September Reports  

By Duckworks Readers - all over the place

January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August

Hi Chuck - in your letters section for August, you published a short note from Seattle writer Tim Yeadon, who forwarded Seattle-area boatbuilder Eric Hvalsoe's new website.

What Tim didn't tell you is that he took a class with Eric a while back, then went out and built a wonderful 15-foot Matinicus Peapod (named BIG FOOD). Tim's boat looked great! Perhaps you can prevail upon him to tell us how he built it with accompanying pictures?

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here's a picture of Tim's boat BIG FOOD at the Seattle Center For Wooden Boats Boat Festival, taken 2 July 2007.

Pete Leenhouts

Elegant Punt

Hello Chuck,
You mentioned photos. Here is a shot of a boat my cabinet shop built. The boat is Bolger's Elegant punt. We launched her in Sarasota Bay (FL), rowed around a bit and then retired to O'Leary's Cocktails in Paradise for lunch and liquid refreshment. I eventually intend to use the boat as a tender for my sailboat.

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I love your magazine. Keep up the good work !!

Jim Christie

Indian Girls

Today was the first day of sea trials for Indian Girls Winnisimmet and Honcho. It was overcast, with drizzle and a cold east wind, but Emily, Christopher, Captain Elvin, Rugs and Captain Papi took the two canoes out for their maiden voyages. Initial reports were nothing but praise for the ease of paddling, turning and great stability. Even Captain Elvin who been known for an unsuccessful Eskimo roll in the kayak was impressed. Captain Papi even stood up and did an Irish jig while the canoe was underway.

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Richard Honan

Sail Material & etc.

Sure liked the report on sail material by the high school girl. Makes the Bainbridge material look much above the rest. I'm also going to make sure my sails are dry in the future. Can't tell you how many times I've raised the main to find water pooled in the rolled sail. Never realized this was harmful---water hurting sail material--doesn't sound right. Lee

Picture is a trial I'm running on a method of attaching nets to tri's. I saw it at the shop of Lone Star Multihull in Brownsville and am attempting to copy for the 31' - what do you think?

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Hi Chuck I am trying my hand at building Diablo I have fooled around with it a couple months after work and some weekends I just took a few pics I started with plywood from Maine coast lumber and mdo from a local yard epoxy from NH and then from Fla paint from e-bay and full size patterns from compass rose in Maine I hope to be on the water next week a little later than I had hoped I also have been working on the power bought an old Evenrude 15 salty sailboat pusher getting her cleared up was a challenge then another 15 Johnson looks good it was a lobster boat backup but never in salt and finally an 70's 25 that useto run from lake Champlain that is still in the car hope you like the pics I'm sanding and spar varnishing today - Eric Mills

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I had the opportunity to attend one of David Nichols' boat building classes recently and put this Flyfisher together. There will be a full article in an upcoming issue of Duckworks.

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By the way, you can see just a bit of the Walkabout I am working on in the background.


The Good Ship Sofala

Its a small world - as my email was sending to you, Ian Allen, in New Zealand was mailing me pictures he found of his old boat Sofala. It's his story you published.

The first pictures are of the boat at RCYC, Cape Town and in the clubs moorings. The one in the fog and on the hard is at Saldahna YC some 60 miles NW of Cape Town. The last picture with two guys in the cockpit and sailing in Table Bay, is Ian himself (with beard) on the left. I do not recognise the other person. You may want to update Sofalas tale?


the Chicagoland messabout group did a test run at Ruck Cut State Park with great success! Nice little lake with camping right on the water. Almost on the WI/IL border and not much powerboat traffic with the 10hp no wake limitation. This group will probably be getting more active!

And check out the photos of what Chris Feller and I got to see as we were leaving, after everyone else took off! This guy restored this Dispro over 50 years, starting when he got the engine in high school. When he finally got the hull it had no ribs or furniture. A first class job! It started on the first spark and let me tell you, that thing hauls ass for a displacement speed boat. Just smokes along and maybe 8 mph with almost no wake.

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I purchased Jim Michalaks book from you around January. I started building Jonsboat in February and just got her finished the end of June. I haven’t put a motor on it yet but installed oarlocks and have taken it out twice. It handles like a dream. The oars I am using are a bit short, they came with my inflatable pontoon boat, yet I can row this boat faster and more accurately with 600 pounds of people and gear than I can my little inflatable. I attached a picture for you, my little girl loves it!

Thank you for your help, I hope to build a sailboat sometime, though its going to be a while because my wife says she needs the garage back for a bit.

