Chuck ,

Having read some of the letters and stuff in build reports about casting lead and an even more bizarre method of adding weight by boring and encapsulating steel washers I would offer another alternative -

In the UK sheet lead is still easily availablein various gauges, it is normally used for roofing purposes. It is easily cut to shape, even quite complex ones - so why not use multiple sheets laminated together and then epoxy encapsulated to get the same result as a casting. A bit less macho but a much more elegant solution.

I am cosidering building a Micro and this is the approach I would plan on using, Hope this prompts some dsicussion!

Regards Dave C

I'm looking for John L. Pruitt, the designer of the No Frills 15. He lived in Stockbridge GA in 1997.

ps -- Great magazine, keep up the good work :-)

Dear Chuck,

I was reading your latest e-tome and decided to share my thoughts about weighty matters, vis-a-vis rudders and daggerboards. As related in Jim Michalak's fine book and T. Marsh's recent article, pouring lead is a bit of a bother. I was pondering this one day, while watching one of my favorite movies ("Heist" by David Mamet). In the movie, a switch is made. Plastic cases that are supposed to be full of gold are actually found to be full of large fender washers. As they say - the light bulb suddenly lit up.

And so I tried it. I took a daggerboard blank of 3/4 inch birch ply and bored it with a Forstner bit to within 1/16 of the other side, 1 1/2 inch diameter, for the biggest steel fenderwashers I could find. I gave each washer a quick scour with a pot srubbing pad. Then I drilled some very small holes in the side walls of the drilled crater. Then I mixed up some epoxy. Poured some in the bottom and inserted a washer, then pored some more epoxy then another washer, etc, etc. Although steel is not as dense as lead, I think this is a viable alternative.

Bob Patterson

Hope you guys have better weather than we do. Currently experiencing white-out conditions. Building a new Kate, this time from modified plans with a wider beam and deeper draft enabling a raised seat for Renee. Using 1/8" ply and it's coming in super light. Any way I ran out of epoxy and when I couldn't get Raka (moving) I ordered from Noah's and got West System stuff along with some 3.4oz glass. I just used the stuff and was amazed at the difference in epoxies. This stuff does not seem to sag. I was always under the impression all epoxy was the same. If I were technically inclined I'd investigate further. Has someone done such a study and if not why don't you try to get someone to investigate.

Steve Fisher
Mr. Welsford:

I read your article in Duckworks and I enjoyed the tips on stitch and tape construction. I built a mini-kayak some time back using this method (also called 'stitch and glue' by some), and although the little craft has given excellent service, the appearance of its seams dismayed me. I look forward to building my next project using your tips.

One thing I did do on that kayak might be worth mentioning. There was no copper wire to be found here, other than house wire stuff which was very expensive and too heavy. Instead, I used a roll of "mechanic's wire," a mild steel wire that bends easily and can be purchased at any auto parts store. I wrapped the wire in a spiral around a dowel of sufficient size, slid the coil off the dowel, and cut "rings" from the spiral. As I was wrapping the wire around the dowel, I coated it with automobile wax. When the seams were fully cured, I cut each wire tie twisted slightly and the wires pulled out. A little unthickened epoxy filled the holes nicely, using duct tape on one end of the hole to keep the epoxy from running out.

At the time, I didn't think of using plastic ties, and these would have no doubt been easier since they don't need to be removed. The mechanic's wire, however, is much less expensive and the remainder of a roll of wire has hundreds of other uses as well.

Rodger Mathews
I am French, living near lakes and white waters rivers. I bought, several (!) weeks ago, by, the Thomas Hill "Ultralignht Boatbuilding" book. I received it yesterday.
But, two days before, absolutely by chance, I discovered your magazine, and the Lapstrake canoe built by Chuck Leinweber. Without its images and explanation, I would probably never understood the book and the way to build
canoe by this method.
ThenS a big thanks from France
Rodolphe Clauteaux
I have a subscription and it's become a way of life for me, essential daily reading. I think it's great how you manage to keep the site fresh and interesting.
Great work. - Neil
I subscribe to Wooden Boat, Messing About In Boats and Cruising World, but yours is by far my favorite boating magazine. The content and variety is wonderful. I hope you have a long run.
Bill Paxton
You have managed to make your site a must see , it contains the best selection of content on the net , you've made your self indispensable, also the fact that you have made it possible to buy plans off the site using credit card are going to make it very handy for people like me who live over seas. Having to pay through the nose for US dollars is a pain in the arse and then having to send cash through the mail can tend to be a risky business as well.
David Wallace
Chuck, during the last few weeks has been a great interest in a small type camper/cruiser. Most of the interest has centered on the Bolger Brick and brick type designs. Why not have a design contest on modifications to the standard brick to make it into a camping cruiser? I bet you would get a lot of interest. There are a lot of Bricks built/being built.
Thanks for your consideration,
Frank Woods
Chuck --that skin on frame kayak looks like crack cocain for boat builders !! Guessing that your construction techniqe is so fast and cheap, that anyone (even as fickle as me) could build and complete a boat before they lost interest in the project !!

