Model testing the Almaguin, part 1: The framework

Computer simulations are pretty good these days, but there's still a lot they can't do. And as nice as it would be to have my own full-scale prototype of every boat I draw, that's just not feasible- there's never enough space or money for that. Models, though, are inexpensive, don't take up much room, and are fun to build- and, if done carefully with the right mathematical backing, can offer a lot of insight into how the full-size boat will perform.

Eye splicing single braid rope

Most of the lines on an average boat are either double braided or twisted three-strand, but single braid does show up on occasion. If you do have it, here's how to splice it.

My advice: Avoid single braid rope. Splicing it is very tedious (an hour or two per eye for 12-strand, although 8-strand is much faster), and without a protective cover it's more easily damaged and more prone to chafe than double braid. But now and then, you just happen to have some, and wouldn't it be nice to have proper spliced eyes in it instead of bulky bowline knots....

Farewell old computer: Motherboard failure (and an easy recovery)

We'll miss you, computer.

Seven years isn't a bad run for a low-end desktop. But everything dies eventually, and the old Celeron-based eMachines desktop that's lived under Katy's desk since before university had its turn last night.

No viruses, here. No trojans, toolbars, keyloggers or other malware either, for that matter. The little beast was still on its original load of WinXP Home. Not bad for a computer that's seen as much use as this one has. No, this was purely a hardware issue, as the photos below will show.


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