January - February - March - April - May - June

Letter from Spectre
I have started publishing a maritime review blog. Would you be interested in trading links?
Peter H. Spectre
Duckworks Messabout
Chuck and Sandra,

Thanks for the great Messabout!!!! Supper was great! You even got good weather and GREAT MOSQUITOES!!!

David and I had a BLAST!!!

If you are doing a survey, I would be interested in competing in the Magnolia Beach to Palacious and back race. I would do it in the Pearl (I don't do P'Ducks.).

thanks again,

Tim Webber

I uploaded the pics from this year:

I also have a link to Andrew Linn's page, and Gerard's page with the fully story of his cruise. His story would make a great article at duckworks.

Here is the info page for next year:


Special thanks to Chuck and Shorty for the Messabout and Puddle Duck races!!! And to Wayne for the great directions from LA!! Great to meet everyone. I had a great time and am looking forward to next year.

David Sargent

Honesty and Fallibility
One of the things I like best about Duckworks is that we can write about our mistakes. Certain national boat magazines (you can guess) unabashedly tell authors that they don't want to hear about mistakes. They put it right in what they call "editorial guidelines"!

As far as I'm concerned that's crazy. Part of the learning process is learning from mistakes - both one's own and those of others. This is why we all slow down to see how someone else caused a wreck. Because we're going to try not to do whatever they did! This is a useful instinct, and to deny it is to deny an important part of the learning process.

This is why the writing of designers like Bolger and Michalak is so important - they unflinchingly examine their own mistakes and analyze them for lessons. Better yet, this encourages us all to do the same. I suppose these glossy editors feel that their authors should be "infallible authorities" on the topics they're writing about. But I don't think anybody is infallible, and I'm a lot more inclined to trust someone who can admit it.

By now it probably sounds like I walk around every day with a Duckworks T-shirt, or something. I don't, actually, but I think this is a really big deal. Duckworks seems to me a tiny island of honesty in the middle of an increasingly giant sea of bought-and-paid-for writing. You'll not find the like outside of the prewar issues of The Rudder. That's how rare I think this is.

So hurrah for the internet and kudos to Duckworks for not bothering with phoney editorial guidelines.

--Rob Rohde-Szudy

Questions looking for Answers
Dear Chuck,

I am contemplating buying a 1991 Clippercraft. As you are probably aware, Clippercraft made wooden, lapstrake boats in the traditional fashion, as opposed to the "modern", stich & glue method. If the boat is sound, will applying clear, penetrating epoxy to the inside of the hull help preserve the hull?

As you also doubtless know, dryrot is caused by fresh water penetrating from above. Do you know of anyone who has applied spray-on truck bed liner to the topsides of a wooden boat to prevent water penetration? A few years ago I read an article in Passagemaker Magazine about a fellow who replaced the teak decking on his fiberglass boat with this material because it was less expensive than redecking with teak and it had better non-skid properties.

Any help will be appreciated.

Jim Tarhalla [jbt@tarhalla.com]

My backyard is in Norflok Virginia on Knitting Mill Creek off the Lafayatte River off the Elizabeth River connected to Hampton Roads on Bhesapeake Bay connected to the world.

A group of us have acquired a 1981 25 ft. surf boat with a 6.5 ft beam that needs to be in my backyard. The problem is 6 ft of riprap and an elevation of about 6 ft. I need ideas to build a simple wood railway or ramp to clear the riprap and pull the surfboat into my backyard to remove a ton of barnacles and paint the bottom. The boat will be pulled up the railway by block and tackle or car via a bridle around the boat.

The surf boat will be used to form a gentleman's rowing group for those over 50 and to reinact some period of time and display how large boats were rowed and handled.

Joe Filipowski of "Lafayatte River Boat builders" is the culprit behind this. We have a long friendship based on boats, boat building and partying.

Thanks, Bob Guess, bobguess@cox.net

PS, Photos included: Photo1 - Photo2 - Photo3 - Photo4

Lashed Rudders
I just discovered the James Wharram Cataraman website this week and think its great. The coolest thing on the site was a picture of how they lash on the rudders instead of the traditional gudgeons and pintles.

I check your site everyday. Your doing a great job!

Jonathan Bornman

Boat Graphics
Hi Chuck,

Long time no talk. I was taking a look at the boat graphics available at Duckworks today and was wondering ...do any of those fonts meet the requirements for boat registration lettering? Sure beats sticking on those individual white or black letter/number stickers that you buy at the local marina ...I never get them right! ...or can custom height/font selections be made to accommodate registration numbers?

Brian Dixon
New Origami

Due to popular demand, we have just released plans for the long awaited big sister to Origami, the amazing folding dinghy you can easily build yourself regardless of your boat building experience. The new version, the Origami 8 can carry three people and is the answer to the age old problem of where to put a dinghy on your small cruiser, and perhaps just as importantly, where to put it during the winter, when you're not using it. Because the Origami 8 folds to just a few inches it can be stowed almost anywhere. It's also perfect for camping and fishing trips. It's stable and nice to row. It can even take up to a 3.3 hp outboard motor. Assembling an Origami is childs play and takes just moments. Despite it's light construction the Origami is a very tough dinghy with wood trim that protects the cloth.

