For the past ten years, the usual way of getting into this boat from the water has been to heel her over until the gunwale is within jumping-aboard distance of the water. 50 to 60 cm (about 2') from the first rung to the waterline is usually deep enough, and three steps span this distance nicely. It's very important that any transom-mounted hardware stays clear of the prop at all times.
Having used this particular ladder for a season, we've accidentally left it down at least three times. This particular one was from Princess Auto but I believe it may now be a discontinued model.
Alder is one of ten power boat designs created for the article “Power Boat Design, Form and Function” PDF, published in Wooden Boat #137. Using our guide of one horsepower per 500 lbs, Alder needs about 5HP to attain her cruising speed. Spread the loveOver the last few months, I have run across several posts on different bass fishing forums discussing a desire by many anglers to return to smaller boats and motors in tournaments. When I think back to my early days of organized bass fishing, I can still visualize the line-up of boats on the shore … mostly 17 feet in length or shorter and a 115-HP outboard would be the largest in the lot. From my personal experience in both club and local money tournaments, the answer is definitely no!
About a year ago, there was even one pro angler who spoke out about successfully fishing from smaller boats. Keeping true to that message, Rick Clunn (still with more Bassmaster Classic wins (four) than anyone else) talked about fishing from an 18 foot Tracker aluminum boat during the 2009 Bassmaster Classic.
Considering the rising price of both bass fishing rigs and the fuel to power them, perhaps it’s time to re-think the standard for bass boats and motors?
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Tiernan adds that the reason most boats for sale today are made of fiberglass is that they can be made by semiskilled and unskilled workers who are cheaper to hire than the skilled craftspeople needed to build a wooden boat. Another is that when we build in wood or commission others to do so, we are helping to maintain an important tradition. I wonder also whether the argument that building from wood is environmentally friendly has really been made. PS Fans of the US designer John Atkin will be interested to know that Tiernan is currently weblogging the build of a clinker-built Atkin Ninigret.
PPS I’d draw your attention to some of the comments below, particularly those of West Country boat designer, occasional building and general sailing man John Hesp.
Gavin, most of Tiernan's list deals with the engineering advantages of wood, as if we bought boats based on these facts.
Trees have been growing, falling over, rotting, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere for years and it hasn't caused a massive increase in atmospheric CO2.
I do see what you mean – it seems unreasonable to reduce these issues to numbers and engineering criteria when one of the key reasons we go boating is often to get away from such prosaic considerations. Nevertheless, these issues are worth considering as I'm sure your inner designer will concede, and the environmental questions are much more subtle than most of us thought at the beginning. And of course, carbon emissions are tightly connected to economic activity and human activity in general.
On the other side of the issue, some fraction of whatever carbon there is in a plastic boat will remain locked in the material for a very long time.
You don't think you've been led down the garden path by what sounds a rather journalistic BBC article? Ironing and washing, to be fair – both need more heat where cotton shirts are concerned. One interesting little tidbit I read recently is that the meat industry in one way or another, contributes significantly more to global warming than transportation, worldwide. One other nice thing about wooden boats, which has already been touched on a bit, but a nice one is gives pleasure to people, even when they aren't normally interested in boats. If the global warming cost of fossil fuels is added to that fuel we find ourselves playing a very different game.


