2001 What's New Entries

12/29/2001 - We hope everybody has been able to take comfort in the spirit of the holiday season and that things will go well for you in the New Year. .... On the Yacht Design School page and several of its linked related pages you will notice that we have radically altered much of our CAD course. We are basing it upon software that is much easier to learn and is becoming very popular with yacht designers. This is the Rhino package from Robert McNeel and Associates. When their Flamingo rendering software reaches version 1.0 status we will probably develop a course for it as well. Although we have all the most sophisticated on screen design software, we find that the Rhino software is by far the best single package for a designer to work with. Please note that students get a very good break on the price of the software. In our opinion Rhino will gradually become the design development software of choice for the full range of sizes of yacht and small craft design firms. .... We've made a couple of minor changes to the publishing page that should simplify things just a bit. .... We've also added a few notes to the idea designs page on our thinking for a series of small to moderate sized twin keel sloops intended to combine the ability to take the ground reliably with moderate, but not truly shoal, draft, while still retaining safe characteristics for offshore sailing. With today's excellent stability modeling programs it is much easier to fully model out many variations of a design until you get something really great that would not have been economical to design a few years ago. .... The Penny design has had a bit more information added and the stock plans fee raised just slightly to cover the extra printing costs. .... We have also been adding quite a bit of information to the Farthing plans recently in response to questions from several people all over the world. .... The careers page now shows that for the first time in several years we have enough draftsmen to handle the still increasing work load for about 6 months. We are still interested in seeing resumes and drawing portfolios for future reference.

10/29/2001 - It is nice to have at least enough draftsmen to keep up with the work flow. This is the first time in about 4 years that we have managed to get enough people trained and working in here to feel comfortable about our ability to keep things humming for the customers. .... Business is up tremendously this year in just about every area. .... Fall is here in force. The colors on the trees have been magnificent. We are still working on our boat restoration project but will have to button her up for the winter soon and just do inside work. There's still lots we can do this winter though such as drawings for new cast bronze fittings, drawings for a new cabin trunk and interior, etc. Great fun.

10/08/2001 - A number of people may have noticed that our site appeared to be down for a time this morning. This can happen occasionally when the underlying addressing is changed on the Internet. It can take several hours for all the servers in the world to update their addressing so that the typed in address matches the underlying numeric address. There appears to be nothing we can do about this.  Just remember if you can't get into the site it is normally a matter of just waiting for the servers to update the address list. This can happen a couple of times a year.

10/04/2001 - We have added the Aruna 33 daysailing knockabout schooner to the site. If you would like a daysailing schooner this would be a nice one. She'd also be a good starting point for a variety of larger weekenders and fast off the wind light cruising boats. .... Our new draftsman Gwan Soo Kim and his wife Shannon and son Justin have arrived. We should have a picture and biography on the web site soon. Mr. Kim is a graduate of The Landing School and has been designing larger vessels in the southern United States. He comes to us highly recommended by everyone with who he has ever worked. .... Tom & Nan continue to work hard on Charis on weekends. Tom has the old cockpit removed and has examined the inside of the stern in preparation for replacing at least one stern plank. He will also be replacing a deck beam back there which at some point was heavily cut away in two areas to install special cleats. The cleats could have been moved forward or aft an inch and this would not have been necessary. Oh well.

09/24/2001 - Mail service appears to be back to normal following the September 11th terrorist attach .... We notice that over the weekend there have been severe email delays. At present we are accessing your letters only with difficulty but we do have a work around. This may continue to delay responses for a coupld of days. .... It looks like we are beginning to catch up to the number of draftsmen we need. There will be much more on this soon. As soon as we can say we have enough people here to handle current work we will go to our quote pile and do some follow ups with some of those who have talked to us recently on custom design work. .... We also hope to have enough volume of work and enough draftsmen to be able to put a little time aside to develop some of the idea designs that you have shown the most interest in. .... Now isn't a bad time to look for a used boat. People are facing another year's storage bills.  We've just added another Amphibicon named Windsong in the brokerage section. These great little vessels deserve a look. .... In response to customer requests I dug out an old photo of our Sovereign design and added it to the web site.

