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Hi Chuck, 

I have created yet another take-apart small boat called the EXPLORER.  It is a One Sheet design, for individual use, to be rowed or paddled, but will accept a trolling motor.  This is also a nesting design, that will fit in most any vehicle, and is only 50 inches long for transport.  The primary features are: small size, weighs 40 pounds with a 250 pound capacity, $100 to build basic hull, tape & glue construction and no trailer required.

As you can see, this is a small boat with character and will not break the bank to build. Construction is straight forward, and the plans, alhough brief (8 pages) are complete.

There are sufficient photos and sketches to satisfy even the novice boat builder.  And, I am providing my Yahoo email address for possible questions.

I am suggesting you sell these plans for $20, a price that most can afford, even in these difficult economic times.

Many thanks for your attention to my newest creation, the 'Explorer'.

Best regards,  Ken

Pirate Ship/Playhouse

The Project:

A Pirate ship playhouse that is going to be as authentic as possible. (Not going back into the water) I started in the summer of 2007 with a 36’ Chris Craft Constellation with fly bridge that had a full cabin compartment that could sleep 6 people including  a bathroom and kitchen, dining table etc, that was going to be crushed and hauled to the scrap pile.

I completely gutted it down to the hull and stripped the paint and replaced planks and stained it. Then put a wood preservative/hardener  ($100. Gal) on the original 43 years old Mahogany wood and then finished it off with 3 coats of marine Bristol clear finish ($150 Gal).

I’m now in the process of building the rear 10’ X 10’ Captains Quarters with a upper deck.  Next will be the main deck And front bow cabin. 

I can’t believe I’m doing this project!  From the initial idea, to buying the boat I had to ask myself if I’m not going crazy in my old age several times and still question myself to this day!  LOL (Blood from splinters, Sweat from the 100+heat and tears because I have a ways to go still)

 I predict it should be 85%-90% completed in a few months, Money permitting.

My wife lost her job and times are tough but I’m determined to get this Pirate Ship done. My daughter is 10 years old. All this effort for one little special needs daughter Hanah who loves Peter Pan!

Tom Stover

New Gaff Boat

Hey Chuck....

How are you both doing ? You have been on a river trip...?

We drove to Nevada City, CA to hitch up my 1948 Custom Gaff Boat, but had to work on the bumper hitch as well as get the surge brakes working on the boat trailer. That took 2 days, but time well spent. Surge brakes made all the difference towing.

We took I-5 north all the way to Columbia, lots of 6% grades. I think the boat weighs in at about 5000 lbs.

looking fwd to seeing you both at Kokopelli!



Hi Chuck,
I have really enjoyed the pics and videos of the Texas200 posted so far.  It looks to me like this year was more challenging than last year.
I have attached a picture of my pram as it stands today.  I am in the process of finishing the interior.  It will be varnished.  The spars, dagger board and rudder assembly are ready to varnish also.

I have ordered several items from your store and am quite happy with the quality and service.
Take care,


The boat is just under 11 ft. long.  I'm not set on the name yet.  It seemed logical as the Mockingbird is our state bird.
I didn't tape the chines after all, instead I did something I've been wanting to do for quite some time.  I carried the boat out of my rather cramped workspace, loaded it into my truck and took it to town, so that I could get some better pictures of it 

The forward hatch for paddling is not cut into the foredeck yet (all of the framing for the hatch is in place under it) so that aspect may be hard to visualize.  The pic with the boat upside down really shows the PDR'esque heritage, and yet I think in the rightside up pics, it's fairly pretty for a garvey/scow type with unflared box sides.  I worked really hard to come up with a way to give it a crowned deck without complex framing that would overwhelm the new builder.  The solution was to use beams that ran the length of the boat to support the side decks and fore and aft deck.  Since the deck only curves from side to side, not front to back, the lengthwise beams can be simple straight 1x2 cut to length, rather than the framing members of more traditional boats which are shaped by hand to match the curves. 




I finally got around to trying out the new spritsail you made for my Sea Bright skiff. It works great! I wasn't able to take a photo on the water, but a dry land shot is attached.

Thanks, Andy Anderson

Stripper update

Getting close to being complete, as pictured she weights 44.5 lbs. I’m saving plenty of pictures for an article.

Glynn Sirmans

Boat Launching for Dummies

...Apparently never saw it done before ...or maybe the sight of the Sheriff's boat spooked him....:^)



Hi Chuck, Wanted to say thanks for the wonderful article on our house boat. Here our pics of my daughters tug from Mike Gill's plans. We will keep you updated  on our progress.

