|I. Y. Repin|
Barge Haulers on the Volga
Long-time readers of this blog probably know that there are such things in the world as square boats, and that they tend to do all that intricately modeled boats do, better and for a lot less money, plus they have a host of other advantages. But such knowledge is rare, even among sailors. I speak from experience, having recently spent a fair amount of time working on a square boat—my old Hogfish, which I have sold, and which is hauled out in a boatyard, being readied for her next tour of duty in the Caribbean and then, via the Canal, the Pacific. As I worked, various types of boaty/yachty people would come up to me and ask me questions. The typical question was “What is this thing?” usually followed by a comment, such as “It looks really unusual.”
Well, such boats were quite usual before, and I think that they will be usual once more. Their advantages are just too numerous. To start with, square, flat-bottom boats go aground really well. The typical yachty/boaty person would inevitably inquire, “How well does it go to windward?” (windward ability being the sine qua non of any self-respecting windship in spite of the fact that the entire planet was explored and colonized by windships that could do no better than 60º to windward). As a matter of fact, Hogfish goes to windward very well. But there is a far more important question to ask: “How well does it go aground?”
The typical keelboat-runs-aground scenario goes like this. Keelboat sails along, heeled over, and the keel scrapes the bottom. This causes the boat to slow down and as it does so it heels less, causing the keel to dig in even deeper, and get stuck. The boat is then at the mercy of the tides, and if the tide goes out, then the boat flops over on its side and bangs around in the surf. This is unsafe, uncomfortable and unnecessary.
On the other hand, the typical square boat, be it a sharpy or a sailing barge/scow, with its perfectly flat bottom, sails along, heeled, over, and its centerboard scrapes the bottom. This causes the centerboard to bounce up, ideally waking up the skipper, who then does something to avoid running aground. But if the skipper remains fast asleep and the boat does run aground, the part of it that hits first is the chine—the corner between the bottom and one of the topsides. This causes the boat to slow down, and as it does so it heels less, causing it to draw less water, and hence to free up and continue floating. If the skipper continues to doze, or simply doesn't care, it will eventually run aground, rocking to and fro like a gigantic rocking chair. When the tide goes out, it will continue to simply sit there, and when the tide comes back in, it will float off again. If waves push it onto the beach, it can still be refloated later by rolling it over logs.
And so it stands to reason that if what you have is a keelboat, then you really don't want to ever run aground, because if you do, it's likely to end badly for you and the boat. Whereas if you are in a square boat, then, why the heck not? You might even do it on purpose—to scrape the seafood off the bottom, and, if you time the tides just right, maybe even to paint it; or just to get a good night's sleep without all the incessant rocking; or maybe you are keen on making some astronomical observations and need a stable platform on which to mount your telescope; or maybe you have some goods to load or unload off a beach, and want porters to be able walk right up to your boat at low tide; or maybe your boat is a floating clinic and you don't want it to move while you are performing an appendectomy or a root canal. You see, the reasons for wanting to run aground are virtually endless, and being able to do so with relative impunity is a major advantage, while, on the other hand, at any given time any given boatyard is likely to have a few keel boats in it that have run aground, and aren't in good shape as a result: destroyed rudders, bent rudder posts, sprung keel bolts and holed topsides are not uncommon.
In addition to shoal draft (not needing much water to float) and the ability to go aground in safety, comfort and style, square boats are also quite cheap to build. A square boat can be made out of five pieces of flat stock (plywood, sheet metal, etc.) joined along the edges: bottom, two sides, transom and deck. Boats of this type used to be built all up and down the East Coast, by the people who sailed them. A fisherman and his son would spend maybe a week knocking one together right on the beach, then launch it and go fishing. Ceres, which is a fairly serious cargo craft, not a fishing smack, seems pretty far along after less than 200 person-hours of work.
And yet square boats are a rarity. There are several Philip Bolger sharpie designs around. There is Matt Leyden's “Paradox,” which is a tiny, trailerable yet ocean-capable cruising boat that has a bit of a cult following, and there are many specimens of it floating about. There is Chris Morejohn's “Hogfish” and “Hogfish Maximus,” plus one more, called “Jubilee,” exactly one of each is in existence. There is Dave Zeiger, who has been cruising Alaska in a “Triloboat,” sailing scow. If I am missing someone, please let me know. Based on my recent experience in selling Hogfish, I feel confident in saying that at this point many more people want to own a square boat than there are square boats available. Square boats get snapped up as soon as they appear on the market, while perfectly adequate keelboats (except in the “going aground” department) sit on the market for years, unwanted and unloved.
