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  • Just a note of thanks...

    Greetings,

    I am new to the forum, a retired grumpy old man who splits his time living in Beaufort, SC, and the Burgundy wine country of France. I have never welded a thing in my life, but have been interested and involved in working with steel for a while now.

    I recently designed, and had built, an 80' steel boat for use on the canals and rivers of Europe. The boat was built and outfitted in the UK and I sailed her out the Thames estuary, across the channel and entered the European canal system in Nieupoort, Belgium. That was June of 2006, and I have been living aboard her in France since then, except for the winter months when I am normally in Beaufort, SC.

    Pics of the building project can be seen at Webshots: http://community.webshots.com/user/dewebb1

    The project was a long one, taking twice as long as projected and cost twice as much as budgeted, but in the end I have a home with waterfront property that I can live on in almost any major city in Europe.

    In any event, as I was basically the project manager in the UK, I got to be around the welders for two years, watching their techniques, procedures, etc. You'd be surprised how much a person can learn by just watching and listening. I always admire folks who can do things with their hands and who take pride in their work.

    A long time ago, I ran into a guy who was doing big wind driven garden sculptures....beautiful moving pieces of art. I thought then, what a neat thing to do and decided to try my hand in it some day. Not much to do on the barrier islands of South Carolina in the winter, so I did some research and recently bought some welding stuff, a MM 180, Spectrum 375, some Smith torches and valves, Jet horizontal band saw...and most of the accoutrements. Unfortunately, the the old back went out a couple of months ago and I have been recovering from that and hope to start some of my welding projects in the next couple of weeks.

    In any event, the two months laid up with the back thing enabled me to educate myself on welding by visiting this forum and others like it, reading whatever was on the net, looking at projects, etc.

    Just wanted to thank all of you who post to these forums because your knowledge and your unselfish sharing of that knowledge is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
    sigpic
    Capn' Dave
    Plying the canals and rivers of France. Plunder, wenches, good wine...!

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum, great pictures of the build and really nice shots crossing the channel. Beautiful tub you got floating there. Dave
    If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

    sigpicJohn Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
    Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

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    • #3
      Thanks Dabar39,

      Just love flying the old Stars and Stripes in France!

      But, I find the French to be a delightful people. Can't tell you how many of the older French people, seeing the flag, have personally thanked me for saving their bacon, so to speak, in WWII. I mean, sincere, tears in the eye, gratitude.

      Of course, they were thanking the United States, not me...my war was in '68-'69 in Vietnam.

      A few more shots at http://www.bargingfrance.blogspot.com
      sigpic
      Capn' Dave
      Plying the canals and rivers of France. Plunder, wenches, good wine...!

      Comment


      • #4
        your ship is awesome. I would love to have something like that.

        Comment


        • #5
          Welcome aboard - or welcome to the board - however you want to put it
          That baby looks good! If I built it, it would probably sink Nice Job!

          Comment


          • #6
            good to have you with us. feel free to ask all the questions you need, big or small we try to cover them all.
            thanks for the help
            ......or..........
            hope i helped
            sigpic
            feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
            summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
            JAMES

            Comment


            • #7
              Practice Practice Practice

              Yogi Berra said "You can observe a lot by watching."

              But when it comes right down to it, it's just preparation for the real deal. You have to feel the process and that's something that can only be done with hands on control of the arc. But don't forget the key step of destructively testing the welds you have just made... that's the only way to know they were done right - ugly welds sometimes last forever and pretty welds sometimes fail. You can't tell just by looking.

              The relative value of observation versus experience can probably be summed up in the following statement:

              It doesn't make a person a stud just because they watch a lot of dirty movies, now does it?

              80% of failures are from 20% of causes
              Never compromise your principles today in the name of furthering them in the future.
              "All I ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work." -Sgt. Bilko
              "We are generally better persuaded by reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others." -Pascal
              "Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." -Pascal

              Comment


              • #8
                Shenandoah,

                Good to have you aboard. Sounds like we're about the same vintage. SE Asia (Thailand, SVN, NVN, Cambodia, Laos), 5th SFG 1969-1971.

