| By Brek Brixius - Chadron,
Nebraska - USA
Several years ago while surfing the web I stumbled
across Duckworks. It was a mind blowing experience
for me. Could this be the answer to getting a real
boat to replace my tired inflatable? I mean could
a person like me really just build a boat?
After a few weeks of coming back night after night
to savor every little morsel of new information I
could find on boat building, I decided to go for it.
I chose to build a D-4 dinghy. It was a compact little
unit that would fit in the back of my Mazda Pickup.
to build a D-4 dinghy. It was a compact
little unit that would fit in the back
of my Mazda Pickup.
images to enlarge)
got my tools (a hand saw and a cordless drill) and
set to work. I made every mistake possible. I double
framed everything because nothing looked solid enough.
I used something like 400 screws and 3 gallons of
epoxy. Nearly every piece of lumber was over-size.
A skeg on an 8 foot dinghy should be an inch and a
half thick don't you think?
assembly, I managed to break one of the side panels.
Faced with making a new one or breaking the other
side to match... CRACK!!! and a little tweak of the
bow transom - she fits now.
While I was fumbling with my little upside-down
unfinished creation in the driveway a neighbor kid
came by and asked if I was building a coffin. I
was shocked. How could he not see what it was? Then
I thought about it. I had never built a boat before.
I looked at the boat then at him and said, “yeah
it could well be a coffin”. At hearing that,
he took off running.
boat was right side up and anyone could
plainly see it was not going to be a coffin.
Much more likely a book shelf.
A short while later a police cruiser just happened
to be driving by at a leisurely pace. The officer
inside was clearly taking note of my labors. Fortunately
I was working on the seats by then. The little boat
was right side up and anyone could plainly see it
was not going to be a coffin. Much more likely a book
shelf. The officer signaled his approval and continued
on his way.
I continued working and despite all my mistakes,
I ended up with a boat that remotely resembles a D-4
and best part of all - It floats!
Everywhere I go the boat named “Short Waves”
draws a crowd. Here I am giving rowing lessons. I
give the lessons for free. I find it saves me the
cost of a motor. :)
I am giving rowing lessons. I give the
lessons for free. I find it saves me the
cost of a motor. :)
Best of luck with your project. Hope to see you at