January - February/March - April - May - June - July
August - September - October - November - December

Gary's 2008 EC Report

The very best account, ever, for a participant in the EC. He gives the pertinent information that allows one to understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. Of course he waxes poetic at times with sunsets and idyllic beaches. Absolutely great!

John Wright
Bastrop, Texas

Really well done, thats the sort of magazine article that just cant be done any other way, and really good reading and viewing.

Congratulations to the authors and to Duckworksmagazine

John Welsford
Hamilton, New Zealand

RE: Repairs on Old Outboards

For the guy who wrote that letter last month, you could recommend that he can get it all in one place in Max's book!

I think it is well worth the price to have Max's book, Cheap Outboards. It puts all those articles (as well as info from OMC) in one place and in logical order to walk you though turning an old beater motor into reliable power. I know the material pretty well by now, but it is STILL have the book out whenever I rebuild an ignition or carb. It sits politely on the the shop table, keeping me from missing a step. The computer falls a little short there.

Rob Rohde-Szudy
Madison, Wisconsin

Where is the Vagabond?

I am quite interested in trailerable sailboats, that can be pulled by a four cylinder car, and have a cabin.
So, I am interested in the Hartley 16, the Minuet 15, the Kingston 15, the Sweet Pea 17.
But, you don't seem to have the Vagabond 18 (by Bateau) on your website.
I am a bit skeptical of all these boats in terms of their captivity ratio, free-bailing and unsinkability aspects.  I certainly wish, that I could obtain a comparative, expert review on the safety of the above boats.  I may have to do this myself, but maybe you can provide some helpful guidelines.
Thanks very much and best regards,
Dick Ward

Dick: I'm sorry we don't have more info here, we do our best. It seems to me that you will never have unbiased comparasion of these boats since there are not enough of them out there. Generally, anyone who builds one will think it is the best boat in the world, and why not? - he has made a huge investment. For more information, let Google be your friend. - Chuck

Duckworks is Great, but...

Chuck, Someone's been messing with this page:

-=Grant MacLaren=-

Good morning Chuck.

I have a couple things I would like to let you know.

1. I gave a talk at t local civic club about building our Micro Trawler and Pram. One to the members was really excited about the whole idea, and it was so nice to give him the Duckworks web site. He can find plans, get answers to questions, purchase materials, and find out all kinds of information. Thanks for keeping this site and the information available for us to use.

2. I was bored at work, and was looking at the site, I went to Google, typed in Duckworks and clicked on the Plan Index. I then choose the Work and Utility Boat plan link. I was surprised to find a page of links on the bottom of the plans that do not seem to be the sort of thing that Duckworks is all about. I did not know if you knew about them or not.

Thanks again for a GREAT site.

Stephen Collins
Duluth, Minnesota

Stephen: Yes, we got hacked a while back and we are trying to find all the corrupted pages and fix them. Thanks for reporting this one - if you find any others, please let me know - Chuck


Can't believe you wrote this. :)

Long time boat builder, designer and DIY writer Paul Butler has come up with a nifty little drift boat for up to three guys. It is designed for the home builder that can even be cartopped.

So now you're cartopping home builders, eh?

Charlie Whipple
aboard Resolution - currently docked in New Zealand

Re: Sad News


This is a follow up on Tom's letter about Jack Hicks. In an attempt to work though a loss of a great friend and Mentor, I have made a page on Wikipedia for Jack. I have only included those things of which I know, and I encourage those in the boat world to include his activity there. Jack was a great friend and one damn fine sculptor. His boats reflect those talents. Please feel free to post what you know about Jack.


Dr. Kevin-Bruce Mahaffey D.D. sculptor

Comment on "Splash!"

Chuck - that new addition to Duckworks is a GREAT idea! I'll have a few launchings to send your way shortly. Your new column is just another reason why "I - love - Duckworks!"

Pete Leenhouts
Port Ludlow, Washington

Loves Bolger Camp Cruiser

hi chuck,

my name is Daniel Peterson and i am 17 years old from Geelong, Australia, and i have just been looking through the June Reports section of "duckworksmagazine" and have come across the last photo on the page of a "Bolger camp cruiser" and instantly loved the design i have been looking everywhere to find more in formation on this boat but with no avail. if you or anyone else that you may know has any information on the design or where i could buy plans for this boat it would be very muchly appreciated.

I look forward to your reply.

