Vitbar192 ® 10-Feb-2020 10:36

Designer's Notebook. Ideas for Yachtcmen


Year: 1987
Language: english
Author: Nicolson I.
Genre: Manual
Publisher: Adlard Coles Publishing
ISBN: 0229118011
Format: PDF
Quality: Scanned pages
Pages count: 208
Description: Bright ideas cure problems. Sometimes the use of a brain wave occurs generations after the first flash of ingenuity sparks the concept. My father invented 'flight refuelling' in 1927, but it only truly came into its own during the Falklands War, in 1982, and he died in 1947. Boats generate problems faster than anything except perhaps cars and aeroplanes. However, people who go afloat are ingenious, and some of the ways they overcome difficulties are shown in this book... and in other comparable books I have written.
We are all in debt to the owners, builders, designers, draughtsmen, foremen, charge hands, riggers, sailmakers, mast-makers — the list is endless — who have dreamed up the gadgets and tricks shown here. It is not fair to name anyone because so often a gadget appears in two widely separated places at the same time. I'm sure there was a startled look from some stone-age man as he rounded the bend of the river Euphrates in his log canoe, a million years ago, and saw to his intense irritation that some other fellow had also thought up the idea of borrowing his wife's wolf-skin, and setting it as a sail.
Not all ideas work well. When we all had solid wood masts, and it was getting difficult to find long straight trees, someone came up with the 'tubular join'. They got the conception from studying fishing rods which were made up from pieces of wood held together by short sections of piping. The idea of making up a long thin elegant mast from two quite short trees and a few feet of bronze tubing seemed brilliant. It worked for a few years, but the trouble was that water seeped in and caused hidden rot inside the tube. This sort of mast tended to break at extraordinary times, when there was hardly any wind and just enough swell to cause the yacht to pitch and make the mast whip.
The saddest tale of failed ingenuity comes from the cruising world. A family wanted to go off for a week's holiday, and could not take their goldfish with them. So they set the goldfish bowl under the telephone bell, which was one of the old-fashioned sort, on the wall, with an external clapper. This clapper vibrates against the bell when the phone rings. They tied a packet of fish-food to the bell clapper, and cut a small hole in the bottom of the packet. Then every time the phone rang, the clapper shook some fish food into the bowl below. Now all they had to do was to phone home each day from wherever they were, and the goldfish would automatically be fed.
What they had not bargained for was that a friend phoned them the first day they were away. As the phone was not answered, he tried again an hour later, and again after another hour, and again... and again... and again. And so the goldfish became bloated with food that first day, but died of starvation before the end of the week.
So it does pay to develop gadgets, and not expect total success right away. The drawings in this book are for the most part not dimensioned because the size of anything made will depend on the size of the boat it is to fit. What never changes is the need for excellent materials and fastenings. The cost of good glassfibre or stainless steel or varnish is little more than the shoddiest type; and the cost of materials is only a small percentage of the total cost.
My thanks are due to the owners, editor and staff of Yachts and Yachting, where many of these drawings first appeared.

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