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Electric Shock Drowning

Hi Chuck

Looking at this entry into your treasure chest page today: this link provides the back story.

The entry seems far-fetched but the circumstances of the drownings and the differential effect of electricity on muscular function is convincing.

Who knew we had one more thing to worry about?

Craig Hohm (emergency medicine- retired)

Nutmeg 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:


Hi Chuck:

I am super excited today - the 100th Episode of HOWB was just published!  I can't believe I have been podcasting for almost 2 years.

Time has flown by and I am having more fun than ever :D   Thanks for your support of the Podcast – I really appreciate it! 

HOWB 100 includes an interview with 8 year old Henry LePage who built his first boat last year with the help of his dad and grandfather.  His Poorboy Skiff is in the Launchings section of WoodenBoat Magazine Issue # 230, and there is an article in the Getting Started in Boats section of Issue 232 about Henry.

I also interviewed Cliff Ravenscraft (The Podcast Answer Man) for HOWB 100.  It was through inspiration from listening to Cliff’s Podcast, and taking his online class that I launched HOWB September 22, 2011.  Thanks CLIFF!!
Click to get book
What’s new at HOWB?  1st eBook!

Today, my first eBook has been published - Get in the Wooden Boat Game: A Guide for Building Your First Boat. Since you are a subscriber to my eNewsletter, you can get one copy of the book for FREE through September 9th.  The regular price of the book is $4.99.

Click on this Link, then click Add to Cart, and then use the Promo Code "FreeBook" (with no quotation marks) to get instant access.  You can opt to pay $4.99 by leaving the promo code field blank (Thanks!).

If you enjoy the book, please tell others they can get a free copy by subscribing to my newsletter (and please don't distribute your copy of the book).

Links to recent HOWB episodes: 

HOWB 097 – Scott Sprague – designer and builder
HOWB 098 – Marty Loken on the 2013 Pocket Yacht Palooza
HOWB 099 – Jeff Hammond, Master Instructor - Ins and Outs of Carvel Planking
HOWB 100 – Henry LePage (8 yr old builder); Cliff Ravenscraft (Podcast Answer Man)
That’s it for now.  Keep the sunny side up and the barnacled side down!  

Wooden Boat Dan over and out!

New Layout

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 , and like new layouts very much.



Multi-Skiff Building Article

Chuck and Mike,

I really enjoyed reading the Multi-Skiff Building article, especially the discussion about Banka boats. I never thought I would run across anyone else who would have a clue what a Banka boat is. I did a cooperative education work phase in the Philippines while I was in college and lived there for almost a year. I learned how to scuba dive while I was there and got my open water certification. Unfortunately I've never gone diving since I returned, just too expensive and not convenient from where I live. Anyway, whenever we went diving, we always hired Banka boats to take us out to our dive spots.

Scuba Diving

Banka Boats

Even though they have those outriggers, they can still flip over. One of the times we went out the weather got bad on our way back in and one of the boats flipped over. People and dive gear went flying everywhere. The swells had gotten very large. It was quite scary and took a lot of people and hard work to get a line out to it and the boat hauled in to the beach. I was riding in the boat right behind that one and we were the next ones to come in. It certainly made for a nervous ride in to the beach. Fortunately we made it in without incident and no one was injured from the boat that flipped. I've included a couple of photos I thought you might get a kick out of. Keep in mind this was a long time ago.

I don't know if the photo that Mr. Bennish provided is typical of the construction of Banka boats in the Philippines today or not, but the boats that I remember seemed like they were of a much heftier construction. I'm not sure but maybe they were made from solid lumber as opposed to plywood. I know they were quite heavy and could carry a large load. They generally had small gasoline motors attached to the back end. They didn't travel very fast, but they would get you there.

Paul Cook

More Banka boat comments

Re: the article entitled Multi-Skiff Building - Part One

I love this article because I disagree with almost every point the author makes.

Let us go through it part by part.

