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Christmas Cards

Hi again guys,

We came across some nifty Christmas cards yesterday at our local (small town) marine chandlery. Turns out that they’re produced by an artist who lives in Brentwood Bay BC, only a few miles from us.

Her website is: - and I’ve just discovered that she has an Alden Malabar Jr.

I have no vested interest in this, other than providing a link to what I consider some really nifty designs.

Cheers J


Anchor Light

I made a removeable anchor light from one of your LED stern lights - #IL-560-2113. here is what I did: - I drilled an extra hole about midway of the tube and inserted the black eyebolt that came with the light. I installed an "S" hook in the bottom hole of the tube and attached a "tail rope" to it.

To use the light, I simply hook the mainsail halyard to the eyebolt in the center of the tube and pull up the mast all the way to the top,,,,, secure the halyard and then pull down on the tailrope which in turn raises the light (180 degrees) and it is "above" the top of the mast, allowing 360 degrees visibility.

wha lah!

Bill Tosh


This may be a little lengthy but I have to explain what led to my curt-a-loader.

I use Malone seawing saddles. When I use 2 sets of them, for shuttling, they overhang each side of the vehicle. I wanted to buy a wheel loader but the easy ones that do not need to be attached to anything all fit in the top crack in the rear hatch door. For me the wheel would be too far off center of the cradle. Also, there are hinges in my rear door that won’t allow proper placement for anything other than loading in the middle. The way I made mine allows for all offsets and obstructions and the kayak can be slid straight on to the saddle. The loader does not need to be attached. It simply sits on top of the roof. After the boat is loaded simply remove the loader. It just sits on the roof as if you’re laying it on a table. That’s it, done.

The 2 small nubs that stick up prevent the loader from sliding forward while loading. The extra length beyond those slip under the cross rails. When the boat is unloaded the weight of the boat raises this (there is very little extra room to begin with) to “hold” on to the under side of the cross rail, preventing the loader from sliding out of position. I don’t know if I really need the nubs or the extended portion as I never had this move on me at all. The length from the nubs to the wheel is adjustable (hidden under pipe foam) to fit any SUV. The adjustment device is just pipe couplers with whatever length pipe you need between them. These are screwed in only. This turned out to be not needed also but when I built it I did it this way just incase….It could come in handy if I were to get a new SUV I suppose.

You can see this is made of pvc pipe and pipe insulation. I used pipe insulation tape to form the tapers on the wheel. All the joints are glued and screwed. The axle on this is ½” sch. 80 pvc with a 1” pipe over it. I angled the wheel to be just beyond the back window. This is what makes the loader tilt to lock in position when removing the boat. The rest is ¾” sch. 20 pvc pipe. I loaded 70 lbs with it. If I were to load heavier kayaks I would use sch. 40 or 80 depending on our needs.

The size to fit my Tucson is about 14” x 24”.

The pictures are pretty clear on how it all goes together and where it sits on the SUV. I don’t have my saddles on for the pic but the wheel is just slightly above the saddle for smooth sliding.

The first time I used it I couldn’t believe how simple it was. I had “j” cradle autoloaders and that was not nearly as easy as this. Just as you would any rear wheel loader device, I lift the front half of the boat and place it on the wheel. Half the boat having a pivot at the rear makes it very light. After the bow is on the wheel, the wheel becomes my second person. Than I just lift the stern, again half the boat and having a pivot at the wheel is very light, and push the boat forward to desired position.

Depending on materials used, this type of loader is enough to load any type of boat that can be loaded on a roof.

Curt G

Chris Craft Runnabout

click image for larger view

I'm restoring a vintage 1948 19' Chris Craft Racing Runabout. New Frames, New Bottom and New topsides. All Bedded in 3M 5200 with over 2000 screws.

The deck is about to be applied........ 3/8" hydrotek 1088 7 ply. This class of runabout after the 2nd world war was not planked with mahogany. It was covered with 3/8 3 ply fir plywood and further covered with a muslin like material, then painted with copious layers of paint. This was done to hide imperfections and the read through of the hard & soft grain of the fir plywood.

Tom P

500th Navigator

She's ready to roll over. Bill T


So, I finally got started- 70 degrees F in Atlanta today! Tempted to glue something, but it will be too cold tonight and I still can't build indoors. That picnic table has been used for 5 boats now!