And so I am happy to report that there is about to be an addition to the family: Erik Adrus and crew are building Ceres, a cargo sailing scow, inspired by Dave's work. It will be used to deliver produce from the banana belt of Vermont (along lake Champlain) to New York City via the Champlain Canal and Hudson River. It is a very practical project, and it is generating quite a bit of excitement. I contributed to it a little bit along the way. The design you see on SailTransportNetwork.org was done by me and my friend Matt Harter. I also pitched the idea during an interview on RT.
I hope that the Vermont Sail Freight Project does well. I also hope that the concept will be refined and extended to coastal and ocean trade. Both Phil Boger and Chris Morejohn have demonstrated quite conclusively that square boats make perfectly adequate blue water vessels. Square sailboats are well-adapted to a future of continuously rising ocean levels, increasing coastal erosion and silting up of waterways. We should be building more of them. In the meantime, I will be sailing around in a keelboat, nervously keeping an eye the depth sounder, dreaming of the day when I will once again be able to run aground with impunity.
I'm currently building a small scow, as it's a wonderfully practical boat, and cheap and easy to build.
Shoal draft is so useful that I'd be willing to sacrifice many other things to get it. That fact that very litte, if anything, has to be sacrificed is a bonus.
I applaud this wonderful idea and sincerely regard it as one of the best initiatives to create a positive future that I have seen. But, as a sailor, I hate to point out a glaring problem: this will pit eighteenth century transport technology against 21st century pirate technology. What to do, when the shore is lined with starving, lazy miscreants with automatic rifles? This operation will require a serious escort. Even ex-commandos in body armor on jets skis would be at a serious tactical disadvantage.
Once the bad guys finally run out of bullets this will become a much more viable business model. Until then…
The SF maritime museum has a hay scow in their collection. Wonderful boat. There used to be many of these on the bay in the days of horses. They would sail from SF to the East Bay, probably in the afternoon when the wind was from the west and the tide was in, they would run them aground on the mud flats of the east bay, load them with hay when the tide was out. Pictures show them loaded with hay bales up to ten feet high on deck. The booms on the sails could be raised to clear the load and once the incoming tide refloated them, they would do what they could get some water under them and then return to San Francisco with the outgoing tide. Very practical arrangement with a minimum of wasted effort as long as one had the patience to wait for the tide to go in the right direction.
My own recent adventure in square boats was to build a punt for the backyard pool. The weather seldom gets warm enough to swim in the pool, but the punt built from two sheets of 3/8 inch plywood and assorted spare lumber makes a wonderful floating couch from which we can enjoy water level views of the garden while gently rocking about. Two short paddles allow us to maneuver about to tune the right mix of shade and sunshine. Dimensions of the punt roughly 4 by 8 feet with a seating capacity of six adults or 4 adults, two children and a dog. And the punt is stable enough so you can eat your dinner in it without spilling your soup.
I suspect that plywood scavenged from abandoned suburban housing might be a good building material in the future. I am also looking at exploring some of the older stitched seam joinery in combination with plywood to take the place of epoxy and 3M 5200 goop.
Some documentation on stitched boats can be found at http://indigenousboats.blogspot.com/
Dmitry, you make many practical arguments in favor of "square boats," but I think tradition, and perhaps more importantly, AESTHETICS have and will continue to trump them.
Except for barges, people want, and expect, to see curves on, and roundness to, boats. Beautiful lines have been on boats since the beginning: think of the skin-on-frame watercraft of the arctic circle peoples; the ships of the ancient Scandinavians and the Phoenicians; the reed boats of central Africans. I think they originated from the curved, rounded shapes of leaves skipping along the surface of the water. I know Bolger has tried to include interesting sheers to some of his designs, but most of his boats are just, well, kind of ugly.
Houses and men are square; boats and women are curved. It's a visceral sort of thing.
Post some photos, and I'll add a link. We need more square boats.
I've studied piracy, and it is always much worse on land than on water. Starvation and laziness do not cause people to shoot off their rifles at passing boats. The best way to get cargoes through will be using flat-bottom boats that can ghost in on the tide under the cover of darkness, hide in some little cove, offload their cargo onto pack animals that can travel on hiking trails, and then ghost out on the tide again. The worst way to try to get cargo through will be to use the roads and content with checkpoints set up by the starving, armed miscreants you mention.
