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sailing the farm – join our sailing/boatbuilding coop.

Home Forums Community General Chat sailing the farm – join our sailing/boatbuilding coop.

This topic contains 65 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of zeyang zeyang 1 year, 2 months ago.

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    Profile photo of zeyang

    Newsletter May 2012.

    Dear Sea gypsies

    Spring has come to the farm! And then came summer, and then a few
    blustery days of fall, and finally last Friday and Saturday it snowed
    again. But that will be the last snow of the year, we hope – the mild
    weather seems to have returned, the trees are leafing out, the
    wildflowers are springing up around the river, the bees and the
    neighbors have come out of hibernation (again), and we are hard at

    This week we mixed a few tons of lovely manure compost into the soil
    of the north field, and planted eleven rows of potatoes – by hand –
    which should give us about 300 kilos of potatoes in the fall to feed
    hungry sea-gypsies all next winter. Next week we’ll plant carrots and
    onions, and move some tender warm-weather starts to our new greenhouse
    – radishes, bok choi, spinach, parsley, beets, and sugar peas so tall,
    they might start climbing us if we don’t get them out of the kitchen

    Work on the boat has really picked up recently. We’ve been distracted
    with planting, and replumbing the bathroom, and building coldframes
    and the new greenhouse – but now that the potatoes are in the ground
    and the sea-gypsies are in the bath (phew), we are back in the
    boatshed all the time. Our resident woodworker is about to start work
    on a wooden dinghy from a traditional Norwegian design, just as soon
    as he gets the greenhouse finished. And we cast two tons of lead
    ballast, a very medieval process involving a wood-fired furnace in the
    yard. The boat will eventually carry five tons, so there is more
    casting to do as soon as the scrap yard has more lead for us.

    Inside the boat we’re sealing off the keel with aluminum plates – the
    bow is nearly done, and then we can put in the last of the bow ribs.
    In the stern, we’re wrestling with engine placement – it needs to be
    high enough to fit the cooling system and the primary diesel tank
    underneath, but low enough that the propeller clears the stern.
    Hmmmmm. Fortunately there’s plenty to do while we’re thinking about
    it – like put on the deck! The boat will start looking dramatically
    different very soon and we’re all pretty excited.

    As always, there’s room for more in our big sea-gypsy tribe – so if
    you like planting, weeding, shoveling, soldering, sawing, nailing,
    welding, grinding, sewing, cooking, drilling, knitting, routering,
    getting headbutted by chickens, watching 2-hour sunsets, measuring,
    cutting, re-measuring, thinking, re-re-measuring, making bread,
    reading sea books, eating waffles or knot-tying, drop us a line!

    Picture from last weeks.

    a: Sea gypsy girl making psykedelic chair-protection for the chairs.

    b: Shaping wood with router

    c: Potato-planting.

    d: lead melting girl finished melting 2 tonns in one week.


    Profile photo of zeyang

    Newsletter June 2012.

    Dear Sea gypsies

    We’re back to a full farm – the current crew of sea-gypsies hail from
    Norway, Germany (times two), Finland, France/Belgium, the UK and the
    US – it makes for lively, er, discussions in the evenings while we’re
    watching Euro Cup matches.

    It also makes for rapid progress – in the last few weeks we’ve picked
    the entire farm clean of rocks, planted two fields in a mixture of
    cover crops (including phacelia, whose blue flowers are a favorite bee
    snack), built and painted a fence around the yard, re-plumbed the
    basement, fixed our fleet of bicycles, put in almost a kilometer of
    fence around the biggest field, dug up half the far field looking for
    a pipe leak, refinished a beautiful old door… and then, in our spare
    time, built a model for the boat’s dinghy, biked all over the area,
    hiked down the river, spent a weekend in Oslo, foraged local plants
    for dinner, built a campfire spot overlooking the valley, installed a
    swing under the barn ramp, given each other mohawks, and baked about
    forty loaves of bread.

