Pylasteki is a 1961 Pearson Triton sailboat. She is one of my personal project boats... I am rebuilding her as a blue water cruiser.

Enjoy, if you have any questions or comments, drop me line:


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Wild and crazy thoughts...

I have a theory about creativity. Perhaps I'll call it Zach's Theory of Creativity, the least creative name possible. It goes like this: Have a really wacky idea and balance it with logic. Why won't it work, Why can't it work... and Why things shouldn't things be done that way. The WWW's. If it passes those hurdles: Talk yourself out of it before you do something dumb. Failing that, beg for help.

I'm begging.

The last few days the cogs have been turning. I must by start by saying: One of my hobbies (obsessions?) is shaving grams off of bicycles. An ounce here, an ounce there, it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things... but once you get started the world needs speed holes. (The only people more obsessed with weight reduction than bicyclists... NASA, Ultralight hikers, and the bulimic.)

This has been drilling my brain:

Why is the chain locker always in the very tip of the bow? 200 feet of 3/8ths BBB weighs 340lbs! (Yikes.) Then we slap an anchor or two up top, and a windlass right behind them. Stack a few chocks, and a roller or three out there too.

Then the cruising sailor builds a water tank, under the v-berth. Down low, often below the waterline. We pile steel high in the tip of the bow, and drink the tank dry thats down low. Hmm.

How to switch the two, and still keep the use of the V-berth. Drink the center of gravity lower... My dear readers... have any of you seen such an idea implemented? If I build two canvas pipe berths..... Nah.



Tim said...

Chain and anchors and all that end up where they end up because that's where they need to be to allow ease and convenience of use.

It'd be great to store heavy chain amidships and low in the keel where its weight might do some good. Unfortunately, there's no way to make that work very conveniently; you can't get the chain from the pointy end to some other storage place without bodily moving it. Obviously, that doesn't work.

Chain doesn't run well through pipes unless they are nearly vertical; hence the problem with stowage anywhere but directly beneath the bow. Curvy chain leads and pipes have been tried by many, yet nearly never successfully. Chain resists all attempts to be made to travel any distance in anything but a vertical direction.

Anchors need to be on the bow for convenience; otherwise you can store them anywhere they fit, but they won't be convenient to use. Anchors are important on a cruising boat; ergo, they end up stored on rollers on the bow where they're always ready to go at a moment's notice. That's where you deploy anchors; that's where they end up being stowed. Ideal from a weight perspective? Of course not. But what can you do? Usability has to rule the day a lot of the time.

There are enough real and as-yet unforseen problems to be dealing with as you rebuild the boat. Stick to the things you can actually improve, and where it makes sense to try--and don't look to improve everything when you don't have the benefit of your own experience that might dictate a major change. Sometimes, you need a chance to see how things work for yourself before you can make an informed decision about what might work better. A person never gets the "ultimate" boat on their first try: you just don't always know what needs improvement till you've been out there a while. Be careful about continually trying to reinvent the wheel, as it were. Lots of people before you have determined that certain things work pretty well in their conventional forms. Use that historical and collective experience to your benefit, rather than always looking for a "better" way.

You're not the first to wish for a better way to store chain, but the physical limitations of the boat, particularly one as small as a Triton, and all the other physical factors at hand that govern how chain moves and work, simply preclude any other sort of storage system. Many things have been tried by many people, few with any real success. Convention usually exists for a reason.

Want less weight? Use less chain. Rope-chain rodes are perfectly fine. But if you want all chain for its longevity and much-touted ability to better withstand the abrasive quality of coral and coral sand, should you go to the tropics, then you must decide to accept the weight inherent with its use. And that weight will end up in the bow.

You've chosen a relatively heavy boat that can withstand excess weight very well without significant loss in performance. By the same token, you're not going to be able to significantly improve performance by "lightening" the boat. Do what you can to keep the excesses out, but if you want to obsess and truly save weight, you ought to be starting with a different boat in the first place. I'm not suggesting that weight concerns shouldn't enter into the equation, but you need to keep it in perspective also.

Zach said...


Thanks for your thoughts on the issue.

It's taken a few days pondering to get through my thick scull... but I sure do appreciate your input!

(What you said was the catalyst that made me grab some tools and put down the tape measure last weekend... Grin!)

Anonymous said...

Hey Zach if you still need the light its in my boat.The key is you know.Capt Rob F/V Doris Jean