Just like the classic 6 foot version, the new Origami 8 is easy to build. The plans contain all the information you will need even if you have never built a boat in your life. There is additional information on all aspects of boatbuilding and finishing. Over 100 photos guide you effortlessly through the building process. Origami plans are unique as there are no cumbersome paper patterns to deal with. If you can use a tape measure, you too can build this dinghy. A wonderful confidence builder, after building an Origami you will have the confidence to take on more ambitious projects.

Plans are now available from Duckworks for a very reasonable $54. They come as PDF file which downloads in moments. The Origami 8, just add water!

Website moved
Hi Chuck,
I've changed host and moved my site. I've added more pic's and put the articles on here as well. It might make it easier to link. https://arinar.bravehost.com
Regards Craig McEwan
Lake Powell Excursion

We have really got summer comin on, was 89 yesterday. Wanted to let you know that we are headed to Bullfrog on June 2nd for 6 day trip downstream. Might try to get to Cathedral in the Desert, but it's 24 miles each way. Plan to do a hike or 2 at water pocket areas. You will see all this in the Powell Messabout posting. You are welcome to post it in your events, coming up pretty soon. Been making modifications to the Van-Gogh. Installed a new, heavier rudder and tiller. Thinking about changing the rear seating to make more space for gear. Also putting on a bigger sail from a Laser, see how that works out at Starvation this weekend with Jim Thayer. Will send some picts of course. Haven't forgotten the Van Gogh article, but would like to get details worked out 1st. Still planning on the Super Brick...but not holding my breath either.

Tom Gale

Tall Ship Celebration

This is something my home town (not living there now, however) has done a few times and might be of interest to Duckworks readers.

It's in Bay City, Michigan. Not too often something like this is so close to many of us in the midwest.



Small Boat Transport


I found your website while searching for information on boats and boat transportation. You have a lot of great information on your site. I especially liked your extensive coverage of information about all the different aspects of owning and building a boat. I work with a site related to boat transport. We offer people a free membership to list anything they need shipped, from household goods to vehicles to freight, and receive bids from thousands of feedback-rated service providers, including movers, carriers, transporters, van lines, freight brokers and independent drivers. Anyway, I thought that your site visitors may find the information about shipping boats for a discounted cost on our site to be of use and wanted to suggest adding us as a resource. Keep up the great work on your site. It is definitely a valuable resource.

Our boat section is located here:


The “eBay of Boat Transport”- uShip's marketplace will
save you up to 80%

Sarah Schmermund
Ship Inc.
Boat Builders Wanted
I need to contact a few amateur boat builders in the Puget Sound area that would like to buy and finish one of my prototype hulls! I have a backlog of boat designs that I want to loft and construct to full size for fit and finish; and to determine the type and location of interior components. I will be happy to give input as to the finishing of these boats. I can be contacted at Redbarnboats@Netscape.net.
Warren Messer
John Welsford and his co-conspirator Charles whipple have dreamed up a classic little cruiser in the SUNDOWNER the thought of which fills me with pleasure, — and envy! I am therefor pleased to order a copy of Johns design book from you, for which please find my check for $10.— enclosed. I’m too old and weak to go, but I can still dream, and eyeing a good design or two helps matters along. And Hooray for Small Craft Advisor.
Good luck in your business.
Richard C. Shepherd
I was just checking thru the latest Reports today on Duckworks and saw the piece about the Swedish guy who wants to come to the US and talk about his adventure in an 18 foot skiff. Maybe I'm too cautious but the verbage and text sounds a lot like one of the scams from Nigeria. I went thru one of these when I was selling my Mark V-39 and last I had heard they had tried to write 21,000 bucks worth of bad checks on a closed account of mine. It didn't work but that's another story. I searched the name of Ove Herlogson on Google and there is a copy of his post to a magazine about him pulling out of this trip. His verbage is very different (more correct) than that in the Duckworks post. The fact that he wants $3,000 by April 30 and includes 2 different email addresses is what caught my attention. "If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...................."(Sorry but I couldn't resist the pun) Maybe he would check out ok but I know these Nigerian scammers are very good. Beware!!

Just thinking out loud here.

Animated Knots

Animated Knots by Grog might be old hat to you and your readers, but I just ran across it and found it to be very helpful. It includes animated instructions for tying all sorts of knots, including many of interest to boaters.

Brett Bullington

Hope you're well. Probably rushed off your feet with everyone just remembering they have a boat!

You'll be pleased to hear that I begun to modify the plans of the Origami to make a longer version (50 cm longer just over 2.4 metres or a tad under 8 feet). I have tipped the stem forward a few degrees which should give the boat a sleeker look and help it to slice the waves. I've upped the freeboard another two inches which should inspire confidence if nothing else. The knee and transom are obviously higher too. I'll have to build a prototype to make sure I've done my sums right and to decide where and how many rowlock mounts are needed and the position of the handles. I might give the option of three handles (it will lighten it and give the option to carry with two people) The centre handle will be balanced.

It's pretty much the same otherwise, except it will have another floor support and another set of hinges. It will of course weigh more, another 35% (i'm guessing) which I'm hoping won't spoil it's portability too much. I'll just have to make one and see how it works!

I've already done the calculations for the panels to be cut out. Just the assembly to go through. What a job! If nothing gets in the way I might have the plans completed in a few weeks. After that an Optimist rigged sailing version with a centreboard! I'm looking forward to playing in that, should be quite a performance dinghy. Wonder if it will plane downwind? I'll keep you informed.

