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  • "Talk to the Hand Plan:" strategy versus tactics and how to swim again.

    The name of this blog category is "Deadrise: more than a workboat..." It follows that this post would start to explain why. If you are not familiar with a Chesapeake Bay deadrise workboat, I can honestly say it's both very easy and very difficult for me to describe. I have only spent my life in two geographic locations, the Sun Coast of Central Florida centered around Clearwater Beach, and the Delmarva Peninsula, centered around the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. Most of the time, so far, Maryland has been home. So a deadrise workboat is as common a thing to me as the subway must be for New Yorkers. A deadrise is a work of art and work of pure ingenuity born out of necessity, the mother of invention. It's pointy at the bow and it's broad, boxy (most of the time) and flat at the stern. The lines, running between bow and stern, no matter where you view them, from above, below or in profile, are long, graceful, curving or flat but always elegant and delicate. This is my example of what I am describing. I fired this off my drawing table freehand with only about four lines drawn with a straight edge, two of which are known as the "perpendiculars," the lines that set the length between bow and stern. This image is what I mean when I describe the look, generally, of the iconic Chesapeake Bay vessel. This image was created to ease the pressure stemming from, what else, the absolute need to get on with...business. I cannot describe the situation any more simply because it's all so utterly simple yet incomprehensibly subtle and overwhelmingly staggering to experience. I drew this image because I needed a clear objective for PaxMaris' "Return to Service" campaign. I also needed a concrete image to hold up and show people what exactly that entailed. Having an image to whack onto a t-shirt doesn't hurt either. Unless I became willing to accept the operation of yet another boat that was only "new to me," which after years spent trying to make used boats viable (I am no longer willing) I needed a bit of prophetic iconography to light the way towards getting back on the water, to serving the Chesapeake and all those who want to experience it. One day, weeks after this image was created, I was speaking to a team member that was feeling uncertain about why the business plan for PaxMaris kept changing. I knew that it wasn't the business plan or strategy that was changing, but the tactics. I held up my hand and pushing it in her face (nicely), palm first, fingers spread wide in a fan, I said, "listen, talk to the hand plan." Talk to the hand, that perfect 1990's exclamation point, came forward to 2022 and filled an awkward moment, a beat of time, while my palm and fingers remained in front of my colleague's face. "I see she said, so we are going to design and build more than one boat." "Yes'" I said, wiggling my fingers, "one suited to each of our short, medium and longterm goals," and removed my hand from her face. "We start with the thumb, the shortest-term solution, the boat that is as broad in its capabilities as in its appeal." The deadrise will bring simplicity, economy, wide ranging on-water capabilities, the chance to be as green as possible, and simplicity again, to the design-build project. The utility of a vessel type which never used professionally drawn plans becomes clear when you fully and accurately consider the scope of designing and building something like a 65 foot schooner, the apple and eventual goal of PaxMaris' eye. Comparing our earlier plan to work through the Howard I. Chapelle book, "Yacht Design and Planning," that seminal text that lays out the process of developing, manually, on a proper drafting table, the complete preliminary design of a new schooner, then sending that off to a naval architecture firm to check your work, digitize everything, correct your work, perform hydrostatic analysis and more, compare all of that to the film I stumbled upon from the Mariner's Museum and Park of Billy Moore building a deadrise from his recollection, and the choice of deadrise as "thumb" is clear. Our strategy and corresponding tactics have only become more obvious, as the evidence on how best to achieve PaxMaris' goals comes into focus. As a direct community engagement nonprofit we need the "Swiss Army knife" of boats, something that good design practice teaches you to avoid in earnest. Yet, in the Chesapeake Bay deadrise workboat we have found an exception that proves the rule, a boat that can live in the waters of the often turbulent Chesapeake, be worked hard every day, carry heavy loads, cruise comfortably, run quickly and run relatively cheaply AND last for decades if not a century or longer if properly maintained. The fact that this designer needed only a few skills endemic to himself and not the lengthy trial of working through a book is proof that PaxMaris is onto something correct-headed. We choose the deadrise as the boat that will return us to service, vigorously serving the culture, economics, environment and military families of our Bay region. It will be the "thumb" of the "Talk to the Hand Plan," the foundational finger of strategy, tactically establishing PaxMaris as a water-born nonprofit company even if a thumb is all we ever have (at least we will still be able to hitch a ride).

  • Walk Before You Can Swim, Again. An introduction to this category of blog posts.

