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skin, which could be sold at a lower price, would suit the requirements of most small yacht sailers. They say that Mr. Cording has patented a boat which rolls up like those dinner mats made of slips of wood, but we have never heard of its practical use. It would not be a difficult thing to make an improved and simplified variety of any of these boats. If we should number any ingenious mechanic among our readers, we commend the subject of portable dinghies to him, and think it would be profitable to him and useful to us if he invented the right kind of thing.
Our mothers, wives, and sisters are properly anxious as to our safety when we go afloat, and out of deference to their wishes, at least, we ought to take care of our lives as far as we can.
There is one precaution which might so easily be adopted, and yet so seldom is. We mean the making of boats unsinkable by means of water-tight cases or compartments. It is rather a costly thing to get a builder to do this, for it is looked upon as rather a fancy, and therefore to be charged high for. We propose to point out how the reader may do it for himself at little cost.
The weight of a cubic foot of fresh water is 62 lb., and, bearing in mind what we said about displacement in an early chapter, you will easily understand how a boat can be made unsinkable.
Mr. Dixon Kemp says, “To render a boat unsubmergable she must be provided with cases which will displace a quantity of water equal to the weight of the boat. A ton of salt water is equal to thirty-five cubic feet of the same.
Now, suppose a boat 16ft. long and 6ft. broad, weighed 15cwt. (i ton), with all passengers, gear, air-tight cases, equal in bulk to 264 cubic feet, as there are 264 cubic feet of water to ton weight. But it may be taken that the wood material used in the construction of the boat, the spars and wood cases would be self-supporting.
Say that these weighed 5cwt., then 10cwt. (1 ton) would remain to be supported—ton is equal to 17} cubic feet. A locker 6ft. long, 2ft. broad, and ift. 6in. deep would contain 18 cubic feet, and so would support the boat with her passengers on board, or prevent her sinking if filled to the gunwale with water."
Now, as it will be impossible to have so large a locker in a small boat, it must be subdivided into smaller ones, which must be stationed in the stern, under the seats, in the bows, and wherever there is room. Tin biscuit boxes, soldered up and painted, make capital air-tight cases. Cigar boxes, folded up in canvas, which is stitched up and well painted, also do very well ; so do cigar boxes with bladders inflated inside and secured. Also if a space of the boat itself is made into a locker, say from the mast forward, under the stem, and across under the midship thwart; these may be filled with bladders inflated and painted. Copper or zinc cases made to fit the shape of the corners where they may be fixed are the orthodox things, but are dreadfully expensive.
In all shallow and lightly-ballasted boats it is worth while going to a little expense and sacrificing a little room for the sake of the confidence the sense of safety will give you.
Cork is sometimes used, but it is not so buoyant as air, and takes up too much room.
CANOEING AND CAMPING OUT.
CANOEING has now so many votaries that it has risen to the dignity of a separate branch of sport, and has a literature of its
It would require a book at least the size of the present one to treat of it at all exhaustively, and we can do no more here than to set the reader on the right track for finding out more about it, and to indicate where it is more fully treated upon.
An authority on canoeing (Mr. Baden-Powell), who has recently written in the Field, classifies canoes somewhat as under :
1. Paddling Canoes.—These are familiar to everyone, as is also the stroke used. We may, however, caution the reader not to get into that ugly looking and very fatiguing habit of swinging the head round in unison with the strokes. The body should be kept as upright as possible, and the chest kept expanded, with the elbows brought well back and low down at the end of each stroke. If this is not done, one's full strength cannot be put into it, and the chest, instead of being expanded, may be narrowed.
2. Sailable Paddling Canoes.—By this term is meant those canoes in which the chief means of propulsion is the paddle, but which can be sailed very well if the wind is not dead ahead of the course to be made. We imagine that this class of canoe is the best suited for cruising purposes.
3. Paddleable Sailing Canoes.—By this is meant those canoes which are primarily intended for sailing, falling back on the paddle when the wind fails.
We did a great deal of canoeing and explored many rivers, some years ago, in a canoe of the Rob Roy type, as given by Mr. Macgregor in his book “A Thousand Miles in a Rob Roy Canoe,” and it seemed to us to fulfil every required purpose. Since then, however, we gave up canoeing in favour of larger craft, and cannot speak of our own practical knowledge of the many improvements which have been made in the way of adding centre-boards, complicated reefing arrangements, and battened sails. It is, therefore, better that we should simply tell the reader where such information can be found. If the ler will get the Field of Jan. 25, Feb. 22, and March 15, 1879, he will there find very full articles on canoes by Mr. Powell. The main and mizen rig, however, seems to have superseded the lug and foresail or sloop rig entirely.
On any canoe or boat cruise where there is no cabin to sleep in, camping out is often resorted to, and a great deal of fun gained, and hotel expenses avoided.
The great danger to which one is exposed in camping out, is that of cold and rheumatism from sleeping on the ground. In England the earth is never dry enough to be a safe couch at night, particularly near water, and the cold will strike through any amount of waterproof clothes or beds which may be laid on the ground. The evil may not be apparent at the time, but it will work mischief afterwards. It should never be forgotten that persons leading a sedentary life all the year round cannot well stand so utter a change of condition as many undertake for one week or fortnight in camping out, without care being taken to limit the risks as far as possible.
There are many types of tents used for camping, from the bell tent with a central pole, to the Clyde tent (for a description of which see the field of June 21, 1879), but none should be adopted which does not give two supports between which a hammock should be slung. There is no doubt that a hammock is the proper thing for out-of-door sleeping. You are kept well off the ground, and have a comfortable bed into the bargain, while the hammock, particularly if it is a net one, is easily stowed in very small compass. In the Gwynfé hammock tent you will see the best principle out. There are at each end bamboo (or other wood) supports, like the legs of a pair of compasses, or an inverted V; these, of course, may be of any height and size, which you may have room to stow. From the apex of one to the apex of the other, say 7ft., is a ridge pole, which has iron screw bolts at each end passing through the uprights, and fastened with thumbscrews; thus a strong framework is at once made, under which you can sling your hammock. If there are two of you canoeing, you can each carry a small one, and by placing them end to end (or, with a little extension of the flaps of canvas, side by side), you may make them into one more roomy tent, which will accommodate you both. A waterproof sheet on the ground will be required if the ground is at all damp to the touch, to keep the damp from rising.