...Small Boat Journal was a sad demise for me, and between Duckworks and MAIB, and Michalak's articles, I feel like I have my fix, and a slight small boating buzz on.

With the over development in Florida, small boats are almost subversive, if you can find a place to put in to get to the areas the developers cannot abuse, in a state where the Colliers of Collier country can get 120 million for NOT DRILLING FOR OIL in the Everglades, you are nearly seen as a terrorist, because you are blocking the view without owning the dock. Perhaps one day sea front property owners can have three mile limits off the dock. Dock guns, mortars, at the very least catapults tossing Tyson chickens.

Perhaps mortality and living in the moment means you have to own the view free of other viewers. I have had people shout at me when paddling a canal, "What are you doing here?" It made me feel like a toad in a tea cup. It makes me feel more subversive than I should for my health.

A small boat motors silently toward that row of three million dollar houses, where builders hired a lawyer to make sure they could remove the mangroves and pay the fines until they got what they wanted in a yard.

Its a twenty foot old style casket, with a Michalak walk through hatch opening, made beautifully out of Okume ply, the strains of a New Orleans funeral march play from a CD deck, a small boater in a tall black hat appears in the opening, and conducts a funeral for the edge of the sea.


Roger Palmer

...I have seen duckworks named in many other sites also-you guys are well thought of by many people besides myself. Keep up the good work -
Joe Morris
Collector of Plans, dreamer of completetions, and true web footed subscriber.
Hi Chuck,
I’m a new subscriber and I think your mag is great! Thanks for providing a spot for the great content on your site....
Rick Malagodi
What I'm writing for is to give you an ATTA BOY for the magazine. I check by every day. It's such a treat. And such wonderful people we meet here!
David Goin
Dear Chuck,
My subscription to your site is the best investment I ever made in hours of pleasure per dollar invested....
Thanks for your great site!

Yeah Sandra! Go girl!
Dave Hahn

Your magazine is great and is generally one of the highlights of my day. There are so many topics that you cover, and so many interesting people that you are attracting. Good Job! Greetings to Sandra.
Dave Hahn

There is a good article about SkiffAmericas at Cedar Key Florida in Small Craft Advisor, Sept/Oct 2003 issue no. 23.
Kilburn Adams

This is the first and only online magazine that I have subscribed to. What a great job you folks do. Many Thanks, Stan
I just posted a link to the Duckworks site on my page. I found the piece about using polyester film over epoxy/glass such a good idea that I thought some of the other Mark V-39 future builders should know about it. I put a note in my updates to subscribe to your page to read the article. Hope you get a few subscribers out of the deal. I just wish I knew where the author got his polyester film??
If there are any problems with having the link on my page, let me know and I'll take it down but otherwise I'll leave it up.
Brad Indicott
...You have a great magazine Chuck, it's layout beats anything else I've seen for a boating webzine. Not a bad effort for a one man show. I hope it works out for you in the long run.Cool.
I really like what you've done with the site. I especially like how you've fleshed out the store... There are several things there that I'll be ordering for my next project
Barry Johnson

Thank you for creating Duckworks - kind of a BYOB* virtual messabout that never gets rained out.

*bring your own beer, broil your own burgers, build your own boat.