    And we’re going to be parents! Kind of! One of our chickens has very
    motherly instincts, and she’s been incubating thirteen eggs – some
    hers, some laid by the rest of our flock. We’re expecting chicks in a
    week or so.

    All the farming hasn’t left us much time for boatbuilding, but we
    still managed to make some progress this month: the keelbox has been
    welded shut in bow and stern, the last ribs are being bent to shape
    and welded in, and the calculations for the curve of the deck have
    begun. This week we’ll finish the ribs and begin the wood patterns
    for the deck frames.

    We’ve been eating like royalty – everybody has learned to bake, and
    the spring plants are out in force, so we feast on nettles, milkweed,
    chaga mushrooms, dandelions, wood sorrel, and our own bread. After a
    long winter of turnips, potatoes and carrots, it’s wonderful to have
    the green leaves that come with warm days, and the new dishes that
    come with new comrades.

    So, enjoy summer folks, and if you want to join us, just send us an

    Pictures from last weeks.

    a: Sea-gypsy girl busy planning the route with help of the world-map
    in background.

    b: Fence-banging guys!

    c: The Fencing-crew on the way to the field.

    d: Enjoy a short rest after hours of rockpicking in the field.

    e: Welding up the keelbox inside the boat.


    Profile photo of zeyang

    Newsletter July 2012.

    Dear Sea gypsies

    The summer has been good and productive to us. Mostly nice and warm
    weather for whole june which is more than you can expect up here.. The
    potatoefield and carrot field grow nicely. The sugar peas in the
    small greenhouse is now blooming and soon we will be self-sufficient
    on sugar-pies (that is, if we dont eat more than one pea a day each)

    Mid summerday arrived with nice weather and as normal we had a the
    traditional midsummer party sitting around the camp fire eating burned
    marshmallows and dreaming about life out on the deep blue sea…

    Talking about dreaming.. We have been discussing the deck curve for so
    long that we started to get nightmares about this.. but in the end it
    looks pretty good. The deck ribs are bent in, and we are in the stage
    of plating the deck. Sofar the curve looks really nice! The deck area
    will be around 40m2 totally, means we will have space for a hammock or
    two between the masts!

    Ok, that was all for this month,, if you fancy join our constantly
    bigger sea gypsy tribe, please drop us a line. Whish you all a warm
    summer and hope you enjoy our pictures below.

    a: Mid summer party with camp fire and burned marshmallows.

    b: British metalworker. Carpentry is for kids! Big boys only work with

    c: Our french plating crew.

    d: Two pretty mermaids (US/Germany) working on deck ribs. Hard hat is
    mandatory when you work under the boat.

    e: Fishing from the pier behind the boatshed. One of these days he
    will hopefully get a fish!


    Profile photo of zeyang

    Newsletter Late july 2012.

    Dear Sea gypsies

    Harvest season has just started and we are cutting and drying the gras
    old time style. Its pretty backbreaking work, but our seaygpsy guys
    are a hardworking bunch, so we will finish this step soon. A few more
    weeks and we will also start blueberry and raspberry picking. Then
    comes mushroom and lingonberries. The autumn will sure be be a busy

    Last weekends it has been a dumpsterdiving craziness which brought us
    lots of goodies like cherries and nectarines. Its pity to throw away
    good food.. so they end up in morning porrige and cakes! mmmm.

    Boatbuilding is going forward at full speed. 6 plates are on and we
    are ready for constructing the deckhouse and soon we start build up
    the wood interior inside the boatw. It will be nice change indeed,
    swapping the welding pistol with a hammer and saw. At least the smell
    of sawdust is better than weldingfume.

    Ok that was small update for last weeks, hope you enjoy our pictures
    and drop us a line if you want to join or gang!

    a: Happy gang of seagypsy guys cutting gras.

    b. Old style harvest. It seems easy but its hard pretty hard work.

    c: Nice rest in hammock after a hard days work.

    d. Polish grinding girl working on deck beams.

    e. Sea gypsies out camping. The lake was a bit too cold for
    swimming.. brr.

