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Movable Messabout

Think of it as a raid, with the option of sleeping in your camper. A messabout, with a changing set of scenery. A race, where everybody finishes a winner. A cruise, with no trailer shuttling. A wilderness adventure, with close access to the freeway. Like that.

Somehow, the interior Pacific Northwest has been kinda' passed on by when it comes to organized small boat events. The TSCA folks and Pocket Yachters, over on what they call the Wet Side do an extraordinary job of bringing messers, builders, and armchair types together for some spectacular events. But between places the likes of Lake Pepin, Eufaula, Havasu, and Matagorda, and Puget Sound, there seems to be only Andy Linn's tour d'force on the lower Columbia and what his fellow COOTS offer up in and about northern Oregon. That leaves just about a bazillion cool places to put paddle to puddle, or just about any other boat-propulsion method you might care to bring.

I hope to see you in September, 2014.

Dan Rogers


North Idaho/Eastern Washington movable messabout
  10-17 September 2014

A chance to meet new people.  Experience new scenery, and new places to take your boat.  The plan is to start in some of the most rugged and pristine country the Idaho panhandle has to offer...

... move on to the canyonlands and semi-arid country of the upper Columbia watershed...

... and wind up in the prairie-lakes amid some of the most productive grain fields any where on earth.  Our last stop will also be at the edge of the dramatic scab lands formed by the multiple pre-historic Lake Missoula floods that also scooped out topsoil from as far upstream as Montana, and left it piled up where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.

Think of it as just a sampler of what this part of the country has to offer small boat folks.

What I mean to tell you about is an idea for fun-on-the-water, with admittedly toned down heroics. Maybe, even balmy temps in the 70's or 80's. No crowds. Maybe, no people at all. You've still got about 5 months to plan for this one.


Mark Steele

G’day Chuck,
I have been a long time friend of Mark Steele.  I am not sure if you have been informed by his family, that Mark passed away last Thursday 27th March, and his funeral was today.
I was wondering if a small obituary in your Duckworks Online column, might be appropiate.
Much regards
Rick Mayes (model ship builder)

We are working on something, Rick - Chuck

My thoughts and prayers are with the Steele family today also. I always looked forward to his column on Duckworks.


My thoughts and prayers are with the Steele family today. He will be missed by many, as well as his column posted on Duckworks Mag.


Hey Chuck,

Just a short note to say thanks, I've been able to find everything I need for my sailing canoe project from you good folks.  Prices are fair, products are quality and the service is above reproach!

I just ordered the boom vang hardware I was missing, guess when you get older you just can't think of everything!?  But you folks do an outstanding job of thinking ahead for us newbies.  I can see more clearly now how an article edited by you folks would be an excellent "how to" put together a sailing canoe.  You sell the hardware, sails and line needed, all from one source at a  fair price.  The only thing needed to complete this project is the wood, patience and willingness to make the effort, and a few hand tools.

Thanks again for all your help and support…..Fair Winds and have a blessed Spring and Summer…John

Woo Hoo!!


Just wanted to let you know that my YouTube sitewent over 900,00 views today.  Hope to have 1,000,000 Duckworks readers/viewers by this late summer.  Maybe one or two plan sales too.

21st Century Stitch&Glue



You might want to ask Stan Roberts to correct his article.  Jamestown was and is in Virginia, not South Carolina.


Michael Hayden

We forwarded the letter to Stan and he replied:

How do you do a correction after the article is printed?   Please do it for sure.  Big mistake there.


No worries, Stan, nothing is permanent on the web - the correction has been made. Good on you for owning up to the mistake - Chuck

Duo Launched

So we launched the rowing version of my 2 sheet, 10ft row/sail dinghy Duo today! You can see more here, including a video. (Scroll down)

Sorry about the colour, it's still just a primer - which we got free from our recycling centre.

Plans will be available from Duckworks at the end of May

Richard Woods of Woods Designs

New Blog Feature

Hi Chuck,

I like the new feature of Duckworks with the listing of boatbuilding blogs and pages.  I would also like to be listed on there if only to show readers how an amateur like me is having a ball building a boat.


Rik van der Vaart

Thanks for letting us know, Rik - your blog entries should show up in our roundup from now on - Chuck

K-designs Forum Milestone

Hi Chuck

I am very proud to announce that the restricted K-designs forum* has now 1000 members.

The idea was not mine. One of my clients initiated the group 2006. Thank you Pat from Florida.

I could not imagine that the group would grow this fast. It is an international group. I never counted how many nationalities are represented in the group. But it shows how easy it is to work together for a goal.

My slogan “(power)boats to the people” works.