Chris Luke


Chuck and Sandra, got the Silvertip Epoxy and FG Tape Friday and started using it same night; got the insides taped. Worth every penny and better than what I was using. Stays workable for 20+ minutes but cures fast. The 1st picture shows the fillet before taping.

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Currently building an 8ft Benford dinghy from the Small Craft book, and using 4mm meranti (I never spell that right). The 2nd picture shows it this afternoon after I flipped it and started plugging holes. This one is for cap'n Ron to use. I'm trying to keep the weight down so he can carry it in and out of the water easily, and take advantage of the light winds in the coves around here. The floor frames will be southern yellow pine; the rest of the woods will be w cedar, pine and cypress to keep light.

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The third picture is the 12.5 ft boat my son and I have worked on the past 2 years. Sort of a dory/skiff thing. Ron found some salvage mahogany bannisters we ripped into strips for the seats after I saw Barrett's Navigator. I got a good deal on salvage redwood siding that I ripped for removeable floorboards. The rails and breasthook are actually glassed poplar. Getting close to launching. I'll get with you on the sail; I'll need some advice on a high-peaked balanced lug or a sprit, trying to work out the right size and studying David Nichols' book. Interesting story too; Cary designed the hull for his high school senior project. We liked the half hull so much we started building it full size.

Once again, thanks to you and Sandra for doing what you do.
Stacy D. Smith

Caledonia Sloop


The bow of our Caledonia. We are temporarily using sails off of a Drascombe long boat. Naturally, they don't fit well. I talked with you some months back about making the sails for this boat. We are just about ready for you to make those sails. We bought a Schaffer 550 Free Furler for this boat. I can fax you a sketch of what I feel the size of the sails should be.

Harry Jordan

Letter to Michael Storer

I am helping my kids build three Oz PDRacers. Thanks for great plans. The first picture is my youngest child with his partially completed boat. The second picture is of three partially completed hulls in the garage... visible in the back ground is the transom of my Marisol Skiff by Gifford Jackson.

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Jonathan Bornman

Fisherman 13 plans wanted

I would like to get my hands on the plans plans for a Fisherman 13", as per attached photograph. It looks like a neat little boat which will suit my fishing needs. Is it possible to fill the boat with either bottles or foam to make it unsinkable? I am from South Africa and fish in estuaries and lagoons and sometimes 2 to 3 miles offshore.

I would like to know what the cost of the plans is and where I can order it from.


Rench Pansegrouw

XCR Update

This is sort of a current status thing on the XCR canoe/trimaran.

The main, canoe (vaka) hull is now just about complete. All that is left is the final carbon cloth wrap on the aft thwart and a clear coat of the whole carbon cockpit coaming and thwarts. Everything else is painted. The bottom is coated with a graphite/epoxy paint for wear proofing against rocky beaches.

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The amas only need their final coat of paint to be finished.

As you can see from the photos, the boat is going to be a knockout when on the water.

As reported before, the boat has been out sailing twice now and the second session was in winds of 15-18 knots. At 200 pounds, ready to sail, she clips along pretty good in the stronger breezes. I'm sure the new owner will be having a blast on his planned adventure trips.


An Idea

.....An idea that might make some smaller lakes more pleasant for rowing and sailing ..... A few "fixed' signs should do the trick....:^)

Jack Panter

Miner's Castle

Usually when you see water of this clarity and hue where the kayaks appear suspended in air, you assume a tropical locale.

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But in this case, the spot is Lake Superior, specifically Miners Castle at the Picture Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The water, at the end of July, was a bracing 55 degrees (which is actually warmer than I thought Lake Superior got) and these folks had to paddle a few miles to get here. (Insert Minerscastle picture here) The picture is shot from an observation deck, atop a cliff more than 100 feet above the water. Anyone familiar with the location might note that there used to be two knobby extrusions on top of Miners Castle; the second one, yielding to the effects of erosion, fell into the lake last spring, before the tourists and tour boats arrived. No one actually saw it, although some folks heard the crash. I guess should wouldn't want to be anywhere near that in a kayak as the resulting wave might be a bit of a problem. We took a tour boat, and the captain said there a major rockfall about once a year along the 15 or so miles of the sandstone cliffs, which range up to about 200 feet high.

Gary Blankenship and Helen Snell



I finally finished my Philsboat and have a few photos of it. My wife Caroline and I spent two nights on it in the North Channel of Lake Huron earlier this week. The rowing arrangement is not ideal, but it works.

