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Dejan's Unusual Boat

On June 15, 1999,  I received the following letter from Jim Michalak:


I've been getting email for about a year from a very interesting fellow in Sweden who has built a boat for folks with a handicap, like himself.  Sort of a landing craft. I've seen photos of it with a small motor but he says it will have a sail very soon. He asked if you might be interested in presenting the project on Duckworks. It is well worth the effort and I may write it up if you don't. I don't think he has a scanner so the photos come through the mail. Very nice and interesting man. This is his "from" address:

        Dejan Petrovicī  dejan.petrovic@privat.utfors.se 

Give him a buzz if he hasn't already contacted you.

JIm  <michalak@apci.net>

Of course I replied that I would contact Mr. Petrovic and  I wasted no time in sending the following e-mail:


Jim Michalak tells me that you have built a boat for folks with a handicap, and might consider letting us feature it in Duckworks Magazine.  We would definitely like to have a chance to present this project.  Let me know if you are interested.

Chuck Leinweber

His reply was short and to the point:

Yes, Iīll sign on Your boat. Ask Jim for the photos first. There will be new ones later with the "boat" under sails.

Below is Dejan's report with pictures.  :


Mum says that I always cried and never slept as a baby.  Except when I was tucked up in a pram. Boating was my life.

A muscular ilness finaly grounded me some years ago. I didnīt get in, out or about in any boat anymore. A hard time.

Little by little I began to plan a new type of boat. I dropped my ballast of " must" on boats, their shape, materials, building and tradition. I landed on a hull similar to the Brazil "Jangada". They been around 6 000 years now.   4.97 x 1.88 meter. .33 meter between bottom and deck. Deck, sides and internal strukture from 4.5 mm birch plywood. Bottom from 6 mm. Transom from 2 x 4.5. A simple tape and gluejob. Heavy glass on bottom and sides and light glass on deck. A "fence" around, a drawbridge in front and a sofa in the back. Sideboards a lá Michalak. Two short masts, a balanced lug (keeps the sheet forces down) main (6.29 sq meter) and a standing lug (keeps the rear area free) mizzen (2.07sq meter). Rudder with a folding blade. Steering in Faeroe Island and Norwedgian way. (On top of rudder a short stick out to the side. A long stick on the short. Steer by pull and push. Keeps the rear area free.)

Started to build in spring 1998 and launched on the 17:th of October. Two weeks before the first snow. So many wasted years.  Now I saw my daughter (7 at the time) handle a small ordinary row/motorboat and decided to build a sailing one to her 8th birthday. No boat has probably been ready on the right day. Not this one eighter, but in January we have 0,7 meter ice anyhow. The building procedure is very simple. The bent plywood is very very strong. I believe that a "two sheet in length"-boat also could be made from 4.5 mm birch plywood.
Chuck is kind to show some pic of the boats! If he allow their will be picīs of boats under sail and a fulI report on how they  handle. ( Note: I am looking forward to it, Dejan )  I want to thank Chuck and hope to inspire You to build a boat. I could!
But I donīt know what to call the type of boat I built first.
Mail Chuck a suggestion!

Dejan Petrovicī

Dejan's unusual boat

Note fastenings for stansions from anglealuminium and the "clockbox" or mastsupport and the sideboard "blocks". dejanl1.jpg (21876 bytes)
dejanl3.jpg (22925 bytes) Note the "fin". It is strange how easy the "boat" let go of the water at very slow speed.
No drawbridge yet. Now the boat is on itīs way to get launched. dejanl2.jpg (34865 bytes)
dejanl4.jpg (30782 bytes)

Drawbridge and motor in place. No sideboards yet.

Note that the mast support is offset to port side. Thus giving free way for a wheelchair.

dejanl5.jpg (15395 bytes)

Dejan's daughter's boat

dejanc2.jpg (22297 bytes) This was how the plywood looked before glueing. Note the sharfing and the patches of glass on the ends of all slots and on the centerline, both sides.
Both boats was built on ladders. Glueing first and triming later was a fast way to get a nice shape. No frames, only some sticks to spread the sides.

dejanc1.jpg (22963 bytes)

dejanc4.jpg (15563 bytes) Epoxied and glassed with light cloth. Som extra cloth on keel and edges. Note the thin keel.  To make a transom stern, instead of a doubleender, just cut a slot and let the planking fall out. Ad a thin wedge. This not only gives a nice transom but also widens the aft area of the boat and broaden the waterline aft.Artillery grenades and high velocity rifle bullets are shaped like that.

Note: Foldable rudderblade. Helm a little offset. Sideboard hold down by rubberrope to velcro closing.

dejanc3.jpg (32908 bytes)

Bat.jpg (16515 bytes) Eight years and on your own keel. Sometimes itīs god to be a kid. And a Dad.
To be changed: The helm is to much offset. Short arms canīt   reach as faf as needed when making a sharp port turn.  Dejan Tos1.jpg (18344 bytes)


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