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2013-05-14

Boogie on the water?

Sealant trimmer and auxiliary caulking iron...oh, and pizza slicer.

It's not unusual when one is in "boat mode" to look at lubberly or commonplace objects with a squinty, sailorly gaze. A serrated breadknife could be handy to cut a line on deck, a pizza slicing wheel could make a nice clean-up tool for overflowing bedding sealant. It's very common to see the sort of "picker-uppers" found beside the recliners of the elderly, for instance, aboard boats with deep bilges.

Used several times a day during the engine installation.
Slocum had a crippled alarm clock to aid his navigation, after all. It doesn't all have to be "marine gear", although if it isn't, you'd better have anti-rust treatments handy.

A man who knew how to tack.
Cheap LED headlamps...seriously cheap, not the nice xenon ones cave explorers and rock climbers have, are great "hands-free" illumination for the sailor. I haven't done a delivery without one. They usually last that long without corroding.

Add a red scrim for nighttime chart work...why not?

Also, I have never bought sailing gloves. Gardening gloves of the "rubber dot" type or a variety of half-fingered cycling gloves (which I almost always wear to bike to the boats) are a reasonable substitute at a fraction of the price.
Endorsed by "Wheelie" Harken himself.


It was in that spirit that I looked recently at a sort of toy my son, who needs penmanship practice fairly badly, received a couple of birthdays back.

Hmm. Might need a shot of conformal spray.


It's called a "Boogie Board". It works like an LCD version of what I once knew as a Magic Slate.



Magic Slate? It's a sort of basal Etch-a-Sketch, the sort of thing parents bought for kids to keep them occupied on long car trips prior to the invention of the portable gaming console.
Magic not shown.
Something like this is superior to a notepad or a Post-It on a boat, I feel, because it can stand the humidity and is not likely to end up crumpled and soaked in the bilges. Nor will it adorn the ocean as blown-aft trash. It's necessary on a number of occasions to take short notes (lat/lon, weather observations, radio contacts) or to leave short notes for crew coming on watch (bilge required X pumps, remember to set radar guide alarm, etc.). Sometimes you just need to walk a few figures from a gauge to a logbook. Something erasable and cheap that isn't paper and ink makes sense to me.

Familiar, and yet unsuitable.


Whether deck-top note-taking needs to be done on a Boogie Board remains to be seen. I could get a dozen Magic Slates instead for the price and not be particularly bothered if a few fell off. And no, I am not interested in an iPad with a handwriting app. I actually reviewed the first generation of OCR/PDA devices like the Newton years back and was not impressed with the overthinking when compared to a steno pad. I simply want to record ephemeral information ephemerally. And then erase it.


2 comments:

Ken Goodings said...

hi Marc. Those inexpensive short fingered bike gloves wouldn't protect my fingers, which IMHO is what gets all the grief when I'm hauling and grinding. I do wear fingerless sailing gloves which expose only the fingertips for button pushing and those those itches. ;-) For longer trips and cold weather sailing I wear light duty Home Despot work gloves.
Our friends use a mounted white board with markers for notes and courses etc, but they'll need to stay in the protection of your pilothouse.

Rhys said...

Agreed, Ken. My finger pads are calloused from music and bad sanding techniques, so the half-glove or "no tip" gloves work for me, but I'm just as happy to use a light, but complete glove if it's remotely wet or cool out.

The mounted board is an option...but I like the magic slate's size!