Archive for November, 2008

Model and ultralight Uluas

An Ulua built to 1/8 scale

Reader Gord Caruk responded to the Uluas of the World post with a tale of his own unique progress


I figured that after seeing your page I would send along evidence of another Ulua. Earlier this year, I had bought a model kit of a traditional canoe. I was going to put this together over the summer while on vacation at a couple of cottages. However, I wasn’t happy with the scale, and figured I’d scale the model up a bit to be about 30″ long. The idea was to have a wooden model to ‘display’ in my office. I had bought Gary Direking’s book, so I figured if I’m going to scale the kit up and basically do a scratch built model, why not just build a model of Ulua. So that’s what I did. It is a 1/8 scale model of a 20′ Ulua. I’ve attached a couple pics. It is done in a wood called ‘makore’, with a few bits of fir, sapela, and bloodwood for accents.

I do intent to build a full size Ulua over the winter and have been agonizing over whether to use the cedar strip construction that most Ulua’s (including yours) have been built with, or to use the fabric covering over a stick from that I’ve built a couple of canoes with. The canoe in the 3rd attached photo is 13 lb. Building Ulua this way would be about 27 lb. for the hull, ama, and iakos. I’m not sure whether I’d be able to use a sailing rig on it though, because I wonder about the strength of the lightweight hull, and it being so light, maybe it would just be blown over. Regardless I intend to rig a trolling motor, but I do like the idea a sail. Assuming I do the lightweight version, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

So there you have it. One (little) Ulua now, and another full sized one in by the spring.


Fabric-on-stick canoe (not an Ulua) illustrating ultralightweight building.

Nice work!  We’re eagerly awaiting further reports.

Tearing it up


Windsurfers about 2 nm offshore in big breeze, Los Barriles.

Swim-up Bar


Get hosed and never leave the water.  ¡Dos margaritas con Hornitos, por favor!

 23.647492°N, 109.682609°W



Distinctive lighthouse, Punta Arena B.C.S.,  23.553198°N, 109.469727°W.

Today’s mermaids


Shine on at the Hotel Buena Vista, East Cape, B.C.S., Mexico.

I don’t like Mondays


More here.   Thanks to Maria for the find.

Today’s mermaid


Off to Cabo tomorrow for a few days fishin’.

Outrigger pic of the day


Bing Crosby’s 1956 release Blue Hawaii, in a limited-edition Japanese reissue.

Mermaids on the radar

Just watch the clip, mermaid fans.  Sexy new fin-tailed radar technology purports to deliver better performance with far less power consumption (of great interest to me, with my 14 gal deisel tank), much a your digital spread-spectrum cell phone did over the old analog phones.

I’m seriously shopping for all kinds of stuff, including radar, for Temerity.    And dreading the prospect of a haulout (likely two) to do the bearing and rudder work. 

What do we need for Hawaii 2010?  It’s only 20 months away.

This year

  • New rudder bearings
  • New rudder
  • Chartplotter
  • Seriously upgraded house power/battery/monitoring system
  • AIS
  • Instruments
  • Autopilot
  • Butt-loads of time on the ocean
  • New, uncoated lifelines
  • Lots of other little fixups

Next year

  • New sails, lots
  • Refurb running rigging as necessary
  • SSB/email stuff
  • Insulated backstay for the stupid SSB
  • Radar
  • LED cabin and external lighting
  • Tender and motor (?)
  • Rent or buy: EPIRB, satphone, liferaft
  • Cedar bucket of stout construction
  • Canvas bucket of stout construction
  • More butt-loads of ocean time


Extreme kayakers have been condemned for canoeing down a dam in west Wales.

A photographer captured the latest incident as one canoeist slid 300ft down the spillway at Llyn Brianne reservoir in Carmarthenshire, near the borders of Ceredigion and Powys.

Welsh Water said the practice was dangerous and such activities were banned at the reservoir.

An onlooker said: “I always stop and look anyway and I saw four people ready to do the spillway.

“There were a lot of people watching at the top car park.

“It looked pretty scary.”

story on the beeb

Today’s mermaid


R.I.P. George Olson

Temerity sleeps.

George Olson, iconic boat builder and boat designer, considered by many to be the father of the Santa Cruz ULDB’s, died of cancer last week at age 69.

Olson, a longtime surfer and surfboard maker in the early days of Santa Cruz ultralights, was the creator or co-creator of such designs as the Jester Dinghy, Moore 24, Olson 25, Santa Cruz 27, Olson 29, Olson 30, Olson 34, and Olson 40.

In 1969, starting out with a masthead maxed out Cal-20 plus named SOPWITH CAMEL, George Olson set out to create the longest boat for 2,000 pounds displacement he could. The result was the 24 foot GRENDEL, a 24-ft fiberglass rocketship built over a male mold. GRENDEL proved a terror on the water, winning the 1970 MORA season championship and that year’s 500 mile MORA Long Distance, which finished in Ensenada.

Ron Moore rescued GRENDEL’s mold from a canyon behind a burned out barn in the Santa Cruz hills, and a partnership was formed between Ron and John Moore and George Olson to create the ultimate Wednesday night race boat for Monterey Bay. By jacking GRENDEL’s mold apart with 2×4’s at Moore’s Reef(boat shop) in Santa Cruz, a foot more beam was added and the glass and resin started flowing, ultimately creating the Moore 24 prototype, SUMMERTIME.

Wednesday nights would never be the same again. (Today, GRENDEL sits in a slip on “O”-dock, and with a casual glance, you cannot tell her dark green hull apart from a nearby Moore 24.)

George Olson’s other finest design was the Olson 30, a boat he designed in 1978. On a delivery of Bill Lee’s MERLIN back from her record breaking ’77 Transpac , Olson came up with the idea while sailing with Denis Bassano and Don Snyder, who lent their initials to the prototype’s name, the SOB 30. The resulting boat was christened PACIFIC HIGH, and was launched in 1978.

As a result of PACIFIC HIGH winning many local Santa Cruz races, Olson constructed a semi-tweaked plug for a production boat. The draft was reduced, the freeboard increased, and the teak decks of the prototype were replaced with fiberglass and gel coat non-skid. Olson and partner Ln Neale started Pacific Boats in an industrial area of Santa Cruz in 1978 to build the Olson 30, and the shop remained open until closure in 1987.

For 30 years Olson 30’s have been, with the Moore 24, synonymous with the best downwind surfing ever.

By sleddog via S/A.  See also story on Latitude 38.

A firm foundation of financial unrest


To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… “cruising” it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.”I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security.” And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone.What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

Today’s mermaid


Or undine.

Norseboat: Navigation sur le Bassin d’Arcachon

New Norseboat video from Nicolas in France.   Le Bassin d’Arcachon (near Cap Ferat on Biscay Bay) looks to be idea small-craft cruising grounds.