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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Building Stuff

Eventually, Spring will really get here in the North Country. There's a chance of snow tonight. It's been cool and wet, so not much has gotten done outside. Sooner or later, I'll be able to dive into some building projects.

One of my plans is to build a rocket stove water heater. A couple years ago I built a solar hot water heater out of a salvaged propane hot water tank, salvaged windows, and some scrap lumber. Only problem, often it doesn't get enough sun to bring the water to a truly satisfying temperature. A wood burning rocket stove should be able to give it that needed boost on cloudy days. It'll also give me a chance to play with rocket stove technology. I'm still debating on whether or not it'd be a good idea to build one in my house for heating.

Today I wandered my cedar swamp, checking out the winter damage. There are some downed trees that might work out as the base of a new boat dock. It would be handy to have a nice place to tie up my sailboat.

Then there is the dinghy project. How hard can it be to slap together a dingy our of plywood and cover it with fiberglass? Probably easier than picking out which boat to build. I must have looked at 30 designs so far. None are quite perfect.

Here are the parameters I've set out for myself: It must be less than 12 feet long, to avoid having to register it. Capacity has to be somewhere between 650 - 800 pounds. That implies a fairly beamy little boat. It must tow well. Should move well under oars and sail. Construction should be cheap and relatively fast. The quest goes on.

Now I have found a few designs that technically roughly fit my parameters, but they don't have soul. They don't appeal to me. What's life without a little poetry in it anyway?

There's a fair backlog of repair and maintenance that has to be done on the house. There's nothing major, but left alone long enough, little problems become big problems.

My lovely wife is going to insist on some more raised beds for veggies. She's gotten serious abut raising a bit more food. How serious? She's dug up flower beds to make room for veggies. Pretty darn serious in my book. She loves her flowers, but sees trouble ahead in world food production.

As soon as it stops raining and warms up a bit, I'll jump right into . . . sailing . . . then my projects.



  1. That's a tall order for a small dinghy. I've got plans for a beautiful little boat (besides the one I'm building now), but it's 14'...

  2. Probably have to compromise somewhere, but until then, I keep hoping for a miracle.