<Clyde Bennish says>
I mean, generally speaking there is nothing wrong with a well-built Philippine Banka boat, it just doesn't conform to the ideal boat my dreams have conjured.

I must concede first points to CB. How can one disagree with another persons dream?"

CB goes on to describe many of the positive attributes of a bangka. The he says
So, what's wrong with building a Banka as a first boat? Nothing, as long as you plan to limit your lateral movements; the Banka is very narrow, just a foot or two for the average pleasure boat. That doesn't come close to the beam I always imagined for my first boat.

Here is where IMHO CB misses the boat. He seems to assume that the passengers must stay within the confines of the main hull.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The main hull is just the stepping off place for the passengers. One has all that space between the amas. This space is far larger than that available in conventional boats. People use this space between the amas. It is much larger than any space he suggests might derive from wider baiss

Now we get into building. He recommends plans. I recommend failure.

<CB>Just believe this old goat when I suggest that the first time builder would probably be much happier buying a set of current plans from a reputable boat designer. Some pretty good ones can be had for far less than $100.</CB>

Build a few large models by eye from plans you look at. Love the lines of a boat and just build it small scale. Get a feel for the process.

Building a boat is an exercise in self knowledge. If you know your self to be most anxious of a guaranteed result, and you are able to follow instructions closely than take the advice of CB.

if, you are as I am, very poor at following instructions, then consider creating your own boat by eye, using classic examples as a starting point. And build some models.

Different strokes for different folks,


Everglades Challenge Story


I just had to let you know how much I enjoyed reading and looking at the videos of your Everglades Adventure! I almost could shut my eyes and be there when you guys described some of the highlights for us!

The part you described as being out of sight of land for the first time made me think of how that must make one feel being  in a small wooden boat! Anyway, keep on having fun and telling us about it, so that we can share in your experiences!

Tim O’Guin

Interesting instructable for a pump


Maybe readers will find the instructable at:

to be of interest for a useful item to keep on board.  The instructable explains how to build an inexpensive hand pump from PVC pipe.  The companion instructable at

explains an inexpensive way to make check valves for the pump.  Each of these instructables has a video to further explain the project.  The author does a great job. Could the pump be made from larger pipe to move more water with each cycle?   For example, the check valve video shows how the valve can be made from an o-ring and hard ball or alternatively a rubber ball that is rubbery enough to serve as its own o-ring.   Rubber balls come in all sizes, suggesting a larger pipe might work up to a point.  If the larger ball is too heavy to work as a check valve, perhaps a manifold can be used so that a few intake lines sized as shown by the instructable can feed a pump with a larger shaft and hence larger reservoir.  The video shows that the pump has quite a bit of suction power.

David B. Kagan

Cape to Rio Race

I have posted my first blog entry about the Cape to Rio Race. I will update occasionally as the race date approaches. You can read it at . Please pass on to anyone who may be interested in our voyage.

Dudley Dix

RIP: The Real Most Interesting Man in the World

John A. Garau   Jan. 8, 1925 – Aug. 23, 2013

On Thursday August 23rd, 2013 we lost our father and our community lost one of its most unique characters and longtime citizens, John Aurelio Garau.    When Dos Equis XX created the “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign they could have easily taken from Johnny’s Adventures because in many ways… he was the Most Interesting Man in the World!

Dad (aka Junior) was born in Los Angeles, CA on January 8, 1925.  The son of Aurelio Garau Sr., an immigrant from Sardinia, Italy, and Salome’ Blanchard from San Antonio, New Mexico.  His father owned the world renowned Delmonico’s Restaurant and Cotton Club in Los Angeles.  Dad was always extremely proud of his heritage including his Great, Great Grandfather Albino Perez, the appointed Mexican Governor of New Mexico in 1835, and Carlos Blanchard a famous Wagon Train Master on the Santa Fe Trail. 