Thanks in advance,
Daniel Peterson
Geelong, Australia

Daniel: The boat referred to in that piece is from a cartoon done in the old magazine "Small Boat Journal", probably before you were born. I don't think it was ever developed into plans but you could contact Mr. Bolger for information about other designs in that spirit. He can be reached at: Mr. Philip C. Bolger, P.O. Box 1209, Gloucester, MA, 01930, Fax: (978) 282-1349 - Chuck

Students, Faculty Launch Adaptive Kayak in Morro Bay

A Cal Poly alumnus working with current faculty and staff piloted an the first adaptive kayak outfitted for quadriplegic use through Morro Bay on its maiden voyage May 16.

Bryan Gingg (B.S., Social Sciences, 1990) has been paralyzed and without the use of his arms or legs since an auto accident in 1982. Gingg was the test pilot for a kayak for quadriplegics developed by Cal Poly Kinesiology Professor Kevin Taylor and Mechanical Engineering Professor Frank Owen, along with Cal Poly kinesiology and engineering students. The kayak is steered by an electronic sensor system run with a digital "straw." The kayak has a small electric motor. Disabled kayakers can sip or puff on the straw, sending signals to the kayak's sensor controls to operate the craft. The high-tech kayak also includes a joystick feature for paraplegic users -- those with movement in their arms.

Current kinesiology student project manager Zach Thurow and a cadre of students were on hand at Morro Bay Friday, May 16 to situate Gingg in the kayak and monitor the test of the kayak and sensor system. Other students formed a flotilla of 13 safety paddlers in kayaks surrounding Gingg in the "solo quad" kayak during its journey.

The Solo Quad-Conversion Project has been underway since 2002 when professors Taylor and Owen wrote a grant application to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Foundation. The $11,000 grant was funded and Taylor has coordinated the project ever since, working closely with College of Engineering students and faculty as well as numerous Kinesiology students.

The Cal Poly craft will be used as part of the university's Adapted Paddling Program, which helps people with disabilities participate in aquatic recreation. Test kayak pilot Gingg is actively involved in Access For All and was a recipient of the Paul Wolff Accessibility Advocacy Award in 2006.

Mary McNally
San Luis Obispo, California

Fly Fishing Resort Destination

Hi, Chuck.

Whether your readers are aspiring fly fisherman picking up the rod for the very first time or professional anglers trying to enhance their skills, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, near Traverse City, Mich., offers a new experience for both, with its “Blue Ribbon” Culinary Adventure Package.

As Field & Stream Magazine recently ranked Traverse City as the #3 best Fishing Town in America, the “Blue Ribbon” Culinary Adventure Package will give your readers the opportunity to enjoy a half-day of catch and release fishing on one of Michigan’s most famous Blue Ribbon trout streams, under the watchful eye of local master angler and certified casting instructor, David McCool.

After an action packed day of tangling fish, the whole group will dine in the resort’s signature restaurant, Aerie, where nationally acclaimed Executive Chef, Ted Cizma, will combine the freshest ingredients for a “Blue Ribbon” dish designed with a day on the water in mind. The group dinner will feature a trout dish intended to introduce readers to the complexities of cooking trout, while also educating the group on pairing wine.

Spring package prices start at just $316.96 per person in the Hotel based on double occupancy. (Spring is defined as April 18-June 5). Summer package prices start at just $366.96 per person in the Hotel based on double occupancy. (Summer is defined as June 6-August 30).

The package includes:

- Two night accommodations
- Half-day instructional class with casting lessons
- Half-day fly fishing
- One lunch per person
- One dinner per person in Aerie Restaurant & Lounge with guest visit from Chef
- All required fishing equipment (rod, reel, line) and flies

For a list of package dates, visit When you would like more information about Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, “Blue Ribbon” Culinary Adventure Package, please feel free to contact me at

Many thanks,
Account Executive, Public Relations
Orlando, Florida

About that Voyage Around the World

Is there going to be a website to follow Resolution's trip abroad ????

Bill Tosh
T C Boats

Bill: there is a website under construction at:

The Press at Toad Hall to Reopen

Hey Chuck,

Had some correspondence with David (dngoodchild the Press at Toad Hall). Their site has been down all winter while revamping the production facilities. David took seriously ill during the work and is still dealing with health issues. He now anticipates a June reopening (was advertised for 4/14/08).

Thought your readers might like an update and might keep David in mind while he deals with the health problems.

Bob Booth

Repairs on Old Outboards

Hi Chuck,
Glad you and your wife enjoyed your trip to NZ and Australia, I have an old friend who just picked up a old Johnson out board and asked me if there was a web address to look at to help him repair it. I remember surfing one of your links and finding one which covered a great deal of many different makes and sizes, can you help by chance, his model is about a '70's made, by the look of it?
You are so right in many ways but one thing you have said and many of your followers also is once you get bitten by the boat bug you can never get rid of it, isn't it great!  I now LOVE small wooden sailing boats open and cuddy.

