a friend Jasmine, I recently got to scan these photographs from Brazil circa 1950 (give or take 10 years).  Her Grandfather was a pilot for Panam, a sailor, and photographer. In one of his trips to Brazil he took these pictures.  I am curious to learn more about the sailboats shown here.  They pair gorgeous exotic sails (at least to my eyes), with a simple rectangular keel-less hull that look almost like lashed rafts of logs that have been cut off to angle the bow.  I am completely taken by this set of photos.  Please post more information and links if you know anything, and I will add updates if I can learn more about this history of this vessel type.  I did learn so far the Praia de Iracema, as written on the image, is in Fortaleza, Brazil.     

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