16 February 2014 | Laos
15 February 2013 | Mexico
10 February 2013
03 February 2013 | In transit
27 December 2012 | Thailand
18 December 2012
26 October 2012 | Mae hong son
24 September 2012 | Myanmar
10 September 2012 | Thailand
31 August 2012 | South East Asia
23 August 2012 | Thailand
23 July 2012 | Thailand
22 June 2012 | Pai, Thailand
17 June 2012 | Me:Thailand. Boat: Mexico
16 June 2012 | Northern Thailand
15 June 2012 | Thailand
15 June 2012 | Maehongson
14 June 2012 | Thai/Burma border

So, is this nice or what?!

17 June 2012 | Me:Thailand. Boat: Mexico
People who fabricate lovely things from materials which seem quite incongruous to the form of the finished article, are the superstars of the engineering field.

Any clown can draw a nice boat; that isn't to say the boat will do as it is expected to do, such as float on an even keel with good fore and aft balance. A marine architect can overcome that though, by applying the tried and tested physics of displacement, aquadynamics (hydrodynamics?) and the physical principles which together can produce a boat which will work in a predictable manner as long as someone knows how to get the finished product into the water, as a working sailboat, after merely looking at a set of drawings.

Consider the form of the hull displayed in the photograph above. Someone designed it, drew it then wandered down to the boatworks and said in a Dutch accent "Hey there Hans, can you build this here yacht for the wealthy Pommy sailor"?

Hans obviously said "ja" and dutifully got to work, way back in 1963.
I know little about steel fabrication beyond what I have seen on a weird American show called Orange County Choppers. Apparently it involves a lot of arguing, an even greater amount of horsing around, throwing stuff at walls, sleeping on the job, divorce, and swearing at your kids.

I somehow doubt that Hans used the same formula when he was charged with producing this beautiful thing, but no matter how he did it; he did it well. Compound curves, fine creases and long slow, delicate arcs along the transom, the gunwhales, the coach house and keel. How does one form such smooth lines from steel which, as it is a custom plan, cannot be stamped out en masse?

I reiterate my great respect and admiration for the facilitators. The designer is of course, important. But the truly difficult work, the art, the passion, the sweat....and maybe just a little bit of swearing at the kids or the family pooch, is done by the Hans's of the world.

And those of us who can then sit back and enjoy looking at, or engage in guiding that art across the seas, can honestly say that the artisans who laboured hard and long helped make our lives immeasurably better.
And that is a good thing.
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Vessel Make/Model: Custom Frans Maas Steel sloop
Hailing Port: Darwin
Crew: David
About: I sold my boat, went motorcycle riding in South East Asia, and have now bought a new boat in North America. In 2013, I will sail across the south Pacific ocean.
Extra: If you're not having're not having fun!
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Sandettie's Photos -


Who: David
Port: Darwin