Dave: we have published a lot of information over the years on Repairing old outboard motors. The best advice I can give you is to use the search Duckworks box in the upper right-hand corner of this page. - Chuck

A Circumnavigation in 10 Foot Boats

Two boat designers from opposite sides of the globe design very different 10ft Cruisers for the Around In Ten race.

Britain’s Paul Fisher completes his design of the “Micro 10”; marrying a full length keel with a single sail Delta Rig (she could also take junk rig). The boat also uses water as ballast. This clever idea facilitates longer times at sea; as the fresh water ballast is consumed it is replaced with sea water.

New Zealander John Welsford’s design, the “Gimli” carries a sloop rig with a high tech canting keel. She is designed to be built from composite materials and sleeps two.

Although very different in their approach both boats are designed to be built by amateurs intent on ocean transits.

Circumnavigating the globe in a 10ft boat might not be every body’s idea of an enjoyable sail, but both designers are thinking of safety. They have both incorporated a feature not normally available on larger boats; they can be sailed completely from inside the enclosed cabin. This reduces the need and risk of going on deck during bad weather.

More information on these designs is available at

Event Contact:

Nick Dwyer.

New Book from Dynamite Payson

Hey Chuck,

It never rains... Besides Jim Michalak's book and Gavin Atkin's, now Payson has a new book: Instant Boatbuilding with Dynamite Payson, and it's a winner. Fifteen boats are included in the book, and he goes through the whole process. For people who have read his earlier books, there's some overlap, but nonetheless it's a god read, and as always fairly inspirational...

You might want to send word to the DWers out there. It's at least worth a look at the library or book store for everyone, and I think quite a few people will want their own copy...

Mike Connelly

Dobler Plans

I was glad to see that you're handling the Dobler plans. He was one of the most sensible and wholesome designers, and a real inspiration to me. Marya and I would have been well served to go ahead and do that book project with Joe, I really like his stuff. Glad you were able to connect with his son-in-law. I see so much screwball stuff offerred as boat plans these days and Dobler's plans will be a welcome addition.

Paul Butler


Imagine my surprise when I opened up your website and saw a photo of my boat as the cover story. I had been in contact with Tom Setum and emailed him some shots. I bought the boat last year off Portland Craigslist because it was supposed to have belonged to NW author Sam McKinney. Research led me to Bob Young, Tom Setum and Richard Stover who originally bought the boat from Sam. Bob Young especially has been a big help with information and stories. Sam has two chapters in his "Sailing Uphill" book, about his adventures off Vancouver Island. The cover shot was taken at Sam's memorial service last fall on the Columbia River, a nice gathering with 4 of his homemade boats.

Jim Ballou


Hi Chuck,

I got one of the resp-o-rator Jr. masks a while ago and it works great for sanding since I have a beard. I contacted the guy who makes them and told him he should see about selling them through your site because I'll bet there are a lot of other boat builders with beards out there. He told me he contacted you before you left for New Zealand and that you might be considering carrying them when you got back. I'm planning on purchasing some more of them both as back ups around my shop and to give to friends and I'd like to buy them through your site if you are considering selling them.

Thank you for your wonderful site! I've got the planking done on my Welsford Rogue and I owe a lot of my actually finally building a boat to you for the work you've done in making boat building accessible and showing what other people have done. It is inspiring to be connected to this boat building community thanks to your site!

Thank you,
Scott Marckx

Mark: the Resp-O-Rator folks did contact us and we bought a supply of these great dust masks. I am using one in my shop - I think they are far superior to ordinary paper masks in every way. Here is a link to the catalog page - Chuck



If the universe is comprised of matter and anti-matter, then the universe of wooden boats must be comprised of Michalak and anti-Michalak, right?

Brett Bullington

Pre-Finish Panels on Stitch and Glue Boats?

Hi Chuck,

On a couple of boat plans for stitch & glue hulls for different boats, I have noticed that the designers recommend doing a lot of prefinishing. They direct the builder to apply at least two or three coats of unthickened epoxy to both sides of the hull panels before stitching them and assembling. Another additional step is to also fiberglass the inside surfaces of the panels beforehand.

Is there a great advantage in prefinishing or an 'upside' and 'downside' to this?

Meanwhile, I think that I have fallen in love with my Craftsman cordless circle saw with its laser beam to indicate where the saw blade is going to cut.  What an easy, quick and effortless way cut out panels.  Setting the blade shallow, I can even cut the panels while they are resting on the workbench.  The saw blade barely scratches the wood surface of the bench.  What a difference from the old jig saw.

