Making a Living in the Wake of the Pelican Disaster


David Ryan

David Ryan is a boat builder and USCG licensed master captain. He is the owner of Sailing Montauk and skipper of Montauk''s charter sailing catamaran MON TIKI You can follow him on Twitter @CaptDavidRyan

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15 Responses

  1. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Awesome post David. It has everything – history, engineering, production design, some sex thrown in. Nicely done. And the writing is good too!

    When I was a commercial raft guide I remember how the best trips started – even before the put-in – with my feeling that people were in my care and that I was inviting them aboard my vessel. (There were less good trips too, but I’ve blocked out most of those.) There’s something very rewarding about taking people into situations where they aren’t necessarily comfortable all on their own but where they can – and will! – have a good time if you do it right.

    (Also, what’s the name of the marine plywood you used?)Report

    • Avatar David Ryan says:

      That’s nice of you to say. Thanks!

      I worked on the Rogue, Klamath, Umqua, Scott and Cal Salmon. What I say is “Most people wouldn’t want to live my life. But, it’s a very nice place to visit for a few hours with me as your guide.”  😉Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP says:

      I think it was Meranti plywood.   I’m looking at it myself, for building a houseboat.Report

      • Avatar David Ryan says:

        Yes! Meranti. And in fact, Homested Hardwood was our supplier as seen here.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Houseboats are Awesome! BP, this sounds like a really fun project. Let me (us!) know how things proceed.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP says:

          Here’s some images of a boat vaguely like it, in principle, to be moored within spitting distance of Snafu.   Bigger galley though.

          I might do a pontoon structure though, with a big dagger keel, a folding mainmast and outriggers on big gate hinges to each side.   I could run a lateen sail on such a rig.  Pluses and minuses to both approaches.Report

          • Avatar David Ryan says:

            Phil Bolger has some really nice riverine and shantiboat designs.

            The Wyoming is a 51′ power-sharpie. Would be a great boat for the ICW, or doing the Great Circle Route of the Eastern US.

            A step up in side is the Illinois; 450 sheets of plywood for her vs. 75 for the Wyo.

            The Bolger Group has a bounty on the first build of a SuperBrick, lateen rigged too. I think I’m on the hook for $100 if anyone every floats one.Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP says:

              Thank you for the pointers.   I hadn’t even considered a lateen rig laid out along those lines.   Mine is somewhat less ugly, though not by much, heh.Report

  2. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    In the case of our plywood, we used a less well-known species that our testing showed to be stiffer and stronger (as well as more rot resistant, and less costly) than the more common alternatives. But there are no published materials behavior data for the plywood we selected, so we were obliged to send a sample out to an ASTM-certified materials testing laboratory to have our result confirmed. (They were.)

    Does this generalize?  I mean, is the wood in the “legit” database now?

    If someone wants to use the same wood, do they piggyback on your certification, or do they have to do the same materials testing?Report

    • Avatar David Ryan says:

      I had the same thought, and contemplated a Kickstarter project to expand and publish our data. But it’s a pretty arcane area/idea; defiinititly not iNet-bait, and promoting it would take a lot of work to promote.

      Maybe when we get to our solar/electric engines…  😉Report

  3. Avatar Shelley says:

    That’s a heartbreaking photograph.

    Thank God for friends in a tragic world.Report

  4. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Wow.  The work on your site is really quite powerful.

    Just wanted to say.Report

  5. Avatar Kim says:

    gotta say, reading about your design would make me a LOT more excited to get on the end product, vis an ordinary boat. 😉Report