Cruising & Seamanship

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Basic Navigation for the Beginner (Pub. No. 5193)

by Elbert Robberson

"Navigation? Who needs it! I've just got a small boat, and I'm just going to splash around the bay. I'll be in sight of land the whole time." Then a squall makes up, or fog drops a curtain all around. Sure, you know where land is--but exactly which directions should you steer to get there? And how about those rocks along the shore? . . . .Anyone operating a boat, no matter what its size, needs to know some navigation--must be able to determine position and plto the course and time toa  desitnation. Fortunately, anyone can do this. With or without the help of a nautical almanac or a sextant, fog or no fog. Here--minus the trapping of astronomy, azimuths and hyperbolic functions--is all thenavigation you need to know.

20 pages

Make the Rabl Simplified Sextant (Pub. No. 5196)

With this easily constructed instrument you can learn the fundamentals of navigation

by Sam Rabl

When an article on shooting the sun and stars with a sextant appeared in the last edition of How to build 20 Boats, many of our readers became interested in the sextand and its use. The instrument has many uses other than navigation, and while the regular dextant is beyond the capabilities of the home workshop, the one described here will do most of the proefessional sextant's tricks. It is made from very ordinary materials, most of which can be found around the home.

12 pages

Cooking for Fun Afloat (Pub. No. 5444)

by Charles Baker, Jr.

"Before any salt-encrusted readers bound on deck and say that this subject has already been done in books and that cooking at sea is never any fun anyway, let me hasten to explain. Now it seems that my good friend Fritz (Cruise of the Diablesse) Fenger has a friend named Sandy Moffett who not only is a very right guy but mighty handy with a seagoing skillet. Now we’ve sailed some quarter million miles in ships, larger and smaller, a sizable slice of which in our own seagoing ketch Marmion, and have seen our share of stove-side police. No one knows better than ourselves that thankless lot of any Galley Slave. He rates every aid and comfort. His life is just one round of damns, dishes, and duckings. He scarcely gets the evening meal cleared up and snugs himself down for a snooze when the midnight watch barges off to drip slickers in his slumbering face and command hot coffee—or else. Hardly is this cross borne, and once more parallel with the keel, when the four o’clock watch stamps below like a brace of fiends to drip more icy slickers down his pants and growl things about hot soup. Barely can the poor Slave doze again before it is full day and the whole condemned ship’s company arises to a man and screams for ham, eggs, hot cakes, coffee—and the entire vicious parade marches on again. Combined with such minor addenda as scalds, burns, broken shins and toes, the whole business is a sort of marine mayhem without benefit either of clergy or court. But we somehow feel that all yacht cookery isn’t done crossing tide rips in a fifty-mile dusting. Even pals like Slim Baker and Sherry Fahnestock do a whole lot of victualing more or less peacefully at anchor—and it is especially true of you cruising folk who are heading south, where we are right this minute—among the Florida Keys. The practical side has been well done in books yes, but the neglected angle is just how to prepare a few really unusual and intriguing dishes out of easily found raw material. There are always important times when we must turn on a little originality with our show afloat. There we are all snugged down, harbor furl, and the new commodore and his wife boarding us for dinner—maybe the new fiancée with two tweaky parents who are expecting the worst and don’t admire seagoing sons in-law anyway. What we need right badly in such zero hours is how to find another one-dish-meal out of leftovers, scare up something by which to acquire merit and commendation. All the usual cookery books on land seem mostly gotten up by church social ladies with prune whip-tapioca complexes, or involve things not easily had at sea, or show the originality of a mail order catalog. So here's a hot grog to all fellow Galley Slaves, at least they know there's one friend out on that great big bunch of salt water who sympathizes with their wretched lot. So good chance!' A practical and funny collection by an experienced cruiser. Here's a couple of samples.

34 pages

Finding One's Way at Sea (Pub. No. 5509)

by Jack London

reprinted from Harper's Weekly (ca. 1920)

The "Snark" started on her long voyage without a navigator. We beat out through the Golden Gate on April 23, and headed for the Hawaiian Islands, twenty-one hundred sea miles away as the sea-gull flies. And the outcome was our justification. We arrived. And we arrived, you shall see . . . that is, without any trouble to amount to anything.