Best, Jim

Jim: John Welsford, among others, recommends not using any epoxy on the inside of the boat beyond what is needed to keep it together. He suggests primer and paint as the only coating on those areas where no epoxy is otherwise needed.  I kind of go half way – I like to use a single thinned coat of epoxy over any bare wood when using hardwood plywood such as Meranti or Okoume.  It seems to make a good primer for the Latex enamel that I generally paint with. It seems wasteful to me to put two or three coats of epoxy on bare wood.  That said, I have been known to do that thinned epoxy coating and then sanding before the panels are used on the boat.  It is so much easier to sand a flat sheet than the insides of a compartment under the foredeck. Anyway, that is how I see it - Chuck

The Artemis Transat

Dear Media,

Please find below a link to download the Media Guide for The Artemis Transat 2008.

You will find in this document all the relevant information you need in order to follow the race, attend the start in Plymouth and arrivals in Boston.

The Media Guide includes information on press services, Media Accreditation, Media Centres in Plymouth, Cowes and Boston, Media RIBS and Host Broadcaster Services provided by Sunset+Vine|APP Broadcast.

You will also find a complete overview of The Artemis Transat 2008 with full details regarding teams contacts, all results and records from previous editions and a "Venue Guide and Practical Information" to travel and accommodation in Plymouth and Boston.

During the race, the comms team will be issue two separate daily race updates each afternoon - one for the IMOCA 60 class and one for the Class 40 - in both English and French. You will have the option to unsubscribe from either of these mail-outs if you do not wish to receive them.

If you would like a copy of the race magazine hard copy, then please email us your postal address.

We will be really pleased to welcome you all in Plymouth and Boston,

Please fell free to contact Julie Royer at for any further information.


The Artemis Transat Team.

English Document:

Document En Francais:

For further information, please contact OC Events
T: +44 (0)870 063 0218

Sex Change?

Jim's write up of the Caroline on your website pegs me as male, "The builder wanted a yawl rig (he wants to coastal cruise the Maine coast)". Is there any way to change the "he" to a "she"? I keep wanting to email the link to folks, but I know I'll get flack about my supposed sex-change :).


no worries, Caroline, we have fixed the flub. Now you can send those links! - Chuck

A Vote for Humor

Loved todays cover story, Pretty as a Boutonne.  I was in need of a good laugh.  Keep it up.

Harley's Back

Yachting Monthly has given the Around in Ten a mention.  Motor Boats and Yachting will feature an article about us soon.

My interview with Small Craft Advisor Magazine has been reprinted in a book entitled "Small Boats Big Adventures - The Small Craft Advisor Interviews" available from SCA


Life's Great Mysteries


Glad to see you made it back safely from John's little rock in the middle of the puddle down there. They're spoilt buggers aren't they? What magnificent sailing country. I look at the photos on Dave Perillo's Openboat site and some of those on John's website and can't believe how fortunate they are to have such tremendous waters to play boats in. How those rotten Kiwis got it when the rest of us really deserving folks missed out will always be one of life's great mysteries I suspect ;-).

Best wishes


Hi Chuck.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for sharing my adventure with Steve Earley and the Spartina. It was fun seeing the story on your site. I think you did a great job of choosing photos and excerpts to go with the photos. Steve and I had such a great time and it is fun to share the adventure with others. So thanks again and I hope to share more adventures with Steve in the future. By the way, my wife and I have signed up for sailing lessons starting in April. Next time maybe Steve will let me talk on the radio and be the "Captain" every now and then.

Bruce Hollingsworth.

P.S. I really enjoy your site.

And we really enjoyed your story and pictures, Bruce. Thanks You! - Chuck

Don't Forget Magnolia Beach

We are having our annual Magnolia Combo Messabout on Saturday June 14th,
2008 The "combo" is no joke, we have a bunch of people organizing
different events.

Texas 200 - this is a new cruise / race sort of thing, hard to describe in just a sentence, but it is 200 miles along the coast and ends up at Magnolia Beach for the June 14th messabout.

Noel's Casual Cruise - a casual cruise, similar to last year.

Duckworks Messabout - a coventional messabout to bring and show off home made boats.

South Texas International Proa Championship Regatta -- Do you have a proa? This is the big proa race !!

Puddle Duck Race - Simple round the bouy race amongst puddle ducks that
come. Next year in 2009 we are hosting the world championship again !!

Human powered boat race -- Multiple short races close to the beach, and a couple of different classes of human powered boats.

For more info and links to the other websites promoting the events, see:


Appreciate the Tech Help


I was made aware of you and your websight by one of the members of the AMOCI on the computers last night by ASK A MEMBER. I was inquiring about putting this tiller on my 1955 25 HP Evinrude and need to know how to do it and where to find one. Your websight had a very detailed 10 page article on how to do it. We appreciate the tech help.

An old outboard motor junkie-
Gene Schreiber,  Farmington, Mn - AMOCI Member

Sad News

Hi Chuck....

Sad news, Heather's father Jack Hicks passed away last night. He was basically overcome by a serious step infection in his lungs that leached out into the rest of his body. He's been battling breathing problems for the last several years. I've always felt his refusal to wear a mask while sanding and other tasks, contributed to his poor health. He especially liked working with cedar wood. Might be a good occasion to remind all readers of the absolute necessity to wear proper protection. He will be cremated and plan a Memorial Toast during the upcoming Kokopelli in September.

Sincerely Tom

Thanks, Tom - Jack was a multi-talented guy and he sent several good contributions to Duckworks over the years - Chuck:

Top 27 pounds?

Can anyone top the light weight of Tom Hill's Charlotte glued lap canoe which weighs in at 27 lbs.?  I'm interested in a very lightweight solo double paddle canoe or kayak for camper-topping, but I'm not sure I want to get as light as Platt Montford's designs.  Several skin on frame kayaks I've read about are longer than the 11' length of Charlotte and all are 10 lbs. heavier.  My strip built and fiberglass/epoxy covered Wee Rob is 50 lbs., and I'm thinking I might want to go lighter.

Steve Lansdowne

News from Red Barn Boats


Was out sailing the 10ft Nuthatch with my new sail and had a great time.  I will send photos when there is someone to go with me to take them.

In the mean time I am working on the 12ft O&P Pod.  I have a new site for it's construction up and running now.  Here is the link  Hope everyone bookmarks the link and follows along as I put the hull together.  I should have new photos posted every two weeks or so.  I will probably put together a story on how I determinded seat placement from my "tank tests" with the model.

Warren Messer
Red Barn Boats
Stitch and Glue and Stylish Too.

A Letter from Jim


I think that I have fallen in love with my Craftsman cordless circle saw with its laser beam to indicate where the saw blade is going to cut.  What an easy, quick and effortless way cut out panels.  Setting the blade shallow, I can even cut the panels while they are resting on the workbench.  The saw blade barely scratches the wood surface of the bench.  What a difference from the old jig saw.

Jim interview
Howdy Chuck,

Furled sails did an interview with me last week and have edited it and put it up

Talks about my slow path into design, why storerboats are different, how simpler boats are cheaper and easier to build and don't have to compromise performance or utility, Some background in Australian and NZ approaches to lightweight boat design.

There will be a follow up interview about lugsails which I will among several contributors by the sound.

Michael Storer
Coracle Making

Chuck - - This is in Paint Lick, KY.

This is a three day workshop in making the traditional Welsh coracle or corwg, a canvas covered boat used since early Roman times. The student will construct his/her own Teifi coracle, cover and tar the boat and make the sculling oar used to propel the craft. On the last day of the class the students will assemble on Paint Lick Creek for a regatta down stream.
June 27 - 29, 2008
Regatta July 4, 2008
3 days, $150 + $40 Materials fee

Click here: Don Weber's Handcraft Woodworks

Pete Leenhouts

A Sailor's Conclusion
Ordinarily, a post such as this would get folks up on their backlegs... one way or another, but this time the mention of Conservative icon, Willam F. Buckley, is about his life as a sailor and it is very much on-point.

Bill Buckley, 82, died Wednesday at his home in Connecticut and the world is going to miss his writing on the subject of sailing.

You can read a brief review of one of his books HERE and within the text, you will see the names of his other books. I highly recommend them all if you enjoy great writing and stories of the sea.

Rest in Peace, Bill. The sea welcomes you home with open arms.

Chris Ostlind
A Shake-Down Cruise

Thats a lovely story,  wonderful stuff.  Do you think you could persuate Frank Bates to write more?
I'm an old ex fisherman ( among other things,) stuck in a hospital where I can get to a dialysis machine every second day and my wonderful daughters have bought me a computer and taught me how to use it. There are new tricks in the old dog yet! 

I'm having a good time exploring the virtual boating world, and must compliment you on your magazine.  Really, really good stuff sir, please keep up the good work, and again, it would be wonderful to read more of Barb and Franks adventures in what must be the best cruising dinghy I've ever seen.  That shot of the interior with the tent up and beds made is a revelation, I recall sleeping on loose and anything but flat floorboards in a 14 ft Idle Along under an old tarp, kapok sleeping bag and an old Primus kerosene stove for a galley.  Varuna is wonderful. 5 star accommodation!

I live at the other end of New Zealand from them, and the weather over that weekend was seriously awful,  they did well.
Yours,  Cedric

Cedric: you will be happy to hear that we have two more stories by Frank and Barb "in the can" with the potential for many more. - Chuck

Light Trow Featured in WoodenBoat
Friends in the USA might like to check the latest issue of WoodenBoat magazine - it features a photo of Ben Crawshaw's lovely boat built to the Light Trow plans.

It looks great. Well done Ben!

Gavin Atkin
Economy Design Contest?


I'm 66, recently retired and boy, did I have dreams! Then came $3.00/ + a gal. fuel and heating oil!

I just went through the entire list of plans. There were several that would have fit the bill for what I need now. (house boat/cruiser that my wife and I and our 10 year old could afford to cruise in for a week at a time.)  The problem: The most economical ones still call for a 10 to 15 horse outboard to produce a 6 to 8 knot speed. (and they suggest new 4 cylinder outboard.) 

So how about a contest to design the most economical to operate cruising boat for the home builder. One that would handle a little rough water and be comfortable to spend a week on. E-Z construction coupled with low construction cost would also be nice!! :))

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Brian McCormick

Flycaster Modified

Chuck, I just wanted to drop you a note to say that I have modified my 9ft FlyCaster design.  I have added Floatation/Storage chambers to the stern corners.  The space between them can accommodate up to a group 27 battery box.  I wanted to add some extra floatation to the hull in the stern area for safety, and with your 4" quarter turn hatches, add a little storage for odds and ends.  Duckworks readers can see the changes I made to the hull at my flickr site for the FlyCaster, at

Warren Messer

Stitch and Glue and Stylish Too.

Thanks for Trailer Lights Article

I just want to write to say THANK YOU for your website. Typically I always feel great when some tells me that I have been great help to them. I want to say that your trouble shooting on trailer lighting article enlightened me Just Enough to find my problem. I now have lights. I was about to take the trailer to my UHAUL place and spend money I much needed in my pocket. Just spent a lot on gettin cars inspected and wanted to avoid more repairs cost.

Thank you LOTS. Keep up your great work and I will refer people to your website.

Ascencion Castaneda

Island in need of a Family

I am aware of an island, in need of a family, or perhaps a hermit.  I have tried for some years to get my friends and acquaintances interested, and maybe it's time to cast a wider net.   (Note: I have no financial interest and wish to remain anonymous.)

This island, with one house, is in need of a permanent "tenant",  "caretaker", or perhaps "squatter".  The ownership situation is complex, and it is unlikely that the property will ever be available for purchase, but a good argument can be made for a long term lease to an individual.  An occupant will have to deal with bureaucracies, historic and scenic restrictions, and some public use of parts of the island, in addition to all the usual island challenges. 

It may be possible to talk one's way into this opportunity, without writing a large check.  But the property is in need of significant renovation and restoration - perhaps $1 Million, if contractors were hired; or several years of part-time work for a talented and resourceful do-it-yourselfer.

I am in a position to provide information, contacts, advice, logistical and construction support. (again, I would do this for reasons other than financial)

So I am putting out this offer.  If you know someone who:

  • Currently lives in the New England area
  • Earns (or reasonably expects) income enough to afford a second home
  • Is willing to make a long-term commitment to a big project, probably without recovery of  expenses, if it doesn't work out
  • Has significant experience in small boats
  • Possesses construction / trade skills, in effect capable of building a house, alone (or with spouse/friends)
  • Doesn't mind mosquitoes
  • Is between 20 and 40 years old (at any rate, not old and sedentary like me!)
  • Has zero expectations of relaxing in a hammock, sipping Margaritas, or using a flush toilet.

Then have them get in touch with me!  But I really don't want to hear from somebody with more money or dreams than energy.

Please though, use some discretion in circulating this.  The "owners" have not asked for proposals for this property, and publicity at this stage would not be helpful.  This is neither a "lifestyles of the rich and famous", nor a "survivor" situation, though no doubt it would make a good story for some young reporter.  That would ruin my day. 

Looking forward to hearing from the right person!

If you are interested in this proposition, write to me and I will forward your letter. -

Kudo's To Steve and Phoenix

Welcome back Chuck, and Sandra

I told you Steve's 'tear apart and salvage' would be a gem and it certainly is.  The creativity of his vision, the scope of the rework, and many of the techniques he's using are fascinating.  I got over to see the project a couple of times before the weather got cold and was taken aback by it all.  Who'd a thought?!   Sad as it was to hear of "Katie's" demise, the Phoenix will be a splendid cruising/camping boat here on the Delaware River, his home port, and I can't wait to see her finished and launched.  And with an extension, she'll still fit on his trailer and will handle other waters well, so she'll be a great interest at some messabouts too. 