09/17/2001 - We are told that air service has been pretty much restored within, and to and from, the United States. Therefore we are resuming shipments that go by air as of today. .... Some interesting revisions have been made in the living aboard page .... We've revised the Silver Gull 19 Class Association page slightly .... There is a good chance that we will have enough draftsmen within the next few months to start doing more with the most popular idea designs.

09/13/2001 - Most of our shipping to locations both within and outside the United States goes by air. The post office informs us that there can be substantial delays in the mail. Further we are told it is not advisable to leave packages sitting around in airports. Therefore we will be holding any air shipments until planes are flying again. We are told this should happen shortly. Your orders should be delayed only a day or two. .... Those who are inconvenienced by this should wait for the United States government to be sure who is responsible. Then you are invited to direct your complaints to the responsible parties. I would suggest that they be sent to the appropriate squandron of bombers with a request that your complaint be chaulked on a bomb, so that your complaint may be delivered at the same time as those of the citizens of the United States. .... We thank those of our customers from outside the United States who have emailed to express their concern for the losses that the people of our country have suffered.

09/04/2001 - I'm sure, Gentle Reader, that you may think we should rename this section what's new this century. It has been a very busy summer. We have a large amount of custom design work that we are working on as fast as we can. In addition the Yacht Design School not only continues to grow but is now much bigger than we thought it would get. We also notice that we are now selling specialized yacht drafting equipment to a good many established design firms, not just to students. We hope to expand the range of equipment to include virtually every drafting tool of use to yacht and small commercial craft naval architects. .... In an attempt to expand our custom design work capacity we have been talking with prospective draftsmen this summer. Two gentlemen did not decide to come work with us. However a third, with exceptional references and excellent drawing skills, will be interviewing with us in about two more weeks. .... We have been worrying about our ability to do a really top notch job in the publishing, brokerage, and catalog sales of cruising boat equipment and supplies. Shortly a gentleman is coming to talk with us about working on these with us. We would hope someday to be a prime source of top quality marine reading material, good boats for serious cruising, and really top equipment and supplies that people can't get elsewhere. At present we are just finding things for people on an ad hoc basis. .... At the moment we are helping one of our clients loft the basic lines of a 90' schooner that we are designing for them. At their urging we are doing it pretty much entirely in the computer. A process I find much less satisfying than doing it full size on the lofting floor. .... Finally, on a more personal note, we have recently bought back our beloved Vertue #4 Charis on which we lived and sailed for so many years. Our great friend Duffy, who spends a good deal of the year aboard his own little liveaboard ship traveling the southern United States and Bahamas, found her forlorn and neglected in a boat yard down south. He recognized her and called us up immediately. We bought her instantly, sight unseen and had her shipped north. I would be embarrassed to say how little we paid for her. The owners had never her seen her, only knew she was a 63 year old wooden boat, and concluded she was worth nothing. They didn't realize that she was well known to many people all over the world and a rather famous boat. We are very happy and are looking forward to bringing her back to ultimate voyaging yacht condition as she was years ago when we owned her before. We'll mention our progress on her from time to time.

07/29/2001 - You will find that we've added a profile view of the Surprise 40 under the "current projects" entry for this design on the design page. I've also added some commentary on the interesting changes that the owners' have requested for the interior. I think they are the result of required office space for liveaboard businesses getting smaller as people do more and more of their work in computers. .... In the stock plans catalog we've added the smallest vessel we've ever designed: The sailing life dinghy Miranda. I've come to believe life rafts to be exceedingly unreliable and short lived. This is our bid to try to save lives by giving people something they can sail home rather than just floating around watching the life raft wear out. .... In the brokerage section we have added three new pictures for the Amphibicon Lichen. We love these nice trailerable coastal cruisers. If you're looking for a boat that fits this description you really should look at her.

06/07/2001 - We've updated the Osprey 30 foot tug plans to include a couple of additional standard drawings. This change is reflected in the commentary and on the order form. .... You will also find that at long last, after repeated reader requests, we have added an accommodations view for the Shilling. We've also for similar reasons added one for the Penny. We apologize for being so long in getting these on the site. We have about an 8" pile of material we'd like to add. .... It's beautiful weather here right now. Those of you who want a view of Eastport and don't mind a rather bizarre story line may want to watch the Fox network series starting July 17th. They are supposed to be running ads now. Supposedly the title is something like "Murder in Small Town X". I gather there will be 8 episodes. They were here a long time this spring filming. It was a lot of fun. .... If anybody has gone more than a couple of days withou and answer to an email they should let us know. We try to respond within 24 hours and should virtually always be getting back to you in very little more time than that. Do ask all the questions you want.

