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Dave Lucas

Chuck and Mike,

I always enjoy David Lucas' articles. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but I really got a good laugh at the ad that shows up right after his statement, "It would probably be more compassionate to run them off than to let them see what retirement really means." Immediately following this statement is an ad for a composting toilet. I had to wonder if that was a statement on retirement.

That Everglades Challenge boat looks like it will be awesome. I've always admired the bufflehead. A stretched version should look pretty nice when it's finished. With the little top on there it reminds me a little bit of Matt Layden's Paradox. From the picture it looks like it won't be totally enclosed like the Paradox. That's probably a good thing.

Paul Cook

Cover Blown

Since Mark Steele blew my cover about my old time motorcycling days in his current column you might allow me to reveal his old time motorcycling back in the day in the '60s when he lived in British Guiana. His bike is not so hefty as my 750 pound Chief though.

Bob Hicks

Nutmeg/Featherwind plans available


The plans for Dave Carnell’s Nutmeg/Featherwind $200.00, sixteen foot sailboat are available for $30.00 from Tom Vetromile. Here is his email address spelled out to fool the email crawling robots: tomvetromileatyahoodotcom

I have updated the blog on how I built the boat:


Peep Hen Problems

Hi Chuck:

I don't see a letters address on your page so I'm trying this.

I tend to get your content and MAIB's confused, so I'm not sure where I saw a recent positive reference to Peep Hens.  But I wanted to add my two cents.

My father owned a Peep Hen briefly, and I sailed it with him.   It sails surprisingly well.  It has wonderful visibility.  It also has superb ergonomics both in the cockpit and the cabin. 

However, it does have one serious issue which I've never seen mentioned in any article discussing the Peep Hen.  The combination of flat bottom, slab sides, and high freeboard/cabin top mean that if a 200 pound adult like myself is foolhardy enough to step on the deck edge without either a passenger, or sail pressure counterbalancing his weight, the boat have a 90 degree knockdown.  If you are unaware of this and are stepping on board from the dock this consequence is not merely embarrassing, but potentially extremely dangerous.  You really have to take care to keep your weight on the centerline when non counterbalanced or over you go.

Oddly,  you could see these knockdowns in an old promotional video.  The manufacturer showed the Peep getting knocked down 90 degrees under sail and the anchor self deploying from the anchor well.  It was touted as a safety feature.  No mention was made of the phenomenon occurring when stepping aboard from a dock, or simply going forward.  In contrast, a normal hull with a curved side, like my Compac 16, will heel gently and stabilize at about 30 degrees.  

I think anyone contemplating a Peep Hen should be aware of this unusual characteristic.

Jeremy Eisler

Recycling in Vietnam

This is from a retired US Marine aviator mate who lives in Lolo, Montana. He completed three tours in Viet Nam... one flying H34 choppers (shot down once) & two flying A4 Skyhawks. He retired as a Lt Col after a cancer scare.
He has also built a couple of small wooden boats from plans which explains his connection with things boating,as well as military aviation.

The long canoes are from old B52 tanks I reckon.Too long for any other a/c I can remember.

Don't you just love the resourcefulness of these people!


Able Bodied What?

Sir, I don't really expect this letter to ever be seen on your website, but I felt that it should be written.

I woke up this morning, and as I do every day, I eagerly checked your website for new articles.  I have been reading your website for two years, diligently, at least once a week and it is my all-time favorite website.  This morning I found the article on "The able-bodied sea-person".

I may never read your website again.  I haven't decided yet.

It started off in a silly manner anyway.  Sea-Person?  The politically correct foolishness would have been bearable, but the rest of the article was just like it. 

Ms. Laurel, like many other people, has a illness that is pitiable.  No one should have to go through what some people are forced to.  However, unlike many others, she did something that is difficult at the best of times, and became truly good at it.

In SPITE of her illness.  I am a sloppy, uncontrolled sailor at the best of times, and this woman truly impresses me.

