I was led to believe that WordPress smartly separates a website’s content from its design, and separates both content and design from its core functionality. However I’m finding that there are certain areas where this is not true…
This is just a quick post to test the WordPress App for Android. If it works well it’ll make posting on the go a breeze.
This is important because being homeless I need to be able to update my website easily wherever I happen to be. I tailored an input page for my smartphone on my old custom website from which I wrote a lot of the blog posts there, but it was very tedious scrolling around a textarea on the smartphone. WordPress’ custom Android app is giving me a very good first impression – .its beautifully simple, sleek and fast.
This is my first post using the excellent WordPress content management system. Up until now I was custom-building my website and blog from scratch using the PHP scripting language and the MySQL database system, which are also excellent. It seemed like a good idea because I could learn about web development and have absolute control over my website down to the last pixel.
I wanted to learn about PHP and MySQL because I was also responsible for developing a custom management solution for my dad’s business. This involved a stock management system integrated with other areas of the business that was very specific to the piano trade. However I have recently given up this responsibility because I realised the potential scope of the project was too much for me, and from now on I’ll take a back seat and just support the stock management system that I’ve already built without extending it.
Therefore I have no further incentive to spend half my time learning about web development scripting languages, therefore there’s not much point in me coding my website and blog from scratch. Since I don’t need to learn to be a web developer any more, why should I try to re-invent the wheel?
If you were following this blog before but you’re not interested in boats, I apologize for the lengthy discussion of recent posts. I consider it part of my lifestyle, just like learning to sleep rough, cycle touring, and the rest. Boating will just be another way of doing the same thing – being free to travel and sleep wherever I want, with a few simple possessions, along the most enchanting waterways and scenic coastlines that adorn this vast planet.
Living on a boat offers several advantages over cycle touring such as having a guaranteed warm, comfortable place to sleep every night, the ability to carry more cooking equipment, water and food supplies, and many others – see my boat page for the reasons why I want to live on a boat.
As stated in my first ever post, it was not my intention that this blog should be ‘followed’ by people checking up regularly, although I do welcome it, I started it because it does me good to clarify my thoughts in writing, and because I thought some of what I write might end up being useful to others. I don’t want to feel forced to write about the same subject every week just to keep a few subscribers entertained, I’m more interested in creating a permanent resource for anyone else who seriously wants to try a different way of life.
So I felt free to write about boats for a whole month, and if you’ve seen the first ‘I Dream of Boats’ post you’ll appreciate that I start from the same place as countless other young people – stuck between a rock and a hard place. That is, stuck between paying rent and saving up to buy a property, and frustrated that life has to revolve around chasing money and polluting the environment. So I naturally looked at barges and narrow boats on the river, decided they weren’t good enough, and the story goes from there…
Unless you’re a keen amateur boat enthusiast you probably found the last month of posts utterly boring. However the lengthy discussion has made clear in my mind what kind of boat I want to live aboard in the future. I’d like to offer you a brief summary of what I’ve learned about boats so far.
Two years ago, having decided I wanted to live on a boat the first thing I did was to look at what kind of boats other people live on. I looked at Dutch barges but they were far too expensive to buy and maintain. Then narrowboats but they need a big polluting engine to move around and they can’t go out to sea.
The problems with Paradox and the unprecedented development of marine grade recycled foam core have given me reason to reassess whether or not I could design a lighter cruiser made from a foam core glass fibre composite.
I recently realised that Paradox design by Matt Layden could be my ideal cruising boat because it has a very shallow draft, low windage, seaworthy design and can be propelled with a sculling oar. Matt Layden spend ten years living and cruising in his own designs and Paradox was his flagship which he has kindly published plans for, so if I do decide to design my own boat I’d better have very good reasons not to build a Paradox. Paradox is my new point of reference.
I’m trying to estimate very crudely how light I could build a small foam core glass fibre composite boat. I know I could use Armacell’s recycled PET foam core at a density of 80 kg/m3, so at 50 mm thickness it would weigh 4 kg/m2. Glass fibre cloth is normally specified in g/m2, but I got stuck on how much extra weight to add for the epoxy.
How much Epoxy?
Great news! Since I last wrote about the development of marine grade foam core made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles, it has become available to small-time buyers like me! Thanks to the pioneering research of the German insulation and structural foam giant Armacell it is now possible to build composite structures like boats from recycled plastic.
I contacted them again recently and got the following reply:
I’ve recently established that I would be comfortable in a boat 7′ long with a 3′ beam and 3′ headroom, and that there would be enough storage space to carry food and water for a two month trip. I also concluded that a smaller boat is more seaworthy for a single-handed cruiser.
Now I need to consider whether such a boat will displace enough water to carry its own weight, my own weight plus ballast, supplies and anything else I want to bring along. After this is all made clear only then will I look at things like directional stability and propulsion methods.