Best regards

Benjy (designer of the Origami Dinghy)
Love Letters
Chuck - LOVE your site it is the best ....... building three boats now and owe Home Depot a fortune because of your site hahahaha
Thanks again
I recently ordered a quarter turn deck plate from your company. The deck plate was extremely reasonably priced. I received it much sooner than I expected, and the quality was as advertised. I hope to have the opportunity to do business with you again, and will recommend your company to friends.

Thank you.
Bruce Haskell
Thought you'd like to see this LINK
Well deserved I think.
Charlie Jones
Boat Movies
Hi Chuck --

The following tidbit in David Nichols' manuscript (David has a new book on classic sailing rigs coming out soon- Chuck) got me thinking that maybe Duckworks could sponsor a collective effort to compile a list of "Best Boat Movies" -- films that one way or another feature boats in a special way. . . .

"For many sailors the Gaff sail is the quintessential traditional sail. It is the sail they've seen on Cat Boats, schooners and working craft from the turn of the 19th century. It even appears in films like Captains Courageous, where all the fishing schooners were Gaff rigged. In fact the footage shot on the Grand Banks for this 1937 film classic is some of the last and best footage of the New England fishing fleet. Shots of those magnificent ships charging through the sea under full press of sail, decks awash, is part of what makes that film the wonderful classic it is. "

Hope all is well with you.

All best,

Contest Judges
Wow, Chuck. Got yourself some famous writers judging contests! I loved Marlin Bree's books about sailing Lake Superior. --Rob
Links Wanted

My name is David Holland and I'm hoping to link to your site. I've recently started a home-based business printing custom capacity plates for amateur boat builders. The labels are top quality and have been thoroughly tested. There is no minimum quantity for orders and, of course, no maximum quantity. Labels are just $5 each and are available in two styles with more to come.

Let me know if we can trade links! My father turned me on to your site and after poking around, I think our audience is the same group of enthusiasts. I'm at:


David Holland

Hello Chuck,
Having just recently discovered and placed an order with you folks I am inquiring as to the possibility of being added to your list of links.

business name is: Stoney Creek Wooden Boat Shop brief description: small wooden boats for rowing and sailing, contemporary methods, traditional in design & detail, available for custom work and commissions web site is: www.stoneycreekboatshop.com

Thanks for the consideration,
John Van Slembrouck
Hello Chuck!

Im working with Logosol-links on the web. Logosol is a swedish company, but we have sales companies all over the world. Today we are producing most of their webpages, and taking care of their marketing.

In the latest issue of Fresh Cut, our own sawmill and planer magazine, we had a story about the Logosol sawmill and a big boat-project, the East Indiaman Götheborg. You can follow our report onboard (that soon will be updated!):

I read this ARTICLE in Duckworks and thought that maybe our US company could fit into your link-collection:

A sawmill for boat builders
Logosol M7 is the ultimate portable sawmill, based on 15 years of experience. With the M7 sawmill you can saw a tree on site at a woodland plot and choose an optimum size for your boards. Order free video and catalouges!

Best Regards
Sara Boström
Logosol Webmaster

Everglades Challenge

Hi Sandra --

Thanks for relaying the excellent dispatches from Chuck in Florida. That was just what this snowbound, cabin-fevered sailor needed to read.

Garth Battista
Congratulations on completing the EC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've been following your adventure as best I could on the Watertribe site and Duckworks. Can't wait to read your account of the experience. Sounds like you had a lot to deal with on different days, but you made it. I'll be interested to hear how the boat performed.

Anyway, congratulations from Nancy and I on completing the race. It was great fun to see you off, and we hope you got a great reception at Key Largo

Well done!

Bill Paxton

Happy to see you folks finished, but I have to tell you that you presented with quite a dilemma. That is who to cheer for. I have been doing business with Dockworks for years, and even got to meet you and Sandra at Cedar key last year. Graham Byrnes is another individual that I have been bumping into over the years, and I felt that he should have won last year. If you recall, he waited for daylight to enter one checkpoint (Flamingo?) rather than risk life and boat entering in the dark. Having local knowledge and a big GPS chart plotter, Norseboat entered in the dark and went on to victory. Then we have Matt, ran into him at CK last year and have admired his boats for years. Finally we have dooobird (is that enough o's?) who is a local guy.

As it turned out, you all ran separate races. Graham got his first and a course record. You guys finished in fine style and achieved your mission to finish. Matt was the first single boat and unless something happens, will be first in the Florida Challenge. That only leaves dooobird who finished in the middle of the pack in class 1. Not too shabby for a folding kayak! If he finishes the Florida Challenge, he will have bragging rights for life.


I admit I'm envious of Chuck, he has to be having a great time.


Hi Chuck - I really loved the report of your triumph in the Everglades Challenge. Congratulations, I really want to have a go at that one day.

Co-incidentally, the same day the report went on the web, a report of a totally different kind of Everglades expedition was posted on Dave Barry's website.
Gary doesn't mention mosquitos at all, and you obviously didn't have aircon, so how did you manage to survive? It's an attitude problem, I guess.

Incidentally, I stayed at the amazing Rod and Gun Club in Everglades City once and was told that the reason nobody was around was that the city's entire male population was in jail for drugs smuggling....

All best,
Chris Partridge

Savannah to Charleston: A Classic Boat Rally

Dear Chuck

In April 2005 I sailed my Herreshoff 12.5 from Savannah to Charleston in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). It took five days plus a lay day in Beaufort. It was totally beautiful.

