April Reports
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By Duckworks Readers - all over the world

January - February - March

In Memoriam..
Dave Farless

We were saddened to hear from Annie Kolls of Scuzbums that our friend Dave Farless had passed on. He wrote in Duckworks about his Cartopper and Birdsmouth masts.

Pat and Dave Farless

Dave's widow, Pat send us this:

Dave was born and raised in Lindsay, California. He was born August 23, 1939, and died October 3, 2005. When he graduated from Lindsay High School, he was awarded a 4-year scholarship to USC. Even with the scholarship, it was a financial struggle to sstay at the university, but he managed the whole four years, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical and Civil Engineering. He later received his master's degree in these fields.

His first intention was to study aeronautics because of his interest in aviation, but when he enrolled at USC, he discovered they had just developed their first course in astronautics, so he signed up for that class as well, and was hooked on spaceflight from then on. After graduation, he wroked for Aero-Jet General for awhile, then went to work at JPL in 1967.

He workded on many unmanned spaceflight projects over the years, with the major project being Topex/Poseidon, in conjunction with the French space program. It was a mission designed to measure the tops of the ocean waves - which is putting it simply because it was a very complex mission.
He had many hobbies and interests. He belonged to the JPL sailing club that had several types of sailboats at Marina Del Rey. He belonged to the JPL ski club, and was a very good skier. He joined the Lake Balboa Yacht Club, where he built and sailed radio-controlled model sailboats. He also was a member of The Pasadena Soaring Society, where he built and flew radio-controlled sailplanes.

After working at JPL for 34 years, he retired and immediately started building a canoe. It took him a year to finish it, but it turned out to be a very beautiful boat. He took a lot of pleasure in paddling on the lake at Hansen Dam, and in the ocean up and down the coast.

He then built the cartopper sailboat, but didn't have the chance to finish it before he died. He never got to sail it.
He was fascinated by steam trains, and thought it would be great to be an engineer on a steam train, but decided that wasn't very realistic at this stage in his life to learn how to be a steam train engineer, so he decided to build a small, working model of a steam engine. He had researched the project, but never got the chance to build it.

He was an extensive reader; fiction as well as non-fiction. He loved a good mystery story, but also read a lot of non-fiction on spaceflight, goats, airplanes, and trains. He was a Civil War buff, and had many many books about that war, and the people who fought it.

He was a master craftsman, and everything he built, including cabinet making, he did with perfection.
He was a true gentle man, and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him."

You can reach Pat at:

Pat Farless
2320 Panorama Drive
La Crescentia CA 91214

You may remember that we were documenting the construction of Jim Ward's Tolman Jumbo in these pages. Lately there have not been so many updates because - First, Jim spent the summer fishing in Canada and Second, Jim took the boat home to Dripping Springs, Texas to complete the project. We stopped by there the other day on the way to visit the grandkids and took this picture:

Jim says wife, Mary is soon to retire and the two of them will take the Tolman up the inside passage for as long as it's fun. Hopefully they will send us some reports from the Pacific Northwest.

South of the Border

My friend, Lee Martin and his lovely wife Katie are vacationing on the Sea of Cortez with their Dovekie. Here are some random reports from south of the border:

The wind is blowing everyday about 18-20 knts. Too much for our little Dovekie since the waves are unusually choppy. We've gone sailing three times this week, but can only stay out 2-3 hours before the wind builds. Yesterday we went in when the waves got to 5' and began to overpower us. We are having second thoughts about doing any distance sailing as this weather is so changeable and threatening. People in the marina have told us the winds are stable later in the spring.

(click images for larger views)
This is Norm Cross's own home built boat. Used to be called CROSSFIRE. It won every major race it ever entered when Norm owned it. Don't know who owns it now-but it still looks fast. It's sitting next to another famous Cross, DEFIANCE, also an old-time race winner. Found them sitting in the marina Seco in San Carlos. That's the dry storage, obviously.
click to enlarge
click to enlarge
An Out Island 41' sank at the dock last night. It sank to the mud. The decks were at least 2' underwater. When we looked at it at 7:45 there were no air bubbles even rising. It's scary to see a boat sink so completely. It must have no floatation whatever. Damn monohulls give boating a bad name. The man had just installed a new diesel and was making sure the hoses were good the evening before it sank. Must have missed one.
The wind is blowing everyday about 18-20 knts. Too much for our little Dovekie since the waves are unusually choppy. We've gone sailing three times this week, but can only stay out 2-3 hours before the wind builds. Yesterday we went in when the waves got to 5' and began to overpower us. We are having second thoughts about doing any distance sailing as this weather is so changeable and threatening. People in the marina have told us the winds are stable later in the spring.
click to enlarge
click to enlarge
Just returned from a 7 day trip to Baja by ferry and bus. Very scenic and unusual. We took a Panga trip to view grey whales-downloaded a pic for you. Pretty impressive. There are still some small towns that are mexico like, but most are south california.

Hej Chuck,

Inspired by Alistair Waseys book review on the book about the viking ship “Roar”, I remembered participating in the naming and maiden voyage of the viking ship “Thor”, this summer, in the small town of Doverodde here at the Limfjord in the north of Denmark. Never before (in newer history) have so many people been gathered in this small town as when this beautiful ship, build by pensioned boat builders and gifted amateurs in the traditional way (this is not stitch and glue!), was put in the water....