The author of this article is a fool, in my ever so humble opinion.  No one is equal, no matter the worlds efforts to make it "equal opportunity".  Some people like myself are placed on good clean asphalt, and still manage to stumble, while others are placed on an icy-sidewalk and still manage to outrun the rest of us.

The author is particularly ridiculous in his analogies. Nelson was a COMMANDER.  As such, his physical disabilities were unimportant.  Had he been a regular sailor, after he lost his arm,  he would have been sent home with a yearly sum.  The name would be unknown to the world.  

Mr. Jones lost his legs, and amazingly, in SPITE of this, he continued to be a great sailor.  My esteem for him rises, knowing that he dealt with, conquered, and lived with the loss of his legs.  Most people would be mentally crippled by something like that.

The authors "illustrative thought experiment" is laughable.  Short people are not handicapped, except in the matter of being able to reach high things.  If a midget of three foot height was able to learn to jump and touch a eight foot ceiling, I would be impressed and awed.  He overcame a problem, and conquered it.

To illustrate my meaning,  someone I personally know was very ill for nearly four years.  She had a bad case of lead poisoning, complicated by severe stress.  She was incapable of sleeping properly for the duration of this time, and frankly, the few times I saw her, she looked like "hell warmed over".  In SPITE of this, when she was finally diagnosed and cured, she had learned French and Italian, fluently.  I have never learned even one other language, and considering that she learned two, essentially without a decent nights sleep, is incredible.

Thank you for taking the time to read my complaint,



Hi Chuck,

Thanks for posting the article

One new development... She's currently at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy (!), and has started her own blog at . If you get the chance, would you mind posting that link with the article?

Thanks, both specifically and in general for all your good work!


Dave Z

A Call to Action: Protect your Senses

Hello all,

the other day I had a classical example of "oh sh*t, I _should have_..." - you know how it goes. I am taking this opportunity to try and spare you my experience.

When I was 18-20 years old, I went to a lot of live concerts without hearing protection. Not a good idea. Well I guess there is no way to teach this to a young person, only mentioning it for the record.

Between 20 and 40, I have always only owned El Cheapo power tools. In any case I had a preference for manual tools over electric ones, but of course some things do need power tools to accomplish.

As you guys in the US may have heard, European houses often contain a lot of masonry and reinforced concrete. So attaching stuff to walls and ceilings invariably comes with power drilling (unless you glue, as they are advertising now).

My El Cheapo power drill used to go "SCREEEEEEEYYEEYYEEYYEEECCHHHH!!!" and not make any reasonable progress, like 2mm/sec in concrete for a 6mm (1/4") drill bit. You get the picture. I must have accumulated several days of solid drilling over the years, or so it feels.

Only at the age of 40 did I get my first good power drill, with a separate electric motor for the drilling (turning the bit) and an electro-pneumatic hammering unit (hammering the bit into the wall). El Cheapo drills do this with an excentric studded wheel that converts a part of the turning motion into a bit of hammering).

My new drill is nicely heavy, goes at a relaxed "KRAAAA" and eats into the wall much faster, I would say 1-2cm/sec under conditions as above. It is much less noisy and the exposure time is reduced by a factor of 5-10.

Hey. This is a boatbuilding site. Who cares about concrete / why am I telling you this? - Well it's simple. Similar statements apply for your saber saw, skilsaw, router and others. All of these are really very loud.

A few weeks ago, I suffered from a sudden loss of hearing (on one ear only, fortunately). It may be related to stress at work, but I am sure it is also related to accumulated ear damage over the years from noise exposure. So far it looks like my hearing is not coming back fully.

Hence my advice:

1) do work with good tools. When pondering that super offer for the tool you always though you needed, do check its noise rating. Consider if saving a few bucks is really worth your health. If you can't afford a good tool, don't buy one at all, but rather borrow one from a friend. You will be surprised how happily many people will lend if you just ask.