As word got around about this adventure, others asked to join in a repeat trip. The repeat trip is going to be April 28 to May 3 this year, and all the participating boats are classic designs or recent production ranging in size from 14 feet (a Melonseed Skiff) to 22 feet (a Marshall Cat). We'll have two H-12s and a Cape Dory Typhoon (19 feet). A Hinkley 29R runabout will be escorting us part way.

Enthusiasm about our upcoming adventure has grown. The Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club has designated Sunday, April 30, as "Classic Boat Day", inviting the public to come see this little fleet of classics. These kinds of boats are fairly rare on the southeast coast, unlike in New England where they are common. We hope to stimulate more interest down here in sailing classic boats.

Maybe some of your subscribers will want to join us this year or begin to make plans to come next year. I think this would be a great way for New Englanders to get a head start on the season, enjoy some of the traditions of the Old South, and participate in an adventure with their boats that would be fun and memorable.

Click HERE for a description of the upcoming event.


Sam ("Woody") Norwood
Atlanta 404-352-9536

I took the Rifleman out this weekend to test out the new speed sensor and new larger battery. The lake was very calm, almost no wind, which is rare for Lake Conroe. We had three 175+ people in the boat and the sensor claimed that we went 40 mph. I will be curious to test it out along side the gps.

We drove around pretty steadily for about 3 hour and burned somewhere between 4 and 5 gallons of gas. I was pretty happy about that.

Bonham Leinweber

A shipment that got delayed

The enclosed emails relate to some foot braces I ordered, then Katrina, you resent to my evacuation address in MI. Now I am back in New Orleans and back at work, the original order just got delivered the other day. I guess it was in some US mail warehouse... The box is in good shape and the foot braces are also OK. Our mail from August and fall is slowly tricking in.

So, I am sending this back because we do not need two and I only paid for one.

Thanks for the service on this whole thing,

Tom Wiese

Percy Blandford Article

I'm having some correspondence with a chap interested in Blandford's Hornblower and he discovered this article, thought you and yours might be interested.

Al Wasey

No more Honeydews, Please


I enjoy your magazine very much, but personally I do not want to read about honeydews. The article was "Thinking Outside the Box" by Ron Magen. It may be fine in its own way but I would prefer the content to be restricted to subjects directly connected to small boats.

Regards, Clive Bennett.

First Sail in 6 Months

Hi, Chuck

I finally got out for a sail, the first since I retired (nearly 3 weeks ago.) I'd not been out in my boat for over 6 months and that is too long.

Here is the LINK

It is late and I may have messed up or mis-spelled some things.
If so... e-mail me and I will fix it.

Gerard Mittelstaedt mitt@hiline.net
McAllen, Texas

Small Craft Advisor, Mar-April issue has a nice article about the SkiffAmerica 20 on page 50 and 51.

Four very nice photos are presented. The largest is the great photo by Robert Cope of his SkiffAmerica on a scenic sand bar on the Mississippi River. There is a nice photo of Bill Dulin in his SA20 on the river in front of the St. Louis Arch. Glen Myric's boat with full aft cockpit curtains is shown cruising Guntersville Lake, Tennessee River (the trip had Bill, Glen and Kilburn aboard their boats) Then a photo of Robert Cope's and my SkiffAmerica enjoying a stop on a local sandbar.

Thanks to Robert and Bill for sharing photos and to Glen for arranging our cruise on the Tennessee.

Bill has returned from his 6th consecutive winter trip to the Florida Keys and as usual he had a great time. To hear him tell it, just gets better every year. He just e-mailed me a few of the photos and sure enough it does look like a good time.

Won't be long before the weather will be better for boating in our area. I think Robert has been out on the river through most of the winter in his. Hooray for Global Warming!!


Adventure Around the World


My name is David Holland and I'm hoping to link to your site. I've recently started a home-based business printing custom capacity plates for amateur boat builders. The labels are top quality and have been thoroughly tested. There is no minimum quantity for orders and, of course, no maximum quantity. Labels are just $5 each and are available in two styles with more to come.

Let me know if we can trade links! My father turned me on to your site and after poking around, I think our audience is the same group of enthusiasts. I'm at:


David Holland

PDRacer World Championship

We are having our 3rd annual PD World Championship during the Duckworks Messabout at Magnolia Beach TX on May 13, 2006.
For more info, see:

David "Shorty" Routh

inquiry about electric trolling motors
Hi Chuck,

I am starting to plan a boat to use for a long river and canal trip. It will be a modified sharpie, about 16' loa with a 4' beam. Loaded for cruising, with me, gear, food etc, I would imagine it would come in around 400 lbs. I am planning a smallish and easily foldable sail rig, to use in combination with a sculling oar. I would also like some sort of power, but would rather not put up with the noise and other hassles of an outboard.

I was hoping folks out there in Duckworks Land could give me some ideas and input on electric trolling motors. I don't plan on running the thing all the time, and on the rivers and canals, I think I could charge the batteries every day or two. So I was wondering how much power I would need to push the boat say 2-3 knots, what kind of battery pack I would need to get something like 8-10 hours at that speed, and generally if the whole kit would end up being too heavy to be practical given that I would mostly like to skull and sail. It may well be that I will just have to bite the bullet and find a used outboard in the 2-3 hp range.