06/04/2001 - If anyone has not heard from us lately or feels we have not responded to an email please let us know. Our email service provider has just send us one of those nice upbeat letters saying that they will soon have all the problems solved. Without, of course, having told us there were any problems in the first place. Supposedly everything will be just wonderful by late Thursday of this week. I apologize for any inconvenience. .... In the stock plans section of the design catalog you will note that the Crown Jewel 36 design pages now have a link to the web site of a couple building one on an island off the coast of Sweden. They have been very helpful to me as they have carefully reported every problem they had in lofting and every detail they were not sure of on the plans. This has resulted in a number of modest updates that should help other builders. .... Many of you have come to our site for recommendations on books from other publishers. In our publishing section we have been offering selected books through an affliate program with a sizable bookseller. Unfortunately it no longer appears that this is the best solution for our customers. Therefore we are now starting to develop our own inventory of these books. Until we can get this really underway, feel free to email us our use the new special requests box on the publishing order form, if you wish us to obtain books for you that we have not normally stocked. .... It has been foggy and damp here for several days here. Real island weather. Even here on the outskirts of our small Maine town the quiet is very deep in this weather. As I write this I can here no sound whatever from outside the house except the fog horns at the light houses.

05/30/2001 - A message for Roger Wright: We don't seem to be getting emails to you. Another went out today. Let us know if you didn't get it. .... Over the weekend we went down the coast on a combined business trip for Nannette's art work and my need to review various boatbuilding operations. We were extremely impressed with Rockport Marine. At present they are building two very fine looking vessels. One is a 46' vessel of very classic above water appearance and with excellent lines. The other is a 70' topsail schooner complete with swivel guns.  Both were very impressive. I have great hopes that they will build one of our designs sometime soon.

05/24/2001 - One of our draftsmen has said this should be called the what's new this millenium column! The infrequent updates are due to the enormous amount of custom design work we have at present. We need more draftsmen and designers working here to give us more time for our readers. .... We've made a few more small updates in the Careers page, we are still looking for people. .... We've added a biography of another draftsman Ed Scott who has been studying with us for some time and has been working here since the first of the year. ... We've also updated the Chief Designer's biography slightly. .... On the Designs page we've added a link to some commentary on the 90' passenger carrying schooner whose design we just started on a few weeks ago. .... In the brokerage section the Amphibicon Lichen has had a nice new outboard added to her inventory and a brand new centerboard installed. There are other additions and modifications to this listing including that the price is now $9,750.

03/28/2001 - We've done a few minor updates on the publishing order form to make it more consistent and usable. .... We notice customers seem happy with the new arrangement of the home page with the column of special pages and order forms down the left side .... In the designs section we've added brief mention of three additional designs in our order book at present. If you look at the size of these vessels you can see why we need more draftsmen! .... We have also added the Bird of Passage to the stock plans section. We often get inquiries for retracting keel designs. Those interested in them may want to look at this one. However, do remember that we will try to talk you out of retracting keels as they add an enormous amount to the cost of the boat. .... We have updated the Careers section again. At present I would judge that we would like to have an additional two designers or yacht draftmen working with us. .... We are fortunate to have Barry Mills a graduate of the Marine Trades Center here in Eastport and a boat builder in his own right taking on some drafting work for us. He is starting this Monday. We'll try to get a biography on the site so you can get to know him.