    Love from
    Sailing the farm – a sea gypsy tribe of tomorrow.


    Profile photo of zeyang

    Newsletter August 2012.

    Dear Sea gypsies

    Then it start to rain…. July has been the wettest last 80 years up
    here. Soon we dont need a truck to move the boat. We just launch her
    just behind the shed.

    Due to weather the gras harvest season is a little slow, but it goes
    forward. Some gypsies have also been out in the forest checking for
    the berries but its still some time to go.. Hopefully a week more and
    it will be a fiest of blueberries during the morning porridge.

    Boatbuilding has been good last weeks, due to rain. Thankfully our
    shed is rainproof. We are now working on shaping in the deckhouse so
    it looks nice. Most of the deckplates are welded in. I must say our
    lady without a name start to looks like a proper boat.

    Ahh. forgot to mention. 2 nice chinese girls has been up here last
    week, feeding us proper food. Oh, I must say i really miss that
    stuff. Nothing can beat homemeade chinese food. hmmm.

    Enjoy our pictures. If you want to join our seagypsy and have
    cabinetmaking skills – you are especially welcome. We are getting
    closer to that step…

    a: Real chinese dinner. Chopsticks and everything.

    b. Polish girl – still smiling after a day of heavy brushing.

    c: Work on the deck house. American/French team.

    d. Beijing-girl helping with deckhouse welding.

    Love from
    Sailing the farm – a sea gypsy tribe of tomorrow.


    Profile photo of zeyang

    Newsletter Late August 2012.

    Howdy Sea gypsies

    August has been a good one…. The weather was much nicer than july i
    must admit. even some of those wwoofers start to complain about too
    much sun!

    We have had quite an invasion from volunteers lately, and majority has
    been from US, so now we have a distinct texas-slang around here.

    Boatbuilding is going forward with the speed of light kind of… The
    deck is on. The deckhouse is fixed. Even with the possibility to
    remove to store big stuff inside. We are now working on
    interior. Space for six bunk beds, kitchen and toilet/shower needs
    some thinking…

    We got some cool news lately. two volunteers (french/american) who met
    less than one year ago here on farm, got married… even after
    struggeling so hard to keep those girls and boys in separate barracks!
    … some stuff must have been happening after dark… hmm. :-)

    That was big and small news from our coolest sea gypsy tribe this
    month. If you fancy joining us, please drop us a line…

    Some pictures from last month.

    a: happy volunteers eating lunch
    b: Deckhouse is soon on.
    c: two pretty mermaids taking care of the raspberry field.
    d: forehatch girl cleaning up inside boat.
    e: wedding picture…


    Love from
    Sailing the farm – a sea gypsy tribe of tomorrow.

    Profile photo of zeyang

    Newsletter March 2013. .

    Dear Sea Gypsies,

    Spring is slowly coming our way, Its been maybe the coldest winter for
    as long as people can remember up here. Minus -30 for weeks out and
    weeks for january and february and even in march we have -20 degrees
    for many days. But we dont complain (at least loudly!) the shed was
    filled to the brink with firewood and during evening and weekends time
    have been spent reading about small pacific islands where the sun
    always shine… Guess where to boat is sailing!

    Last two months have been spent doing foundry work (melting
    aluminium). We are now making our own portholes and all small bits and
    pieces out of the all the scrap alloy we have floating around. Next
    would be to make a few dolphins for decoration :-)

    Anyway, enjoy the early spring folks!  .. and if you want to join our
    tribe please contact us!


    a. making a sand-cast for a small porthole.
    b. Out enjoy the skiing in cold winter weather.
    c. a cake? Nope. Its called cores and used for foundry work! Its a
    miks of sand and linseed oil. Taste awful, but works good.
    d. welding small boxes and stuff together.
    e. Porthole production.


