Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday

As I picked up a copy of W.P. Stephens' Canoe and Boat Building : A Complete Manual for Amatuers from my bookshelf, I was hearing the strains of a song from the Barenaked Ladies. 

Am I out of my gourd? 

Some would probably say yes, and, well, they're probably right.  But in a good way.

The song refrain that was in my head was, "It's all been done before!" 

Folks have been building skin-on-frame boats for eons.  Percy Blandford picked up the idea again in the mid-20th century and put his twist on it.  George Dyson took the same ideas and built some more skin-on-frame boats, but with lashed aluminum frames and synthetic skins.  Guys like Dave Yost, Dave Gentry, and Jeff Horton are doing a hybrid of Percy Blandford's frames and George Dyson's skins - again with their own twists.

People have sailed canoes for eons as well - mainly in the South Pacific.  Modern sailing canoes really began with outdoorsman, John MacGregor and his Rob Roy canoe that he paddled and sailed all over Europe.  W.P. Stephens book mentioned above has designs which were all a variation of the Rob Roy canoe.  Hugh Horton's Bufflehead sailing canoe developed with the Gougeon brothers Meade and Jan, is a high-tech twist on the canoes that were presented in the W.P. Stephens book. Sylph, Professor Howard Rice's sailing canoe is another version of the same thing, with modern twists and improvements to meet his needs.

Getting my drift yet?

There's very little that's new in boating unless you look to the cutting edge technology going on in racing boats.  Most of what you see is an interpretation or improvement in materials, design and performance based on something very similar from the past.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, no?

So, when I go looking to solutions for today's issues or questions, I look to the past - with a somewhat more modern perspective.  Use what works from the past and discard what didn't.

No comments: