By Fred Night - Florida - USA

This past winter got me to thinking about the perfect boat for gunkholing the mangrove islands that populate the Halifax River and the Indian River on the east coast of Florida.

The boat must transport in the back of my small pickup; it must be light enough not to cause my medicare to kick in; and get into the tidal streams in the mangroves. It must look good and I want a window in the  bottom. I just think it would be cool to have a window to look at sunken treasure.

I used a doorskin for the sides; it is light and cheap (thrifty). I chose 12 inch sides to get a 10 foot boat out of a 3’ x7’ doorskin. Using a midframe of 30 at the sheer and 36 at the gunnel puts some bend in her bottom. A 12 inch angle on the bow looks sharp and a tombstone transom adds to the dory look I find attractive.

I found a 12 x 20 piece of Lexan for my window at home depot (expensive). I set that in a frame ahead of the midframe using PL Concrete Seal (self leveling). This worked fine.

The pool test went fine, no leaks, although bubbles under the window were somewhat disconcerting.
For paddling I use a 9 foot double paddle (made cheap) on one inch PVC. A stadium seat on top of a milk crate is one way to adjust for old knees.

This boat is named the TLC and it paddles well; no leaks so far. The window is okay in shallow water (2 feet or less). I guess the weight of the boat at 50 pounds. I added a renewable skid at the stern to drag the boat if I have any distance to the water.

Now to find some sunken treasure!

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