What people want, obviously, is square boats. That's why round-bilge boats sit on the hard for years waiting to be sold, slowly turning into salvage, while square boats get snapped up so fast there are zero of them on the market. It is true that there are people who go gaga over girly-lines, teak paneling, bronze fittings and lots of brightwork on deck. They can go read some other blog, for all I care.
You might read what Bolger had to say about the drawbacks of square boats. Though in your scenarios, they are mostly mitigated. A good hull form and construction technique along those lines is the Thames Barge. I am working on a variant of the Thames Barge design for a small rowboat.
Considering how many round bilged boats have been built through history I will make some remarks. On any given set of proportions a round bottomed boat will have slightly superior sailing performance. (Deep keel not required, flat bottoms, leeboards and centerboards are all perfectly compatible with round bilges, see the Dutch for instance) Square boats become much more common after the availability of sawn lumber and industrially produced fastenings. That being said, flatties and square bilged boats are under represented in historical iconography because a barge is not as sexy or profitable to paint as the king's latest gilded Ship of the Line or Galley is.
Square boats, in short, are possibly the best for the transition period when industrial materials are available. Later, when trade returns to expensive goods, and skilled labour is more common and less expensive than now, we may see the return of round bilged working boats. When you have to make planks with a hand saw or by splitting and hand planing, the extra work involved in a round bilged boat kind of pales in comparison. Flatties and scows will probably continue to be built to haul bulk cargoes locally, especially in shallow water. The Thames sailing barges were supplanted by motor barges and trucks, not round bilged sailboats, after all. OTOH, fishing schooners were replaced by motor schooners, not barges.
You are making the untenable assumption that boats will be constructed of wood, using traditional methods. I find this extremely unlikely, as old-growth forests are increasingly depleted and stressed throughout the world. The high soil acidity that comes from high CO2 concenentrations (over 400 ppm now) cause tree roots to plug up with aluminum, stunting growth. It is possible that some people will kill off what remains of the forests in an attempt to build wooden boats. Having researched this topic, I have come to the conclusion that boatbuilding choices come down to ferrocement or fibercement (cement made using concentrating solar) or nothing. Old-time sailing traditions are useful, especially Chinese ones, but not directly applicable.
My big boat, ORCA CLEDDWR is a squary. Actually a seventy-foot adaptation of ERIK THE RED (without the deepish keel, of course; long shallow keel, plus lee-boards).
Since ORCA is a proa, it's really like two front halves of ERIK glued together, then stretched out to have a much narrower beam-to-length ratio.
ERIK, in turn, was modelled on the Grand Banks dory boats.
In truth, ORCA isn't mine any more. Built him and continued the saga for as long as I could, but just got too old to complete it all. In the end I gave him to a younger couple, who've picked up the challenge wonderfully. I can recommend doing this, with boats where you've just bitten off more than you can chew. At the time of life when I was building ORCA (44/45), I should have gone for something more modest. I now live on a 26-foot WLL, 32-foot LOA boat. Much easier. Still adding bits though, as you do, even in my seventies. Bloody weld-burns! Will I ever be free of them?
I understand that ancient trading practice, long before automatic weapons, involved coming ashore, dropping a few gifts, seeing what the locals brought out in response, taking it from there if everyone was happy with dealings so far. The possibility of piracy -- in either direction -- was always there, but the guys with the boat had the option of sailing off, telling every boat he met that a certain place was bad news, trading somewhere else.
A town run by short-sighted modern managerial types might decide that one juicy cargo would be worth giving up future trade -- but in the long run I'd expect to find them supplanted by people more aware that the future always has to be lived with eventually.
When you say "square" -- Do you mean something sort of trapezoidal? There are obvious advantages to shapes that water will flow around easily, but it shouldn't need to be round... What about triangular wedges?
Excellent argument, Dmitry. I wish I had experience with square and flat bottom boats, but until then I lean toward keel boats for their stability in rough weather and their tendency to right themselves upon capsizing. But as for building boats in the resource-constrained future it seems like square and flat bottom boats will come to the rescue.
ClubOrlov readers, know that Dmitry revived the sail transport movement when he sent us (Culture Change/Sail Transport Network) his article The New Age of Sail in summer of 2006!