    Profile photo of zeyang

    Newsletter April 2013.

    Dear Sea Gypsies,

    The potatoes are planted just a few days ago. Thats even earlier than
    last year. It a little risky since its still frostnights up here but
    they are protected under a bed of soil so hopefully they wont freeze.

    Summer is coming very slowly. Still no leafs on the trees, but the
    small yellow flowers – coltsfoot (tussilago farfara) are starting to
    show up along the roads. They are important pollen plants for the bees
    this early in season (together with salix)

    Sailing the farm have 3 nice girls now (irish,zchech,french). 2 guys
    (swedish/english) who have been here the first part of april.

    We have mostly been working on casting portholes for the boat which is
    pretty timeconsuming. It means making molds, melting aluminium and
    then shape the half-finished product in the lathe. The result looks
    really good i must say.

    Even if not even close to being foundrymen/girls or machinists we
    manage to get quite a professional result after some weeks of trial
    and error.

    Thats enough for now, If you fancy joining the seagypsy tribe – just
    drop us a line.

    Love from
    Sailing the farm


    a. irish girl making sand-castles (sort of)
    b. inspecting the casting results.
    c. swedish sand-crab.
    d. unfinished and finished result. (with the help of a lathe)
    e. turning soil.

    a: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=380071&stc=1&d=1367131663
    b: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=380081&stc=1&d=1367131670
    c: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=380091&stc=1&d=1367131675
    d: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=380101&stc=1&d=1367131679
    e: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=380111&stc=1&d=1367131684

    Profile photo of spark


    Basically, sailing the farm collective can give your seasteading projected some help in future.

    People who fall in love with the sailing the farm collective will probably also have an interest in seasteading. After some months or years of sailing they are also more skilled and used to live on the sea, and besides. we manage easily to find enough females to fill our goal of 50/50 genderbalance.

    It seems seasteading project need more females involved.



    50/50 genderbalance makes perfect sense to me. Where do I sign up?


    Profile photo of zeyang

    Dear Sea Gypsies

    Summer is here, its more or less rain every day but the wwofers order
    sun in the weekends so weather is always nice when we go hiking during
    weekends, (not sure who they order it from though)

    We are now up to full speed on boat and the farm. Last week we
    planted another field of rasperries, which will be give us lots and
    lots of rasperries in 2 years time. Then another field with potatoes
    and even more herbs of all different kind. Its getting interesting
    when the weed is coming up. It will be plenty of weeding soon.

    The bees are busy collecting honey, and flying all over. they seems
    pretty happy now after a quite cold may.

    The portholes are more or less finished – that was a long journey. Its
    quite a few steps. The good thing: which casting and machining skills
    there is limit to what we can make in alloy. Plenty of blocks for the
    boat is already on the list..

    We are in the stage of insulating all over inside. Then make ready for
    the wood deck and railings. The wood deck is not just to make the boat
    look like a boat, but avoid burned feet on hot alloy deck in the
    tropics – besides since we are faking everything to look lke wood, so
    why not a proper wood-deck.

    Lots of sea gypsies are coming next months, both returning ones and
    new ones, but we still have some space, so if you have any skills you
    think could be useful – drop us a line!


    a: sorting out weed in the rasperry field. Then we planted out some
    hundreds sq-meter more.

    b: metal girls at work moving heavy alloy-plates.

    c: casting stuff for the boat. We use sand to mould them.

    d: welding guy busy welding up ears on the portholes.

    e: dumpsterdiving. one night catch from the bin at the foodstore. Now
    we go every weekend to stack up on free fancy food.


    Profile photo of zeyang

    August 2013

    Dear Sea Gypsies

    Its been a busy summer up here. plenty of volunteers and plenty of
    work to be done. Our community is growing bigger and bigger and soon
    we will take over the ocean.

