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Hey Chuck ~

In last month's letters, we offered a video from  about "The Virtues of a Flat Bottom Skiff." It was so well-received by Duckworks readers that we'd like to offer another of our favorites this month. 

Readers can click here to watch the video "Panga-Inspired Bass-Boat, Sam Devlin’s PELICANO" about a cool stitch-and-glue design still within the range of the home builder. 

They can also sign up on that page to get access to the 10 additional free videos...'s growing collection of 150+ videos gives rare access to the leading craftspeople who build, restore, paddle and sail these wonderful boats. Centuries of authentic know-how are passed along in the videos and guide posts.

We're also extending a 25% discount off the membership fee to Duckworks readers who decide to join after watching the free videos. Enjoy and happy boating! 

Steve Stone Co-Founder and Filmmaker

Mike Monies update

Mike has asked me to let all our many friends at Duckworks and Sail Oklahoma, as well as in all the sailing groups we have taken part in, like the Texas 200, Florida events like the Everglades Challenge and Florida 120 and countless others, know that he has surgery to remove most of his right lung last Thursday.  He wanted to postpone treatment and go on to Florida for the Everglades Challenge 2014 but that is not possible according to his surgeon.

This was a rapid and aggressive cancer that hit Mike beginning about October as we worked on Sail OK 2013 they suspect.  Mike has never been a smoker and in fact would not even allow smoke in our home or business.  How he got this we will never know probably but it is not connected to building boats or chemicals used.

This has hit hard, within the last month and I know many of you will wish Mike well.  He is determined to beat this, if you have done any event with Mike you know he will do whatever it takes.

This is a very personal note from me, Jackie- if you use tobacco products, please stop for your own family and yourself.  If you are coughing or ill, go get a chest x-ray, don't think it is foolish to worry.

I could not believe that I could not find a chest x-ray for Mike less than two years old. He was so healthy no one bothered I guess?

Enough sadness, Mike will be home recovering by the time you read this and about to start Chemo. Thanks to everyone for their good wishes and prayers. Mike and I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of sentiments from our friends and acquaintances.

Love, Jackie and Mike Monies

Storer on Epoxy

It's interesting to see someone so knowledgable endorse cheaper, "non-standard" materials for North American builders--at least in some cases. My own experience tells me you can build a good boat without the "best" materials, but you don't usually see someone of Michael Storer's expertise suggesting the same thing.

Nice to see an open-minded, non-dogmatic take on things from someone who really knows what he's talking about.


I read the first Epoxy article and was impressed with the logic and data provided in the article.  Then I read  part two today and again was very impressed with the logic and data provided so much that I was curious who the author was? Then I understood why I was so impressed..... M. Storer... Yeah, I am slow.  I love to argue (discuss) things and ideas with him.... and got to do it for several days a couple of years ago, one on one, driving in a car.  I lost each argument on every subject from world politics to human behavior to ???  It was a high point in my growth. He is the ultimate authority on all things that he will offer because he will not say what he does not "know". 


Thanks for the nod Mik, but there's 2 "C's" in Riccelli.

Paul Riccelli

Fishing in Myanmar

Here's a nice video of how they paddle and fish in Myanmar.


Cedar Key

The small boat gathering at Cedar Key every year on the first weekend in May can be confusing to first timers. Since there's nothing planned and no one in charge it may not make sense.  Here's a brief look at what to expect. Cedar Key is small, you can pretty much walk anywhere in town. When you come in to town on the one and only road take a brief tour to get the lay of the land. On the left you'll see the market to get  food, snacks and stuff. They also have a deli that makes great subs, you can put your order in on Friday. Make sure you stop there before Saturday and get some for lunch on the island. A couple blocks on down the road ends at 1st St.. Hang a left there and a right on the next road to go across the bridge. Island Place is on the right and you'll see a lot of boats pulled up on the beach there. A lot of canoes and kayaks will be on the grass all around the place. Keep going across the bridge and down the street with all the restaurants and bars. You'll be tempted to come back to one later for dinner and drinks, we've all done it. Expect long waits, high prices and bad food. Do not go to one of these places for breakfast on Saturday morning unless you want to sit around and get out on the water at noon. There'll be a hundred little boats all over the water between you and the island and you'll be sitting there waiting for your check.  Keep going on the road past the public launch ramp. This is a big, nice ramp and if you have a larger boat you'll need to use it. Most small boats can be launched off the beach. When you get past the ramp go left on 1st and keep going down to the end and around the corner. You'll see the Faraway Inn's covered drinking area and the beach across the street. I usually launch off this beach and stay at the Faraway, be advised they are nasty about cars driving on the sand and grass. You'll see lots of boats anchored off this beach or pulled up on the grass.. Be very, very careful when walking in the water anywhere. There are big rocks and sticks and rusty boilers and who knows what all over the bottom, they are exposed at low tide but can get you when covered with water. We always wonder why someone doesn't clean these beaches up.  Do the sting ray scuffle to avoid the rocks. One year I found my little boat Laylah sitting right on top of a big rock after the tide had gone out. If I'm going to anchor out I take a big anchor with a buoy and find a good spot and leave the anchor in. The Cedar Key B&B is behind the Faraway Inn, great breakfast. If you call the day ahead they may make breakfast for non stayers. The Faraway is the place to be if you're a laid back rum drinking sailor man but they book up early for this weekend. 

