Well look at this.

Well it seems my last post wasn’t such a bad idea. Based on this link it looks like there will be some form of water taxi in New Londons Future.

New-London-1

 

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Wild A## Wednesday: New London Water Taxi

Trying something new here Wild A## Wednesday. The concept is basically crazy ideas I have about something most of these will be business ideas or infrastructure comments or maybe a cool boat design. Basically it’s something I have put too much thought into not to share with somebody else. So for our inaugural post I present my concept for a New London CT Water taxi service.

So I often go to New London during the summer, as my family keeps their boat at Thames yacht club. I also used to work in Waterford CT and used to spend many lunch hours walking along New London’s waterfront. One of the things I noticed is that New London is kind of cut apart by the railroad tracks and Shaws cove. You have a very nice downtown area with restaurants, art galleries, some shopping, a train station, and ferry terminal.   Than you have  a the south end of town with older homes, a college, waterfront condos and the majority of the boat slips and marinas in town,  and also we can’t forget the beaches. Basically I think the city needs an affordable way to link these two sections together.

So when I first came up with this concept I thought about a tram/trolley (lightrail) what have you. I still think this would be ideal but politically, financially and practically, well impossible. As you can see in the map below (red line) the tram could be run with some ease thru the water side of downtown but as you round Shaws cove you would need to find alternate routing to get the tram to ocean beach which I think is the only way it would make sense.

tram map

 

When I came up with this thought I also thought about a water taxi mainly because it requires a minimum of infrastructure. But there are limitations on weather etc. Than I read a document prepared by Yale Urban Design Workshop  . They were looking at a way to connect the Fort Trumbull area (the area just south of Shaw cove) to Downtown. There preferred method to do this would be a walkway extending across the entrance to the cove, but since this is used as access for sailboats to the cove this would present some interesting challenges (pedestrian lift bridge or build a structure off the existing railroad bridge). They than purposed a water taxi could also be used as a connection. This got me rethinking on the subject.

New London as with most coastal towns rarely experiences icing on the Thames river so really the operation could run year round with the exception of severe weather events. Also most of the routes that could be run would be in fairly protected water provided that the boats are designed with year round operation in mind. So I than thought about what would be required.

The biggest advantage is that this could be accomplished with little infrastructure costs. In fact looking at similar systems around the world it appears it could be mostly be accomplished in the private rather than public arena. Systems like the False Creek Ferry system in Vancouver. There are also a number of systems in the North East in places like Newport RI, Fire island NY, and Boston. If the town could agree to a minimal cost to have a landing in downtown and one in Fort Trumbull and another one at Mitchell College, most of these docks already exist and could be simply upgraded to work for this system. I would propose the system has a scheduled loop of stops with the option of stopping at private docks for say people with boats at one of the marinas.

I think this would allow for the basic start of a water taxi system that would provide for a low cost public transit with minimal public funding. The system would be subject to possible problems with weather etc but hopefully the correct boats could help limit this.

park-map

In the future the system could be expanded easily. I believe most of the profit potential would come after the expansion. My first thought for expansion would be to extend the system to Ocean beach. This would be the most technically challenging part of the system as a dock system and possibly a break water would need to be built in the western end of Ocean Beach. So this may need to wait.d several points in the Groton water front for basically nothing. The line could also be extended north to Norwich with little trouble, the real reason to extend the line north would be a connection to the casinos but here again some infrastructure would need to be upgraded but hopefully some of those costs could be handled by handled by the Casinos.

New london water taxi

New london water taxi

All in all I think the system could be completed with limited resources. The project just needs the will and the right people.

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At the consignment shop

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I was at the marine consignment shop last year in Wickford RI (I would post a link but their site is down). It’s funny that marine consignment shops and clothing consignment seem to be the only two used stores that seem to have a consistent sales business. The trouble with these places is the amount of time it takes to go thru everything they have. But if you do you find amazing things. My favorite find was two Vire 7 gas engines (two really). You can see more about the Vire 7 here http://gofree.indigo.ie/~vire7/ . I have a small obsession with this engine as I remember fondly walking by one at a boat show as a kid and being obsessed with it’s all in one design and compact size. I still have a brochure around some where. Any ways here are some more pics of the consignment wares. A great way to spend the afternoon.

For a list of consignment shops near you click here.

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Cold day on the river

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Winter on the Connecticut river in Cromwell

Last week, I got a call from my father saying he was on the Connecticut river below the Old Saybrook bridge and his engine wouldn’t start. The old A4 in the the Ericson which had been trouble free all summer was acting it’s age again. The bigger issue was that my father had spent the night before on the boat with his cousin in freezing temps with no heat onboard. After some cleaning of the fuel system over the phone they got the boat going again headed up river to it’s winter home.

Of course the story doesn’t end there. About duck I got another call that the boat had died again on it’s way upriver somewhere near the entrance to Hamburg cove. I made a few calls to some people I know along the river to see if I could arrange a tow upriver, but no one was free for a few days (November is not a busy time on the river). I decided to take the next day off work to bring the boat upriver. A quick look at Bing maps confirmed they were on a stretch of river with out easy access (other than a few houses). I recalled a fiend belonging to a yacht club in the area and found it was about a half mile from the boat. The next day I rode down to Pettipaug yacht club with my mother and called my dad for a lift in the dinghy. After a while I saw the inflatable coming around the bend and hopped on for a cold ride in a windy chop back to the boat.