John was an original in Laguna, at least as original as they come.  He was brought to Laguna soon after birth in the late 20’s.  He grew up on the beaches of Laguna and in Carlsbad where he attended Army and Navy Academy graduating in ’43 where he was given the nick name of Frenchie.  Upon graduation John was off into WWII serving in the Army Air Corp and was stationed at the Santa Ana Air Base prior to going to flight training on the B24 bomber where he served as a navigator. 

After WWII he returned to Laguna and worked as a lifeguard both for the City of Laguna and in Avalon on Catalina Island and attended USC – Fight On!   Johnny was the oldest surviving Laguna Beach Lifeguard.  From all the stories I have heard from him and his close friends… he was a Hell raiser!  He danced many a night away at the Casino in Avalon and partied hard on the beaches of Laguna.  His fond memories included lifeguard parties at Bette Davis’ house on Wood Cove and when he was terminated from the LB Lifeguards for waterskiing while on duty during a busy 4th of July weekend.   His stories, as most of us know, were endless.  He seemed to have been everywhere, done everything and met the most interesting people on the planet.  His experiences could have set stage for his own TV adventure series.

In the mid 50’s he met and married Priscilla (Sally) Conley and they opened the Reef Liquor Store on Coast Hwy in Laguna.  They had 4 wonderful Children.  Jean-Pierre who, married to his wife Susan, living in Oregon, and has 2 beautiful twin daughters (23), Aria and Ashlee both living in Oregon.   Jean-Francois (Jaime), married to Kathy, living in Laguna Niguel with 2 children (Nicole 19 – Sophomore at NYU, Chris 17 – Senior at San Juan Hills HS).   Maria-Christina (Salome’), married to Aaron, living in Hailey, ID with two beautiful girls (Isabelle 21 – a dramatic artist and Annette 19 – Sophomore at USF) and Jean-Paul who lives in Sun City, CA.

After selling the liquor store business in the early 70’s he opened Reef Realty on PCH and Thailia Street.   Many will remember the Surfing Santa on the office window at Christmas time.  John spent a lot of time with the local surfers at Thalia and Saint Ann’s and use to anchor his Sailboat off Thailia Beach during the summer and commute to and from work on his surf board.   The Thalia beach crew loved the office location and stored their surfboards under the building and took advantage of the outdoor shower after a surf session.

In the mid-1980s Johnny started the first of many of his world adventures that he would do over the next twenty years including sailing the Western Pacific and Caribbean aboard the Sailboat Celerity with his longtime friends Bob Anderson and Herb Nolan.  He then sailed off traveling through Europe, New Zealand and Australia in camper vans, expeditions throughout Central and South America, Tahiti, Easter Island, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China and a number of other places that slip my mind at this time.  But I think he loved being in Hawaii the most and spent considerable time there with many friends, learning the Hawaiian culture and language.

Johnny, Frenchie, Junior, Dad or whatever the nickname was that you had for him (some good and some bad), left on his last great adventure and passed away peacefully on Thursday August 23, 2013.   John A. Garau is survived by his 4 children and 6 grandchildren.  As a small tribute to Dad we have renamed his sailboat, his home for over 35 years, as the O’Johnny of Laguna Beach.

Memorial Services will be held on Saturday September 21st at 8:00am starting with a Paddle Out at The Main Beach Lifeguard Tower at 8am.  Church Services will follow at San Felipe De Jesus Catholic Church in Capo Beach at approximately 11:00.  A Bon Voyage party for Johnny will be held at Lucy’s El Patio following the services.  Later in the day the family and friends will depart Dana Point Harbor on the O’Johnny and Johnny’s remains will be spread off the coast of the community that he lived, loved and will eternally be a part of.  My brother reminded me that the 21st is the Solstice.  A great day to begin a new journey.   If you have a boat you are welcome to join the flotilla! 

For more information check out his Facebook Site at  In lieu of donations… Please If you have a great picture or interesting story about Johnny I encourage you to post it for all to enjoy. 

We will miss you and always remember you and share our family history with all future generations.  Bon Voyage from your children, grandchildren and your many friends all around the world!  You truly were The Most Interesting Man in the World!   Rest in Peace.

Robert Mooers

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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