Unfortunately their homepage is only in Danish, but contains large amounts of good pictures....see for example:

https://www.lyside.dk/virtur/html/thor-soes.htm for some nice panorama shots of the festivities around the naming and maiden voyage...and:

https://www.neessundvikingeskibslaug.dk/sitemap.html for a few videos and many building pictures (in Gallery 1 thru 15).

Those interested in knowing more, can mail me....

Mvh, Regards, Groeten, Hasta la vista....

Maarten Bijl

Hi Chuck
Happened to come across your website and thought this might be of some interest to your readers. It's a cheap way to mill your own lmber for any wooden project that you may be working on, especially if you need odd-size peices that cannot be pruchased elsewhere.

John Brewer

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If i well understood, you want a photo of me and my boat, Just go on my friend’s site https://www.destination.ca/~mikee/bororo/. I did the site a few years ago with purpose to show the photos to mister Gary Dierking, the man who did a free plan for boat builder interessed in building an outrigger canoë.

I include a picture in this e-mail

Have a good day,


Junk rig for Penguin

I have over the years had a number of enquiries for a Junk rig for the 6.4m trailerable cruiser Penguin. She would normally have a gaff cutter rig but for those who want to cruise in real comfort with as little work as possible the Chinese Junk rig with its self tacking single sail and ease of reefing is a very attractive alternative. I have drawn a complete set of plans that includes the mast step, the mast and battens including the head and foot battens. The rig is one that will give quite reasonable windward performance and will outrun most conventional rigs reaching and running.

There is nothing in this rig that would cause someone who has been able to build their own boat and real problems in building, and the plans are very detailed.

Junk Rig Plans for Penguin. Add NZ$50 , US$40 A$50 Euro E35 or
StgPds 25 singly or to your order for Penguin plans, or the equivalent in your own currency to the country above nearest your own. Prices are freight paid.

John Welsford


a BBC image from Scotland.......Bruce Armstrong

Chicagoland Spring Messabout 2006 - May 6, 2006
(click for more info)

Did you like how I made that sound like we've been doing it for years? Actually, the very first Chicagoland Messabout was last fall. (Read about it here.)

It may seem premature to be jumping in with multiple messabouts each year, but Chicagoland is unique in that regard. First, there are a LOT of people in the greater Chicago area, including plenty of guys doing dangerous things with power tools. We already have 16 messabouters on the list. Second, it is positively a way of life to own a boat either to drag it north for fishing in Wisconsin or to sail the big lake. Third, it's COLD up here and the "sailing itch" gets nearly unbearable through the winter. The messabout provides us an excuse to jump-start our season as early as possible. Finally, it keeps us poor schleps from feeling too terrible that we have to miss Cedar Key and the Duckworks Gulf Coast Messabout, which are coincident with our primary date and "rain date". Of course we try to control our envy of those with sufficient vacation time and gas money to attend these hallowed events. Mostly.

But if those tropical saltwater cruises serve as odysseys for the Northern messabout community, the Chicagoland Messabouts are quite the opposite. It's easy to get to from Wisconsin, and downright convenient from anywhere in Chicagoland. Strictly a one-day event, this messabout is located at Busse Lake, which feels strangely rural even though it's less than a mile from the intersection of I-290 and I-90, and within rifle shot of the Gateway Mall.

Not that I suggest you bring a rifle. In fact, you shouldn't even bring a motor. Gas-powered motors are prohibited and you're not allowed to bring them on the lake at all. But it's OK, because the lake is not that big, so you can't get blown too far afield even in a full gale. And the trees block much of the gusty bluster of spring. Last fall we got very lucky and some rather windy conditions provided spirited, but not overpowering sailing. In such a small lake, one sails back and forth in a small area, annoying fishermen and taking photos of one another's boats. Rather like aquatic camera jousting. Best of all, one gets to ride in other people's boats, which is the learning experience that makes these events so worthwhile.

OK, I'm done pontificating about the wonders of messabouts. For now. But do drop me a line if you plan to come. That way I can let you know if we need to fall back on the "rain date".

Rob Rohde-Szudy
Madison, WI

Life Jacket Design Competition

Here's something that should be of interest to your gang.


Chris Ostlind


We are blowing out select Maptech Digital Chartkits and Compact Chartkits (while supplies last!)

Digital Chartkits

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Our Price: $125
Compact Chartkits

We are also Blowing Out the Maptech Compact Chartkits. They are spiral bound, 12 X 17, include Lat/ Lon Waypoints, and color aerial photos. They are on sale for only $25.00 (regularly $50!!!) These items are no longer on our site, but email me right away and we will ship them out!!

Available regions are: Jacksonville - Miami, Long Island Sound, New Jersey Coast & New York Harbor, Narragansett Bay- Nantucket, Cape Cod Canal- Cape Elziabeth

Our Price: $25.00

Don't forget that these products are NOT on our site, so please email me to order! This promotion is while supplies last, so hurry and get your order in today!!


Kerri Kibbe
phone: 866-624-2787