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Andy Wallis

Stickleback on Steroids sailing photos

some photos of the first sailing of my 22-foot lug ketch dory. Diascund Reservoir, New Kent County, Virginia, July 25, 2007

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Bob Austin

A Snapshot in Time

In the 1930s depression my father Ed Kellaway and my father-in-law Maurice Callaghan were among a group that decided to establish an athletic club for the city's youth to keep them occupied during those difficult years. Maurice mortgaged the family home to obtain the funds for lumber to build a club house on the water lot provided by the City of Belleville. The club was known as the South End Athletic Club and in addition to baseball, hockey and other team sports the club also promoted theatre, boxing and sailing.

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I have attached a copy of a newspaper clipping of my father Ed winning a race in 1933 and a picture of Maurice's punt the "After U." The picture shows a type of boat locally called a " sailing punt" common to the area having sailed on the Bay of Quinte for over a hundred years. The clipping shows the crew member hiking out on the hiking board (read plank) to keep the boat upright. On windy days the larger the person the better were his chances of crewing that day. If you look closely you can make out the oar that was used to steer the boat, everything about the boats was simple and cheap. The definition of a punt is a flat bottom boat with square ends and this description certainly fits the Quinte sailing punts. The boats raced in several classes but all boats were made by the owners, sails were obtained from various sources for example, some were re-cut from old schooner sails, made from canvas remnants from various sources.

The boatyard was the backyard, the sail loft was the floor of the local armouries and materials were obtained in many ingenious ways, for example, one punt was owned by a man nicknamed "Froggy" who had made his sails from unbleached Redpath sugar bags and as a result the boat was called "Redpath Froggy". One of the punts was said to have been "carried out to plan", they planned all day and carried (lumber) all night. During the depression over 70 boats were built locally and many skills and relationships were developed in the building of these boats.

Rules were simple, the punt classes were established on the length of the boat alone, no professional built punts allowed, all punts had to be planked athwartships (crossways) Only one schoonerman could race in any boat as they were considered professional sailors. The majority of punts were gaff rigged sloops carrying enormous sails for their size (see picture). Races were usually held in towns on the Bay of Quinte but occasionally a punt would sail the hundred mile round trip to Kingston for a weekend race.

Weekly races were on Wednesday afternoons and the clock to start the race was the town hall clock as it was visible to all from the waterfront. The race would start and end at the mouth of the harbour locally called a "boomerang course." My uncle was frequently a starter for these races as was King Rogers who had sailed in the 1881 America's cup challenge from Belleville. It was common for hundreds of people to line the shores and bridges to watch the punts race since capsizes and gear failure was common during the race. Visiting yachts from Toronto would stay over in town just to see the Wednesday afternoon races. World War II saw the club go dormant and efforts to revive it after the war in 1947 were unsuccessful, the world had changed and the returning veterans had other priorities.

by Don Kellaway from the Callaway Family Newsletter
submitted by Tom Beck

Admiral Dinghy Update

BRIDGE CITY, TEXAS. . . . Now nearly 60 (sixty) days into Leg #1 of his worldwide circumnavigating Voyage, Admiral Dingy (aka Daryl Colinot of Bridge City) will be returning to Lake Sabine next Friday, June 1st) to complete the second half of the Lake’s circumnavigation venture that he began last August.

At that time, the Admiral was in the process of introducing himself and his custom-crafted, world-cruising Dinghy to the public in the Golden Triangle, while skeptics were questioning the likelihood of him ever completing a 14-leg world circumnavigating Voyage aboard the nine-foot/eleven-inch Cruise Ship Dinghy which he built.

Structural problems associated with the Dinghy surfaced back then, which kept him from being able to complete the second-half circumnavigation of Lake Sabine. Ten (10) months, two websites, and his own Nautical Mile Tracking Club later, the Admiral is now 50+ days into Leg #1 (the USA Cruise) of his world circumnavigating Voyage with public enthusiasm and support for his venture growing and likely to serve as a springboard for him to achieve his world circumnavigating goal.

In early April, he and his custom-crafted Dinghy became audience draws for SEASPACE—the annual scuba diving and adventure travel expo, which was held at Houston’s Reliant Center--where not only did he draw in the crowds for the Event, but also lectured on “Sailing the Seas in a 9-Foot/11-Inch Vessel” and “Surviving on the Savage Seas.”

Following SEASPACE, he and the Dinghy traveled to Corpus Christi, where public enthusiasm and support for the Admiral and his worldwide circumnavigating venture continued to grow as countless well-wishers and admirers found themselves enthusiastic enough to jump in their cars and track down the Admiral and his Dinghy following published reports about his plans to circumnavigate the world.