2) do use protection. Micky mouse ear protectors look stupid, but they can save your hearing over time. They are surprisingly cheap, actually. I got mine for less than 10€, and they have a -39dB rating = roughly, they turn the noise of a starting jet airplane into that of an electric lawnmower. Consider for how many more years you want your ears to work flawlessly. Be nice to them for a change. You also brush your teeth daily, don't you?

3) do the same for your other vulnerable senses - wear protective glasses, protect your hands and your respiration. Really, good quality protection gear is not that expensive. Our sensual organs are so complex that the body has not provided for a lot of redundancy. If they are gone, they are gone. Of ears and eyes one can say "there's still one left", but let me tell you: it ain't the same if the 3D seeing/hearing is gone.

So. I now use good tools AND protection. If you do the same, you will also give your loved one one less possible pretext to stop you from boatbuilding :-)

Mario Stoltz, Hamburg.


1) ESD Drowing. The article linked seems to very clearly state fresh water. Is ESD drowning not an issue in salt water for some reason?

2) I've been meaning to comment on the new layout, I like it. Also, I've noticed Chuck and Sandra have expanded their selection of products. For instance, I see they now carry fiberglass sleeving for 'glassing sparts.

3) Instructable for the pump: Size of pipe will determine rate of flow and maximum PSI. You're only able to push a certain ammount, lets say 100lbs for convenience. If you're pushing on a 1 inch diameter piston, you're pushing on .785sqin. With your 100lbs of push, you can generate 127psi. Now, if you're pushing on a 3 inch diameter piston, you're pushing on 7.069sqin. With your 100lbs of push, you can only generate 14psi.

So why does that matter? Well, if you need to generate say 2psi to get the water up and out of the boat, you'll need to apply a lot less force with the smaller diameter which means you can pump for longer without getting tired. However, you'll only be moving very little water per stroke. So somewhere in the continuum there's an ideal size for the pump that balances volume pumped per stroke and force applied.


Messabout Proposal

Bucket List – part 10

Ever have long talks with yourself?  I sure do.  And, I’ll betcha’ that’s how Pogo reached his elegant conclusion to the cause of all the world’s problems.  You remember?  “We have met the enemy.  And, he is US.”  Sure, you remember.

Those long talks with ourselves might relate pretty well to a corollary I developed a long time ago.  It follows on the lines of how ‘THEY” are always doing malfeasant things to ‘US.”  Actually, the malfeasanting is almost always aimed directly at the “ME” in the discussion.  But, since first person, singular, is judged to be so selfish—in our culture, anyway; most of the ME’s I know, refer to injustices visited upon the US’s.  Oh yeah.  I was supposed to tell you about The Corollary.

Well, I would postulate that if there is, in fact, a THEY at all.  THEY wouldn’t have patience, interest, or time to actually mess with US.  THEY would be fully engaged in defending THEMselves against, er, some other THEY’s.  Know what I mean?

Anyhow.  That’s my particular pointy-headed take on why we all have long talks with our selves.  Nobody else can really follow the discussion, for want of dealing full time with their own interior dilemmae. 

Well, anyway, I was carrying lumber, or moving dirt, or maybe even, painting our guest cottage roof before the rains that are due later in the week.  The sorts of jobs that lend themselves to some of those more “intimate discussions.”   Anyhow, I had to face up to the fact that some things are just more of an “I Want,” than an “I Need.”  It was a very close horse race.  The lead changed hands more than once during those self-talks.  But, I’ll have to admit that prudence—and poverty—have prevailed. 

I don’t get to go to Oklahoma for the World Class, Sail OK Boat Festival.  At least, not this year.  And, that naturally means that all my big deal plans for cruising America’s Heartland are on hold, as well.  As Kurt Vonnegut is much more famous for saying, “So it goes.”  And, so it goes.  Or, in my case, so I don’t go.  Anyhow, I’ve been hatching a consolation round.  One that just about anybody with a small boat, a trailer, and interest in seeing some pretty spectacular boating venues this time, next year (September, 2014) should give some thought about coming to.

