by Adam Abrego

Hi guys,

For those of you who are just joining this story, This boat started out as a Jim Michalak 'Campjon'. When I got the plans and examined them, I realized the cabin was not going to be long enough or tall enough for me. I'm 6'2" and 240 lbs, with a sitting height (on my butt) of about 38". The cabin, as originally designed is 6' long and 36" high at its highest point.

I contacted Jim about raising the roof and lengthening the cabin. Raising the roof was easy; I just added 6 inches to the vertical dimensions of the cuddy bulkheads. Lengthening the cabin involved shifting the aft cuddy bulkhead back 6 inches, and extending the side panels to match it. I originally wanted to shift the forward bulkhead but Jim suggested moving the rear one so the same dimensions could be used, instead of having to totally redesign the front one. His advise was very good. This made the lengthening process straightforward.

The final modification made to this boat was to fabricate a solid transom by laminating two pieces of 3/4" plywood together for a total thickness of 1.5 inches. This had nothing to do with my thinking the original design was inadequate, it was just something I had done on a previous boat and it worked quite well in that instance.. So far, it has proven out well in this application, too.

Total building time was about 120 hour from the first cut to maiden launch. This is a very good 'first boat' project. The design is well thought out, and fits together very easily. It's even tolerant of ham-handed modifications like I made to it. The boat handles nicely, rides out wakes from bigger boats in reassuring fashion, and packs a lot of room in 15.5 feet. I think Jim Michalak has a real winner here. Anyway, on to the pictures.

Here's 'Aja' sitting on her trailer. Once I lengthened the bunks on the trailer, she fit real good. Had a little trouble with the paint on the bottom. The primer stuck fine, but the other paint came off too easy. Gotta use better paint ;-).
Here's one from the stern. Thats the 7.5 hp Mercury I've been using. Burns about 2/3 gallon per hour, regardless of throttle setting. Wide open, it will push 'Aja' to about 8 mph (with three adults in the boat).
Here is the first 'A' and the 'J' in the boat's name (AJA). Amanda (front) is 12 and Jessica (rear) is 14. We had just put 'Aja' in the water at our local boat ramp. This pic shows the fold up swim ladder on the bow. When extended, it is about 3 feet long, and the bottom two rungs are actually under water.
Here's me, getting ready to put my fat butt in the back. I'm Adam ( the last 'A' in the boat's name)
Here is a shot of 'Aja' moving.
Back at the dock. Boat sits quite level, even with me and the 7.5 hp Mercury hanging on the back. As shown in this picture the boat is drawing about 2 inches (excluding the lower unit on the outboard.

Me and my munchkin, Amanda, and she's driving (better at it than I am haha)

The 'diva', Jessica, practicing her microphone technique with the light mast. This pic shows the front of the cabin. With the extensions I made to Jim Michalak's original cabin, it seems pretty roomy.

Only a couple things left to do now. Got to make the cover for the cabing slot, and rig up some kind of shade for the cockpit.
Thanks again to Jim Michalak for a great design and to Chuck Leinweber for making those designs more accessible to people like me. This has enabled me to get out on the water with my girls, and stay within my budget. If not for this, we would still be land-locked.
Take it easy...
Adam Abrego
Island Park, NY