my new part time job....

by clif high, wednesday, April 13, 2016, 1:15pm pst.

As you may be aware, Cathy and i have been trying to move for a few years. Mostly the obstacles have been the banks, the ridiculous propped up housing prices, and the fact that for the last 3/three decades here in USALand, at least in our corner of it, no one has been building single story houses. As older humans, we don't need nor want multiple stories in a house, so this decades old trend is a real hard stop in a house hunt.

Which was why i bought the yurts. The thinking there was that the yurts, joined up with a very small middle structure would provide 1500 sq feet in round space that would all be on the same floor.

But of course, i had screwed up. In the last 30 years that we have lived at our current place, the world changed (as with no new single story houses being built), and i was not paying attention. It used to be that there were tons of old, small cabins along the shores of Puget Sound. Our thinking had been to buy one and knock down most of it, join it with yurts, and there you go...home, home on the Sound.

Well....good thinking, just off by a couple of decades. While i wasn't looking, all these old cabins had been bought up and replaced by multiple story mega mansions! Grrrrrr.....reat for them, but suits me not, even if they were for sale, and even if i could afford one, they are too damn big for just the two of us.

Certainly the price is an issue. We could have found property, though way out away from our usual base here in Puget Sound, but the costs then of putting the yurts in place (and slugging it out with the county government and their 'cluster site envelopes') then escalate rapidly.

The yurts did not then, as intended, increase our options in finding a place. They actually increased the frustration level as county government barriers were encountered.

So i sold the yurts to a great couple of kids in their 30s who got a hell of a deal on them. After nearly 3 years of struggle, it was time to try another tack.

Curious about that bit of sailing language as i have a natural habit toward it, and it is my natural tendancy that i pursued next.

No, not that one...i meant, i took the yurt money and bought a boat.

Yes, another boat. And all things considered, probably my last boat.

So, here is the story...

i had encountered this new boat in adverts back a few years. Actually before i got the yurts. It was way too expensive for me then, and i had just gotten my current boat project, the proa Nuc Squaxin off the table as assembled hull, so did not need another project.

Which is exactly what this boat is; a project. But what a project! 98 per cent complete, created by a couple of Boeing engineers who had put 10/ten years into the build. And over $160,000 of very high tech materials from Boeing surplus.

And it is a TriStar 42 designed by Ed Horstman (these were a uniquely designed tri from the 1970s that had just perfect everything...accomodations, space, safety, speed, seakeeping ability...et al...a 'mona lisa' among tri designs...truly decades ahead of their time).

And it is big. Really big...not as big as all outdoors, but close. It has the 42 foot by 23 foot upper deck (makes sail handling a lot easier), and more space below decks.

As you can see from the pictures below, it needs to be finished out. Mostly surface coatings, rigging, and electronics. i am replacing the engine as it is a 10 year old, (never been run) diesel, and going to go (diesel supported) electric propulsion. As i will need to have extensive electricity available in a boat this big...for computers, charging cameras, et cetera, i decided to make the investment into an electric propulsion supported by solar, wind, and diesel genset. In the future i will detail the plans and costs in this side of things.

In fact, i am going to make the whole of this particular boat a 'work project' for halfpasthuman as the tri will provide a great platform for water video work....and the project itself is going to be interesting for boat people, alternative energy people, regular human people who will wonder what the hell is going on here, and others who may have an interest in the project from some other aspect.

The tri is designed with a regular Bermuda rig (usual triangular sail boat sails you see out and about), of which i am not a big fan, for a lot of reasons. So, i am selling off the existing high tech aluminum wonder mast with all its bits and pieces, and the sail made for it, to replace it with a carbon fiber free standing mast that Cale and i will make, and a fully battened, parrots-beak lug sail (chinese style junk sail). i will get more in to the why's and how's of this sail as we get to it, but basically we are going to convert the tri to a ketch (two masts, bigger one forward), and put junk sails on them. Which Cale and i will make in due course.

Most of the work on this trimaran will be done by the yard, Citadel Marine in Tacoma, WA. Cale and i will do the detailing inside, the small bits of patching the hull surfaces require, and then get out of their way and let them gel-coat the hell out of things.

The engine will be hauled, and sold, and replaced with an electric system to be determined. i am in research talks with a couple of USA conversion experts, Electric Yachts, and ELCO, and we will see what results. i am pretty determined to go the 'electric hybrid vessel' route as it offers so many advantages in spite of slightly higher initial capital outlays. More on this in later articles and videos.

The trimaran project will be set up as we go along to provide video material. Viewers interested in boats, trimarans, boat construction, outfitting, and such should subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Oh, and the thinking is that by getting the trimaran finished out, i will

So here are some pictures of my new part time job. Cale and i will work up in Tacoma a couple of days a week for a while. In a month, the proa is finished and we will sail up to the yard to work on the tri. Avoids all the I-5 traffic and is a whole lot more pleasant, if somewhat irregular.

The yard owner and i agree that we can get the tri into the water by September which means we will actually make it sometime around December...but that is ok. i have the proa to sail, a working destination for sailing it, and the time (now that the world is going to hell) for it. A hot Summer is building, and we will spend a lot of it near or on the water.

Vaka bow.

Vaka bow, other side.

Port side ama.

View from on deck at the peak of the vaka. Broker, former owner and i in background chewing on a chunk of gristly boat reality.

i am walking up to boat as Cale takes photo. Broker and former owner behind me.

Looking aft, starboard ama to left, hard dodger (steering cabin) to right; aft cabin hatchway just barely visible.


Lots of work, but hugely worth it as i will be recovering the value put into it by the builders (not the former owner, he got it in a land deal), and the ten years of time invested in the build. Trimarans are a bitch as a home build as you have 3/three hulls. In a Horstman, you also have the huge aka's (the beam space holding the hulls together). So the effort here is remarkable. i was unable to see it go to waste, and universe gave me a vision of it completed.....thus was i doomed.

Yes, i agree, i never should have pissed off that old Gypsy woman in Austria that time.....and as she said, 'we are cursed by what we love'!


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It's your universe, you have every right to change it!