This time we have the following boats:


Friday, May 23, 2008

Hi Chuck and Sandra,

After strong gusty winds fanning a 10K acre wildfire, general sloth, and many last minute finishing touches, finally got the Wooboto to local small lake today. All went well, rowed along Roar2 for mile and half. Will begin sailing after M-day fever. thanks for all of your support.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hoisted sail on the wooboto yesterday in almost calm conditions. very good for first sail. See attached. More bug removal, then another sail maybe tomorrow.

Steve Chambers


G'day guys,

I have just put up a few piccies of a canoe I recently finished. She is a Sasquatch 16.5' by Matt, of Jem Watercraft.

I just love this boat. (my wife does too) fast, stable and light weight.

The boat herself is remarkable. She is easily, the best paddling canoe I have ever used. As more of these boats get built, I believe they have the potential to become true classics. I love this boat. My wife, Robin, is a dedicated solo kayaker. She is so impressed with it that she now prefers to come out with me in Sasquatch as opposed to any of her own fine kayaks.

I didn't set out to make this boat particularly light, but it seems that as my processes improve, the light weight just seems to follow on.

To specifics, I used 4mm Gaboon BS1088 marine ply, the last I have been able to get. I think it is the same or similar to what you guys call Okuoume (sp)? It was actually noticably lighter per sheet than the 3mm interior grade stuff I have been using up till recently.

The boat is fibre-glassed inside and out. Inside with that lovely light, tight weave stuff I got from you - Thank you. and the outside bottom is sheathed in heavier stuff, (I think 6 oz) that I got locally. The heavy stuff was only 36 inches wide so I used that on the bottom for the length of the boat and your light cloth over the sides.

Timber work (gunwhales) is a local hoop pine. I have found a local source of clear 20 ft. lengths of this. It is very light but strong with pretty good elasticity for the edge bends required. Outside gunwhale is 5/8" X 1" Inside gunwhale is 1/2" X 1" Michael Storer put me onto it. (Thanks mate) Though, I went a lettle smaller than he recommended. Spacers are an indeterminate species that I had to hand. Mini decks are just more 4mm gaboon glued in place using shear clamps.

I think the weight savings come in part, from very careful use of resin, judicious application of inside fillets etc. Lots of little things but all of them add up in the long run A few ounces here and there, soon adds up to pounds. A few pounds here and there can quickly turn a good boat into a heart breaker to load and to carry far.



Coffee Table Boat

I just finished a coffee table boat called the Littest Yacht based on plans by Ducktrap Woodworking. I modified the plans a little.

The boat is 4' LOA and 2' beam. I knocked the paint job around a bit so it looks like it has done a few nautical miles. Hope you enjoy the picture.

Mike John


Hi Chuck,

I attached a couple pictures of the recent splash (Saturday May 31st) of the sharpie we just built. I also attached a picture the day before when we hung the newly constructed sail. The boat was great structurally but sail performance was disappointing. The winds were 10 to 15 and closer to 15 on Saturday so we had a really good sea trial day. As you see she doesn’t heel much with 2 adults as ballast and we weren’t hiked out over the side either. We will be cutting the sail shape a little differently this week to improve sail performance. The oarlocks are a little too low and we will need to add a pad to gain 2 or 3 inches of height. The seat was actually the part that was too high as opposed to the oarlocks, but it’s a lot easier to adjust the oarlocks than the seat top.

We took it out the following day, Sunday, with a 5hp outboard and she really did well. We took her to a protected bayou to launch so we could see how well she did on flat water as well as out in the bay. She jumped up on a plane with two adults and skimmed along at about 15mph (no GPS with us so it was a guess). She didn’t pound as badly as I had thought. Strange since the flat bottom would make you think she’d pound like a dog. We did a brief jaunt into the bay but at any speed she was a little scary in the chop. Small flat bottomed power boats have no place on open water in anything but clam conditions. Anyway, we have some finishing touches to do but sea trials indicate she will be a fun boat with lots of potential. I’ll send the complete construction story later.

Pat Johnson in Pensacola Florida

A Wee Brouhaha

A few days ago and almost two years to the month of ordering plans from Steve Redmond, of Redmond Designs in VT, for his 9’8” TETRA sailing skiff, BROUHAHA, treated to a splash of wine from my 86 year old mother, rolled down the ramp and into water to ride easily on her lines on a blustery and rainy late spring day. 

Named for my earlier tribulations associated with acquiring a Hull Identification Number and the red tape associated with Code of Federal Regulations Title 33, the Coast Guard’s Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch and  Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management Boating Registrations office (see SMALL BOATS UNFATOMABLE WATERS for details), BROUHAHA is a flat bottom sprits’l skiff  employing modern glued ply lapstrake for the hull coupled with very traditional finish work and fitting out.  All running rigging is of natural fiber cordage, either hemp or Manila.  The sail, also made by me, is of traditional cotton with hand finished fittings and tarred hemp bolt rope. 

Long an admirer of Pete Culler’s traditional methods and Ian Oughtred’s approach to the marriage of modern materials (marine plywood and epoxies) with traditional look and finish, I blended both men’s styles to create BROUHAHA.  The hull, dimensionally stable due to the glued ply, may be dry sailed and trailered without fear of seams opening while the traditional finish and fittings create a boat of ageless beauty.  Redmond’s 24 year old design, drawn with such a marriage in mind, formed the ideal palate for the project.

This year’s WOODEN BOAT SHOW, in Mystic, CT (June 27-29),  is featuring an  “I Built It Myself” exhibit which is intended to enable dialogue with prospective builders through a display by and an open forum with amateur builders.  BROUHAHA has been selected as part of that exhibit.

Bob Booth


My Rogue was launched QB weekend Saturday - and I recall you saying that you would like a photo or 2 when launched. She took longer than I imagined but then I didn't really have a target date. I just enjoyed the whole journey and everything I learnt on the way. It was 3 years and 6 weeks from getting the plans!!

I am not ready for sailing yet - I need to finish the mast and rigging first, but I wanted to get her out for rowing and motoring first - because I intend to go fishing as well as sailing.

Many thanks for the inspiration from John Welsford's book and web-site. I will see if I can work out how to load photos onto JW Builders forum just in case it encourages others like their projects encouraged me!

Best Regards
Peter Faulkner

Modified Dorado

Hi Chuck,

Here are a couple of pictures of what I built (no, not the jeep, that's there for scale) with all the stuff I ordered from you. I ended up building my own design, but the JM plans were very helpful in the design and building process. Been on the water 3 times so far and I'm very happy with the results.

Carl Bunch
Bloomington, IL

EZ Canoe

Hello Chuck,

I know you are busy with the Texas 200, and wish you great success. I read daily the report by Sandra, find it exciting, and hope someday to participate.

I am nevertheless quite pleased with the Toter's acceptance. As a result, I have designed and built a small canoe called the 'E Z', and today was it's maiden voyage. It performed as expected, no surprises. It is fast in the water and very easy to paddle. Although narrow, it is stable, a function of the shallow V bottom.

The primary reasons for this design are as follows:

  • Must not need a trailer or be cartopped
  • Must be easy and inexpensive to build
  • Will utilize a "tape & glue" assembly process (not stitch & glue)

My plan to build a small, 4 passenger cruiser of folding design is still in the works, but the hot Summer months (this is Arizona after all) will force a hold on the project until Fall. In the meantime I will be looking for new waterways to explore.

Best regards,
Ken Simpson

Plans for the EZ Canoe are available from Duckworks

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