Saturday is boating all day out on the big pencil factory island (it has a strange name) and the other smaller islands. It will be hot and sunny, you'll see covered shades, folding chairs the wise people brought. You'll walk up and down the beach looking at the boats, dozens of boats. Wives will be there being ignored by their men. If you have to pee go in the water, it's cool and clear. That should do it, have fun and I'll see you there.  The weather is always perfect, 80's and clear.  There's a channel through the island, if you can find it. I've sailed through with Laylah . The kayakers love to go through, bring bug juice. 

David Lucas
Lucas Boatworks and Happy Hour Club

Mystery Stat Jump

I use a free program called to track activity on certain pages of my website to help gauge the health of my business and the impact of certain features of the site. Every week I get a summary of the number of visitors emailed to me for pages I track. Pages like the Free and Inexpensive Boat Plans and the Old Boat plans often have close to a 1000 visitors a week while pages like the PolySail Library Page at rarely have over 30 visitors in a week. Last week's report, however, showed the stodgy Library Page suddenly outperforming all other pages on my website. This morning, unable to sleep until this mystery was solved, I decided to visit my statcounter home page to try to track down the culprit. Let me say first that the metrics they make available are unbelievable. I found, for example, that on Feb. 3, I had 10 visitors to the Library Page. On Feb. 4, I had 284 from all over the world. NASA in Huntsville, AL visited. Italy and the Netherlands visited, Idaho visited--and, new people kept showing up all the rest of the week. Some visited once, some visited several times. Some were transported using their Android phones, some arrived via browsers as varied as auto model names. Using statcounter's wealth of information, I can now say with absolute certainty that the culprit responsible for all this traffic is named Steve Bosquette.

As it turned out, all the visitors were coming from one source--Duckworks Magazine--and an article published there by Steve called "Why Didn't I Think of That?" One of the things he mentioned was my latest generic construction guide for making high performing polytarp sails, which, as you might have guessed, could be found on my Library Page, and Steve had included a link to it in his article. Mystery solved! Thanks, Statcounter. Thanks, Steve! (I really do appreciate the attention.) Thanks, Duckworks. No Thanks, Windows, which decided to download some updates in the middle of my writing this post the first time. Now I think I will try to get a little shut eye. 

Dave Gray

It is amazing.  Heritage Boatworks is very young and I don't have the traffic that you do, but I did notice a giant jump in traffic to one of my blogs a couple weeks back.  I also had the honor of being shared on the Duckworks site.  It was one of my blogs on getting my kids into building boats. Thank you Duckworks!


One more time


I really enjoyed Dan Rogers' article this morning. I can certainly identify with wanting to put all of the chores on hold and just take off to go sailing. I can't count how many times I've gotten to work in the mornings, stepped out of the car and looked around wishing I had gone sailing instead, even if it was only on Elephant Butte. I'm glad he was able to get in one more sail before winter hit. He's probably posted pictures of his boat before, but I would like to see a larger photo of his escape vessel.

Paul Cook

Dan Replies:

Hi Paul:

You are no doubt aware of how infrequently we get “just the right” shot of our own boat.  About the only way to get one is to take it ourselves.  And, that presents an obvious quandary.  Anyhow.  I had the fortunate opportunity to get some action pictures of Lady Bug a few years back from the deck of my then-big sailboat. 

My friend, Roger, took Lady Bug out for a romp on a blustery day in South San Diego Bay.  We were short tacking up the narrow entrance channel to Chula Vista Marina.  Mud flats on one side, riprap on the other.

One of those magic moments, that come only occasionally.  Plum Duff, my “trick pony” Ranger 26 pretty much sailed herself.  So, this picture was taken with one toe on the tiller, while hanging from the back stay with one hand, facing aft and operating the camera with the other hand.  I suppose the winds that day were up and down the scale.  The sort of day that only a crazy fool like me and a gaggle of kite surfers would normally be out in.  At low tide, you only get a few inches clearance between keel and sand.

Not too bad for a chubby, short-legged trailer boat.  Thanks for asking.


First photos

Howdy Chuck, First photos of RSS sails flying. Thanks to Daniel in Uruguay Please put a link and photos on your RSSails product page. and consider putting in the magazine.











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