Brian Anderson

Heres a good idea

Actually, credit should be given where credit is due. My friend Doug was going cruising on his own in a little Bolger inspired leeboard cat yawl. It has a nice wee cabin and more than enough space to be comfortable so he was packing up to head off and wondering where he could hang a kerosene lamp for an anchor light. Where he was going to be cruising has plenty of traffic at this time of year, and an anchor light in the remote anchorages is good insurance. But Jemima Puddleduck has no electrical system, and Doug's cheap hurricane lamp is not that reliable plus its another fuel to carry.

Along comes wife Gaye, thinking it was too late to increase his life insurance, offers up the suggestion that he put one of those little solar powered garden lamps on the masthead! Bingo, no wiring, turns itself on at night and off in the morning, self charging even on cloudy days, four LEDs in this one makes it plenty bright, and its both light in weight and cheap! Perfect!

Out of the mouths of babes and innocents indeed.

Now why did I not think of that?

John Welsford,

Boat Graphics

A while back, you ran an article on some pre-cut graphics/transfers for boat names, etc. I can’t seem to find the article? I thought I remembered that you were going to stock them, but maybe it was just an article with a supplier referenced.

Can you point me there?

David Arnold

(David: the article "Applying Graphics to Trixie B" Appeared in our "How To" section and the catalog page is cleverly hidden under "Media" in our catalog. - Chuck)

Problems with Classified Ads
Hey Chuck,

Thanks for letting me advertise on your site but I must ask you to remove the ad. I just can't take all the scam emails anymore. I get about one a week that wants me to ship the boat to the British isles or India or Madagascar or somewhere. I'll just advertise locally instead.

thanks again for providing a great place for us boat builder types,
Russell Livingston

Thank you
Hello mister and madam Leinweber

I red the history on your site <about duckworks> and i admire people like you with good philosophy and love for amateur boat builders, thank you very much.

Guy Rinfret

Plans for Wil's Boat
Hi Chuck!

I'm interested in the skiff Mr. Hicks built for little Will, and especially interested in the full-size version he designed. Is there any way I could contact Mr. Hicks regarding plans for these skiffs? Did I miss a listed e-mail somewhere in the article? Can you help me contact the man somehow? I'd sure like to build the full-size version for bay fishing at the coast. Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks for your help, either way.
Mike Kimball

(Mike: Here is what Jack says: "Alas, no plans exist. I loft the boats full size-a most pleasant undertaking that I'm sorry more builders don"t enjoy." - Chuck)

But is it Art?
Chuck - A British artist has developed a self-sailing boat. No, I don't know what the point was either but the boat looks very nice and the computer system for sailing her was developed by scientists at Southampton University so it must be top stuff.
The "art project" is fully described here and the techie bits are here.
Personally, I feel that building a boat and then getting a computer to sail her is a bit like making lobster thermidor and watching the cat eat it but what do I know?

All best,
Chris Partridge

Pitch for Link

My name is David Holland and I'm hoping to link to your site. I've recently started a home-based business printing custom capacity plates for amateur boat builders. The labels are top quality and have been thoroughly tested. There is no minimum quantity for orders and, of course, no maximum quantity. Labels are just $5 each and are available in two styles with more to come.

My father turned me on to your site and after poking around, I think our audience is the same group of enthusiasts. I'm at:


David Holland

Sandra's Article in MAIB

Sandra Leinweber,
It has been brought to our attention (the committee for pure thought) that you have commited TO PRINT certain ideas that are contrary to the present position of the COMMITTEE. We wish to call your attention to a recent article that appears under YOUR by-line in "Messing About in Boats" the Bible for Messers.

I direct your attention to, Volume 23 number 17, January 15, 2006 issue, Page 12, Paragraph 5:

"Last but not least, Jim Thayer, he of Kokopelli fame. And speaking of fame, when Chuck started Duckworks I would hear these names, Jim Michalak, John Welsford, Jim Thayer, and others, spoken with reverence, as if these men were gods. I am a cynic about such things and guess what (no surprise to me), they are not gods, just some of the nicest people you could hope to meet."

Oh How Quickly we forget the hard lessons taught by the "inquisition", be aware that we are monitoring your activities with great interest The Committee for Purity of Thought.
Bob Archibald - Head Inquisitor

Kayak Foot Braces
Received the kayak foot braces Thursday of last week while I was away at an instructor udpate course. I installed them this morning in my Mainstream Patriot to replace the original equipment ones. I like the way the adjustment works on yours way better and I love the bigger foot rest. The second pair was for the Mainstream Riptide I just bought for my wife, that did not have foot braces. Now we can both use her boat without problems, as I am 5'9"+ or - and she is 5'0- on her tallest days.

Charlie R

Hi Sandra . . . Chuck,

Just wanted to let you know that I was STUNNED when I received my order yesterday. I had only ordered the foot braces a couple of days ago, and fully expected to wait a week or more. I've already installed the kayak foot braces in my little Pelican Pursuit kayak and am heading out in a few minutes to try them out.

The turnaround time on orders is nothing short of phenomenal.

Many thanks,

Chris Rowan

Chuck and Sandra,

I just want to thank you for this wonderful virtual magazine and store. I find myself returning to its fascinating pages over and over. It really is a one of a kind in the world. It’s a fantasyland for boat builders and messers. How you keep up the broad array of interesting coverage is beyond me. It is a wonderful work of art, story and pictures, always changing and loaded with stimulating stuff for my vivid and restless imagination. Again, thanks for such a fine publication.