    There is no better way to understand the complex and subtle nature of what a startup nonprofit is going through than to say, as Kate Bush said best, we are, "...running up that hill..." Let's pretend for a moment that PaxMaris isn't a maritime- or marine-based organization. Opening any business, as back-of-the-cereal-box wisdom will tell you, is complex enough without trying to exist in the water. When the water is where you live, work and play, you have to negotiate each day working under much harsher rules. But, PaxMaris is a maritime entity, and therefore must live and work in the water to bring our missions to life. We cannot help restore oyster populations without a boat. We cannot bring the joy and peace of the water (pax maris) to military families without a boat, and we certainly can't promote the Chesapeake Region's rich history and culture or help create economic opportunity in waterfront communities without a boat. We find ourselves at the end of the beginning, turning the page to find a new, but recognizable future. *** Our development as a business entity has followed, thankfully, typical avenues and vectors of growth. First, there was a dream and a dreamer. Which came first? We don't know and its not important because next came struggle. Our dreamer, though raised in and along the Bay, was not allowed to think in terms of entrepreneurial behavior. His was a world of "I work for a company, therefore I am safe." But it wasn't safe for him. So then came years of gestation as the plight of multi-generational brainwashing slowly, very slowly, gave way to more clear goals and actions. Then came BETA-01, the business entry test article. Our BETA experiment was called "Liberty Launch." We needed to understand if we, our dreamer included, were the right people to work and live in the water and to do business there. We needed to understand an industry we had only worked in as functionaries, but now as the ones in charge, the entrepreneurs. We started out in 2017 and immediately failed, though not through any fault of our own, save the ignorance that comes with blissful naivety. The many lessons of that time would fill a complete work of nonfiction so we won't digress here, but later on we just might. By the summer of 2019, we were getting somewhere. Next came two springs, two summers and three falls worth of data. By the fall of 2021, our heads and hearts were full and our resources were wiped out. We had to grow in order to survive. Luckily for us, we had created our own immense opportunity to evolve and pursue. *** So this is our big page turn, building a new vessel, the right vessel, which will propel us towards a very new, yet recognizable future, one we have crafted from our dreams, experiences and failures. We would never have come this way had we not stayed the course and listened to the inexorable, indefatigable and intractable voice of our own grit and will. AND YET... DOUBT asks, "How do we know we're the right people to live, work and do business in the water?" WE answer, "We are still here, doing it." DOUBT fears, "How will we solve all of our challenges, professional and personal?" WE state, "By following our dreams." DOUBT wonders, "How do we cope with the galactic uncertainty of continuing on, now as a completely new kind of "thing," a startup nonprofit?" WE remind DOUBT, "Because "Liberty Launch" defied all the odds, of which there were many, and fulfilled its purpose." Now we dream, we draw, we lift up what is in our hands and we do the job we gave ourselves. We never fit into anyone else's playbook so we had to create one for ourselves. We are designing a Chesapeake Bay deadrise to continue and spread the knowledge and practice of Chesapeake Bay history and culture, to add to the generational effort to "Save the Bay," to build the economic opportunity in waterfront communities and to rise to the challenges of our time by promoting democracy (sure wish we didn't need to) and supporting a strong national defense by supporting not just veterans and active duty service members, but their whole support network. In this blog you will find an ongoing account of our progress. We will try not digress or wander into the weeds of how we got here and the trials we still face, but admittedly, that could be difficult.

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  • Home | PaxFound-a Chesapeake Bay nonprofit

    Introducing PaxMaris Maritime Foundation Rising to meet social, environmental and economic challenges by connecting people to the Chesapeake Bay and transforming access to the water for all. PaxMaris is... We are a forthcoming Chesapeake Bay nonprofit with an exciting set of goals and some new twists on old themes. Click here for the who, what, where, why and how. Inspiration, Opportunity , Fruit. You can't build a boat unless you know how. Even though there is no substitute for the kind of workmanship and craft that watermen have developed within Chesapeake Culture, we have to learn and grow where we can, no matter how daunting the task of building one of these boats may seem. ​ This film is the beginning of knowledge and of our "Return to Service" campaign. Thanks to The Mariner's Museum and Park , support them at: https://www.marinersmuseum.org Our Past Performance 1/1 -Bhavin 25 September 2020 “As a veteran, I appreciate organizations like Liberty Launch that actually do something for veterans. My family and I enjoyed ourselves and will be back soon.”