The use of drywall fiberglass tape and PL Premium seems to be a sound and convenient approach, not to mention cheaper.  I'm going to try it on the "Toto" I'm building for my Son-in law come Spring.  Steve's balance between "cheap and dirty" and "spit and polish"  building yields a sound, attractive hull that will serve for many seasons with reasonable care, with out the cost and tedium.   I'm for it.  And his spirit is indomitable: "Remember, you too can build a boat, sure you can! "

I enjoyed the back articles while you were away but it's good to have some new grist for the mill.  I do miss the feedback/response feature though  .. the version you were running a couple of years ago.  It gave an immediacy and friendliness that the other format lacked.  As you know, it was invaluable to me, opening up real help and progress on "Wanderer" and I hope you can find a technique that bring that back to Duckworks.

Enjoyed the photographs of your travels and look forward to hearing more from you and the many Duckworks contributors. 

Bob Throne

Around in Ten
Yachting Monthly has given us honorable mention.  Motor Boats and Yachting will feature an article about us soon.

My interview with Small Craft Advisor Magazine has been reprinted in a book entitled "Small Boats Big Adventures - The Small Craft Advisor Interviews" available from SCA

-Harley Harlson
Free Boat

Chuck, I`ve decided to give away the boat hull I asked for you to list in the classifieds. I need it gone so I can do something else with the space and I recognize that it will take some effort to move it anyway. So just list it as "Free Boat Hull". It is the 34ft. one I sent a couple of days ago.

Thanks, Richard Laux

Not in the Texas 200

I keep seeing my name listed as participating in the Texas 200. Katie and I will again be in the canals of Canada and the U.S., and the Rivers and bays of the east coast and will not be able to attend the Texas race. Good luck to all participants.  

Lee Martin

New Format

Can I have the new (old) wind-up duck logo on my sails? It's the best!

Tom H

Slick new web design, with the search feature nicely placed at the top, and the ads on the right, and the new calendar looking great, which means I'll have to get busy over the holidays to add some more content to it.

Hey, how about a Playboat of the Month for the calendar, with two staples placed strategically down the centerline?

Steve L

I like it!
Tres much!
Q: no ( on the home page?
Anyway, looks great-- but what are we supposed to do on weekends? Build boats or something? :-)
Mike C

Hi Chuck and Sandra,

I've been reading Duckworks online for the last couple maybe three years, as well as belonging to several YaHoo boat groups, and I have really enjoyed all you folks have done to create such a wonderful publication and resource.

My question is: What happened to the indexes of designers and design? I spent more time perusing those than almost anything, especially lately in the sailing multihulls.So many there that I didn't find other places. Can they still be accessed somehow?

Thanks again for all you time and efforts.

David L

David: You can still find the Indexes in the Archives section of the site. Since we no longer maintain those pages, we did not include a link from the new home page - Chuck
Forum Texcentric
Hi Chuck;

OK, I love your forum and its the only one I subscribe to. Also you may know from some records that I have dealt with you commercially and always with full satisfaction. So...this is the deal... I know you are situated in Texas, but too many of the posts are from Texans. I wouldn't mind except that the assembled voices of the Texans seem to me to dominate far too much in your forum. (what can anyone do one wonders?). The redneck junk that slips out as steady fare on this Duckworks forum makes me often want to scream "READ A BOOK" for crissakes. I completely empathize with the recent topic about additional licensing and taxation irking boaters. Really it is more than an 'irk'. You as citizens get milked for your money & cheated of your freedom every time you turn around. Instead of 'getting it' and organizing some kind of useful lobby, all one hears is the isolated grumblings of (anyway) a really prosperous, privileged, group of white people. For a country which was born, not of "evolution", but the same word with an 'R' attached to it, Y'all have caved in, sucked up and otherwise lost the thread totally. Your founding fathers and mothers must roll over in their graves in an uneasy sleep. Now instead of serious realizations about the theft of citizen democracy, your country & its corporations go out and hit someone else on the head instead of servicing your own backyard in the search of a higher quality humanity.

Chief Redelk is the exception. I could read him all day AND he is your modern day "Will Rodgers" (who it is remembered was part Cherokee). This man represents some of the best Americans by just being himself.

If you please, forgive this rant but I did not want to fire off a salvo on the boatworks forum, I don't want things to degrade any further and DEFINITELY I hope you do not think I am being condescending when I say Naomi Klein, now there's an author... "No Logo" is a chubby read & one she is well known for internationally (translated in several languages). Her newest is "Shock Doctrine", the one Texans probably have blacklisted because it is too true.Also widely read internationally and translated into many languages.