Larry Whited


Thanks for adding the section on 'Other Articles' to the published articles. Really makes it easy for lazy interneter's to read other write ups.


Sam Ausmus III

Mitchell Yachts
Chuck ,

as an avid reader can I just say how much better the Site now looks -

As a small contribution can I suggest that you might like to include an interesting UK built/designed trailer sailer in your index and that it may also be worth including it in an article.

This little 15 footer has an innovative swing keel design and seems to be offer high performance in a potentially homebuilt package.

The link is - www.mitchellyachts.co.uk

Best Regards

David C, UK

Contributors Previous Writings
Hi Chuck!

I like your idea of posting the links to contributors previous writings at the foot of the articles.


Sold a sail
Chuck: I sold the pram sail.. Thanks; a Regular reader of the Newsletter found it in your classified section.
It's strange, he lives 40 miles from me but I have never seen him before. We found out his Father and my Son in laws Grand Father Worked in Nashville togather in the 60's and early 70's. One was Pete Drake the Steel Guitar player who produced the Beatles and Dillon along with most of the Grand old opry stars. Pete was My Son in law's Grandfather.. I also Spent time with him when I was a Teen ager - Jerry Smith.. he played on most of the big hits as a Studio Piano picker.. Then We found his father and Pete shared an office on 18th Ave.
Now aint that weird.. He also was in need of some teak and I Just happned to have a Box full in my storage Closet. So there you go ..
The Duck has Quacked again then if all that was not enough he saw a package I got From Lynn and Larry pardey yesterday with a little note on it and said "My Father Knows them and has sailed around the world in a Falmoth 22". Go Figure what is the ods of this all coming together. Then he said his kid is a Freshman at MTSU working on his Aerotech Degree and we each Know the teacher!
WOW my World is Getting TOOOOO small.

Capt Ron
Free Charts
Chuck good morning,

Click www.freeboatingcharts.com and follow their easy instructions. I got there from Matech and they have all kinds of free topo, nautical, that are handy but not downloadable. As I recall you down load a free program and then download the individual charts. I found that figuring out which charts are the trick but don't hesitate to download anything, its free. The program manipulation of the charts takes some learning.
You can link two charts together. You can draw and then drag routes around and it can give you mileage of each leg of a course or route. I do not learn these things very quickly and have never uses a mapping device. My understanding is that all you have to do is hook a GPS device to your computer (just an antenna or a gps unit) and then have everything. I found that after downloading a lot of FL. charts it downloaded a chart of the Gulf and the World. The Gulf chart is very handy because it shows you the charts you have downloaded on the map.
You can draw routes on the Gulf map and it will show on the smaller maps and you can manipulate them there.

Tell me how it works for you.

Q&D Software Review
FREE!Ship. This software, aside from being FREE, is the up and coming software for MODELING anything and everything nautical. Though still in the development stage, FREE!Ship (hereafter called Freeship) is capable of much more than simple hull development. Everything exterior is doable in Freeship. Hulls, keels, foils, cabins, masts and sails are now or will be available soon to design in Freeship. Martjin Van Egeland is delveloping and adding features on a constant basis, almost as soon as folks like us ask for it! The Home site for FREE!Ship is https://freeship.org/ and the site for tutorials (to read and to post) is https://groups.yahoo.com/group/Freeship_HTandT_Group/  This is a new group and still growing so please be patient, as I know you will with the software as it develops. 
Steve Lewis
Moderator Freeship HTandT_Group (How To and Tutorial)
Sure Mike
I see you are placing Farmer's plans on the market. I had a quick
I was looking at one of Farmer's designs that you don't have up yet.
It is a 18' cruising hydroplane called Sure Mike. I see you have the Sure Mike II plans available. Do you know what happened to the original SureMike? Was it successful or not? Do you know someone who might remember?

I do know from his writing that the little cruiser was based on his
popular Mayfay with the bottom design of a contemporary successful hydro grafted on. He mentions in his writing that to date that was the most engineered boat he had done. I'm a fan of his work and wanted to hear if the design was a success. Anyway, the boat was 500 pounds dry with a single step and a low cabin. The intent was to easily reach 30mph with two men and duffle sacks aboard. Also she was to trim at 3 or 4 degrees on plane with the boot stripe level with the water.

ps-I thought that the lack of plans for this very interesting little
cruiser may indicate a lack of plans or a design that did not live up to the designer's expectations.

Thanks, any information would be appreciated. I can be reached at: rljssn@yahoo.com - Russell Livingston
Hello Chuck,

I've been having a great week. In addition to the dozen notes posted I've had a couple more direct replies and have swapped e-notes with 3 - 4 others on designs, issues .. all from DW links and including Paul Fisher of Selway/Fisher. I'm getting lots of help, and appreciate it.

I use the Foxfire browser and I've had 8 designs loaded in tabs (again all from DW links) and have downloaded, scaled and measured each for comparison. Had done much of this previously and doing it again still has me leaning towards DIY, although I've been tempted by the Stevenson Pocket Cruiser, Nancy's China & Sweet Pea. When I have done some more reading and study I'll redraw it.