  • What Happened to Liberty Launch? | PaxFound.org

    Acerca de An Evolving Mission... Liberty Launch was conceived and founded with one clear directive: to support the warfighter through access to the therapeutic environment of the Chesapeake Bay. To fund this mission, we organized as a Maryland benefit company. This allowed us to do a good thing and use the money from our commercial charters to fund a good thing! That is where we met many of you, our wonderful passengers. You supported us and our mission and we made some new friends along the way. ​ Over the last three seasons, we made several key discoveries: First, we learned that the benefit of recreational therapy is real. Our warfighters, their families and close support network were able to relax and enjoy themselves in ways they could not otherwise. The firsthand experience of the water was transformational. Second, we learned that many of you had been looking for a way to enjoy the Susquehanna and Chesapeake Bay at a reasonable cost, and you were happy to know your charter was the sole means to finance our military family support mission. ​ Third, while we successfully provided charters to as many people as we could over the past three seasons, we observed that our sailing vessel was not large enough to provide enough benefits to enough people – we would always be limited to one small group of six at a time. Faced with these facts, we were forced to reassess both our business model and the feasibility of relying on an older boat that comes with maintenance issues and was not initially built for public charters. We began to listen to that voice of business sustainability (money), with a little bit of Chief Brody from “Jaws” thrown in: That’s right - we’re going to need a bigger boat! Here comes the exciting part… We have begun in earnest to restructure and reorganize around an enthusiastic team of fellow social and environmental entrepreneurs to form a new non-profit organization to fund the construction of a larger schooner, along with other Chesapeake Bay watercraft, which will not only fulfill our original mission to support military families and veterans, but have the capacity to address a broader scope of mission sets within the economic, cultural, and environmental reality of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. As we grow, we plan to also support other organizations that align with our mission sets, including the brave people of Ukraine, who have much in common with our military members as they defend the most precious principle to our country – democracy. ​ Although this new direction will take us away from, or severely limit the activities of our previous funding/service model, we decided that we must evolve and grow in order to survive, forcing us to halt, for now, our time-consuming public charters to solely focus on this next chapter. Our original goal, up until recently, was to reassess our time constraints as we met critical waypoints with our non-profit organization and possibly sail again later in the summer. However, our concerns working with an older boat have now come into greater focus, and we must haul Principio out and assess her hull before considering any charters this summer, regardless of our initial intentions. ​ THANK YOU ALL for supporting military families and providing the data we needed to grow and prosper. We, along with our board of directors, will soon begin our fundraising activities to realize this exciting venture. Please continue to follow our current social media pages and stay tuned as we soon introduce our new organization with links to our new pages. Feel free to contact us at any time to discover ways you can help and get directly involved. We will keep you posted on the possibility of chartering later this summer. Let’s Work Together Get in touch so we can start working together. First Name Last Name Email Thanks for submitting! Message Send

  • PaxMaris Is... | PaxFound.org

    ...a new kind of Chesapeake Bay nonprofit. Chesapeake-powered, mission-driven. Our Values, Goals and Missions What We Do: We will create innovative solutions for people and the planet through immersive sailing experiences and partnerships within the maritime industry. Mission Sets: To achieve this goal, we will construct new vessels, sail and power, which will provide multiple social, environmental, and economic benefits to society. We will support military families: The impacts of military service affect not just the warfighter, but his or her support network as well. As we have demonstrated with our Liberty Launch Program, we will provide the gift of sailing to all military families and their extended support networks as a form of vital recreational therapy - free of charge. Our "Return to Service" campaign will provide the foundational capabilities needed to remain a hands-on, direct community engagement nonprofit organization. We will protect the ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay watershed: We strive to be an electric and sail-powered organization, greatly reducing our use of fossil fuels through wind, solar, and regenerative electrical power. We may, due to the limitations of current technology, rely on the safety and reliability of proven diesel propulsion. Exploring and implementing the latest and most efficient diesel engines will hopefully offset the use of older, more affordable diesel engines. Researching and communicating the state-of-the-electric-drive-art will be a priority. Demonstrating and championing green technologies to the public will be central to each of our missions and programs. We will educate passengers on our collective obligation to save the Chesapeake Bay through educational and environmental programs and participate in eco-friendly activities such as oyster restoration. We will promote Chesapeake Bay culture: Sailing on schooners and cruising on sleek deadrise workboats is at the heart of Chesapeake Bay culture. Crabcakes, oysters, rockfish, Old Bay, decoys, and waterfowl are enduring cultural icons of the Chesapeake Bay. Our history is rich and understanding and immersing our passengers into our culture is critical to preserving the uniqueness that is the Chesapeake. ​ We will build Chesapeake Bay tourism: We will act as good will ambassadors to promote businesses aligned with tourism, ecotourism, food, and culture. We will sail to the waterfront towns of the Chesapeake, where will we create a real amenity to local restaurants, hotels and inns, by providing a uniquely Chesapeake Bay attraction right at their doorsteps. ​ We will DEFEND DEMOCRACY: Democracy is the most essential, basic component of the United States and the beating heart of American civil liberties; we will add to the defense of democracy and help meet the challenges of our current times. While PaxMaris Maritime Foundation will be a politically non-partisan entity, we will shine a light on general democratic values and institutions that ensure our society survives. We will encourage gatherings that focus on disseminating essential democratic principles, provide aide and comfort to military families and support the warfighter, whose job it is to defend our democracy through force of arms when called upon. Email sail@paxfound.org Follow

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