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The Extract of a Moment

Those of us who write for Duckworks know our editor Mike John. He's a wonderfully capable captain of technology. Recently his father died, peacefully, after a long life. Mike took a sailing vacation with his family in Australia, and I'm sure it was a memorable time.

As we all know, our time is enclosed on this planet. Every day we see is a day closer to our final sleep. If you are a Christian, you know we are all appointed once to die and then the judgment. Our flesh is a carcass in the ground, our spirit is in heaven. So we have only so many sunrises to prepare to meet God.

If you are not religious, you know that life is fulfillment. Some men have wars to fight, shortening their life or returning with dramatic memories. Some of us are farmers, with the daily reaping of crops as our accomplishment. Whatever the case, to know what will satisfy our soul is the happiness we can have.

If God is eternal like the sea, then we have this present moment. We are existential. We feel the wind in a way the angels don't. We feel it as like a soft girl's cheek, or like the torrent of arguing or a tidal wave of force, or a still small whisper. We have the inside of eternity in every moment.

The man is fortunate who knows this, religious or not. He can live inside each moment because that is what is human. It is also humane, coming to realize what is not always seen.

And each of us carries the past. I am very much like my grandfather, so I became a private mentor to my Dad in his last years. He would remember his father when he saw me. And I see my Dad in my youngest daughter April.

The ancient Greeks thought when the soul dies it goes into the River Lethe, the river of forgetfulness. But Mike will not forget his father. Life can be a circular bay, coming around to where it began. The old man sees the sea as the boy did, he once was. So the old man builds a model ship, a schooner to glide the South Pacific looking for an island girl.

And so we might wish Mike's Dad had the life he desired. I hope so. I will raise a glass to Mike's Dad. Might even spill some.

Paul Austin

Kudos for Ken

Every time I think Ken Simpson has probably run out of ways to come up with more take apart designs he comes up with something new. I really have to make an effort not to order more of his designs. I'm supposed to be building his Pollywog for my nephews, but haven't been able to get started on it yet.


Boat App for your iPhone anyone?

Hello Chuck

Like everyday, I was looking at the Duckworks magazine. Thank you for placing my new VOYAGER design. Like always my daily hits soared.

But this is not the issue that prompted me to write this letter. When I look at your messabouts and other gatherings I miss something. After pondering a bit I found out what - the next generation of amateur boat builders. Young persons between 14 and 25. I see this trend in other publications the world over. It is typical for all wealthy countries. Today it is so easy for them. Papa I want this and that and papa is plunging ahead to comply. Even when he can not afford it and he needs a bank loan and/or has to work overtime. He will not tell him:

"Here; you want this, work for it or build it yourself."

Next is the brand name issue. If the product does not have the correct brand name they are out of the group. No chance here with a self made something. But the young ones twitter, SMS and play games together on the Internet. This gives them the feeling they belong to a group and have lots of friends. Building a boat is an individualistic business, but individualism is not common today.

My youngest customers were 12 and 15 years of age. They built a DUO 425 all by themselves and were, rightly so, very proud of their effort. Today kids are proud to have won a game. Making something with their own hands is not cool.

In Germany there are singing contests on all the TV stations. More than 300,000 people try to be a singer every year. There are also contests for young inventors. But they draw only about 200 entries. How could this happen? Look at the legislation, regulation, responsibility issues we allowed to curb not only us and but these young ones. The whole is sold under the term "consumer protection".

Next responsibility issues. See the discussions after the last Everglades Challenge. Some were even asking that the organizers are responsible for the doings of participants. This is ridiculous. Nobody is asking anybody to participate. Lawyers lurk around every corner and smell the next million. They protect themselves now, by setting up their own rules. A paper of 26 pages! Remember how it started? A group of individualists made the decision to do this adventure - and they did so.

Who is to blame? It's our generation. It is sad, that again an old tradition of self-realization is prone to disappear. What can we do about it? Perhaps when somebody invents an app that allows the young ones to build a boat with their i-phone.

Kind regards

Bernd Kohler

Sail Oklahoma

Even with the less than ideal weather, Sail OK was by far the most fun I've had at a boating event. Having met Dave Gentry there I decided to sign up for two sailing courses at WoodenBoat School next August that he is co-teaching. A guy who took a few shots of me in the Melonseed finally sent me some. Attached is the best one in case it is useful for you.

Steve Lansdowne

Ace Boats

Hi Chuck, I belong to your group . I have started another forum for Ace Boats at:

I would like to see more of these boats make a come back as they are a great boat and pretty fast. I owned one in 1974 and wish I still had it. I grew up with these types of boats in the 50’s. yep I am old. lol. My group is about the original Ace and the Sandeace runabouts. It’s about restoring and finding these boats and building new ones.

I am building a model of an original Ace but taking it out to 14’ and putting a Black Arrow class C racing bow on it. Hopefully I will start the real one this spring.

I have nothing against sail boats as I like em a lot and had a 26’ thunderbird for a while but the small powerboat/runabouts are left out. These boats are real easy to build and pretty cheap to run and maintain plus a lot of fun.


Unicorn Lug

Hi I see you offer plenty of fun little boats. I really like the concept of scamp. What do you think of a similar boat a bit longer using a rig I call the Unicorn lug? You've probably never heard if it. Neither had anyone else. It allows a free standing lug rig to carry a small jib on a separate sprit forward. It will stand up to real wind yet is easily removable in seconds. Do a search for that rig on YouTube to see some videos of a venture22 with it. I think it is perfect for these small boats.


Jangada Video

Chuck For anyone not already familiar with them, there is a fascinating documentary about the building and sailing of a traditional Brazilian fishing raft called Jangada under the heading "Jangada de raiz" on the internet.

Garry Osborn=

PDRacer Plug


Please let me plug Shorty Pen's PD Racer ID plate.  It is a great way to give your PD Racer a more substantial look if you have to have the local game warden or police officer inspect the vessel, spiff up you PDR and helps support the website .

I'm working overseas with no boat or navigable water, and heading back soon, Duckworks has been an important link to keeping my sanity. 

John Nystrom
Peru, IN

Push Pole Praises

Chuck, I really enjoyed the Push Pole article. What a great place to go paddling. The smiles on the faces of those kids(including the big ones) says it all. I liked the history about the ice barn as well. I don't often think about how difficult it used to be to get ice.


Remembering Jan Gougeon

Jan Gougeon of Gougeon Brother’s Boat Shop has crossed the bar. He was an original thinker and a giant in the boating community. I had the pleasure of meeting his brother Meade at the start of the EC a couple of years ago but did not have the pleasure of meeting Jan. - JIB

Jan Gougeon passed away yesterday according to a post on sailing anarchy. He and Meade were the absolute pioneers on epoxy and boat construction. They also designed some very innovative multi hulls and ice sailors. He will be missed. - Hajo

GIS 2013 Calendar

This new 2013 Calendar would be great for an office! Imagine turning it around to show a customer.

Mike Storer

Merry Christmas

Chuck, I just wanted to wish you, Sandra, the rest of your family, and the Duckworks family a Merry Christmas and a Joyous new year. May the year ahead bring you all many blessings.



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