Here are the "learning's" so far:

“Wanderer” design revisions - 1/10/06

1 - Have ordered books by Teal, Michalak & Welsford. Considering ordering plans for Fatcat2 & Nancy’s China. (Laslo, et al)

2 - Increase beam to 6’6” or 6’9” .. make the bottom 3’ wide at max. Maintain double chine melding to single @ bow. Will increase stability and support more weight in the cockpit. Consider centering the swing keel. (Scott Widmeir, et al)

3 - Lower sides 3” and therefore height to roof to 48”. Shorten cabin 1’. Gives less windage. Increase slope forward, sideward a bit. (With this height of rig ok - Paul Fisher)

4 - Lengthen cockpit, shorten cabin by 1’. Gets crew weight more forward; bunk length compensated for by width. Maybe slope rear cabin bulkhead for aesthetics. (Welsford, Atkin)

5 - Lower height of cabin seats to 12” from floor (13” w/ compressed 2” cushions. Add handles to assist standing up

6 - Give the sheer line some curve up 3” at either end; increase rocker a bit. For better water entry and aesthetics. (Atkin)

7 - Check the center of power/center of resistance carefully and move keel accordingly. (Atkin)

8 - Widen roof hatch to 2’6”. Primary use will be daysailing with folks sitting in the cabin. Keeps weight amidships & make access forward easy. W/ large windows great place to sail. Safe & fun for kids (Widmeir)

9 - Consider 200# lead shot ($80) on either side of the cabin seats instead of a steel swing keel.

10 - Make bottom ½”, first chine 3/8”, sides ¼” w/ stringers, cabin 3/8. Probably use AB ply, maybe mdo. Hull exterior glassed.

11 - Duckworks can help! And is great fun!! Thanks for everything.

Bob Throne

Boatbuilders Co-op
My friends at Duckworks Magazine,

I just wanted to let everyone know that I started a group on yahoo for the International Boat Builders Co-oP Forum. Because of the overwhelming emails I am receiving about my article I wanted everyone to know what has been discussed and whats new is going on. When you get the amount of emails I have it is too hard to answer everyone and with a forum everyone can read each question and read the answers so I am not covering the same territory with each new question. I found out that if the Co-op is non profit the dues and the time you spend doing work for the co-op can be deducted from your taxes ( at least here in Oregon, check your local state laws). It is a way to get all of our building products for much less and to insure that people will be building boats in 2090 in even more numbers than we have now. So lets get together and give ourselves and our children a real legacy in boat building. We need everyone who likes building boats, so what if it is only your hobby spend just a little more time and make your hobby less expensive and lay claim to something that will last. So please come and just look. You will not be on any mailing list and you can just drop by and not get email updates if you prefer.

See you there,

John Cupp

Christmas Poetry
The following was sent to me by a boating friend. I thought I'd share. - Lew Clayman


T'was the night before Christmas, I swung on the hook
With snowflakes a'landing, asleep with my book
When up on the deck I heard footsteps and stuff
"I've been boarded!" I thought, and I tried to be tough

Then down the companionway hatch came a dude
He was dressed like a nut and I thought, "I'm so screwed"
But he laughed and he hummed as he surveyed my junk
So I figured he must be the resident drunk

His eyes were lit up like a junkie on speed
But he gave me a whole bunch of stuff that I need
Like rum and cigars and new charts and a dinghy
And some kind of fancy electrical thingy

I knew it was stolen but I wasn't telling
I just hoped he was giving and wasn't just selling
And I poured him a grog which he downed with a wink
Then I poured one for me (Lord I needed a drink!)

Then he staggered above to the dark snowy night
As I peeked I beheld an incredible sight
Eight tiny dolphins and a beautiful sleigh
And the dude hopped aboard and prepared to make way

The dolphins were ready to power the sled
But the guy raised a genny and mains'l instead
With a burp and a chuckle he gathered the breeze
And called to the dolphins, now swimming with ease

"Hey Stalker and FEMA and Cancer and Nixon!
Or Stinky and Pepper Spray, Mason, and Dixon!
Or whatever your names are, you cute little fishes,
Here's to every last sailor, my best Christmas wishes!"

As he sailed away leaving a wobbly wake
I hoped he had not many stops left to make
He got close to shore and he soon was aground
But the dolphins proceeded to pull him around

And I heard him exclaim as he sailed out of sight
Happy Christmas to all... and to all a goodnight"

Love Letters
Hi Chuck,
Your site looks really spiffy with the revamping.
Will - Omaha
Dear Chuck, What you and your wife are doing is extraordinary. My buddy, Bob Guess, subscribed to your site a couple of years ago and spoke highly of the info found therein. Being temporarily 'broke' I did not visit the site, however I enjoyed the info that Bobby printed and brought to our Monday and Wednesday night boatbuilding projects at my shop. I am currently working at the 'Mariner's Museum' in Newport News and hot-linked to your site from an Ian Oughtred 'Ness Yawl' site. I read your account of growth from the '99 foundation. Fantastic! Great stuff! Keep up the good work! All the best, Joe Filipowski, The Carpenter's Workshop, Inc. Norfolk, Virginia

Just posted a (bit long) note on Steve Bosquette's report and really should have done this first. Many thanks for a wonderful site ! And all the practical and supportive material it includes ! As I noted:
Learned to sail on a Sunflower in 74' at Northern Lake George (Hague - Trout House) & bought a Wildflower 6 weeks later. After more than 2 decades of happy outings the foam/fiber hull accumulated too much moisture & mould so trashed it 6 years ago. A visit to Trout House in Sept. has me designing a 15' pocket cruiser, borrowing generously from the splendid designs here at Duckworks.