Thanks again, Justin Julian

Noah Today

THIS is too good not to pass along - Jack

June 30, 2009
Book Review
By Joe Ditler


SAN DIEGO - The legacy of Kettenburg Boat Works can be seen in the sheer number of wooden vessels still plying the Pacific Ocean. It’s a story of the last of the “amateur” yacht designers, builders and racers to gain a following based on the quality of their work alone, rather than on an academic pedigree. They were sailors first, designers after.

The San Diego-based company started in 1919 at about as grass roots as one could get, lowering hand-made boats into the swampy waters off Shelter Island on roughly-hewn wheels and ways. They had to wait for high tide to lift their larger creations out of the mud.

The San Diego Maritime Museum, in conjunction with Mystic Seaport Museum has produced a vivid coffee table book capturing the legacy of the Kettenburg family, their boats and what made them so special.

“Initially, building the Kettenburg boats provided the basis for a family business,” said Raymond Ashley, director of the San Diego Maritime Museum. “Ultimately it provided a kind of maritime immortality, a deepening patina of legend that has followed the boats themselves as they sail across the decades and generations.”

Ashley pointed out that the Kettenburg PC was the first popular class of ocean sailing boat in Southern California that people of ordinary means could aspire to own. Today there are dozens of them still afloat and racing. The PC Fleet is extremely active (and inexplicably competitive) on a weekly basis in San Diego.

The Kettenburgs created a name people could trust and a boat you knew would not fail you. They were known for their integrity and their appreciation of both the people building and the people buying their boats. A plaque hung in Paul Kettenburg’s office heralding two simple words: “People Matter.”

From high-speed vee-bottom rumrunners of the 1920s to the Pacific Class (PC) sailboats of the 1930s; from government fishing boats and plane-rearming contracts during World II to the classic Pacific Cruising Class (PCC) after the war, the Kettenburg boats left their mark on the world of boating.

The book is 224 pages of well-researched information on the Kettenburgs and their product, carefully prepared by historian Mark Allen.

Among the chapters inside are Early Ideas and Designs, Rumrunners, Birth of the PC, Greyhounds of the Sea, Wartime Competition, and The Kettenburg People.

Paul and George Kettenburg have passed on, but the Kettenburg family fully cooperated to bring this graphic and insightful book to completion, sharing photographs that had never been seen by the public.

The photographs alone are spectacular. Combine this with the well-researched history and lively anecdotes concerning the Kettenburgs and their boats and you have a book that you’ll be proud to set out for others to see. No dusty bookshelves for this quality volume.

“Building Kettenburgs,” sells for $50 (US) and is available at the San Diego Maritime Museum Store. For more information on ordering the book visit them at, or call (619) 234-9153 x 108.

“Building Kettenburgs”
By Mark Allen
224 Pages
199 Images
Hard Cover only
$50 (US)
Published by Mystic Seaport Museum and
The San Diego Maritime Museum
ISBN: 978-0-039511-26-6


- Reviewed by Joe Ditler


Hello Fellow Minesweep Sailors,  

The second book in the Wooden Ships and Iron Men series, Wooden Ships and Iron Men: The U.S. Navy's Coastal & Motor Minesweepers, 1941-1953 is now available from Heritage Books at  You may also read more about the book at my author's website:

Wooden Ships and Iron Men: The U.S. Navy’s Costal and Motor Minesweepers, 1941-1953 - David Bruhn.

Possessing insufficient minesweepers to protect U.S. harbors and bays as the threat of war in Europe spread, in the winter of 1939-40 the Navy began purchasing fishing vessels and modifying them to combat mines. One of them, Condor (AMc-14), first sighted the Japanese Type-A midget submarine that destroyer Ward (DD-139) sank on December 7, 1941 with the first shots fired by American forces during World War II. She would be one of six coastal minesweepers to receive a battle star. From boat- and shipyards across America came the largest production run of any World War II warship, 561 scrappy little 136-foot wooden-hulled vessels characterized by Arnold Lott in Most Dangerous Sea as "belligerent-looking yachts wearing grey paint." Although their designers envisioned that they would operate primarily in the vicinity of yards or bases, the YMSs (too numerous to be given names) would see action in every theater of war, earning almost 700 battle stars, twenty-one Presidential Unit Citations, and fifteen Navy Unit Commendations. YMSs were present in the North African campaign, in Sicily, at Anzio, Salerno, and elsewhere in Italy, and swept ahead of invasion forces at Normandy and in Southern France. In the Pacific, they operated in the Marshall Islands, New Guinea, Solomons, Treasury Island, Gilbert Islands, New Britain, Admiralty Islands, Guam, Palau, Leyte, Luzon, Manila Bay, Iwo Jima, Southern Philippines, Okinawa, and Borneo. Following the war, they cleared mines from the East China Sea, Yangtze River approaches, and throughout Japanese waters, and their activities gave rise to the proud slogan of the mine force: "Where the Fleet Goes, We've Been." During the Korean War, a mere sixteen auxiliary motor minesweepers (former YMSs) performed the bulk of mine clearance, often while inside the range of enemy coastal artillery, necessary for larger naval vessels to close the coast to support operations ashore. Garnering collectively 124 battle stars, seven Presidential Unit Citations, and seven Navy Unit Commendations, the men aboard these ships were then, and remain to date, the most highly decorated crews of minesweepers in the history of the U.S. Navy.