                Great looking canal cruiser. Brought back old memories of probably the best vacation I ever took. Was assigned to Germany (S3, 7th Engineer Brigade) in 1984. Parents came over from the states. The year before we had done the Bavaria thing. Thought we'd go more flatland. Were driving around the lakes south of Amsterdam and came across a large marina. Went in and got to talking to the manager who spoke perfect English. Asked him what training one had to have to rent one of his boats (30m steel hull, single diesel). He asked me if I had ever operated a boat that size. Told him that I had grown up running a 65' Chesapeake Deadrise (Buy Boat) hauling oysters from Hampton to Baltimore and that I had had a 100T USCG license since I was 18 years old, but I didn't think it carried any weight in Europe. Said it was good enough for him. Anyway, rented the boat for two weeks (very inexpensive then due to strong dollar). Took the boat up thru Amsterdam (visited the Anne Frank house) on up to the North Sea. Went island hopping there. Each island had their own little subculture. Great trip. Great experience.

                Agree with assessment of the French people. Have a lot of problems with their politics though. If you think the French have an appreciation for what the Americans did in WWII, have you ever been to Luxembourg. They treat American service people (politically correct) like royalty.

                Anyway, good to have you on the boards. Keep us posted on your progress.
                Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
                Dynasty 200 DX
                Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
                Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
                Hobart HH187
                Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
                Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
                PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
                Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
                Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
                More grinders than hands

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                • #9
                  Welcome to the forum Dave. Great boat... would love to see France from the water like that. Was in RVN 70-71, on Okinawa when you were in RVN. Next time you are in Columbia, stop in for a visit. Here are my windmills..
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_BvgauJvYQ
                  Regards, Jim
                  sigpicJim Young
                  www.JimYo.com
                  www.youtube.com/jimyo01

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sundown:

                    136 Tactical Fighter Squadron (F-100C's), Tuy Hoa, RVN on the South China Sea. Tet offensive, monsoons...great fun.

                    In France, you can rent a canal barge with no license. However, if you own a boat there over 20M you need a French license, which I have for barges up to 38M. The Shenandoah is 24M at the waterline, which is how they measure the length. Haven't been to the Netherlands by boat yet, but plan to in the future.

                    JimYoung:

                    Great windmills with a whimsical flare. Thanks for the invitation, just may scoot up for a couple of hours.
                    sigpic
                    Capn' Dave
                    Plying the canals and rivers of France. Plunder, wenches, good wine...!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bodybagger:

                      I agree with you 100%. Observing is one thing, however practical experience is quite another. I guess the point I was trying to make was that with the internet, one can school himself to a certain degree on almost any subject without leaving the house.

                      Twenty years ago, that was impossible.

                      A bit like trying to learn how to get a ship with a beam of 5M into a lock with a width of 5.10 meters. The more you do it, the less painting you have to do.

                      Cheers,
                      sigpic
                      Capn' Dave
                      Plying the canals and rivers of France. Plunder, wenches, good wine...!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My compliments

                        BTW, I forgot to pay homage to your fine vessel. She's a beaut.

                        I lived for 6 months with my wife on a houseboat on the Ohio River. It was a heck of an experience. One of the neatest things was developing "land sickness."

                        During that time, a 50' steel hull houseboat docked beside us started taking on water during high winds/waves. When it started to go, I grabbed the videocamera. It went down with frightening speed - maybe 15 seconds. There was nothing anyone could do. The snapping and cracking of the dock lines tearing loose and the sound of air blowing it apart as it went under was amazing. Anyone inside would have been torn apart. One of these days, I will post that video on YouTube.

                        80% of failures are from 20% of causes
                        Never compromise your principles today in the name of furthering them in the future.
                        "All I ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work." -Sgt. Bilko
                        "We are generally better persuaded by reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others." -Pascal
                        "Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." -Pascal

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