Single handed

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Seen in the 

The Californian Institute of Sciences


Brass Monkeys

Back before missiles, it was necessary to keep a good supply of cannon balls near the cannon on war ships.
But how to prevent them from rolling about the deck was the problem.
The best storage method devised was to stack them as a square based pyramid, with one ball on top, resting on four, resting on nine, which rested on sixteen.

Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon.

There was only one problem, how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding/rolling from under the others.
The solution was a metal plate with 16 round indentations, called a Monkey.
But if this plate was made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it.
The solution to the rusting problem was to make Brass Monkeys.

Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.
Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey.
Thus, it was quite literally, cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.
And all this time, you thought that was a vulgar expression, didn't you?

Monday, April 8, 2013


I am about to convert my boat to Electric Power
Here are some photos of others who have done it

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Soft Shackle

My genoa is 150% and so tacking is a menace for any single handed sailor
One problem is the twin bowlines, that attach the sheets to the clew of the jib, catch on the shrouds.

so one answer would be to directly splice the lines onto the sail.
I would not like to be near that thing when it flogs around....

then I saw the softshackle idea which should help to reduce the clutter at the jib clew.

This vid below tells you  how to make one