Chris Stewart

Hey Chuck,
Hear ya'll are going to the Canadian Messabout in Sept. We be go'n too! Get'n all ready but can't decide on which boats to bring. I'll bring will be the Yakette ...haven't decided which of the others to bring like the original Yakoo...da yeller and white one, the Stealth ....that's pretty beat up cause I use it a lot, or the new skinboat. Wife wanted me to take the Featherwind!...the Bay-B-"K". No can do! It's bigger than the Tracker and the Teardrop put together! Finally got the damn rack welded up and mounted. Thing was a pain in the butt! ..not making but mounting and getting half way level. She'll easily carry two of these lightweighters. Had a friend helping and of course he had to put in his 2 cents worth of advise for mounting and made all these damn templates ....he's an engineer! .....gasp and eeeegadddddds! You know how "they" can be! He starts his preaching shit about measurements to the nearest .0000001...zillionth of an inch! Hell ....if it's within a quarter that's good enough and I don't measure that much anyway and good ole PL Premium can do the rest! Can't see dat good anymore. If it's close and works fine! If it don't then make it fit! Then he starts on this binge about finishing and must have visions of granger or something in that neighborhood that I'm building an exquisit and extremely rare work of art that should have the finish of a Baldwin Baby Grand that you can look at and shave or mash bumps if need be! I told him that you could see yourself in my finish if I used high gloss paint and you peer beyond the ripples, gouges and unsanded areas, screw holes, etc.! Then He says, "But they work so well!" So I said, "While you spend another year to two painting your Piraqua....that I built for you 2 years ago that's still hanging in your garage...I will be having a blast and catching a lot of fish,....AND will probably have at least 3 dozen more boats of somekind in the water------______head!" He used to work for the government.....but you probably figured that out already! The result was--- I had to redo everything after he went home----got done about 10 that night! I got a bunch of goddamn holes to fill up in the Tear drop sides! Guess I got some dowel rods around somewhere! He meant well anyway! Bad as I hate it, I will have to do a little sanding and painting to keep the wife from yelling! AND....He'll probably borrow one of my boats for the next decade before he gets his painted or whatever he's going to do to it!

Richard Frye

Thank you for continuing to offer this fine online magazine. It's well worth the subscription price. Keep up the good work...

Gary Blankenship
awsome site.....just wonderin , with all you have free on here what could you possibly ofer with a subscription. I read the FAQ but it wasent very specific . could you tell me what " extras " you offer your subscribers ?


Dear Friends:

This is the best 20.00 that I have ever spent. Thank You;



May I take this opportunity to tell you and Chuck how much I appreciate all you are doing. This site is important to me. I check it almost every day.



So you know, I still like the old format better. Too much searching around for stuff. A ton of stuff on there though. Good job.

too bad you guys have gone off the deep end with the WAS a great site...

St Augustine Florida

The building of a boat its the only frontier activity people can still do, that puts them 'over' a dark water that still has things in it that can eat you.

Lived on the water for a while, fished to eat, that time stayed with me. I grew up on a Ranch in Florida, the 'tree line' was like an ocean, beyond it at night it had a life you had to respect and fear a little when the snakes were out.

I like your magazine, it reminds me of Small Boat Journal. I am an artist and poet who makes a boat to feel my hands, not a professional, just like the rush of the first rides.


your new site is driving me mad. I normally read the projects once a month or so and really enjoy it and now you have gone all subscribe, commercial argh.....and worst of all the free stuff is not obvious compared with the subscriber stuff. change it please


Gee, Chuck, when you send out an order you really send it out. I ordered Michalak's new book yesterday and have already received it!!!  

Thanks for the advice and great site.

Doug Day

I am ordering a copy of Barend Migchelsen, Boat Building With A Difference Dutch Punters [A description of the Dutch Punters and how to build a copy of this ages-old sturdy design for leisure purposes] $11.90 plus p&h.

I've ordered the plans so I can scale them down to build a model since its so pretty and then, eventually, if I can find the courage, the money, the time, the place, the drive, the storage space, the tools, the foolhardiness, the smallest shred of a reason, and a lot of coffee, maybe a full-scale one to sail the Chesapeake.

Jock Yellott


I like the Duckworks' new format. Lots more new stuff more often. I check the site at least once a day, and there's often something new to drool over. That Hot Chili catamaran looks like a load of fun. If I weren't building a Tideway 14, I'd probably try it, even though I'm a monohull sailor.

Keep up the good work.


Maybe you should publicize your guest map more. I stumbled on it in looking for how to get in touch with you, and I hooked up with a guy that's not too far away, who is building a Bolger Wyoming. I've tried unsuccessfully on the bulletin board at the local West Marine, sail clubs to find other plywood murdering epoxy breathers.

Thanks, BP
I received my Duckworks Polo shirts yesterday... Very Nice... The guys at work asked me why I was wearing a shirt that had a duck in a soup bowl on the front... A great laugh was had by all.

