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Old 09-27-2004
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Currently in Savannah,GA
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Stede is on a distinguished road

One of the things I''ve always enjoyed about sailing is the challenge of coming up with ideas to overcome boat problems. To recognize a need, develop a plan or design, and then implement the remedy, is self-satisfying.

Recently, I met a fellow sailor that had a small 14 footer. He had designed, and fabricated his own roller-furler,a boom support out of plastic tent rods, a swim ladder out of aluminum conduit, an outboard bracket for a 1948 outboard he had bought for $40 (the kind you wrapped the cord around the flywheel and give a good yank to start) and several other modifications.

"Necessity is the mother of invention." The last "major" modification I made to my boat was on the stern rail. My boat has split back stays. One of the stays came down right in front of the swim ladder. To make things even worst, there was a stanchion post in front of the ladder, and no opening gate in the rail. I cursed the imagined pencil-neck designer responsible for such a monstrosity each time I struggled to get to my dinghy. A contortionist midget would''ve had a hard time getting through the maze. I suffererd many bumps and scraps while working my way through the web of metal. Finally, I decided I''d had enough! I developed a design, searched numerous catalogs,etc.,to find the proper fittings I would need to relocate the stanchion post, modify the rail, and fabricate a lifeline opening gate. The next large obstacle was paying for the SS fittings I needed. If you''ve ever bought any, you know what I mean! The whole design, basic as it was, worked perfectly when installed. I couldn''t relocate the backstay, but having a rail opening to my swim ladder is wonderful.I take much satisfaction in using it. But I wonder if that guy that wrote, " Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." ever bought any of those SS fittings?
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