    July has been a good one. 3-4 weeks with stable nice weather, even
    some start to complain about too much sun… That was close to end up
    on the plank…

    Our 10 new chickens are all getting big now. We are still curious how
    many of them are roosters – and will end up in the soup :-)

    The garden loook really good thanks to 2 girls who spend quite alot of
    time weeding.. we got plenty of peas this year – all kinds and some
    really tasty. I didnt know yellow peas could be sweet if you eat them
    raw. raspberries are soon ready to ripe and berry season are here in
    some weeks.

    The boat is really start to look like a proper boat. mostly all
    portholes are in. skylights and railing seems stong and seaworthy.
    there are quite a bit of woodworking to do inside, but we all look
    forward to this.

    So in sum, we are doing quite a bit of progress and its still a couple
    of month until the winter is back so things look pretty good keeping
    the schedule.

    If you have an interest in joing our sea gypsy tribe dont hesitate to contact us.

    Love from Sailing the farm.

    Pictures: (courtsey ela/photograephin)

    a: weeding the potatoefield
    b: queenbreeding
    c: picnic at the lake.
    d: welding stuff on the deck
    e: travelling outdoor library (kind of)


    Profile photo of zeyang

    September 2013

    Dear Sea Gypsies

    The autumn is here soon, but its been quite mild to be september
    sofar. It feels more like august… But we are not to be fooled so
    easily… Winter is coming soon enough so we work hard to finish up
    all stuff before its getting too cold to work outside.

    We are more or less finished on the deck. The hatch is in, the rail is
    on (just need a little shaping) water intakes, and all bits and pieces
    are there. It start to look like more like a war machine for
    blood-thirsty vikings and not for a bunch of friendly sea gypsies.

    The naked oats (or rather half naked oats) are harvested, potatoes are
    still in the soil but will be harvested soon. Our sugar peas are dried
    and harvested for the thursday peasoup and waffles, not exactly self
    sufficient but we have at least for one thursday :-)

    Out of the 10 chickes we got, 1 was taken by a fox or something, 7 are
    males (which in this case is lots of sound and and no use) and the 2
    last one will give us eggs. So in sum quite a bit of work and hardly
    more eggs than we have today :-) But they are mighty fun to watch –
    Chicken-TV is addictive.

    Ok, thats all for this months from Sailing the Farm – a place where
    crazy dreams come true. If you are interested in joining, just drop us
    a line.

    Love from Sailing the farm.
    A sea gypsy tribe of tomorrow.


    a: Boat seen from the bow.
    b: Lots of head scratching to get all the pieces togehter.
    c: Out swimming (yes, we are not always working)
    d: The noahs ark chickens waiting for the boat to finish.
    e: Dumpster dinner again.


    Profile photo of zeyang

    November 2013

    Dear Sea Gypsies

    Whops. time is flying so fast and soon october was gone and no
    newsletter sent out so here it comes a little late.

    Still no snow up here, which is just incredible. Should have been half
    a meter by now.. but the good thing is: it feels like mid-europe
    climate so why migrate to Spain when Spain is coming to us!

    Farming season is over, everything which was planted during summer is
    in the basement. We got around 300 kg of potatoes which will keep us
    going until spring. We have turned into professional dumpster-divers
    and find way too much food – so we are getting a little picky – What
    about raspberries from Brazil? Its hard to believe so much food who is
    just wasted. Someone should do something… ahh. enough political

    Boatbuilding is going really good. She is happy as a fiddle. Latley
    she got shiny bowrollers installed, (both forward and aft), tiller,
    and soon to come: bowsprit! We just have to cut down the tree.
    Everyday we see changes, and its a good sign… We are making the fat
    lady ready for the 7 seas. She will be the strongest boat ever sailing
    out there.

    Thats all for this late october newsletter, If you are interested in
    becoming a seay gypsy, just drop us a line.