All bulkheads cut, one set of sides and chinepanals laid out. Think I will go out and layout leeboard, rudder, and stock next.

Bill M


click image for larger view

Jim Michalak once described me in print as having "boundless energy and enthusiasm". It's a lovely image, but I think the truth might be closer to "stir crazy and manic". The attached photo is Thanksgiving morning 2007 in Madison, Wisconsin. Let's just say that I have a lot of the year to get stuff done in the shop.

--Rob Rohde-Szudy


My Laker is almost completed

James H


I'm a long-time reader of Duckworks and a subscriber (mostly lurker) to the mailing list, writing to see if you folks might have an interest in a series of articles about a boat in progress.

We needed a boat to use in large Maine lakes, able to be powered by a small (current thinking is 15-20 hp) 4-stroke outboard, with a cabin just big enough for minimal shelter and a porta-potty. There are, of course, quite a few boats that would fit that bill, but we have an additional requirement that eliminated my favorite--Karl Stambaugh's camp cruiser REDWING: There's a bridge we have to get under that allows a maximum of four feet from the waterline to the topmost part of the boat. I looked at a lot of plans and bought a few including two designs from Jim Michalak and one from Wes Farmer and finally settled on a design of my own--I call it a lake skiff--based loosely on LARK, a traditional Chesapeake Bay skiff whose plans I got from the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

I built quite a few minimalist models (these my wife named "ghost models" because they reminded her of the architectural "ghost frames" of historical buildings at St. Mary's City, MD) to evaluate hull shapes, dimensions and so forth. One of those models is shown in the next photo.

Once I decided to incorporate a round stem in homage to the most famous craft of our local lakes--the Grand Laker canoes--I had to figure out how to MAKE a round stem, something I'd never had to do on any previous projects. I came up with a stitch-and-glue plywood construction method for what is usually a solid timber. The model worked, so I made a full-size one.

I have quite a few photos detailing the whole process. Please let me know if you'd like to see an actual article to get started. I'll have a bit of time to write in the next few weeks. Thanks much.

--Charlie E

Three Letters on Scarfing

Nov 23:


Please look at the four scarph samples below. This is my first
attempt. The samples are 1/4" (6mm) Baltic birch labeled in order.
The arrows show the direction of cut, leading and trailing edge. It appears that the cut improves in uniformity somewhat but the last two show the trailing section near the end of cut falling apart. I don't know what I'm looking at or for and am not sure of what a good scarph cut really looks like or what to expect and what is acceptable.

Can you comment on this?



Jim: Practice makes perfect. Also you may be having trouble with "chatter" - the edge of the plywood vibrating as you cut the scarf - Chuck

Nov 24


Here is a drawing photo of the scarphing fixture I built, per instructions that came with the boat plans. This is attached to the circle saw. The cut is done upside down.

After reading your comments about chatter, I am thinking that maybe I shouldn't have had the plywood sheet overhanging the edge of the cutting table. I thought the edge to be scarphed had to be out from the table's edge several inches so the saw blade didn't run into the table. I'm thinking that I should have clamped the ply flush with the table's edge. Maybe the blade doesn't even cut into the table, or much at all. This part of the procedure wasn't mentioned in the instructions.

Thanks for your comments.


Jim: it is important to secure the ply when making a cut like this. The table is supposed to do that - Chuck

Nov 25


These samples photos below were done after your suggestion to minimize chatter. No. 5 was done flush with the table with the idea to give complete support to the ply. You can see it was the worst of the bunch and the saw blade did indeed cut into the table top as feared. Not good. No.'s 6 and 7 were done with the plywood at a 2 1/2" overhang. The guide clamp for guiding the saw fixture was clamped 1/2" in from the table edge. My idea was to give the weight of the saw and fixture something more to rest on. The 1/2" dimension also gave the 3" necessary to fit the fixture's foot. The first attempt looked pretty good to me. My concern then was repeatability so I tried it again with the same clamping method as above. No. 7 looks very close to No. 6.

What do you think? Are No's. 6 and 7 acceptable?

I'm going to get my blade sharpened Monday. All this cutting has started to dull it I'm sure. I didn't photograph some of the earlier tests - which were much worse. Terrible actually.


Jim: I think you have got it! There is nothing wrong with 6 and 7 above. - Chuck

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