8 pages

How to Make a Sextant (Pub. No. 5572)

From everyday materials. Two designs by W.E. Partridge and Sam Rabl

From the Partridge Article: "Owing to the increase of offshore racing and cruising the practice of navigation has begun to interest numbers of yachtsmen, and the study of the art is becoming a popular form of amusement. But in order to thoroughly study the art, it is necessary to have certain tools, the chief of which being what is called a sextant or  quadrant, an instrument employed to measure angles. The whole science of navigation is based upon the measurement of angles. But unfortunately these instruments are, owing to delicacy of construction, extremely expensive, especially in the United States, where their manufacture is heavily taxed. This prevents the average young yachtsman from having one. Had he such an instrument he would soon become familiar with its use and find the employment of it giving added pleasure to his voyaging. It is impossible to make a cheap sextant that can be relied upon to give accurate service under all conditions, especially if the frame is of wood, as the expansion and contraction of the material will affect the reading of the arc to the extent of several minutes, if not degrees. And it is not to be expected that one built from these plans will successfully compete with a Kew certificate machine, but by making and using it, you will thoroughly learn what a sextant is  and how it is employed. " Includes full-size plate for vernier.

58 pages, 1 plate(s)

Barnegat Bay Sneakbox--Its Racing History, The (Pub. No. 5576)

by Orton G. Dale

Ordinarily one thinks of evolution or the development of a type as taking a long time, if not ages. However, in the case of the 20-foot Barnegat Racing Sneak Box many men are still living and sailing racing craft who saw its rise and decline. Following step by step the record of advance through the various stages, from the original gunning box to the final model as sailed at present, is one of the instructive studies of small sailboats. Sneak boxes were introduced on Barnegat Bay probably about ninety years ago. Their principal use was for gunning and fishing. They were called Sneak Boxes because, due to their slight projection above water and easy lines, they could be quietly rowed or pushed up to the game. By covering it with meadow grass or branches the box was easily made into a good portable screen or blind. Quoting from " Four Months in a Sneak Box " by Nathaniel H. Bishop, published in 1879, we have given the origin of the Sneak Box: "With the assistance of Mr. William Errickson of Barnegat and Dr. William P. Haywood of West Creek, Ocean County, New Jersey, I have been able to rescue from oblivion and bring to the light of day a correct history of the Barnegat sneak-box. Captain Hazelton Seaman of West Creek Village, New Jersey, a boat builder and an expert shooter of wild-fowl about the year 1836, conceived the idea of constructing for his own use a low-decked boat, or gunning punt, in which, when its deck was covered with sedge, he could secrete himself from the wild-fowl while gunning in Barnegat and Little Egg Harbor bays. Mr. Seaman named the result of his first effort the "Devil's Coffin" the bay-men gave her the sobriquet of "sneak-box" and this name she has retained to the present day." There is a print (dated about 1870) that shows old Bond's Hotel, formerly located on a bit of beach four miles south of Beach Haven, New Jersey. In the foreground there are two boats tied up to the shore. Both of these are types that existed about fifty years ago on Barnegat Bay. The more interesting one is the picture of a so-called "Barnegat Bay Gunning Box." The shallow waters required that they draw but little water. With the centreboard up boxes could be sailed in a few inches, and with board down they took less than 2 feet. In winter when used for gunning, with the bay partially frozen over, no boat surpasses them for efficiency and ease of handling. They are rowed in the open water stretches, and hauled up on the frozen sections with long sharp boat hooks. Two battens along the bottom of the hull serve as runners when travelling on the ice. These runners are often metal shod, so that the boats are most successfully used for travelling on the ice either under sail or by pushing with the pike poles. They were built in barns, backyards, and even in bedrooms by hundreds of fishermen and amateurs residing on the coast of New Jersey from Cape May to Sandy Hook. Few of the boat builders in the early days troubled themselves with building such small class boats. It is one of the interesting phases of boat developments that the early types, although built by men living 100 miles apart, were so similar in design. The length was usually 12 to 14 feet and beam 4 feet, 6 inches to an extreme of 5 feet. The under bows were full, and the deck close to the bow was flat. The greatest freeboard was about 7 inches; the overhang of the bow about 1 foot; the stern transoms flat and plumb. On the boats used around Barnegat Inlet the rudders were pintle hung, equipped with yokes and tiller lines. Sometimes instead of the yokes and lines a long tiller was used.

36 pages, 2 plate(s)

Hoke Method in Practice, The (Pub. No. 5877)

by Lieut. Commander H.G Hemingway, U.S.C.G.

A useful method of compass adjustment.

14 pages

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