Dazzle camouflage

Dazzle camouflage

Interesting article over on TwistedSifter about the use of so-called “dazzle” or “razzle-dazzle” camouflage beginning during WWI. (The Wikipedia article is pretty good, too.) It’s a kind of practical op-art: The idea was not so much to make the ship invisible against the background, but to confuse enemy weapons operators as to its distance and heading. The Rhode Island School of Design has a wonderful online collection of various paper plans for dazzle camouflage schemes donated by Maurice L. Freedman, who was district camoufleur for the 4th district of the U.S. Shipping Board, Emergency Fleet Corporation, and would go on to invent the board game “Battleship.”

Bizarre boats of yesteryear

Bizarre boats of yesteryear

Rex Research is a great site, chock-full of info about wacky inventions that never made it, including a bunch of free-energy quackery and pseudoscience that’s still a lot of fun if you take it with a grain of salt. One of my favorite pages so far is this collection of weird-ass boats that folks have […]

How-To:  Weave a rope mat

How-To: Weave a rope mat

I’ve seen this thing referred to as an “Ocean Mat,” a “Prolong Knot,” a “Ladder Mat,” and a “Sailor’s True Love Mat.” Whatever you want to call it, it’s a noble expression of the manly art of knot-tying, and this tutorial at the UK’s Scullion Enterprises will show you how it’s done. More: Rope bending […]

Re-Make:  Transparent boat

Re-Make: Transparent boat

My latest guilty SkyMall pleasure is this “Moloniki” transparent polycarbonate canoe by Clear Blue Hawaii. It’s 13′ long, 3′ wide amidships, and almost 1′ deep, and the polycarb is UV-stabilized to prevent sun-yellowing. Of course it looks cool, but what is really attractive, to me, is the prospect of being able to see what’s going […]

Belizean boats in Cholula

Replicas of actual old boats and sailboats – Last photo: replica of engine boat Rum punch. Shermac is a Belizean friend who comes to Cholula two or three times a year for a couple of months. He’s made these boats since he was a boy, in his hometown Mullin’s River, to play boat races in […]