Sea Stories - January 2021

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What we're watching

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QUACK, QUACK
Scott Smith is on a mission to build a boat. The policeman from New York state turned novice boatbuilder has for the last nearly four years been toiling away in his backyard boat shed building a 41-foot, George-Buehler-designed Diesel Duck trawler/motorsailer with lumber and materials that can be found at most any hardware store. His YouTube channel, Six Points Wood Works, documents the build with informative videos that show not only his successes but also the challenges he’s faced using tools, materials and methods he’s not familiar with. He’s crafted the videos to appeal to amateurs and experts alike, and a lively comments section encourages collaboration among his viewers who want to build boats of their own.  

More salty reads

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DEAD RECKONING

We live in an age of electronics that allows most anyone to pinpoint their position by simply pulling a phone out of their pocket. The technology has spilled over into boats with technology that comes in ever-smaller packages. But some salty skippers prefer to do things the old way. That includes Capt. Nikolay Djambazov, a Bulgarian who navigated his way around the globe using only a compass and a sextant. He did this aboard Tangra, a sailing yacht he built himself. Some of his many experiences at sea include participation in the singlehanded transatlantic race OSTAR 80 in 1980, and a circumnavigation via Cape Horn between 1983 and 1985, using only personal funds. Tangra Against the Wind is Djambazov’s memoir, describing his life, both on land and at sea. The stories he shares show that going to sea is hard work, and filled with adventure, friendships and adversity. ($30, Xlibris US)

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PUSHING THE LIMITS

Tom and Lorraine Owen were no strangers to building boats when in 2015 the retirees decided to jump headfirst into a massive project to build Thea, a 30-foot motorboat they crafted from wood and epoxy resin. Building the boat took a combined 9,000 man-hours to complete. It was launched in December 2015 on the River Dart in England. Seawater and Sawdust is an account of the couple’s determination and grit to get the job done, despite obstacles such as their age and injuries, one of which required major surgery. The book is written in an easy-to-read and amusing style and is complimented with photographs that show the progress and details of the build along the way. The book wraps up with a candid assessment of the project and a thorough discussion of how Thea performs as a cruising boat. ($26, Self-Published) 

SALTY TUNES

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Christopher Cross is not the only musician to write and perform songs about sailing, despite his hit song, “Sailing.” Other sailing songs include those by Jimmy Buffet, Bob Dylan and Crosby, Stills & Nash. If you’re looking for a playlist to enjoy when simply hanging about or when underway, consider the Spotify playlist “Sailing Songs for Sailors,” which includes 500 sailing tunes by more than 100 artists. 

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