Earlier this month, the Admiral and his Dinghy participated in an amateur boatbuilder’s “Mess-about”, which was held in Port Lavaca. That event was hosted by Duckworks—a national amateur boat builders’ online magazine.

Aside from having embarked on Leg #1 (The USA Cruise) of his world-circum-navigating Voyage, the Admiral has built two (2) websites: and

“It is through my websites that my supporters and well-wishers can also become part of the adventure as I play it out on the world’s ocean stage, “ says the Admiral.

“For a small fee, those joining my Nautical Mile Trackers’ Club will officially sponsor the nautical miles as I log them, and will also receive recognition through a certificate bearing my signature authenticating the actual logging of their sponsored mile(s).”

The certificates are projected to increase in value among collectors of maritime history memorabilia. The Admiral says, “I will submit my sponsors’ names with the material that I will be submitting to Guinness World Records in London, England when I complete the Voyage—because without their sponsorship, I would not be able to do it.”

His second website— features health products which the Admiral will be relying on for survival while at sea. Among them, is FrequenSea—a phytoplankton-based nutritional product that provides the necessary nutrients in only two (2) ounces of the product. Says the Admiral, “Yes—I will not go to sea without FrequenSea.”

The Admiral’s visit to Lake Sabine (which will take place at the Boat Ramp at Pleasure Island Pier in Port Arthur) will begin with a “Meet & Greet the Public” at 4 PM on Friday, June 1st, continue throughout Saturday and the Dinghy cruise on Lake Sabine will begin on Sunday with the incoming tide.

“I will be leaving on the incoming tide --and I would like to invite everyone in the Golden Triangle to come out, say hello, join my Nautical Mile Trackers’ Club—and cheer me on as my Dinghy and I wrap up our circumnavigation of Lake Sabine,” said the Admiral.

He added, “So far, my Nautical Mile Sponsors have been from other areas of Texas—and even from Washington state—but it would really be nice to drum up some support from my own friends and neighbors in the Golden Triangle—and it would also be terrific to have the support 50 U.S. states represented.”

To reach the Boat Launch Ramp at Pleasure Island Pier in Port Arthur, Texas from your particular location, please call the Pleasure Island Commission by dialing (409)982-4675 for directions.

Admission to Admiral Dingy’s Dinghy Launching will be free to the public.

For more information,contact Nora Gutierrez, Public Relations Counsel to Admiral Dingy at (409)365-9805, or via e-mail at

An internet retailer answers the question: “What can I do when…?”

When you’re building a small boat or restoring an older model, what can you do when you have no capacity plate, and worse yet, no idea how to get one made? David Holland has created the solution in founding His small, home-based business focuses solely on compliance labeling for the boating community. Whether you need one label or one thousand, has the products to fill that need.

“The idea for the business came from my father, a life-long boat builder and avid sportsman”, relates Holland.

“I’ve got a six-year long printing background and my dad knew I could get him the label that met his tough requirements.” The labels CML uses are the toughest available. They have been tested over three years without fading, they are water and chemical-proof, and they can be applied to metal, smooth wood, painted surfaces, plastics, and all manner of composites.

David says, “You simply cannot buy these substrates from your office supply store.”

After placing his order, Glenn Holland of Built to Last Woodworks wrote in to share:

"If it's for sale, then you're a boat manufacturer" That's what the representative of the US Coast Guard told me about my very small non-profit boatbuilding business. I was required to "get right" with the Coasties. A 3 letter manufacturer’s code was assigned to be used and flotation calculations were required to be done and flotation installed. Thankfully, I only had a total of 6 boats to retrofit. Custom Marine Labels furnished the Capacity Tags required, "No Problem". Moral of this story, just because you're only building a few boats and not making any money (who can?), you're a manufacturer if they're for sale. Check out the regs.
Glenn Holland:
Built to Last Woodworks

Ken Pero, a Boston Whaler owner, writes the following:

Dear David:
I just received the labels for 1975 Boston Whaler today. They are really great. The original capacity decal was a paper type label covered in a tape like covering. It lasted almost 30 years. When it got damaged, I tried everyone including Boston Whaler to replace it. It couldn't be done. Somehow I found your site using a search engine. I am glad I found you. We need a service like yours around are providing a service at a very reasonable cost. Thanks again for the labels and thanks for a great service.
Ken Pero Jr

Customers just like these have found custom capacity plates, placards, hull IDs, and many other labels at Custom Marine Labels. Visit their website at or Email fgd




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