It only happens once every few years:
a brackish river in New Jersey
freezes over, and the iceboats
come out. It's happening all over the Northeast, where an unusually cold winter is welcomed with delight by aficionados of this sport
. Lightly constructed, beautiful, and fast
(the record stands at 84 miles an hour propelled by wind alone), iceboats provide a winter thrill ride like none other
or ice yachting
has thrived in pockets of North America
since the nineteenth century. When conditions are right, see them sailing and racing
, on the Hudson
, in Maine
, Prince Edward Island
. and wherever else "hard-water sailors"
posted by Miko
on Jan 27, 2014 -
The Sea Shadow
is a prototype stealth ship built thirty years ago for the US Navy, and the only ship ever designed by the Lockheed Skunk Works. Like its airborne cousin, the F-117 Nighthawk
, it is nearly invisible to radar. It is extremely stable in high seas, has no conventional rudder, and requires a minimum crew of only four to operate.
Despite the successful field trials and futuristic technology, the Navy passed on the program and the boat sat largely unused. At 5PM central time, the auction ends that will send the Sea Shadow to the scrapyard
. Pictures will soon be all that is left, but check out this extensive virtual tour
. [more inside]
posted by startled
on May 4, 2012 -
If you're like me, you're in the market to buy yourself an island-sized boat, but you're not satisfied with the world's current inventory of formulaic, fuel-guzzling, cruise-ship-like mega-yachts.
You might want to consider picking up a WHY 58x38,
which offers 36,000 square feet of living space, a 120-foot "beach," three decks, and an 80-foot interior pool, topped by a vast solar panel array. It won't break your budget -- at a mere $151 million, it doesn't even crack the top four most expensive
yachts in the world! [more inside]
posted by brain_drain
on Nov 13, 2009 -
- "It's destined to be the world's largest cruise ship—when launched next year, Royal Caribbean's US$1.24 billion Project Genesis
will be 1,180 feet long, and carry 5400 passengers (6,400 at a pinch). It's the most expensive ship in history, and it's longer, wider and taller than the largest ocean liner ever built, (Cunard's QE II
), 43 per cent larger in size than the world's largest cruise ship, (Freedom of the Seas [previously]
) and remarkably, bigger than any military ship ever built, aircraft carriers included. In a world where choice of amenities count, Project Genesis has yet another trump card—in the the center of the ship is a lush, tropical park which opens to the sky." cf. The Lilypad
posted by kliuless
on Jun 24, 2008 -
The 257-foot Delphine
was a 1921 steam-powered yacht designed by and for the Dodge brothers (of Dodge Motors). Today, "of all the large American-built steam yachts built between 1893 and 1930, the Delphine
is the only one left in her original condition with her original steam engines still in service." Forbes
has a fascinating history and cool pictures
of the fully restored 1921 lush decor. But probably forget about chartering it (unless you have 40-60k euros a day).
posted by stbalbach
on Apr 16, 2008 -
is a site by a Finnish guy who offers free plans for two dozen simple plywood boats you can build, along with photos illustrating the build process of each. He also describes basic woodbending technique and some of the design process, in a pleasing writing style that makes me want to get off the internet and make things. My favorites: Portuguese style dinghy
; tiny stubby halfpea
; round, Welsh-style coracle
-- if you click on no other link today, click on the coracle link and scroll down at least to the black and white photo.
posted by LobsterMitten
on Oct 12, 2007 -
Ever dreamed of building a boat and sailing away?
Two clearly mad Canadians decide to built a yacht. Clearly mad because they actually do it! It's a bit of a saga but well worth the read for the vicarious pleasure. I'm green with envy!
N.B. the site navigation can be a bit dicky so you may have to change the url to get to the next day sometimes. It goes up to day 222.
posted by milkwood
on Jan 6, 2005 -
A brief but kind of amazing collection of photos of the deck of a fishing trauler in fridgid conditions, where every exposed surface has layers of frozen saltwater accumulated. This condition can cause the boat to become topheavy and capsize, as well as just plain making life more miserable for those that work on the deck.
posted by jonson
on May 3, 2004 -
Coast Guard pulls over floating, propeller equipped '59 Buick driving to Miami
- manned by Cuban refugees. "For four of the 11 people on board, it was not the first thwarted attempt to leave the communist island in a bizarrely converted vintage vehicle." (from ABC
news) Last year, they tried to do the same thing in a converted '51 Chevy Truck: "The crew members of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter could not believe their eyes...Chugging along at a steady 13 kilometres per hour in the Straits of Florida was a bright-green 1951 Chevrolet truck...."
(link to story, as reprinted in Free Republic, alas ) Sadly, the Coast Guard sunk the Buick - which looked a bit like a WW2 amphibious landing craft. Here's a picture
, on the blog of a Christian Evangelical (scroll down for story) who argues that the refugees are worthy of a special exception to US immigration laws, for their pluck and innovative brilliance.
posted by troutfishing
on Feb 7, 2004 -
Old River Bill
really knows inland workboats. Besides exercising his novel system of punctuation, Bill makes model tugboats
and is a part of an avid community of workboat modelers
. You can find out everything you ever wanted to know about how real work is done on rivers on how the hell we move 100's of thousands of tons of crap around the country every day.
posted by badstone
on Jan 6, 2004 -
WIG (Wing In Ground) boats
are something like a cross between a hovercraft and an airplane. Taking advantage of a phenomenon
that creates a cushion of air between a wing and the ground, they fly a few feet above the surface of the water, able to reach higher speeds with greater efficiency than traditional boats. The best known WIG boats are the Russian ekranoplans
, and the largest and most famous of these was the KM, better known in the west as the "Caspian Sea Monster"
posted by Aaaugh!
on Jul 24, 2002 -
The Spiegel Grove
was supposed to be sunk upright, creating the largest and most accessible artificial reef ever. Cool!
Unfortunately, the ship had other ideas and now appears to be impersonating a
. One of the nation's top marine salvage outfits
has been called to the rescue. Looks like a potential Discovery Channel show in the making. (Check out the pictures on the Spiegel Grove site, they're pretty cool.)
posted by groundhog
on May 27, 2002 -
is a giant cruise liner on which ultra-rich loonballs can buy (smallish) apartments, compare fortunes with their ilk, and never again have to mingle with the plebs. Judging by the assorted wacky residents (a knitwear
magnate???) interviewed on Britain's Channel 4 news last night it promises to be a fascinating social experiment. How long before they are ripping out each others throats in psychotic orgies, like some crazy JG Ballard novel? I sense an excellent docusoap opportunity...
posted by rikabel
on Apr 9, 2002 -
World-famous art-deco Seattle ferry (most recently an abandoned Alaskan shrimp factory) rescued from rusty oblivion.
Gutenberg's earlier post
about "ghost pictures" on the old ferry Kalakala sent me looking for more info on the vessel, which I now know was once the second most photographed object in the world, next to the Eiffel tower. Volunteers are now slowly restoring it near Gas Works Park. Cool.
posted by Tubes
on Apr 4, 2002 -
The Volvo Ocean Race,
formerly known as Whitbread Round the World, starts today. After years of preparation for the crews, boat builders and designers, 1500 BST this afternoon will see the eight participating boats cross the Cowes start line on the first leg to Cape Town. The website is more advanced than ever, with virtual racing
available, as well as WAP/SMS
services and brand new virtual spectator
software. Will you be following the teams
as they sail round the world, or is sailing simply no spectator sport?
posted by dagny
on Sep 23, 2001 -