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Jul 8, 2009

Like a Fish out of Water . . .



Today I went out to the Multnomah Yacht Repair Yard to paint. It’s almost all the way out to Sauvie Island. Found some big boats propped up in the  yard, waiting for repair. Tiny and delicate jacks balancing the boats in a way that appears precarious. Preventing tip-over while the boats wait to be stripped and re-glassed. 
It’s fascinating to stand this close to a big boat. You can examine the lines of the hull with unhurried leisure. And it is even more interesting to see so many boats placed side by side, this close together. Makes one consider how a certain curve may work better for one purpose, but not so well for another. Nothing is accidental in a boat’s design. Every hull line is meant to reduce drag, or generate stability, or strike the best compromise in between.
But I’m a painter and not a shipwright. And after a prolonged examination I can see sunlight will rake across a hull the same way water must slide against the boat’s sides. The drag will be greatest in the areas where the light breaks or is deflected by a shifting plane.
Thomas

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