Thursday, October 29, 2020

Galley Gear and Stove Boxes

Thought about a new camp stove, new cookware & dishes and an elaborate Galley Box to hold it all and a bunch of provisions.  But, we are new to boat camping and, as fun as shopping can be, we want to figure things out before such a spending spree. What we think we need/want for starters is a way to boil water and prepare simple one-pot meals.

We have a two-burner propane camp stove that works well but takes a lot of space. We have a one-burner propane camp stove that works well but seems too larger to stow nicely... except that it breaks down into three components and doesn't need a huge amount of storage space. 

We have a 9" x 12" x 13" plywood box I built and used years ago for camp dishes, utensils, a small cook pan, and a kettle.

This box is a good start, but I soon realized the single burner stove, even broken down, takes up enough of the box that we need something more for the other gear.

But, when I set about making a mock-up it occurred to me that I have a box that fits the cooking/eating gear pretty well. So, I shifted the focus a bit and mocked up a box just for the stove.

The photo shows the stove box mock-up sitting on top of the gear box but that is just one possibility. 

The interior dimensions for the stove box are pretty well settled. Construction details need to be worked out. I've got some 1/4" Baltic Birch ply on hand so the new stove box should be completed soon. Using this ply, I'll paint it to match the interior color of Gardens. Maybe I'll paint the gear box, too.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Tool: Pica-Dry Longlife Automatic Pen

About this time last year, I read a post (somewhere) about the "Pica-Dry Longlife Automatic Pen." I thought it was interesting enough to order one. 

First impression was that it is a pencil not a 'pen' (which seemed odd but that could be my shortcoming.) Whatever it is called doesn't affect how it works. 

Second impression was that it is a bit bulky and not particularly suited for keeping in an apron, shirt or pants pocket, The bright green holder has a nice looking clip that looks like it would hold the pencil securely in a pocket. That doesn't work for me at all so the pencil lives on the tablesaw fence or on the work bench. The end of the holder is a sharpener which is convenient and works well. 

The pencil comes with one (1) black lead which, surprising to me, lasted quite a long time. However, additional leads are available in packs of eight (8) leads (either all black or a combination of four (4) black, two (2) red, and two (2) yellow). Out of curiosity, I bought the combo pack without really having a purpose for the colored leads at the time. Last week, to my pleasant surprise, I discovered the usefulness of the yellow lead.

Working on Gardens' coamings (varnished meranti ply), I needed a line visible enough to work with in the rather dimly lit boat bay (in the barn). The black lead certainly worked to put a line on the coaming, but it was difficult to see well enough to work with it. I changed out the black lead for yellow and was pleased with the result. I can't quite imagine what I'll need the red lead for, but when I'm sure the red will work just fine, too.

The black lead works well for layout lines on timber and ply but not so well for jotting down notes (the lead is pretty thick and doesn't lend itself well to my handwritten notes). 

I like the pencil enough to get another one for the boat bay.

Monday, October 5, 2020

A New Sail

When I decided to build a Pathfinder, I thought about a balance-lug-yawl sail plan using the balance lug sail from my Goat Island Skiff. My thinking was, I already have the sail and I can't sail two boats at the same time. At the 2011 Sail Oklahoma event, I discussed this idea with John Welsford and he agreed to draw up the sail plan. 

My GIS sail had been assembled from a Sailrite kit - a saga in itself - and I used it on Karen Ann (my GIS) and, eventually, on Gardens of Fenwick. Over its life that sail was used, abused and not cared for properly: stains (unknown origin) did not wash out; careless winter storage allowed mice to dine on the the leech; and the leech repair was functional but not pretty... As we sailed Gardens this summer, I harbored thoughts about buying a new main, but didn't act on those thoughst. 

Early last week I said something to Jan about maybe thinking about a new sail. She agreed that the sail was looking tired and  thought a new sail was a great idea! So, last Thursday I placed the order with Duckworks and this morning the new sail arrived!

The sail is gorgeous and, without taking it out of the plastic wrapper, we can see that the sail is heavier duty (5.0oz) than the old sail (4.10z) and that the quality of the sewing if far superior to what I cobbled together seven years ago! We're done sailing for the year so the new sail will winter in its shipping box. 

We are looking forward to dressing up Gardens with the new sail and sailing her next spring!