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Vincent DePillis

Boat sheds

12 posts in this topic

I was in the main shed at LeClerq Marine yesterday (a Seattle yard that does a variety of mid sized commercial and pleasure work). It is such a horrible place to work-- dim, stinking of styrene, no windows, no air. I was thinking that workers in a 19th century boat yard would have a much better time of it. I was remembering of the pictures of Herreshoff's buildings-- all white inside, lots and lots of windows.

 

 

Industrial buildings used to let in lots of light-- the roofs had these clerestory things-- the rows of z shaped ridges that let in the light, usually on the north side. How infinitely more pleasant it would be to work in such a building, than in today's concrete/steel boxes.

 

Speaking as a stalinist-liberal, regulation happy, bleeding heart, I say change building code to require a specified percentage of window wall for any building in which humans have to work. Boat building sheds don't have to look like the new wooden boat center in Port Townsend (disney's version of a boat shed), but do have to be so completely soul crushing?

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I was in the main shed at LeClerq Marine yesterday (a Seattle yard that does a variety of mid sized commercial and pleasure work). It is such a horrible place to work-- dim, stinking of styrene, no windows, no air. I was thinking that workers in a 19th century boat yard would have a much better time of it. I was remembering of the pictures of Herreshoff's buildings-- all white inside, lots and lots of windows.

 

 

Industrial buildings used to let in lots of light-- the roofs had these clerestory things-- the rows of z shaped ridges that let in the light, usually on the north side. How infinitely more pleasant it would be to work in such a building, than in today's concrete/steel boxes.

 

Speaking as a stalinist-liberal, regulation happy, bleeding heart, I say change building code to require a specified percentage of window wall for any building in which humans have to work. Boat building sheds don't have to look like the new wooden boat center in Port Townsend (disney's version of a boat shed), but do have to be so completely soul crushing?

 

Sure.. and next you're going to shorten the workday from 14 hours to 12 hours and work week from 6 days to 5 days.... and then tell us that 12 year olds shouldn't be used for the dangerous jobs! What then? Unionization? Workplace safety?!?

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Actually most progressive businesses use daylighting extensively in new construction - to save electricity AND because it have been PROVEN, REPEATEDLY that workers are more productive and products sell better under natural light.

 

What is really surprising ( I work in the lighting industry ) is that for effective daylighting with QUALITY skylights (like the ones we sell to Wal-Mart, Krogers, PetCo, etc...) you only need about 6% of the ceiling area to be skylights - much less than you might think.

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Light in the Hammond Workshop.

 

Sometimes it is hard to take pictures because the sunlight is too bright.

post-8115-0-23445300-1352402521_thumb.jpg

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2012 IECC C402.3.2 requires 3% skylights if over 10,000 sqft with 15 ft ceilings. New code.

 

 

I was in the main shed at LeClerq Marine yesterday (a Seattle yard that does a variety of mid sized commercial and pleasure work). It is such a horrible place to work-- dim, stinking of styrene, no windows, no air. I was thinking that workers in a 19th century boat yard would have a much better time of it. I was remembering of the pictures of Herreshoff's buildings-- all white inside, lots and lots of windows.

 

 

Industrial buildings used to let in lots of light-- the roofs had these clerestory things-- the rows of z shaped ridges that let in the light, usually on the north side. How infinitely more pleasant it would be to work in such a building, than in today's concrete/steel boxes.

 

Speaking as a stalinist-liberal, regulation happy, bleeding heart, I say change building code to require a specified percentage of window wall for any building in which humans have to work. Boat building sheds don't have to look like the new wooden boat center in Port Townsend (disney's version of a boat shed), but do have to be so completely soul crushing?

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I think back in the day the buildings were not heated, or heated much, and lights were expensive to buy and use, so the energy requirements did not trump lighting and windows. At a certain point heat and its costs and building costs in general drove the big blank steel sheds and fluorescent lights. Now new building techniques and glazing are allowing better buildings, but the payback is a problem. It wouldn't surprise me if the wonderful new building at Lyman Morse bankrupts the business.

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"but the payback is a problem."

 

Yeah-- so much of the boat building world is economically marginal-- or at least the amount of capital required to do it "right" is way out of scale to the potential profits-- hence the charmingly provisional and improvisatory aspect of many building sheds.

 

The most striking example of that I have seen ard the German sub pens in Lorient, now filled with French race boats. No windows there. And not charming.

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I agree, modern workplaces should have more daylight. Our buildings havr no natural light except when the doors are open. They are very well lit and very clean (we even have a little street sweeper and a dedicated cleaning crew) but no matural light. A bit soul-less IMO.

 

A windowless building has some advantages for boat building. With the right lighting it is easier to see unfair areas on a hull.

 

The Hammond building is the sweetest boat shop I have been in. Very nice.

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My shop in December:

 

8169795552_82323d51bc_z.jpg

 

If there is any sun, we don't need the troffers for light or the wood stove for heat. Must take steps to prevent sun-shadow on woods like cherry or poplar, tho. In summer we get our sun thru skylights. In retrospect, I might have skipped those and put in a bunch of tube lights.

 

Good daylighting begins with facing the damned building the correct way.

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"but the payback is a problem."

 

Yeah-- so much of the boat building world is economically marginal-- or at least the amount of capital required to do it "right" is way out of scale to the potential profits-- hence the charmingly provisional and improvisatory aspect of many building sheds.

...

 

The marine industry exists mostly so that boaters can boat at wholesale cost. The industry is up against a few problems.

 

1. People really can and do build their own boats. Who builds his own car? Where would you go to find a shop to help you build a car, or a place that teaches car building? It's really the ultimate threat to an industry: I can build my own.

 

2. These plastic boats last forever, and there are more of them every year. I've been considering a 1970s Sea Craft. The 1969 Morgan 30 Whimsy won the Moonlight Regatta the other night, causing controversy. :rolleyes: There are some 60s and 70s vintage cars around here, but I'd guess most of them are in the museum. They're not a threat to the new car market in the same way the fleet of Catalina 30s of every age is a threat to someone trying to make a new cruising sailboat for the mass market.

 

3. Fuel has gotten pricey and most of the industry is the powerboat industry. Sailors will say, "Great! More sailors!" True, but some powerboaters will leave boating instead of taking up sailing.

 

On that subject, an interesting experiment is ongoing to see just how inefficient these powerboats are. The owner of the Cowmaran is helping his son move his Viking 50 down the coast at the moment. It's hard to imagine two more different powerboats: one made to be efficient above all, the other to plane through big waves. His son claims "the beast" is not too different from the Cowmaran, measured in thousands of pounds per nautical mile. Excerpt from recent email:

 

Just for the record I shall keep track of the obscene fuel burn. ... Assuming these were four stroke outboards they would burn at WOT about 170 gallons per hour. Diesel fuel has more btu per gallon,not sure of conversion but let's guess at eighty per cent for fuel btu times say half throttle. My SWAG would be 0.8 x 0.5 x 170 = 68 gallons per hour at cruise 24 knots.

 

Or about 2.83 gallons per nautical mile for the beast. 0.04 gal per nm per thousand lbs.

 

ELB about .065 gal per nm. Assuming 1500 pounds. 0.041 gal per thousand lbs.

 

We will see how close my guess on fuel burn is for the beast

 

I'm off to the Fort Myers Boat Show today. No, not as a customer like a normal person. I'm helping out the local Hobie dealer, hoping to do a bit of boating at cost or something.

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