I might have added that while I'm hardly an expert I have sailed several other designs over the years, from Sunfish & Laser & HobieCat to a 32' Ketch. And I'll be using the still serviceable mast, boom & sails from the Wildflower - 100 sq. ft sloop, maybe the rudder too. Will probably make a larger jib/genoa w/ polytarp from Dave Gray. The hull will be pretty close to Jim Michalaks 'FatCatz' on the water (a bit more shallow rocker), with an offset swing keel hinged just below the waterline. A strong elec. for sailing w/ a 5 - 10 hp outboard for quiet days & motor cruising.

I'm 64 w/ two artificial hips so I need a place to sit properly for lots of daysailing w/ friends & grandchildren on eastern PA lakes, & I want to be able spend a couple of nights (for two) exploring Adirondack lakes, the upper Chesapeake, etc. Will be unballasted but that keel will probably be 100 lbs. + steel to steady her up. Will build on a strongback bottom up w/ bulkheads/frames tacked/taped/epoxies. - glassed exterior. Still deciding on grade & size of ply to use - probably 3/8 on bottom & 1st chine & cabin, 1/4 sides.

So many helpful sites on the web ! Especially yours. Will probably make a furler ala Jim Nabors, a potty ala Rob Rhode-Szudy, ports ala Paul Butler. Short notes to Dave Gray & Gavin Atkin have already brought prompt & helpful replies! This won't surprise you, I imagine, but in an imperfect world it is heartening ! A retired Unitarian-Universalist minister, cost is a critical issue, but I'll try to buy most of my supplies from your connections to support all this.

Again - THANKS. And Happy New Year to you & yours.

Bob Throne
Dear Chuck,

I thought I should tell you thanks, and a very sincere one at that. I was getting my butt kicked building a Puddle Duck of all things. A bit of background first, perhaps should be in order. I am 64 years young, and I am an industrial electrician. I have fabricated in metal for many years and have always considered myself a Craftsman. I do it right. That is what I do. So when the easiest boat to build was kicking my butt, I got very discouraged. I was ready to send it to the scrap pile, when I came across your article on building a Puddle Duck, and how easy you found it to be. I realized then I had blown it out of proportion in my sense of frustration. I finished the PD, and am starting a second one. here in North Eastern Nevada, Gold Country of America,there aren't many sailors, nor builders of boats. Maybe we can change that. Anyway thank you again.

Bob Alston
John Welsford's Column on Seaworthyness
Hello, What a nice subject! It is of course all 'Horses for Courses', in a past disscusion with yacht designer Bob Perry he mentioned that in Seattle, USA, where he lives the average summer breeze is between 8 to 13 knots? We live in Cape Town, its a little stronger than that here. Sitting in the Cockpit of our yacht yesterday evening having a beer we noted 33.3 knots on the Wind Speed Indicator...... a bit on the breezy side but its not abnormal to see double that here. So boats built in Cape Town tend to reflect that we need to have strong Rigs and they do, no local boat is likley to loose her rig in any gale we will see but it was not always like that. About 30 years back a new design by the late Berkermyer was a 30 ft yacht called a Muira, its got a fat belly,a wide transom,short boom and hardely ever needs a third reef? its a perfect boat for our conditions and some 400 at least were built. The first 10 built all had Mast and Spars inported from England and made by Proctor, this being prior to a supply of locally designed and manufacured Masts and Spars. Over the period that followed, one by one each and every Rig fell down! Johns correct mention that vessels that are built in England, Sweden and France will probably work in each others countries, they will have similar storm conditions? but send those same boats down here and they are likely to loose their Rigs in the end....... This was really underlined when Hurricane HUGO struck Saint Maarten some years back, Simpson Lagoon was packed with boats trying to ride out was was in the end a 200 mph storm...... the aftermath was most of the boats on the beach or road. A friends Shearwater 39, Slithermoon, now called Ithaca and owned by the ex 'Cruising World' editor Bernadete Bernon and her husband Douglas, was one such yacht. it was tied to a 2 ton storm block with three anchors well set. The entire mass, Yacht, 2 ton block and chain, three Anchors went ashore! but the mast stayed firm, when mentioning this to a friend (the late Rob Johnson) who lived through that storm and eyeing a picture of all the yachts lying on their sides, I mentioned a lot of boats kept their rigs up. My friend Rob replied 'Yes, they are all the South African Yachts!" so its clear to see we need to have specific yachts for specic areas and I am very pleased to read that John Wesford does not like to drown his clients! regards Roy Mc Bride @ www.ckdboats.com Cape Town,South Africa

Lookin at the guy in the picture of the foilkayak, tells me that "I" don't have a chance of gettin one up on the foils.....!!!!!!!!........ do you have to be a gorilla to use one ??

Bill Tosh


Take a look at the muscles in the motor, don't think the human foil
powered stuff is for us mere mortals but it is fun.


Mitchell Yachts

Chuck ,

as an avid reader (but not subscriber !) can I just say how much better the Site now looks -

As a small contribution can I suggest that you might like to include an interesting UK built/designed trailer sailer in your index and that it may also be worth including it in an article.

This little 15 footer has an innovative swing keel design and seems to be offer high performance in a potentially homebuilt package.

The link is - www.mitchellyachts.co.uk

Best Regards

David C, UK

There was a brief mention of the Mitchell Explorer in Gavin Atkin's article on the Beale Park Boat Show - it's about a third of the way down the page.