I’m going to need new business cards, After completing my pre-glue test fit, I realized I’m not just a “Builder” anymore. I’ve gone vertical, so I must be a “Developer.” My basement projects have consumed all the available horizontal space. Anything more and you might see me featured on an episode of “Hoarders.” Is anyone else amazed at the kind of crap people will watch on TV? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly what you’d call “highbrow.” My wife has been training the Oconomowoc hillbilly out of me for 35 years, with limited success. But come on, “Moonshiners!?” When subtitles are necessary to understand a show’s characters who are speaking something that resembles English, that might be a good indication of a waste of time.
Back to development. As is typical with construction projects, my staging was a bit off. An unforeseen problem with my Sitka supply chain left me one board short. Not wanting to idle my high-priced labor and delay progress, I charged ahead with the available materials. Fast forward to today, and I’ve got a mostly completed frame, but nowhere to glue up my second side board. Hmm…what would a Developer do? Yes, that’s it, bring in the crane and scrape the sky!
At this point in my build, my mechanical equipment was collecting dust, so why not put it to use? With my Harken powered crane in place, I hoisted my frame out of the way and created the space I needed to glue up my second sideboard. Whoa…and when I cut her loose from the oppressive chains of the building table, if she didn’t go into an immediate hike, like she was rounding the top mark in a blow! This frozen filly may be a hard one to tame. Daniel Hearn
I’ve been receiving AARP mailings now for 8 years. To add to the insult, it started before I even officially hit the big 5-0. It’s a mystery how they even found me. When we were hunting Bin Laden, we should have put them on the case. If you were born before seat belts were required, they know where you are.
As we get older maybe we do get stuck in our ways. I’ve been shaving the same way for decades. Good News Plus razors with the lubrication strip and the cheapest cream on the shelf. Two blades were always good enough for me, and as far as I was concerned, any white cream would do the job. But shampoo? Nothing but the best for me. Not for what the fancy fluids do for my locks, though I’m sure you’ve noticed the sheen, bounce and manageability. But because when my daughters were all home, they would move on to the next miracle liquid before the last one was gone. I may have a lifetime supply of wounded soldiers. And I smell like a sorority house.
Before Amazon, my wife picked up my shaving supplies at an actual store. Now they’re delivered to my door with a single click. Making it easy has made Jeff Bezos 158.1 billion. But now Harry’s has made it even easier. And better. I don’t even have to click. Not one time. The blades just show up when I need them. They’re probably using a top secret algorithm to calculate the precise speed of my facial hair growth and the corresponding life span of each blade, based the Rockwell rating of my whiskers and my shaving frequency. I may be on the cutting edge of shaving (I’m slightly embarrassed about that pun), but I’m at the dull center of fashion. I still wear socks with my dress shoes. And see no need to sport pants so short that my ankles show. Who decided “floods” were a “look?” Plus, MY suit jackets actually fit ME. When did it become fashionable to look like the “oops” of a Catholic family–the boy who was last in line to wear the First Communion suit, when he was much taller than his older brothers at the same age.
The razors from Harry’s have like 17 blades and they stay sharp for a long time. MBAs who want to sound smart would call this a “core competency.” Me, well, my MBA is a Mop Bucket Attitude, so I’m thinking they should get into runners. Perfectly profiled and optimally sharp (or dull) for the upcoming conditions, delivered right to my door the day before the regatta is even called “ON”. This may be the next move for Amazon. I’d better call a patent attorney to protect my “intellectual property.” When you charge $900/hr., you have to use expensive words. Translation for those of you with an MBA like mine—my “good idea.” If I don’t, Amazon, Google or Apple will most certainly steal my good idea. And I think they’ve got enough money.
All the DN planks I’ve built were “close enough” planks. I’d bend them up following all the conventional wisdom, then start eyeball hand-planing until I thought they looked cool. Then I’d add glass in search of deflection that would match what the fast guys said would be calibrated to my weight, and called it good. But with my C-Skeeter project, I thought I needed to break from my old ways. So, the first thing I did was look up NACA foils. I don’t even know what that stands for, but I stumbled upon the section with foil shapes that were neither lifty or draggy. (These are highly technical terms beyond the scope of this recap). I sized one to the width of my plank, built a router jig to create shape reference cuts, estimated the declining depth of my cuts to account for the ½” tapering of the plank from inboard to outboard, then made lots of sawdust. Not as precise as a CNC router, but a sophisticated shave for me!