2009, 5½x8½, paper, index, 368 pp.
ISBN: 0788449095

Book Dedication:

To the "iron men" who have served since 1941 in wooden-hulled minesweepers, and particularly those sweep sailors, many of them reservists, who went in harm's way during World War II and the Korean War.  Please also find attached photographs of two of the many paintings by Richard DeRosset used in the book, "Hidden Menance at Sin-Do Island" (the cover art) and "Moonlit Assault in the Aegean" (depicting the German Luftwaffe attack on British Yard Minesweeper 72).  

Please also find attached photographs of two of the many paintings by Richard DeRosset used in the book, "Hidden Menance at Sin-Do Island" (the cover art) and "Moonlit Assault in the Aegean" (depicting the German Luftwaffe attack on British Yard Minesweeper 72). 

I enjoyed researching and writing this book, and hope that readers and especially former minesweep sailors and their family members and friends enjoy it as much.

David Bruhn


July 1 Declared ‘National Boating Day’ By Congress

Recognizing Boating Industry’s Economic Contribution 

Industry Announces Sales Data at Start of Crucial Summer Selling Season

CHICAGO (June 26, 2009) – With the arrival of peak boating, and boat selling, season, yesterday evening, the U.S. Senate passed S. Res. 199, introduced by Senators Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), declaring July 1, 2009 National Boating Day.  The resolution recognizes the important role recreational boating and the boating industry play in the lives of the nation’s 70 million boaters and the U.S. economy. 

“I am very pleased that the Senate passed this resolution recognizing July 1 as National Boating Day. The boating industry is very important to the economy of North Carolina and provides families with the opportunity to enjoy our state’s scenic treasures, from our mountain lakes to the Outer Banks,” said Senator Richard Burr.

”The boating industry has always been an integral part of Wisconsin’s landscape,” said Senator Herb Kohl said. “From the boat manufacturing jobs it supports to the millions of dollars generated by recreational boating, it has a tremendous impact on our economy and has made our state a tourist destination. This resolution recognizes the many ways boating has shaped Wisconsin.”

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports in its 2008 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, released this week, that there are more than 17 million recreational boats on the water, of which nearly 95 percent are less than 26 feet in length. What’s more, the Abstract shows that contrary to boating’s reputation as only for the ‘affluent,’ 76 percent of boat owners have a household income less than $100,000 per year.  Other highlights from the NMMA’s data include:

  • The U.S. recreational boating industry contributed $33.6 billion to the U.S. economy in 2008
  • The average price of a new outboard boat, engine and trailer package in 2008 was $29,388
  • May, June and July were the most active months for boat sales in 2008
  • Adult participation in boating increased six percent to an estimated 70.1 million from 66.4 million
  • There were 704,820 new boats sold in 2008 (including powerboats, sailboats, canoes, kayaks and personal watercraft)
  • There were 203,00 new powerboats sold in 2008 for a dollar value of $7.6 billion

“The entire marine industry and recreational boaters nationwide look forward to celebrating National Boating Day,” said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “Not only is recreational boating a beloved pastime, but marine businesses are important parts of their communities and our national economy, creating business opportunities and local jobs. Our thanks go to all of the Members of Congress behind this resolution for their strong support of the boating industry.”

With the nation’s average price for gas hovering around $2.50 per gallon, much lower than 2008’s nearly $4 per gallon, boaters are expected to hit the water in larger numbers this summer. In fact, a May survey of more than 30,000 members of the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatU.S.) found that 92 percent of motorboat owner respondents plan to boat this summer if gas prices are lower than last summer; of that, 39 percent noted they would go boating more often. What’s more, 96 percent of all respondents said the economic downturn would not cause them to stop using their boat this summer.