Once on the boat and out of the wind in the cabin, I took a look at the situation. It appeared the boat was still starved for fuel despite a filter change and blowing out of the fuel lines. I began taking the different points of the fuel system apart to check for a blockage. I used the foot pump from the inflatable as an improvised compressed air source and check each part of the system. After becoming very frustrated by blowing out every part of the system and still not getting fuel flow I decided to bypass the one section (fuel filter and shut off valve) where i was getting the most restriction of air flow. Luckily there was a inline filter on board that I spliced inline to get us going along with some clamps and hoses. (sometimes having an overabundance of spare junk on board is an asset. )

Once we got it running it was a nice cold trip up the river. The Haddam bridge opened with out any trouble and we made steady progress up past Middletown only passing 2-3 boats along the way. In middle town we lost the light but decided to keep going as the moon was full. As we came to the north end of of Gildersleeve island we got a good heavy pump on the keel that slowed us nicely, fortunately the boat is heavily boat and it seemed to just be a small ridge of silt built up at the end of the island. (6 foot draft seems to be the limit on this section of river as I know other boaters with similar drafts that had the same problem in the area over the years).  It did grab my attention and I was glued to the chartplotter the rest of the trip up.

About a mile short of our goal (Seaboard Marina) the engine decided to cough twice on us. Luckily it never died and made it to our goal. (a little ungracefully I may add as I came in to the dock a little steeper than I intended) The A 4 seemed to be smoking more as the trip went and I think the rings may be sticking (or worn out) but that’s what the winters for. Well that and apparently replacing the gunk filled gas tank.

Till next year the boat is back on the hard.

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Bass Panel install

 

Bass Panel Boat electrical panel

Bass Panel Boat electrical panel

Well Not my installation. Brian over at sailingit.com has a post on installing a new Bass Electrical panel (I happen to work for Bass so this is also a shameless plug) He did a very nice job with the install and I thought it would be nice to share the link.

http://sailingit.com/blog/boat-projects/electrical-panel-upgrade

 

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Oday Mariner 19

Oday mariner 19 2+2

Oday mariner 19 2+2

 

Well there she is my very own O’day Mariner. The boat needs a little work. Of course when I bought it, it was usable other than a broken mast. But as I often do with projects I decided to ” fix it right” which meant I went whole ass in to the project instead of fixing the boat as I went along. This approach of fix it all right the first time only works if you have a lot of time on your hands. But I wanted to post this so I have some motivation to get back at it. Get it painted and install the used mast I bought. First priority is to get my workshop in order followed my getting my Fathers Ericson in the water for the summer. But I think this summer I’m going to try and make a dent on the too do list for the mariner. It helps to have great inspiration like Nate Bayruther and his Orion project http://www.mariner1922.com/

Hopefully many more posts to come on this project.

 

 

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CT River Boatyard


I drive by here once in a while and look at what’s left of a small working boat yard along the CT river in Cromwell CT. Based on the old sign it appears it was once called the Adams Henry boat yard. When I first came down here about 10 years ago the track for the marine railway extended across the road into the water. ( the track still appears to be there but the road was paved over a few years back. It appears the boats were winched up the track on a car with custom built cradles. The cradles were then shifted sideways onto the concrete walls in the yard. Looks like you could fit a couple dozen 25-35’ boats in there. A neat place for sure. There is a house on the front of the property but I never see any one in the boatyard. I’ve asked around but so far no one seems to know any history on the place. So for now here’s a few pics showing the yard and the rails where the enter the water on the opposite side of the road.

 

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Funny Were in the sailboat being passed at about 1:20 on the video. Isn’t tech great.

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Mystic Seaport Antique Marine Engine Expo

This is a bit late. But this summer My father son and a friend headed down to mystic for the annual Engine expo. The Mystic Seaport which is a lovely place to visit any time is made more special during special events such as this. Held every year in august the expo features all of the museums normal exhibits plus a number of clubs and individuals bring in classic marine engines off all types to run as displays for the weekend. From classic outboard to steam engines they are all here. For me I love classic outboard. But watching the old make and breaks run can be a mesmerizingly good time. So check it out next year if your in Southern New England August 18th and 19th 1012

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Customer Service Shout Out

Recently I finished redoing a bathroom in my house. We purchased a value priced faucet for the bathroom from Home dept. The faucet was made by American standard. About a month after installation I noticed a leak under the sink. After investigating I found that the water was coming from the mounting holes drilled in the sink meaning the faucet was leaking internally. I removed the faucet and tried it several times using extended hoses to the sink valves and found that the pipe leading to the aerator had a small leak. I called the customer service line at American standard and quickly spoke with a knowledgeable customer service rep. I discussed the problem and she advised to check the aerator I did and found it to be clogged. I then tried it with aerator removed and found the leak was better but still dripped from what appeared to be a small split in the pipe leading up to the aerator. After discussing with the rep more she advised they would send a new one out. The new one arrived yesterday and I’m looking forward to installing the faucet this weekend feeling very comfortable that my purchase was backed up by knowledgeable and helpful customer service staff.

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