Did you know that one barrel of oil contains the same amount of energy as 12 men working for one year?
Image coming back to shore after a day on the water on a foggy day in an aluminum boat and the oars are clunking against metal.
Have you got news for us?If what you're doing is like the things you read about here - please write and tell us what you're up to.
Classic Sailor is a new magazine about traditional and classic boats from ex-Classic Boat editor Dan Houston and colleagues that promises rather more coverage of the traditional craft around our coast. Follow me on TwitterLooking for something?This is a busy weblog, and what you're looking for is probably still here - just a little way down the list now. Our Faversham-based friend Alan Thorne can help with boatbuilding projects - constructing to plans in very tidy stitch-and-glue or more traditional techniques. You'd then heave yourself up and sideways, a bit like mounting a bare-back horse, and with any luck would land on the seat cushions.
Almost all small powerboats trim stern-down at rest, and it is much easier to climb a sloping ladder than a vertical (or reverse-sloping) one. If it's much shallower, swimmers will have to curl into a ball to get their feet on the rungs before pulling themselves up- exactly the sort of awkward physical contortion we're trying to avoid. While you'd never have swimmers in the water while the engine is running, it's quite common for the last swimmer to forget to fold the ladder back up.
Many are not; the lesser ones often work for a while but are much more prone to fatigue and eventual failure. Because it was mounted to be clear of the prop for all possible steering and trim positions, no damage was done. Marine Outfitters is another of our preferred vendors and they tend to have a few like this in stock. I have drawn in the 290 lb, 35 year old Volvo Penta MD 1 diesel, producing 7HP at 2300 RPM. Another rule of thumb is that the hull is only twenty percent of a boat's cost, and the hull and deck is twenty-five percent.
Boatbuilders teach each other, and the skills have long been conveyed by oral transmission. But if we only build boats out of oil, and keep a constant number of trees, there will be a nett increase in CO2.
I became aware of this when a BBC magazine looked at the issue and decided that the heat consumed in ironing a cotton shirt meant that poly-cotton shirts were a better environmental deal; so it seems to me that we should consider all the inputs and outputs, not just the obvious ones.
Gaseous hydrocarbons are often very powerful greenhouse gases, and if a boat needs eight coats of varnish every two years, what's the impact of that? I wish someone would give me some nice, clear well worked answers that left me knowing where I was on all this, and that I could quote when the issue arises. I can guarantee that the energy expended per year ironing my cotton shirts is less than it takes to make a years worth of polyester shirts….
And it seems to me that I've never even owned an iron that got hot enough to iron a cotton shirt properly!
We should use wood because we want to, and save our agonizing about our carbon footprints for the times when it really counts.
I am not about to give up my roast lamb, but cutting my meat intake in half would do me good, and probably make a more significant dent in my carbon footprint than all the other little fiddles one reads about put together. The difference in the reaction of people when I am paddling some rental day-glo plastic fantastic canoe, and when they see me in my little varnished oak and pine S-O-F canoe is remarkable. I seem to remember writing about the issue years ago, and finding that the energy savings from triple glazing can take a century to pay back the investment. What's needed is some sort of mechanism where the cost of dealing with CO2 problems are paid for by the sources of CO2, then triple glazing and the like would look a lot more attractive finacially.
If person A manufactures a triple glazed panel using oil based energy sources the cost of energy is very low but the CO2 generated is very high. The cost of the triple glazed panel goes up slightly because of the embodied energy, but the cost of the energy being saved over, say, 20 years is a very worthwhile saving. Theres a tigermoth biplane at our local airport that is probably 60-70 years old with wooden wing spars that DO flex.


Try scrolling down, clicking on the 'older posts' button at the bottom of this page - or try the search gadget! Even if you're in good physical condition, it's quite difficult to heave yourself more than about 15 to 30 cm (6" to 12") vertically out of the water. Ladders aren't sworn enemies of propellers in the same way that rocks are, but don't push it by letting them share the same space.
Higher-rated ladders are usually welded from stainless steel, instead of bolted together with plastic brackets. Fair use (quotations, etc.) is permitted as long as proper attribution and a link to the original source are provided. This type of boat is ideal as a harbour cruiser, inshore fisherman, or island support boat. With our busy working and family lives I have no hesitation in saying that we own and use at least one boat that we wouldn’t be able to keep up it on a DIY basis if it was made from wood. For example, when wood eventually rots its breakdown must release carbon dioxide and the much worse global warming gas methane. If the returns are so small, I'd suggest there are likely to be other areas we could cut down on that would make more of a difference. If person B manufactures the same panel using energy from photovoltaics the cost of energy is very high, but the CO2 released is very low. But you have to be fairly fit, with considerable upper-body strength, otherwise you just get stuck with one leg up on the gunwale. Someone who can't get onto a step 60 cm down will probably have trouble climbing a ladder anyway; if you or your crew fall in this category, you should consider wide, folding steps instead of a ladder.
Simpler is better; you can get a telescoping ladder if you're really short on space, but you'll pay through the nose for a sturdy one. If you would like to quote more than a paragraph or two, or if you would like to use images from this site, please contact me for permission before doing so.
For one thing the Volvo produces 5HP at 1500 RPM, which is so much easier to listen to than the outboards 4500 or so. So economy in the basic structure can go along ways toward making the whole thing affordable.
So what is the lifetime cost of a wooden boat to the environment compared with a plastic one?
With regard to the maintenance I was referring to epoxy encapsulated wood like the Ninigret I'm building. The recession might have lowered energy costs, but I can see us coming out of it with soaring energy costs. While that can be rather amusing for the rest of the crew, it is somewhat less pleasant for the swimmer.
Here, we're very tight on space (SC's beam is only 1.5 m) so the ladder-to-prop clearance is acceptable, but a bit closer than I'd like. But the outboard is much smoother you say, this is true, but I can work on the Volvo with a hammer and a couple of metric wrenches. Another area for economy is outfit, no sensible builder will look twice at a design specifying a 35 year old antique engine, he or she wants something available off the shelf.
Maybe plastic boat owners are more inclined to motor than sail, and maybe plastic boat owners are more attracted to resource hogging marinas?
Sure, we need a reasonably big car to haul the family around, but could we get away with an overgrown go-cart for the commute to work? When the outboard throws a fit I must take it to the nearest Factory Trained Technician, besides, the Volvo's slow, steady, thump is appropriate to Alder, and the weight will steady her down. Just to add a factor that seems relevant, what is the contribution to global warming made by the drying of spirit-based paints and varnish?



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