It’s gonna’ be a moveable messabout.  It’s gonna’ be three different lakes.  About five different camping/anchoring locations.  And, about 8 days start to finish.  We’ll stay just north of 48 degrees N. lat., and on both sides of 117 degrees W. long.  This time of year, everybody’s either in school, or home doing honeydo’s.  But, the trees, and eagles, and clear water, and sandy beaches, and hundreds and hundreds of miles of shoreline are all still right where everybody left ‘em on Labor Day.  It’s a real cool setup for messers of all stripes.

And, of course, in my case, anyway; It’ll be a pretty good excuse to build a boat just for that outing.    Usually, things have a way of working out.  Even, if it’s not quite what we planned. 

Dan Rogers


Hi Chuck

Sadly and with great regret I learned that “Dick” Newick passed away. For my the multihull designer par excellence. He brought me to multihull sailing and design. I will miss his artistic approach and beautiful design work. As a memory here a picture of “Pat's“ which was for a time his personal boat.

Bernd Kohler
France/The Netherlands


hi all -- Ruth Wharram has passed over.  we all now have a new star in the sky by which to navigate.  the info from Hanneke is HERE as are some pics of Ruth.  fair winds, dan

A Fine Article


That was a fine Frank Coletta article that you published on Duckworks. Thank you,

Mike Wick

Follow Up

I'm interested in following up on my recent aritcle about my low cost Lowrance iFinder GPS. So my question for you is this: What do you use for navigation -- a GPS, a smart phone with a nav program, or a tablet with a nav program? If it's a GPS, what kind and how do you like it; what are its strengths and weaknesses? If a smart phone, why that instead of a GPS? How do you keep it dry? Same questions if you use a tablet. If you use either phone or tablet, what kind of boat do you use them on? (I ask that because I can see using my tablet with a nav program on my 30-footer, but not my 11-foot Piccup, and I curious how others approach that.) What programs do you use for you phone and tablet? Try to keep you answers short, a paragraph or two, and forward them to Chuck at and he'll send them to me for an article on how duckworkers approach electronic navigation. Thanks for your help!
--Gary Blankenship


Hi Chuck,

I do not know how you feel, but I am a little disappointed that nobody mentioned how much they appreciate new design of the web. There might be some people said so on newsgroup, and maybe I missed their posts, but I didn't find them, yet.
I occasionally ran small blogs time to time, and something I made a lot of effort were not appreciated very much; then, something I did under impulse get heavy attention which I really did not want. I guess that's life. Anyway, I like to let you know I really appreciate your effort running DuckWorksMagazine site, and like new layouts very much.



Hats Off

Chuck and Mike,

I really have to take my hat off to Mr. Bennish. His dedication to getting his boat built with all of the potential roadblocks in the way is quite admirable. Between the difficulty of getting good tools, good lumber, and parts, and having to use mostly hand tools and carry them up and down three floors every day to do any work, that's real determination. I can't wait to see the finished boat. I know it will turn out great. I know you had another article a while back about another gentleman who built a beautiful Welsford Houdini in the Philippines and he had some similar issues. Those guys are very inspiring.

Paul Cook

New Blog

Hi Chuck

I now have a new Blog Subscription feature that will update via email each time new content is added. Thought you might be interested in this or might post a note about it in the Duckworks Magazine.

Here is the link to the Blog Page:

Kind Regards,


William Bates Small Craft Design
369 Country Place Drive
Boone, North Carolina 28607
Phone: (828) 773-9206

Some New Plans and Revised Pricing

Readers might be interested in the following:

A new design, it's a simple 12' skiff, the design is based on the subject matter of the above article. (Kastri is the name of my favourite beach).

Another new design, a 14 footer, designed with reasonable performance on low power in mind - and a little style too. (Kalostyn means 'Welcome' in Greek).

Revised Pricing
Take a look!

Best wishes


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