    Love from Sailing the farm.
    A sea gypsy tribe of tomorrow.


    a: A little crowded on deck. Even the anchors are soon installed.
    b: Picnic and out looking for a bowsprit in the forest. (6 meter long)
    c: Hardcore welders in action.
    d: The sea-monster looking trough the porthole
    e: Fancy dumpster lunch with sushi!

    a: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=526681&stc=1&d=1383332827
    b: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=526691&stc=1&d=1383332836
    c: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=526701&stc=1&d=1383332847
    d: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=526711&stc=1&d=1383332855
    e: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=526721&stc=1&d=1383332862

    Profile photo of zeyang

    December 2013

    Dear Sea Gypsies

    December again! This one has has been quite warm. (today is only -10C)
    We still have frostbites from the one last year so we are happy as a
    fiddle up here. Makes life and boatworking much easier.

    Its been a really good year on sailing the farm with lots of stuff
    accomplished and its still some more work weeks to go before we can
    sum up 2013.

    Deck fittings, deckhouse and most of the stuff up there is
    finished. We are proud to say that everything is home-made. Not a
    single thing is from the the boat-store.. Main reason for this is:
    its hard to get stuff in alloy who looks like wood..

    We have probably put another 2000-3000 hours into the boatproject this
    summer (with the help of all of those nice and skillfull volunteers)
    and still some 2000-3000 hours to go until we see her finshed.

    This christmas will be a traditional one on the farm with St. Claus
    (Julenisse in norwegian) coming down from the northpole with the
    sledge, raindeers and ofcouse packets. I usually dont fancy soft
    packets, but im in dire need for a new welding overall so if the
    julenisse reads this… :-)

    ok. I know its a little early early, but we wish new and old friends
    of sailing-the-farm a peaceful and quiet christmas and a prosperius
    new year and hope to see you all up next year.

    Love from Sailing the farm.
    A sea gypsy tribe of tomorrow.


    a: the boat start to look like a wooden boat now.
    b: shaping up the bowsprit. 6 meter long
    c: boat from stern. Sexy lines.
    d: welding up the bunkbeds.

    a: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=554741&stc=1&d=1386583072
    b: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=554751&stc=1&d=1386583080
    c: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=554761&stc=1&d=1386583088
    d: http://weldingweb.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=554771&stc=1&d=1386583097

    Profile photo of zeyang

    February 2014

    Dear Sea Gypsies

    The winter has been kind to us this year. During Christmas and New
    year there was hardly any snow up here, which is kind of unusual at 60
    degrees north. January has been mostly down to -10C which is really
    good when we work outside. In January we got plenty of snow so skiing
    is as close to perfect as it is possible to get and we have plenty of
    those old and wooden army skiis around.(we use to call them
    NATO-planks) For first termers its perfect skiis. Slow and heavy.

    The Boat work is going pretty good . We are working on insulating
    inside and we are more or less finished with the aft cabin (named
    princess cabin), since its getting really nice and spacious.

    We are soon ready to start insulate and plate the main cabin in the
    boat. Its a little more tricky due to the galley (kitchen for those
    landlubbers out there). and also the navigation station. Then its more
    casting. Basically more cowl-vents to get more fresh air into the

    We usually run with lower staff during winter but this year we will
    scale up in February and aim for getting the boat ready for sea-trial
    this year. It will be a busy summer.

    So if you think you have some useful skills (welding, mechanics,
    sewing, interior wood working) or are really good at cracking jokes
    you are more than welcome to join us.

    This is hopefully the last year of boat building (Ok, I know we have
    said that before but…) so hurry up if you want to be part of the
    fun. (Ok, I admit sailing is also fun) But it gives a good feeling
    knowing that you have been part of building something moving around
    our planet with zero pollution…

    Love from Sailing the farm.
    A sea gypsy tribe of tomorrow.


    a: Plating and insulating inside the boat
    b: one of the crew made an icebar! How cool is that!
    c: the chicken-sisters is busy hatching golf-balls! Not the most
    clever sisters.
    d: Aft-deck with rudder, and boxes. With wooden deck this will look
    like a wood boat.


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