Reinventing the Wheel

It is not so surprising that I got into a rework challenge last week on the boat balance.  Over the years, I have been a faithful member of the Reinvent The Wheel Club, considering the current body of knowledge and existing plans a boring way to start a project.  That is how I developed the beautiful recumbent bicycle with front-wheel drive and middle steering.  Jeff and Doug tried to introduce me to the “world of whats already been done” and the potential engineering challenges.  Still, the elegance of it stirs me.  Maybe after the boat…

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With the boat, however, the stakes seemed higher and I thought it would be prudent to add a bit of research to my previous experience.  I already had some design preparation in art and ceramics classes along with a semester of architecture on one of those life detours to the Kansas University.

I had acquired a small collection of resources assembled over a long time of being interested in boats, stacks of Wooden Boat Magazine and a good sampling of boat books on my shelf, which I reread front to back.

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In one way, just having interest in a special area helps to define a God-given Gift.  It makes reading and exploration of the subject easy and sinks it deep into the foundation of memory.  For some, the Gift makes the action look almost effort less.  Most often, though it just makes the time spent so interesting or compelling that a person is willing to do it with out being paid.  Study, practice and work in an area of gifting return so much benefit, that it becomes self rewarding.

The other major resource was the people of like mind.  All along the way, Jeff Margush has been the connection to 3D modeling, how real things are made in the world of industry, and is the chief push back for design and engineering considerations.  Another great help was my cousin Jon Smucker, who has much experience with boat restoration.  He gave studied advice about all parts of how boats work and are built.  He knows materials for building like wood, metal and epoxy, and added his opinion about the engineering of the transom.

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Jon also introduced me to Jamestown Distributors whose sales crew is really knowledgeable and helpful for boat products.  Also, anyone who is contemplating building something with epoxy owes it to themselves to go the the West System site and download a free User Manual.  It will help keep you out of the RTW Club.

When you know someone else looks at Save A Classic on the last page of Wooden Boat magazine (Andy Blodgett), and longs for the space, time and tools to restore one of the featured boats, you have a friend.

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Kindred spirits develop quickly in friends who share a Gift.

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