It never ceases to amaze me how, when it comes to boats, people invariably have strong opinions on things they know next to nothing about. I always suspect that they are armchair sailors, who sit around dreaming about boats and talking about them on internet forums. I hate to have you tell you this, but typing on a computer does not equate to sailing. It's probably why most of the people who are building and sailing square boats aren't to be found on the internet. Perhaps I should follow their example.
You might want to stick to your day job of writing humorously about the coming end of the world! We need critics much more than we need drowned sailors. Or at least stay in the ICW and Chesapeake Bay with your "square boat" where her forefathers evolved. But certainly don't try to sail offshore to the Caribbean in the fall or cross the Gulf Stream as I've done many times. The ocean doesn't care about landlubbers theories, and ocean going sailboats didn't develop their hull shapes by accident or conspiracy.
Well, having put a LOT of miles on a couple of squarish boats by Phil Bolger I can vouch for their seaworthiness and stability issues.
A well designed internally ballasted boat is just as stable as a keeled boat but with the advantage that in storm conditions there is less for the hull to trip over.
Lots of reasons to like sharpies...
You are an engineer, and prone to prefer man-made materials that are both homogeneous and of relatively predictable qualities. The materials you are suggesting may not be available in a post industrial world. The construction techniques you advocate are currently viable, and may be, at continually increasing cost during the age of salvage. During that period I anticipate a great deal of conversion from yacht to transport of the existing sailboat fleet.
If you are correct, after the age of salvage, there will be no boats until CO2 levels decline to "normal". I don't think you're correct, but the future is not easy for anyone to predict.
I agree with you about armchair sailors and boatbuilders. For which reason I have a great deal of respect for the opinions expressed on the Triloboat site. They are doing what others merely speculate about. Having sailed all my life, and as a boatbuilder, carpenter and forester, I find it interesting how many people think they know more about a subject than someone with actual experience.
Looking at a map of North America with population density and density of forests both shown, it is easy to see how you and I might come to opposite conclusions about construction materials. What works for me in the Northwest might not work for you in New England. And what you find works there, may well seem unnecessary here. Only time will tell. And that's leaving out whether economic, social, political or military factors will let anyone sail for any reason.
horizonstar is just the sort of problem specimen I mean. Probably never sailed a square boat, and yet has opinions about their seaworthiness. Even "knows" where they evolved (not). Phil Bolger's and Chris Morejohn's sharpies have crossed oceans, including having to ride out hurricanes at sea. I have sailed mine the entire length of the Eastern Seaboard. I don't want to run a blog that spreads disinformation, but every time I bring up boats I face the choice of deleting or disputing every other comment.
Speaking of boat-building materials for an age of extreme scarcity, has anyone given any thought to pykrete? That is to say, a mixture of sawdust and ice. Not a joke! The material melts very slowly, even in warm waters, with minimal refrigeration (could be provided by a solar non-electric chiller) and has the virtue of being virtually bullet-proof.
Pykrete is sort of a joke, but a very good boatbuilding material is fibercement: Portland cement with sharp sand and short-strand glass fiber added. With the right formulation, it is so hard that it doesn't chip when attacked with an icepick. A hull made of this material can bounce up and down on rocks and coralheads with no damage. The cement and the fiberglass can be made using a two-stage solar concentrator, using minerals that are plentiful in the earth's crust. I just hope that it will still be possible to grow enough good trees for masts, and enough natural fiber for sails and rigging.
To clarify, my post above was meant as a musing on what I imagined most people think of when they say "boat". What would a picture look like if you went around the world, gave a person a pencil and paper, and asked them to draw a boat. The boat as a concept or icon. It was not meant to be partisan, judgmental, aggravating, or promoting any particular design. I couldn't care less what anyone build and sails, if it suits them.
For what it's what worth, besides looking at, dreaming about, drawing and painting boats since I was a kid, I've also built some and sailed several different types. One of the boats I built (with my kids) was a Bolger design with a flat bottom: the "Cartopper." It was fun and relatively easy to build, quick to set up, looked pretty well, and sailed reasonably well—even tacking wasn't too bad without a jib, which it was too small to have room for. I found the flat bottom, in choppy water, was a little harder on my tail bone than a rounder bilge would have been. Overall it was a great experience, and we almost built his version of the Beetle Cat, but never got to it.