'Bye for now,

Robert T

Vent Query
Hi Chuck

Good job on the re-vamp! "New" was my de facto "Home" so that works well for me. I'm happy to see the new old duck on the masthead, and that prompts a question - what happened to being able to show my Duckworks allegiance on a shirt? I'm very fond of my old green polo/golf type shirt, but nothing lasts for ever. Are there more garments in the pipeline?

The query referred to in the subject line is this: Does the solar mushroom vent lend itself to being screened against the ingress of mosquitoes or other unfriendlies?

One last thing. If you started the site in 1999, and you are celebrating "ten years of boatbuilding madness", what were you doing for the rest of the time? :)

cheers, Derek

Derek: It took us several years to sell the first batch of Duckworks caps so the comptroller does not consider them a good investment. The vents do lend themselves to mosquito netting. Finally, my math says that 2008 will be our tenth year if 1999 was our first. - Chuck
Thanks for the Webwatch Listing

Hi Chuck,

Wow! Thanks for the mention in the webwatch. What a spike in hits!
I put a link to Duckworks on my site a while back and send people your way for supplies, hardware etc. as often as possible.
Thanks again,


A Brief Internet Sail
It was our third night of dry sailing in the Tortugas when it became apparent that our snotters were filling with water ballast. Slogging out of a deep, leeward siesta I immediately scandalized the GPS and downloaded my plywood hull software in order to determine the scope and purchase of a bilgeboard problem in the starboard scuppers. At first I suspected the butt joints were afoul of the sprit boom. Abaft, I soon realized that my limbers were filleted and the only way to Davy Jones locker was through the forward poop deck. Three Bells. There wasn't much time left, nevertheless I somehow managed to downhaul the port gaff vang thus avoiding a near Powderhorn. "Let fly the gibe beam" I cried as the lar-board careened inward toward the binnacle. "Whew, that was close" muttered my first mate adding that "We should have given those
lazyjacks a wide berth..." "Boy, you can say that again" I replied as I close hauled back into the lee of Neptune.. Or was that Orpheus?

Vin L.

Information wanted

Dear sir,

My name is Lauren Cusack. I am in third year in Loreto secondary school Balbriggan Co. Dublin. For my technology project ,for Junior Certificate, I am making a noah's ark style boat. The boat has to propel itself in water as soon as it hits it. As part of the project I have to research boat building. If you have any information on boat building could you please e-mail me at this address. Thank you for taking the time to read this,

Yours sincerely,
Lauren C.

In Praise of Ross Lillistone


Just received Ross Lillistone's plans for the Phoenix III...and I honestly think I ripped him off. The plans are spectacular in their clarity and detail---but then there's the bound build book that's gotta be worth $30. all by itself.

The photos throughout both the plans and the book are also amazing. My cat could build this boat (damn, I probably just blew my excuse if I screw this up, eh?)

You gotta tell more people about this guy, especially the newer builders. Just don't tell Ross yet--no sense having him raise his prices until I buy the rest of his stuff.


Misc comments
Hi Chuck,

Your Duckworks online magazine is amazing. Continuous great new content and FREE! Thanks very much for your work in founding and running this great resource. My definition of a crazy day at work is one that I don't get to read Duckworks.

For your readers who have stopped checking John Welsford's site for updates on Charlie Whipple's Sundowner, there is a 12/16 posting. I always get there through Duckworks Plans\John Welsford\John's site\Sundowner.

Finally, could you give me a reference to an old Duckworks article about a homemade propeller guard? It has always amazed me that they haven't become more popular since they increase both an outboard's safety and its effective thrust.

Is there a way to search our site that I haven't figured out that would give me this information?



Tim: Thanks for the compliments. The Resolution update can be found HERE. Perhaps THIS is the article you are looking for. You can do your own site searches with the search box in the upper right corner of each page. - Chuck
Choosing a Design

Parker or Buehler
Oh Those Centerboards and Deep Draft
Got Plans for a Micro
Everyone Laughed
Then a Fin Keeled Dory
What Am I Going Daft?
It's in Bays and Rivers That I want to Frolic
The Final Decision?

Vin L.

I came here for Boat Porn, not that other stuff
In the AMAZON side ads for books that comes up when I read the Duckworks articles there are mostly boat books, but many times there are titles like " Big Busted Ecstasy", etc. Where did that come from?. Can it be deleted??

Thanks and best regards // Bob

Bob: I hate big busts as much as the next guy and I have recently seen what you are talking about. Unfortunately, Amazon's computers decide what is shown and I can't figure out what is going on. If it continues I will remove those ads. - Chuck