And we still have a long list of amendments, additions, and ameliorations to make on Frankenscot, the modified Flying Scot we hope to race in March. Not to mention, though I do, the sensible hours of practice and tuning yet to come...
A stopped-cork effect is at work, with various limbs of the monster undergoing surgery at once. TwoBeers had been focusing on human propulsion: the plan was to splash the beastie over the weekend to test the oars.
Working with salvaged parts of some rowing shells (Did we dig them up at midnight? Nope. Thanks to the Stewards Foundation and Calvin Reed, they were handed over legitimately. This Frankenstein story differs, I hope, in many ways from the original), we've been assuming that it's possible for the boat to move this way.
Regardless of where the rower sits, the oar-locks have to be able to hold up to a mighty straining. The real sticky wicket of this transformation of Scot to rowing slave-galley involves how to cobble modern oars onto the old-fashioned rounded body of the Frankenscot.
After brainstorming with Derek at JTR Enterprises, the good Doctor figured out how to make them modular. "Plug and play," as another bunch of cognoscenti term it. When needed, the oarlocks will drop into a socket, get bolted in and poof, ready for use.
Which brings up the question of how to propel the beastie without blowing a vertebral gasket. As a tadpole, I used to load my friend C into a rowboat, tie the boat to a big tree and then row as hard as possible toward the center of Lake Ontario until the springy bowline yanked us right off our seats. It was hysterically funny. Bruisingly funny. True, we didn't have cable or satellite.
Luckily for the Frankie, the centerboard (the sticky-downy thing that keeps the boat from skidding sideways) has a housing trunk planted solidly right in the middle of the boat. It makes a nice base for mounting a rowing seat and foot rests.
Since the beginning, we've talked about scrapping this line of modification if it didn't produce enough propulsion. The projected route through the Everglades is full of hazards for an oar, and the conditions might never require rowing.
Nevertheless, if you want to go on an adventure like this (In a description of the event, the organizer writes, "You May Die." Always true, but still, these are words to consider carefully) you darn well better prepare for all reasonable possibilities. Even rowing your sailboat.
Not that we got to try it out this weekend. Instead of splashing the boat and testing the oars, TwoBeers went over to work with OH Rogers on the rudder system. Maybe next weekend.
Everything takes longer than expected. Especially preparation.