03/20/2001 - If you are looking for a career associated with a firm like us you might check out the Careers section on the home page. At the moment we urgently need at least two more draftsmen. We could also use a Brokerage Listing Secretary, and a Stock Plans & Publishing Manager. A manager for the Liveaboard Catalog would be a good idea also. Over the last few years we have evolved, into one of the larger design firms in the world and the limits on our size are in finding enough top people to work with us. .... When we look around our offices referring to ourselves in such terms seems silly. Old Irascible, our Chief Designer, isn't much on spending money on furniture most clients will never see. Nevertheless a look at our order book at the moment is quite startling. We are designing a 134' schooner for people with limited physical mobility up to and including wheelchairs. We are working on a 40' Pinky schooner and a 90'gaff rigged passenger carrying schooner. Just the other day we added a 40 meter on the lwl (131') passenger carrying Indonesian Pinisi to be built of teak in Indonesia. Why all the really large passenger carrying vessels and why so many schooners I don't know. It could be an industry trend or just coincidence. Anyway we really could use more draftsmen on these projects. .... We've done a little editing and updating of a review in the publishing section .... We've also slightly updated the custom design section to reflect current practice. .... On the Eastport page we've added a link that refers you to brief information on why you should consider locating your Internet based business here. .... Harbor Gallery is undergoing a major upgrade. You will find a lot more pictures on here and hopefully you will find it better organized and more accessible. .... On the publishing page we have removed our promotion of the upcoming Encyclopedia of Yacht Designers. Those who want more information on this forthcoming publication by W.W. Norton should go directly to the publication's own web site. .... Long time readers will notice one of our rare changes in layout of the home page. We moved some of the very general site information links from the bottom of the page to the left side and added direct access to all the forms on the site so you don't have to drill down to get to the form you want to use. Hopefully this will help people get to things fast. .... For small town Maine, Eastport is pretty unusual. At the moment there is a movie company in town setting up for filming. A couple of stores are being set up for inside sets. Four store fronts now have lots of desks and computers in them which sure looks odd. We don't know what a movie company needs all those computers for but I guess they do.

02/14/2001 - We've created a frequently asked questions page for Yacht Design School. Hopefully this will help prospective students by answering their questions more quickly....We've done some minor updating on our brokerage page. .... On the Yacht Design Tools Order Form we've added a link to a page with an illustration of what a full set of Copenhagen Ship's Curves looks like and a brief description of the set we sell and the nice mahogany box it comes in. So far as we know we are the only stocking retailer for these in the United States now. This appears to be because the accountants at the drafting supply houses have declared much of their line as "special order" items. Thus saving themselves inventory investment at the expense of their customer's convenience. We try to stock these items. However buyers should know that we have trouble getting regular supplies and it is difficult to guarantee that they will be in. However, at least we try. We believe we have speeded up our restocking significantly. However if we happen to not have a set in when you order it can still take a week to get them out to you. .... You will also find there are now four pictures of a Crown Jewel 36 under construction. We are very grateful to the technology that has put digital cameras in people's hands we have never gotten enough good pictures of our designs. Thanks to Matti & Cecilia and others like them with their digital cameras we are starting to get more pictures on the site. All you builders out there please follow their example!

01/16/2001 - We've made a few minor updates this time on the school page. .... On the idea designs page the Silver Gull 19 continues to win support. There are now four people in the class association. When we have enough people to get the design fee divided between them down in a range everybody is comfortable with we will finish up the design and everyone will get a copy of the plans inexpensively. I love doing small designs this way as I can explore very interesting small types and the clients don't have to pay fees out of line with the cost of the boat. By the way on this particular design if we could sign up 26 people the design would reach its lower limit in cost per person of $180. This would just cover the printing and support for each set of plans. .... In the Loch Fyne Marine Hardware Section we have updated the text accompanying the windlass to answer a customer's question because we thought others could benefit from the answer. We have also updated the price too. The manufacturer has increased the price on this windlass but had not yet sent out an updated price sheet. We try to keep prices up to date and we apologize that we can't always do it on third party products. .... On the Yacht Design Tools order form we have added the word "suggested" before the word "minimum" in the spline weights section. Apparently some people have gotten the impression that we won't sell less than 14 weights. This is not the case. We just want to point out that for design purposes it is hard to control the spline's curve properly with less than 14 weights. .... Also students frequently panic when they find that books on the recommended reading list for Yacht Design School are out of print. We've added a note on this on the site. Remember this is a small field and print runs are small. Nevertheless, even though these are not essential for completing the course they belong in your library as you can acquire them. Look for them online through the only new and used book dealers and auction sites. .... In the brokerage section the really nice Cyrus Hamlin 41 yawl has been reduced in asking price to $35,000. A great opportunity for liveaboard cruising.

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