A few years ago, Dmitry posted here something about about the "New Age of Sail" which I commented positively on, and even made a copy of and gave to a sailor friend.
It's a watery world and there is plenty of room for all kinds of boats!
Another way to get shoal draft and beachability? is a multihull.
My 32ft catamaran is very happy sitting on the 2 beaching keels.The central daggerboard and rudder both retract up out of the water.
It's also built hard double chine which I find more pleasing to the eye than round bilges.
We will still have ships, even if no trees are to be had for masts, or fiber for sailcloth. But they will be... slave galleys.
Cats are fun, but while running aground is what keelboat sailors worry about, multihull owners worry about capsizing. It tends to happen in the middle of the ocean, in the middle of a storm. Multihulls tend to be much more stable upside-down than right-side-up, which is a bad thing. They are basically designed for a maximum wave height, and there is no such thing. I prefer a boat that bobbles around like a cork and always comes up with the mast pointing up.
The galleys will be staffed by American retirees—the ones too skinny for the liposuction farms.
Here is some history of the SF maritime museum's scow schooner, Alma. Good account of her use as sail transport and reasons for the ultimate demise of the type.
Note that this boat was still profitable until the mid 20th century.
Re pirates, I am not a student of their history, but I suspect that the phenomenon had much to do with a rich traffic in goods legally stolen from colonial posessions, that is corporations with government charters could legally extract wealth from the Americas and other such places and pirates stole some of that wealth. That is smaller thieves were stealing from bigger thieves. Absent the big thieves, small scale thievery of the pirates is much less profitable.
The aluminum problem is a new one to me. After a little on line research I conclude that I had better treat my soil with wood ash, and all the bone meal I can afford. On the one hand, there is unlikely to be a severe shortage of wood in my area in my life, I am almost 60. But it means even with careful management, my heirs will indeed be fortunate to grow their own spars and oars. The potential effects on cereal crops are even more devastating to human survival. Right after you build your solar powered fibercrete plant you'd better breed those Sea Squirrels.
Ironicly, real forests have been growing back across much of your own stomping grounds, Dmitry...
That is not to say that these are "old growth" forests ideal for making the masts for tall ships, but then (historicly speaking) the 50+ foot, triple and quadruple masted tall ships were the exceptions to the rule, mostly owned and crewed by minions of monarchs. The vast majority of capable vessels were single and double masted and less than 50 feet LOA, and crewed by only a few. Even a white pine could make a decent mast for a square boat of that size, and grow within 7 years. Alternatively, sail plans with much shorter or thinner main masts may dominate. The Modified Crab Claw sail (mentioned on the Triloboats site, BTW) comes to mind. There is nothing that says that the new age of sail has to be high masted clipper ships. After the oil is gone, the slow ships will be safe enough as long as they can out run a rowboat.
Metaphorically, I guess the skipper awakening to his boat gently touching bottom is, well, touching. but this is how otherwise pleasant, thoughtful men get run over my tankers in their small boats:
COLREGS Rule 5 - Lookout
Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.
Yay! Boats! :-D
I'm glad you remembered to revisit this topic. I launched my box-canoe this morning! Square boats FTW!
Here's a scow being built on Martha's Vineyard - http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/seeker-the-scow/x/3098133.
Fakey-fake Captain Peril fails to mention that according to the same COLREGS he is quoting vessels under power must give way to vessels under sail unless the vessel under sail is overtaking, and that collisions between ships and sailboats result from the crew of the ships failing to maintain a proper lookout.
Another Russian innovation, for those who lack a boat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V6zayRd0Vw
Worth a look re. materials for the future - composite based on jute fiber(hat-tip RLW...good to see you out and about beyond the Carribean! And surprised you didnt link it!)
(il est écrit en français...but google will "translate" if needed)
Taratari is very cool, et la barrière de la langue ne me dérange pas. Jute, hemp and bamboo are all in the same category. They all work well with epoxy. Not enough work has been done on using them to add tensile strength to cement.
I knew someone would bring up the upside down multihull and compare it to a monohull that would of course never ever,ever, let any water in as it is rolled over and over after losing it's mast.
Lot's of keelboats have gone over,lost a hatchcover or something else and gone straight to the bottom with no warning to the crew.
I prefer the idea of my unsinkable boat,even if it is upside down,as opposed to a keelboat that is half sunk already and is always ready to let water in and sink.
