The sacrificial layer

We are hoping to sail to coves and beaches that are out of the way.  These areas by definition do not have what I call parking facilities.  The technical term is mooring, but I find it weird that it can mean tied to a dock or sitting out in the middle of water where you have to take another boat to get to land.  To park a vehicle means that you can get out and walk around.  To moor a vehicle still leaves you in iffy-land.

I like Big Boat Man’s idea.  Soft cedar on the bottom as a sacrificial layer in case we need to make a landing on a rocky shoreline.  The idea is for the cedar to absorb the collision and allow the integrity of the boat to remain.  Mind you, we’re not talking hulking boulders on a shoreline, more like the large pebbles or rocks at Pukerua Bay.

We slept on those rocks one night after diving.  (I use ‘we’ loosely since I was not the one diving.)  Dreading a long night ahead, we found that we both snored the night away.  It seems the pebbles act like those white fluffy things in postal packages.  They give way in just the right places.

Speaking of sleeping, I’m told we would be able to sleep on this boat overnight while we guard our cray pots.  That is going to be interesting.  A huge keel divides the boat right down the middle.  This is what makes it a flat-bottomed boat.  I can’t see how even a canvas sling is going to fit, though BBM assures me our feet can slip right up into the narrow front of the boat.  We might prefer to be on the rocks again.

Speaking of flat-bottomed boats and the keel going through the entire length of the boat, reminds me of another boating fact I was enlightened with the other night.  When the wind gets up on the sea, I often ask BBM whether we would go out in THAT kind of wind?  I’m trying to gauge what I’ve gotten myself into.

With a flat boat of this type there are what I call wings on either side.  For those mariners of you, the term I believe is lee-boards.  So, there is one of these on each side.  From what I understand of the theory, if the wind and tide are pushing you, these boards help you dig into the water so that the flat bottom isn’t skating on top the water like a bogey board with no fin.  This means you can maintain control of the direction of the boat.

Well, the other day we watched a sailboat on TV in large waves.  I asked  BBM about his earlier explanation to me about cutting through the waves at an angle of about 40 degrees.  Will we still do that even though our boat is flat bottomed?  Yes, of course!  But won’t we just slide because we are flat bottomed, or is that when the wings on the side come in handy?

He looked at me.  You know how the edges along the flat bottom of the boat are a sharp angle like a corner?  Yes, the long angle from the bottom to the sides.  Well, when the boat is leaning over those edges cut into the water just like other boats’ keels.

Wait a minute.  Are you telling me that those wings on the sides do not stop us from leaning so far over in the water that the EDGES of our boat will be cutting into the water?  I thought that was why we had them!  What use are they?

I realise I’m getting quite shrill, and the whole purpose of this boat is to see how I do on the water, because we think we would like to build a house boat to live on in true retirement.  So, not a good look.

I calm down and try to show him I’m game.

Suddenly I realise that it didn’t bother him in the least for me to get excited about the possible dangers ahead.  Why?

You don’t really care if I don’t like sailing do you?  He grunts an innocent, huh?  Ha. Now I understand why he has stressed that one person can sail the boat without any other crew. He can’t lose.

One way, we both share the excitement.  The other way, he gets time to himself, enjoying what he loves doing, while I’m happily waiting for him in a warm, dry place.

So glad we understand each other.  We’re each willing to at least try to sacrifice something for the other.



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