Hello All-Spring has sprung I think and iceboating might just be done for the season- Unless of course some of the truly hard-core have found a sailable ice cube still floating in Moosehead or up in Nova Scotia somewhere….

This being the case I thought I’d share some pics and stories from the model boat show at Woods Hole- all remotely iceboat-related…. Fun show, there were more ship models to gawk over than you can shake a stick at and a few racing in the pond as well- check it out when it comes back in 2015!

First of all NEIYA sailor Don Stearns was there with his giant model of the frigate United States- very impressive- his being dressed as the captain really set him apart! Great to see him and the boat. He suggests a Moosehead the Hard Way for next season….

Ed Thieler (father of yours truly and a veteran of several high-speed laps around South Watuppa Pond a few winters back) had a few of his Chesapeake Bay workboat models on display- NEIYA members Katie Bradford and Eben Whitcomb were enthralled!

Katie Bradford knows pretty much everyone in the world. You know the type…. One of her friends that she caught up with on Sunday just happens to be one of the main people in charge of building and maintaining the ALVIN submersible. His name is Bob and he rounded up our little group and took us on a quick tour of the boat- they are just finishing up a re-fit that includes a new titanium pressure sphere…. Very cool! Neat to see the robotic arms and all that up close- note the boxing glove on the far one in the pic. Note also that both arms are different- one is big and brutal and the other is smaller and has greater dexterity. And they are all able to be jettisoned in case they get tangled in a line or jammed on something. Guess they got the idea from studying lobsters all the time!

Then it was off to the machine shops where they build parts and gizmos in-house.

This shop would make even Jeff Kent and Steve Duhamel envious…. Lathes, presses, benders, milling machines, CNC milling machines, a big water-jet cutter, and to top it all off a 3D printing machine that makes molds and parts in 3 dimensions. I can’t even describe this thing. Too freaking cool.

Did you know they make their own special non-compressible foam floatation? They use good-ol’ WEST system epoxy mixed with a special uncompressible filler.

Even with all these resources they still outsource some stuff- some of the hull panels and / or the orange sail on the ALVIN were made by Guck Inc., of Bristol RI where NEIYA member Chad Atkins builds and repairs everything imaginable. Wonder if he was involved with these panels?

All in all a good way to spend a day- Enjoy the pics and I’ll look forward to seeingeveryone in the fall or maybe sooner

Think Ice!!

James “T” Thieler
DN US 5224
Newport, RI 02840

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