There are techniques such as a proper sized parachute anchor that the crazy Australians have proven in storm conditions will take care of a catamaran,even in massive breaking waves.A multihull must be handles differently than a monohull and I think you are guilty of talking from the armchair.
NO BOAT IS INVINCIBLE.
Clyde puffers were steel and powered but used beaching as a means of trading on small islands e.g. http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottishmaritimemuseum/6143739846/
Dimitry, to the South of you in North Carolina sits a boat designer /sailor who has wonderful and useful boats. Graham Byrnes designs and uses great pretty boats. I am certain his craft will play a important role in the world of diminishing resources. We have only built one of his boats so far and have been very impressed with his design and construction techniques.
Dmitry, I’ve been mucking around in boats on and off all my life, early on in stitched-seam centreboard dinghies that no doubt would qualify as “sharpies” from what I can see. This includes silly things as boys will do, such as heading out in howling winds and seeking out (smallish) breaking surf.
Most of my offshore sailing has been done in a venerable S&S 34, a 1960s design conceived a day’s sail from Boston.
They have been much favoured by round-the-world sailors for their strength, windward performance in heavy weather, and ability to bob up like a weighted cork after being swamped or rolled.
In the skipper's long ownership of this boat, she had her mast pointed at the seabed at least once and survived being "beached" under spinnaker onto ocean-facing boulders (due to a snapped steering cable). I’ve sailed on bigger, newer, faster boats (with flatter bottoms) but none felt as sure-footed in rough seas as that old round-hulled keel boat.
A boat of this style would be my first choice if venturing into a proper ocean, further than plain sight of safe harbour. Unfortunately not a very practical boat for loading and unloading of bulk stores, even if capable of surviving the occasional lie down on a sand or mud bank.
Having said all that, most of the coastal features on this side of our continent were named by a certain Englishman on a side-trip from a scientific expedition to observe the transit of Venus. For this South Pacific cruise he chose to bring a converted coal barge:
“She was ship-rigged and sturdily built with a broad, flat bow, a square stern and a long box-like body with a deep hold… [Her design was] well-suited to sailing in shallow waters and allowed her to be beached for loading and unloading of cargo and for basic repairs without requiring a dry dock.”
I think you are lost. An S&S 34 in good condition is still well over 50k USD. It's a yacht, not a boat. If you are looking for a blog on how rich people can spend their money, this isn't it. Try chrismartenson.com. This blog is about ignoring what "proper" people consider "proper" as a particularly obnoxious kind of noise, and going sailing anyway.
I accuse YOU, Dmitry Orlov, of misleading the Amerikan public. Amerika will never collapse! It will never collapse for one very simple reason: It can't and never will run out of its most valuable resource. Amerika's most vital resource is not oil, weapons, corn, industry, gold, or fiat money. No, Amerika's most vital resource, most prolific export, and most cherished possession is Bullshit. Bullshit is environmentally green, infinitely sustainable, and universally accepted. In fact, a single human mind has the power to generate enough Bullshit to supply the entire universe.
Not only that, you don't even need a producer and consumer, as one person can simultaneously create and digest his own Bullshit. Not withstanding the ubiquity of it, we have entire regions of the country dedicated to the production and distribution of it. Hollywood, Wall St, and Washington DC are all working 24 hours a day 7 days a week producing it by the ton for both the domestic and world markets.
How can such a nation ever fail? It can not and will not. We can lose war after war, close all the factories, imprison half the population, but the Bullshit can go on forever. U.S.A! U.S.A!
Shhh! Maybe it might be better not to tell...
Here is an example of what I belive you are tahttp://triloboats.blogspot.ca/2013/09/splash-ceres-launches-vermont-sail.htmllking about. Note the actual cost of building (low) and facilities required (a barn)
2013.... it took forever to sell our 31 squareboat up in Alaska, even with web marketing nationwide. Maybe a product of the declining economy but it basically freaked out most buyers, that and the junk rig. We finally stripped the lugsails off (to keep them for a future boat... JRig rulz...) and I made it into a motor beach cruiser camper and it sold right off. The proportion of folks interested in square boats, instead of the lead mine yacht crap most have been brainwashed into, is probably less than the folks waking up about collapse proportionally. Their loss..... all the way around. Another pleasure not detailed in this piece: blasting over a sandbar on a run, board up, in maybe 2.5 feet of water. Way cool....
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