Everything I know about boating I learned from the Space Shuttle

The Atlantis took off just as Okoumefest started and as I type this it has just finished it's deorbit burn and will be finishing its flying career in about an hour. Besides building up the ISS and inspiring an entire generation of scientists and engineers, it also taught me many lessons about boating. For example:

Cartopping

The importance of a bowline

Always paint the bottom black

It should be easy to get back in

Always be properly suited for the environment

We don' need no steenkin' engines to have fun

Hang it from the ceiling and push it on a dolly

And, most important, it doesn't matter how smooth the finish is as long as it gets the job done

Thank you Atlantis, and all the people who made you and your flights possible.

Laszlo

 


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RE: Everything I know about boating I learned from the Space Shuttle

Laszlo

 

Another great post!

I just finished my second Duck , WD12. (I will post pics soon)

One was done over the winter, one in the last few months (with a week full time to start)

I was just lamenting that due to trying to get it done for Mem Day I rushed and didnt get as nice a finish as the WD10 i did over the winter. Your last slide reminded me of the important thing!.

I did your Black Bottom approach also, Love it! Will Likely redo the WD10 over the winter to the same approach.

As far as the finish on the WD12. I beleive two things to be true. (1)I am PLANNING to address over the next winter. (2) After enjoying the boat this season, I will likely NOT find it worth addressing this winter!! It will get refinished when it needs to be refinished.

Keep the posts coming, they are both entertaining and educational.

David

RE: Everything I know about boating I learned from the Space Shuttle

Laszlo,

 

Seriously good post. I grew up in the "young astronauts" program at my school, have communicated with orbiting astronauts via amateur radio, and think that human space travel is one of the few things left that provides an unbridled sense of wonder. I also think the same spirit can be found, on a personal if not national and global level, in building your own boat and heading out on a grand adventure. If nothing else, once you understand a little about a hand made wooden boat, or the orbiter and booster system that gets it to orbit, you can't help but sit back and smile, as there still is a sense of greatness in the world. :)

-- James

RE: Everything I know about boating I learned from the Space Shuttle

Welcome back Atlantis! I hear that the shuttle replacement will be built mostly from Okoume and epoxy. NASA engineers are probably already lurkiing on this forum, and if so, they must be aware that a $1700 plywood and epoxy yak can last at least at least as long as $1.7B shuttle. With only about a dozen or two parts, it is slightly less complicated than the shuttle which needs about 2.5 million. With tips from this forum, they might be able to build a re-usable $17,000 space vehicle!

Okoume Shuttle

RE: Everything I know about boating I learned from the Space Shuttle

Laszlo:

Best post ever.

RE: Everything I know about boating I learned from the Space Shuttle

I love this thread! Being a space nerd forever I will be very disappointed if this country does not put a priority on manned spaceflight....

But then there's 'Rocket ship Galileo'...we can build 'em from scrap

in the meantime I'll have to settle for another Shearwater build 

RE: Everything I know about boating I learned from the Space Shuttle

My guess is that space flight is now inevitable and its future is now in the hands of Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Dick Rutan and Scaled Composites, the builder of Space Ship One.  There was probably no Okume in SS One but not much metal either.  The overriding structural feature was the use of composits just as in the boats we are building.  If you check out the SS One site, you will see that some of the instruments are also the same.  There is a Garmin navigator you can purchase at Sears on the instrument panel and the same digital kitchen timer I have in my home for the count down or what ever.  Now if we can just get John to produce the kit we can all become astronauts. 

Bob R. 

RE: Everything I know about boating I learned from the Space Shuttle

Sorry it is Burt Rutan that designed SS ONE.  Dick is his brother who flew the Voyager Aircraft that now hangs in the main gallery of the airspace museum around the world non stop without fueling.  Bob R.

RE: Everything I know about boating I learned from the Space Shuttle

Don't count out Atlantis yet! As of Thursday we had half the funding needed for one more launch in June of next year, more than likely to be Atlantis. Discovery goes next, around October (but the schedule is unclear) followed by Endeavor early next year (which is why I don't have to go to CA again this year). Atlantis will be the launch on need for a rescue mission and since it'll already be stacked there's nothing but a little funding to keep it from going. In the mean time I have a boat to build!

Nice post, Laszlo. Thanks for the heads up in email or I may not have read it!

George K

p.s. I've sat in Discovery's commander's seat and there are no aftermarket gages of any sort in the instrument panel. 

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