So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Sailing on a desolate shore
Looking over the destruction to the Northeast waterfront gave me a few ideas. We’ve all seen the boats piled up on shore, the devastated marinas, and the debris pulled out to sea. The destruction is bad, and a Northeaster is currently churning up the debris.
Imagine being in a sailboat and looking for a safe harbor. Good luck. Most modern sailors use plenty of shore services. Many cruisers rely on marinas heavily for fuel, water, food, and electrical power.
Fortunately, there are relatively few cruisers traveling the Northeast coast this time of year. I did read a report from one brave soul and things are pretty much as one would imagine them -not good.
What if things keep getting worse? The sea rises, storms become more frequent, larger, and building near the waterfront becomes a very bad idea. Different sorts of boats than what we have now would travel the coast. People would still travel on water, in spite of the risks. Hundreds of years ago mariners braved stormy uncharted coasts for adventure and profit.
There’s no need to reinvent the past. Rugged coastal sailing ships like the Crystal River Scow, would do the job nicely Maybe something based on Dave Z’s Triloboat. Squarish, flat bottomed boats with simple rigs would not need a lot of shore support.
A boat that can safely sit flat on the bottom during low tide can go places no deep keel boat can travel. Simply constructed of ordinary materials, they are independent of marinas and boat yards. No need to wait for a specialized carbon fiber and stainless steel do dad when a chunk of wood and a bit of line can do the job.
Smaller boats of similar construction would get in and out of tight spots not accessible from land. My active imagination can picture a small crew in a rugged little boat doing a lot of unofficial salvage.
Hopefully, my dystopic futuristic vision remains Science Fiction. There are less developed parts of the world where cruising in such a boat makes perfect sense. In fact, some of those areas still have traditional boats that meet their needs quite well.
Even in regions with fully equipped and staffed marinas, the budget sailor would do well to have a boat that doesn’t need those facilities. The coast gets a lot bigger in a boat that can go places others can’t.
The recent storms and coastal destruction got me thinking what kind of boat could most easily travel such a coast. Then I got to thinking such a boat doesn’t need a disaster to make sense.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.