Industry experts continue to stress, for those in the market for a boat, now is the time to buy. Dealers and marinas nationwide have rolled out special incentives on boats, accessories, slips and services, pulling out all the stops for the crucial summer selling season. Discover Boating, the recreational boating industry’s national awareness campaign, has also created a one-stop online resource for those looking to get their ‘feet wet’ in boating,

In addition to Senators Kohl and Burr, more than 20 Senators co-sponsored the resolution, including Senators Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), David Vitter (R-La.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.)  Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).

A companion measure, H. Res. 410, sponsored in the House by Congressmen Ron Klein (D-Fla.) and Henry Brown (R-S.C.), along with Congressional Boating Caucus Co-Chairs Candice Miller (R-Mich.) and Gene Taylor (D-Miss), passed unanimously in the House of Representatives on June 9 with 27 bipartisan co-sponsors.


About NMMA

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters in North America. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy advocacy, market statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the boating lifestyle. To learn more, visit

About Discover Boating

Discover Boating is a national awareness campaign developed by the North American recreational boating industry and managed by the industry’s trade group, the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Discover Boating programs focus on improving the boating experience and building interest in recreational boating by providing a resource for Americans to explore the benefits, affordability and accessibility of the boating lifestyle. To find out more, visit  

Sea Tow Reports Dramatic Increase in
Boating Activity over Fourth of July Holiday Weekend

Southold, NY, July 7, 2009 – The number of Fourth of July weekend marine assistance calls to Sea Tow Services International Inc., the world’s largest, and only international, marine assistance organization, increased by 25 percent over 2008 as more boaters celebrated on the water. The increase follows two consecutive years in which Fourth of July-related assistance calls to Sea Tow’s nearly 100 U.S. franchise locations remained flat, suggesting that despite the economic recession, boaters spent more time on the water this Fourth of July weekend enjoying the many lifestyle benefits of boating.

“With fuel prices at the dock down by more than 30 percent in some locations this summer versus last, it’s clear that many boaters decided to celebrate the nation’s 233rd birthday doing what they most enjoy – recreating on the water,” said Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer III, Sea Tow’s Chief  Operations Officer. “This naturally led to an increase in boating assistance calls to Sea Tow operators around the U.S.”

Calls to Sea Tow’s 24-hour National Dispatch Center increased by 37 percent over the 2008 Fourth of July holiday, while requests for vessel assistance from Sea Tow were up by 25 percent overall. Overnight calls for the July 4-5 period, when boaters typically head out to enjoy fireworks displays from the water, increased by 34 percent.                  

More than 1,300 service calls were reported by over 80 percent of Sea Tow’s 98 operators nationwide, who were surveyed for this annual Fourth of July report. Of that total they responded to:

  • 839 tows
  • 80 ungroundings
  • 923 fuel drop requests
  • 109 jump starts
  • 59 salvages
  • 13 maydays
  • 6 U.S. Coast Guard MARBS (Marine Assistance Request Broadcasts)

Sea Tow Central and North Texas, Sea Tow Atlantic City, N.J., and Sea Tow Freeport in Baldwin, NY, reported the highest activity levels in the network. Sea Tow captains also were involved in at least a half-dozen life-saving incidents across the country. (For a full report on three rescues made by Sea Tow Miami over the Fourth of July weekend, please see the attached press release.)

Sea Tow’s franchise network employed over 400 staffers and had more than 300 boats on patrol that burned in excess of 17,000 gallonsof fuel while assisting boaters in need throughout the three-day weekend. Over 100 boats and numerous man-hours were volunteered by Sea Tow operators to local fireworks celebrations throughout the country.

Sea Tow Services International also reported that membership sales over the Fourth of July weekend were steady compared with last year’s figures.

“We are happy to see boaters getting out there and enjoying their vessels. We hope that with good weather and steady gas prices this trend will continue,” Frohnhoefer said. “We are glad our Sea Tow operators are there to be of assistance when needed, but as always, we hope boaters will be careful out there.”

NOTE: The results of this year’s statistical analysis include the Sea Tow network’s activity level from Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5, 2009 with 82 percent of the network reporting.

About Sea Tow:
Sea Tow Services International Inc. is the nation’s leading marine assistance provider. Founded in 1983 by Chairman & CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow now serves over 160,000 members in more than 110 locations throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. For a full list of membership benefits, or to inquire about becoming a Sea Tow Services International franchise owner, please visit

For more information or to schedule interviews, please contact: Louisa Beckett, Turnkey Communications & PR, Inc., 407-327-0332; 054-599-9355; E-mail: 


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