Above: Pat Heppert and John Dennis with the first place Wisconsin Skeeter Association Paul Krueger Trophy.
The 2019 Wisconsin Skeeter Association (WSA) trophies winners have been selected based upon regatta results. After consultation with WSA officials, the United States Geological Survey, and the final say of WSA Director of Competition, Greg Whitehorse, the regatta starting and finish lines were determined to be on the Wisconsin side – even though the ISA and Northwest regattas were launched out of the Minnesota side of Lake Pepin. These trophies will be awarded at the 4LIYC Spring Banquet on April 27th at Springers. You still have until Sunday night to make your reservation. Banquet details here.
B Skeeter Champion Steve Schalk 2nd Northwest Regatta 2nd 2019 ISA Regatta Tied 2018 ISA Regatta Also in acknowledgement of his work as ISA & NIYA Secretary and his support for the B Skeeter fleet.
Sunday Series 1st Place John Dennis The Tom Hyslop Trophy aka “Yellow Boat on a Swivel”
Bottle Race Pat Heppert Many thanks to Pat for helping PK set up and tear down, and most importantly, ensuring all the pins and bolts are stored in their proper places.
2nd Place Paul Krueger Started all races and honoring an incredible come back after a year of recovery.
Stopped by McCormick Lumber over my lunch hour Friday to pick up the one additional Sitka board I needed for the two 20 foot chines on the port side of the hull. I was greeted in the parking lot by the Global CEO of the conglomerate, Andy McCormick, who was returning from a high-powered business lunch. He was still sucking Diet Coke through the straw in the Hardee’s cup. I considered Andy a friend, but witnessing that he’s destroying our oceans still using straws, I may have to reconsider. He escorted me to the yard, probably concerned that I would slap as many boards as I could on top of the Swagger Wagon and tear off without paying. I asked him if he could close the overhead door as I searched for the fastest board, as I was a little cold. He asked me if I always wore my wife’s skirt on Fridays?
Saturday morning, thinking my neighbors probably wouldn’t appreciate the sweet howl of my planner in the driveway at 6:30 a.m., I made my way to my office to get the job done in our storage area. Since I don’t have a garage, I’ve sort of commandeered the space. It’s become an ice sailing junkyard; rather appropriate, as the room also harbors our building’s dumpsters. They don’t stink too bad(ly), and it’s a short throw for getting rid of the sawdust. Bonus. I’m probably supposed to put the $10-per-board-foot waste in a bag before depositing it in the non-recyclable dumpster, but we contract with a private service. They’ll pick up anything, unlike the City of Madison that will leave my carts stranded at the curb like a blind date with a nice personality, if they see one leaf poking out of the lid. With the first job of the day complete, back home for breakfast.
Next stop, Nordhaus Boatwerks. Arranged to meet up with Jim to compare different steering systems. After discussing pros and cons, I decided to go with a Renegade style system, but with a wheel (which is not allowed in the Renegade) and extra purchase achieved by attaching blocks to the steering post flanges and dead-ending the lines that go to the steering wheel sprocket back into a bulkhead. Maybe using Spectra rather than cable. I kinda sounds like I know what I’m talking about, right? Well, truth be told, before my remedial session with Professor Nordhaus, I was as clueless and a redneck in a woman’s studies class.
I was also rather uncertain about how I would ultimately attach the decking to the sideboards, so on my way back from church Sunday I gave Jerry Simon a call. It was 10:25 a.m. I was hoping he might be able to stop by my shop in the next week or so. He said, “I can be there by 11:00.” All Jerry needs is an app, and he could be like Uber. Before the eleventh bell faded, the doorbell chimed in and there he was in his well-worn sailing cap, jeans and work boot style shoes. Cheerful as always. I suspect Jerry is on Lombardi time—”if you’re on time, you’re late.” But he probably backed it off a bit for me, seeing as how it was Sunday, and all. And Palm Sunday, no less. Those services go on forever. No need to document with a watch. Every kid squirming in the pew is evidence enough. Of course Jerry didn’t come empty handed. He came bearing gifts of tools. A pneumatic staple gun in a plastic box with every component and staple size precisely labeled. He provided a detailed tutorial that would rival any YouTube sensation, and then showed me how I would put it to work for no-bubble decking and proper scarf joints.
