Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Epic! But, like Homeric epic, not like normal epic.

What's that sound?!? Hark! I think it is the Victory at Sea theme song! (Should be playing in the background as you read this.)

Is it my imagination or the bow of marine grade plywood battle ship?

Yes to all that!

Some of you know about my crazy plans to quit the Air Force and go canoeing... the real plan is the build a boat, and toss it in the head waters of the Missouri River, then float, row, sail the 2300 miles all the way to St Louis. And then if I am feeling froggy (have no job to get to) turn north for Chicago or maybe South to New Orleans...  As of right now, I have convinced my dad to go at least the first month of the trip through Montana with me. After that, after that I am open to whomever can and wants to take vacation time to pull on oars and get buff as fuck Ben-Hur galley slave style.

(Hmmm... galley slave seems to mean a lot of things to the internet... should have seen that coming before I searched for that picture.)

Anyways, I have been building my boat over the last few months between deployments and these are the first public pictures of it, though obviously it is still under construction.
I know what you are thinking, "Nick!  That isn't so much a boat as a pointy ended book shelf!"  Well I agree to a point.  I have built quite a few book shelves, and if something works why change it, but there is good reason that it has the pointy ended book shelf look. The Missouri is a very shallow wide river.  I don't know if it was Mark Twain that said the Missouri River was "A mile wide and an inch deep" but It sounds right even if he didn't say it, so I guess he said it now.   He might have said "To thin to plow to thick to drink." Either way... it is a shallow muddy river. 

As much as I would love to row a classic white oak Whitehall for 2300 miles, it really isn't the right kind of boat to deal with a shallow muddy river with occasional rocks and small rapids. I started researching all sorts of boat that might be good for this trip.  I looked at old Viking boats, canoes, rowboats, small sailing skiffs, Mackenzie river drift boats... etc.  What I came conclude is that no normal boat is really the right boat for this and I would have to invent and build my own.  This is the result.  

The flat bottom is to keep it as shallow a draft as possible.  The full length keel is so that when rowing it tracks straight.  The width is so that even under sail, (soon to be schooner rigged) it will be relatively stable without a big heavy keel.

The slight rocker (curve of the bottom) is roughly meant to be shaped like a big paddle board.  This should keep it easily rowed through the water as well as if the wind comes up enough, let it plane like it is surfing. 

It has three rowing stations, and one coxswain seat. So, on slightly less epic trips, a lot more folks can drink bear and look for alligators in the swamps around here.

Anyways, there it is. I know you guys would prefer to more posts about old rusty Buick modifications, but for the time being expect more boat updates than Buick updates. 


amateur.sophist said...

So... Where do you sleep?

Notorious said...

On the shore in the bushes with the rattle snakes! :-D

Anonymous said...

And where do you pack your gear? Top bookshelf?
Cool boat.

Notorious said...

Thanks! pretty much, I am going to build a compartment in the bow that should hold about a dryer worth of stuff in it.