Thanks for the great deal, I really do like the shirts. I guess I'll have to order the hat next time...


I've spent many enjoyable hours at your site, and I thank you for all the hard work that you have put in over the years. I regret that you cannot continue and must make the website commercial.
Thanks again and goodbye for good.
Hi Chuck,
I am actually glad you are going to keep the content flowing like it is. I just have a homepage style website and I haven't changed it in forever because of the time involved in doing it. From that experience, I know that you must spend a bunch of time with the all the rotating content that you have. Build it and they will come! I'm hooked, I'll find the $25 and I'm in, but try to realize that some of us "cheap" plywood boat builders (as one person called us), have a hard parting with bucks that could go to supplies. Thanks for doing what you've done for all these years! I hope we can all say this in 10 years from now when you raise the rate to $26.

Hang tough ol' boy,
Rich in Florida

I want to voice (or e-mail) my support for your web changes. I come to your site almost every day and find it inspiring. I will be willing to pay to keep you going and improving.....bring it on!

George Wrigh

So, since we will be paying for it, are there going to be any boobs? :)

I really like the concept that I have read so far. I bet it will generate a lot more content, and provide you with a little income so that you will be able to spend more time producing that content.

Figure I spend $25 a year for maib, and about same for small craft advisor, would be more than willing to spend same on your magazine which is easier to read, has better (more, bigger) pictures, and more content that isn't available anywhere else.

Good job Chuck, way to be bold! Go Gettem !!!!!



I think that your need to fund this great newsletter, magazine, whatever it is, is long overdue and I support it wholeheartedly. Expansion can be a wonderful thing.

Sign me up as a subscriber, even if I do float any of the boats in my "shop" and come through with another article.

Best wishes,

Jim Chamberlin
Hello Chuck, your new DUCKWORKS MAGAZINE seems to be very well and I can accept the price for it. DM helped a lot to overcome the long dark and cold Winter in Northern Germany. Thanks a lot. When I`ve learned to use my new Scanner with XP on my new Computer I hope to send some of my latest Projects.

Delighted to see you're moving into paid subscriptions, must really open the horizons for you. Good work, and do let us know what the tariff will be soon so we can subscribe. You're not too far off the mark in comparing Duckworks to the late and very lamented SBJ (although really you do need to get PCB on board to make the comparison worthwhile, hint hint...). You could always recycle his apparently bottomless inventory of design 'cartoons'.

Best regards,

David Romasco
Never mind about my articles, they were years ago, just let me know how and where to pay!

I enjoy your efforts and it's well worth the cost.

Thanks for a great e-magazine.

Jeff & Julie
Hi Chuck,

I would like to subscribe to the New Duckworks site. Please tell me how to go about sending you the required payment. This will be money very well spent and I am looking forward to the "New" site. I have built several "backyard" boats over the years and wished for a Duckworks" many times over the years to help get over those "expensive trouble spots" that became my learning curve.

I am getting started now on two projects at the same time, a 13' lapstrake canoe from "Ducktrap Woodworking" (It almost seems like I have a thing for ducks), and a Core Sound 17 from "B&B Yacht Designs". The canoe is being built in the house and the CS17 is on the back porch. I plan on getting a digital camera to document the construction of both projects. I have started taking pictures with a disposable camera so I will have to get them scanned to send in. I'll send in a progress report as soon as I have enough done to justify a spot on your site.

Thanks again for a great on line magazine,
Roger Peterson

Hi Chuck,

A tough call I'm sure, but undoubtedly necessary. I've wondered for a while at the effort it takes to create and maintain a website like Duckworks. I certainly couldn't and didn't. Am most grateful that you have and will support your effort as best I can.

a fellow boat nut

Skip J

Hi Chuck
I have always wondered how you financed this mag. I agree that paid access is a good approach especially if we get more good stuff! Could you include more articles on cruising from various authors like you've written in the past. I am starved for such articles because that is what I like to do. I wouldn't mind paying for access even though I contribute once in a while. I check the your site everyday so keep up the good work and I anxiously look forward to meeting you soon!

Steve Bosquette

Dear Chuck,

Many thanks to you and the judges for posing some interesting problems in houseboat design. A big hat tip to all the entrants and particular congrats to Paul and Skip. I hope somebody out there builds them all!

Bob Patterson