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Progress Report:  2003 Archives

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Reports from February, 2003
  2/9/03  2/16/03  2/23/03

Log for the Week Ending February 2, 2003

I'm afraid that there is no progress to report for this week. 

Log for the Week Ending February 9, 2003

I continued researching my deck design and construction details, and started laying out the basic design on my paper drawings.  The deck structure will be quite basic and traditional:  sheer clamps along both sides, arched deck beams, and carlines surrounding the single opening in the deck (the cockpit/cabin trunk area).  I figure on spacing the deckbeams 2' on center and sized accordingly, depending on their construction:  sawn beams may require a bit more thickness, while stronger laminated beams can probably be thinner.  The largest single beam span is just over six feet, forward of the new cockpit/cabin trunk; most other beams, other than those on the foredeck, are only a foot or two in span.

Click here for some of the research sources I'm using during this process.

I visited a friend's boat barn to get some ideas and to see a dedicated boat barn "in the flesh".  Because he lives in an upscale suburban subdivision, the barn's appearance was of prime importance--as well as its overall functionality.  I was very impressed by the barn, and walked away with a number of good ideas--and pictures.

 See more photos of this attractive boat barn here.

Over the coming weeks, I'm going to rough out a basic barn plan, and possibly have an architect or drafting service draw up a true plan so that I can obtain estimates for building out of wood.  Only then can I truly compare the costs of steel pole barns and a wooden barn; if one is substantially less expensive, that will be the obvious choice.  If they're close, I might go with wood.

Log for the Week Ending February 16, 2003

I thought it would be interesting to get some input  on a basic question about the daysailor that's been nagging me:  is a diesel engine overkill or too complex, or is it still preferable to an outboard?  I love and value input from you, faithful reader, so I posted a poll question to gather some results from my unseen visitors.  The poll is completely unscientific (hopefully no one is voting more than once, but there's no way to tell), but assuming that the results are genuine, it will help me understand if my own feelings on the matter are what the public wants, or if I'm all wet.

Please click here to take the poll.   (Please only take it once!)

For the record, I wish I could build this boat engineless, perhaps with a rudimentary removable outboard bracket.  If the boat were to be for my personal use, that is the route I would take.  It's not a cruising boat, it's not a distance-sailing boat:  it's just a fun day boat, to be used a couple hours at a time.  I would love to avoid the cost and complexity of an inboard engine, and since I'm trying to build a boat purely for the enjoyment of sailing, my pipe dream is to go engineless.

But I'm not dumb, either (hey, I heard that...be nice, now!).  I know that the boat needs an engine.  Very few people would be happy heading out with no auxiliary means of propulsion.  And I know that most people would never be bothered with removing an ugly outboard from the transom constantly, especially when it would need to be a relatively large one.

This leads back to the diesel engine which was, after all, my first thought, back in the concept stage.  Deep down I think I know that a diesel engine is the correct, and inevitable, choice.  But before committing to this direction, I figured it was worth checking with other boatowners and enthusiasts (yup, that's you!).  Early response to the poll has been strong, and the results are pretty clear.  Thank you all for the kind responses so far, and if you haven't yet taken the poll--please do so now.

Click here to see the results to date.   Updated each Sunday until the end of the poll period.

More barn stuff--you get to climb inside my mind and thought process.  Lucky you.  The barn is high on my mind most of the time, especially during this slow and bitterly cold winter.  The more I look into it, the more it looks like wood is probably going to end up being the way to go.  The steel buildings aren't exactly cheap, and the costs don't include erection onsite.  I watched a video (do I need a life?) provided by one of the steel building manufacturers I contacted, and their animation of the building construction left me stunned by its complexity--much more challenging than I had thought.  

Click here to see more about the barn design and the process.

On Wednesday, I received an extremely kind offer from a website regular, who so happens to be an architect:  he volunteered to work on a barn design for me, at least one that was detailed enough so that I could get some materials and building estimates.  Of course I accepted, but only after making it clear that he would always have friendly place to visit and sail in Maine.  I hope I can return the favor sometime.  So I spent some time putting my basic ideas and requirements on paper and sending them to him.

Log for the Week Ending February 23, 2003

Well, I had hoped to travel south to Connecticut on Wednesday to visit a few stick-built barns in the area that had been built by a fellow Triton owner there.  Unfortunately, snowy weather interfered with my travel, and I didn't end up going.  I made tentative plans to reschedule the trip within a week or two.

I continued to be amazed and pleased at the response to my informal engine choice poll.  The results poured in, many with informative and insightful commentary as well.  When all polling is complete, I'll post some of the comments too.

Click here to see the cumulative results to date.

Other than some additional discussion of the boat barn, as we continue to refine the concept and ideas, there is no progress on the boat to report this week.  Since it's unlikely that the barn would be built on our current property, efforts at the moment have been focused on finding the perfect property on which to build the barn and house.   One property that was high on our list recently went under contract, so things are a bit unsure as we continue searching and looking.

Continue to March >


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