My consultants weekend wouldn’t have been complete without a call to the Heppert Hot Line. All along I’ve thought it was a Call Center in Kingston, but I’m beginning to think the guy on the other end sounds more Minnesotan, than Jamaican. “How in the heck do I get a six foot level to touch three bulk heads on the sides of a curved boat,” I asked. “You don’t,” the guy said, “that’s only by the top rear spine. “Oh,” I replied sheepishly, thinking that maybe I had already sanded a little too much off the small section I had started with. Oh well, may have to shim out that one bulk head some to maintain the smooth curve. He went on to explain something about the flat spine transitioning into compound curves. “Ah…what,” I thought? But for the record, I never took any women’s studies classes. (Photos below of steering in Meade restoration project at Nordhaus Boatwerks. My C-Skeeter steering will be similar).
Daniel Hearn brings home the second most important part of any iceboating program, the trailer and sees the C Skeeter hull emerge from the parts and pieces.
Frosting For Frozen Fun
When I eat birthday cake (never with ice cream, but I love ice cream…I know, weird) my fork surgically targets the cake part first, leaving mostly frosting for a super sweet, sugar-filled finish. Flower? Corner piece? Ah…yeah…both, please.
It was all frosting at the Spaight Street Syndicate last weekend. Picked up my new C-Skeeter hauler in lower Michigan Saturday morning. Great little trailer company willing to sell direct to consumers and build custom quite economically. On the way there, dropped off a DN mast for repair with Bob Rast. Going to a newbie I assisted getting into a good entry level program. Welcome to the fleet, Vince! Had dinner with my oldest daughter in Chicago and spent the night at her place. I did eat meat on Friday during Lent. Since the Lord can walk on water, he’s certainly an ice boater, so I’m counting on him cutting me some slack.
On Sunday, I got to start dry fitting pieces. It’s been pretty much all cake since I started—planning, ordering, cutting, gluing, carboning, bending, sweeping, swearing, apologizing (to my wife for the excess dust; I don’t think she hears me cussing like a longshoreman). But all of a sudden ,“poof,” it looks like a boat! Frosting for frozen fun is good for my psyche.
Damn, I’m one board short! There I go again with my potty mouth. I’ll have to pay a visit to Andy at McCormick Lumber this week. He’s an Irishman…he won’t mind my language.
The Spaight Street Syndicate C Skeeter build continues. Here’s the latest from Daniel Hearn.
YOUR PLANK NEEDS WORK
I was in NYC last weekend visiting my youngest daughter, Sheridan. She took me to one of these trendy fitness clubs staffed by overly cheerful, Lulumon-clad trainers whose smiles conceal their fondness of torture. It was called The Fitting Room. Their e-blasts ever since will never let me forget.
“Locker room straight ahead,” said the ethnically ambiguous receptionist with the blue buzz cut, plentiful piercings and ink. Admittedly, I was a little groggy, having stayed up way past my embarrassingly early normal bedtime, taking in a comedy show at a club often used by big names for trying out their new material. Chris Rock didn’t show that night.
As I wondered in, there standing right in front of me was a shapely young woman with nothing on but lacy black panties and a party bra. (Not that I was looking, of course, I was with my wife and daughters). As I desperately scanned the area for the silhouette of the guy wearing pants, all I saw were more women. Women in various states of dress. Certain that I had wondered into the wrong locker room, I sheepishly turned to exit trying to be invisible. It must have showed on my Midwestern face as another woman said, “don’t worry, it’s a coed locker room.” “Hmm, I thought, temporarily relieved, until I started thinking about exposing my tighty-whiteys to total strangers, and most of them women. My ladies know I’m a dork, but these women…scratch that…they probably took one look at my dad jeans and concluded, “dork.”
Our class had two wirelessly mic’ed instructors. Not very far into the workout, I became a “project” for the instructor with the British accent and tightly trimmed beard. He said to me, “ Daniel (at least he didn’t call me sir), your plank needs work. I thought to myself, “dude, you have no idea!” Maybe I should send him the pictures?