Timely reports of interesting goings on from around the boat building world.  If you have pictures of anything of interest please send them in for posting.  Don't be shy.  Send to:


June, 2001

From Richard Fry

Hi Chuck,

Well she is! Although not quite finished. I still have to attach the splash coamings, make the boom tent, seal up some stuff, and put about 3 more coats of paint on everything. She sails very good, and is quick as a cat on turns...super responsive...almost too much! Has a strong weather helm that eases off when you ar back on course. On a hard tack is when you really notice it! I used my 34 lb. thrust Motor guide to get around the marina and motor from the landing to the yacht club..about a mile or so.  The little motor did very well, but I want to move up to a 44 lb. thrust which I think will be better. I got the 34 for the Featherwind anyway. It rained to the point we were about to have the Perfect Storm!......but we stayed on the boat anyway! It was great and let me know where I needed improvements or forgot to seal up something! Sunday was great for about 5 hours of fantastic sailing! So now I am getting things dried out...mostly clothes! And will outfit her for cruising. Her christening name is "BUCKEYE LADY"!...cause my sweet wife is from Barberton, Ohio close to Akron. Yep ...she is a purebred yankee!....God forbid!......Had to call it a day because of rain, but maybe I'll get somemore painting done and the splash coaming on before the weekend. Fairwinds and smooth sailing!


June, 2001

From Gavin Atkin in Kent England

A Mouse on holiday

Dave Colpitts took Mouse #1 along to the Small Craft Association's annual fest at the Mystic Seaport Museum, and a lot of people tried out the little boat, including the two great girls in the pictures: Alyssa (eleven years old) and Georganne (just turned 6). It seems to have been quite a hit, so much so that it left our Dave fairly buzzing for days afterwards! I should explain that the Mouse is a dirt cheap to build, easy-peasy one-and-a-bit sheet plywood and stitch-and-glue boat. The design is free and a download is available via the design section of the Duckworks e-zine.

Here's Dave's report:

'Pouring rain Saturday, and very few other than the truly hardy at Small Craft Association annual bash at Mystic Seaport. Lots of nice small boats, lapstrake Rob Roys, beautiful row and sail boats, with a few lovely skin-on-frame kayaks and baidarkas, lots of Mystic River Jellyfish (a nice double ender like the Six Hour Canoe, but made of real wood as a family project at Mystic Seaport. Oh, and did I mention....Mouse #1? 

To make it short, almost everyone looked, laughed at it, tried it, and raved about it. Really smart regular boat types were among the most praising. Very few sarcastic comments, even from this hotbed of traditionalism, so I am "wicked psyched" for the next batch. 

About the boat itself, everyone who tried it seemed to grin from ear to ear, and were surprised at its comfort, rock steady stability, nimbleness, and general easy grace, which bely its rather ungainly initial visuals.

Testers ranged from about six foot four and 220 plus pounds to about 3'4" and about 40 pounds. Versatile! People also remarked on the obvious ease of launching and landing, as well as the cartop simplicity. Some people even said it felt "quick" which I didn't really feel, but didn't argue. It was certainly not out of place darting in and out of the way of "real" boats. That in itself speaks volumes.

'I sailed it about a mile back to the beach, with an umbrella, to myriad grins from the assemblage. It was a hoot! 

Another positive revelation was the ability to launch and land dryshod, by quartering up to the beach with the snout of the Mouse, and leaning one side of the bow/bottom til it beached, and stepping in. This resulted in no discernible damage to the snout, although I suspect that some rather aggressive "heavy" landings on the "v" caused minor splits on the outside v seam only, which was not ever even taped, so it would look pretty. So much for that. Although the insides are lightly taped and filleted (get this, with a tacking of polyurethane and drywall tape, followed by Phenoseal adhesive caulk) and showed no damage, I don't want weeping wicking water wot in the cheap ply.

Hope you all enjoy the glimpse; it was a tremendous energy boost for me to spring this new creation on a new niche eager to try it.'



June, 2001

From Jeff Gilbert

My parents are here, they are in their 70's but gung-ho, so I've hired this (attached)36ft Halverson (1951, new diesel, yet cheap) and am taking them cruising for 10 days or so on the HAWKESBURY RIVER & North Sydney waterways. Also taking a mate from trawler days so we can blame each other when we run aground!  If you have a map of Sydney just look North & you'll see the extent of the playground.  On return I'll be straight in touch.  Have '000s of ems to read.  



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