* Only for persons who have a K-designs plan respectively study plan


A quick g'day to let you know the sails for my Iain Oughtred Shearwater have arrived here in Oz.  
I've had only a quick look at them but the workmanship seems first class. Was going to ask about Duckworks stickers for them but you beat me to the punch!
The boat is almost complete, ready to paint but we are going to be away for 6 weeks, so sea trials are still a way off.
Thanks to you & your sail maker for quality product, service & prompt delivery.
I will endeavour to pen a few lines for you to print after my little Shearwater is launched.
Allan Burke.


Paul Austin’s article on Dorade, in the 18 April 2014 issue of Duckworks Magazine, reminded me of a time I saw that venerable lady.  I admit that I was a bit star struck at the time.  Nobody else seemed to know what I was jabbering about.  Somehow, “…but, that’s D-O-R-A-D-E,” just didn’t strike any particular note with the folks aboard my own boat.  Anyhow, it was a memorable event.  With, a completely unexpected ending.

Time dulls the sense of date and season for me.  But, as I recall it was pretty nice weather, and in Seattle.  So, it had to be that day they call “summer” up thataway.  Many women of my acquaintance, seem to bracket dates in their past with recollection of which ever boy friend or husband they might have had at the time.  Guys usually remember what car they had.  Or, better, what boat they had.

It must have been about 1975.  We were aboard my first Ranger 26, Velvet Turtle.  Heading west, or seaward, through the Hiram Chittenden locks that connects Lakes Washington and Union via the ship canal to the giant estuary known generally as Puget Sound.

The Hiram Chittenden Locks

It must have been some sort of holiday period, because we were sandwiched into the large lock with scads of other pleasure boats.  When I say large lock, I mean REALLY BIG.  The drill is to get the larger craft along the walls, and raft the progressively smaller boats toward the middle.  Pretty routine, with a few variables.

My own boat had a rather unfriendly motor-control system.  Basically, I had to lay facing aft across the mainsheet traveler and grasp the shift with one hand and the throttle with the other—an ailing 9.9 hp Chrysler outboard.  There was a certain amount of voodoo involved in these contortions with the choke and recoil starter.  This meant that I was facing the wrong way, and steering with my shins and feet which were facing the “right way.”  So, going into and out of tight maneuvering and crowded places took a certain amount of alacrity. 

As I recall, we were settled into the lock about midway, and outboard several layers of boats.  It helps to have people along to adjust fenders and handle lines to both port and starboard.  And, there are the inevitable tangled fenders, hooked BBQ’s, and fouled dinghys that can cause problems on the jack rabbit start required to leave against a stiff current.  But, I’m getting ahead of my story a bit.

Dorade was in the echelon ahead of my particular raftup.  And, one boat outboard from the wall.  Her 50-some feet of wooden hull seemed rather dainty and—well, old fashioned—to this product of the golden age of fiberglass sailboats.  I guess she was only about 45 years old then.  But, at the time, a relic of a long gone era.  Nonetheless, amid the jostling and juggling needed to keep things seamanlike aboard Velvet Turtle, I certainly took time to steal a glance over that way now and then.

When the far gate is opened, the water levels are not yet quite equilibrated.  In fact, a small tsunami is generated inside that concrete canyon.  All boats must have their engines running ahead and meet the surge with as little upset as possible.  So, I would have been lying prone, facing the “wrong way,” peering back over a shoulder at the scene ahead.  The idea is to drop your lines and roar out on command from the dock worker high on the wall above.  But, we weren’t moving, yet.  Much like a stop and go commute on the freeway.  I scrambled up to see what was the hold up. 

Dorade had a modest sized party of folks on deck.  She had “steam up” and was attempting to get underway from her raft-up with a large flush-deck motor yacht.  The skipper had his bow angling off to port as it was caught by the current.  Like all of us in similar situations, he was adding rev’s to counter what he thought was simply the effects of current against his bow.  The real cause was only apparent to those in the lineups astern. 

Dorade still had a quarter line made fast to the motor yacht.  The gang of folks sitting and standing about the decks were much too much into the party mood, apparently, to be paying any attention to what was transpiring.  I may have been one of the unlucky few to see the entire train wreck happen.  And, like most train wrecks, it plays in slow motion to this day. 

By the time Dorade had swung past 45 degrees to the inrushing current, the skipper had his engine running flat out.  Rudder hard over.  Still unaware of the quarter line.  Like the Caped Crusader, a crewman from the motor yacht sprang from the galley wearing a chef’s hat and brandishing a meat cleaver!

I’m still dumstruck when I realize how this drama played out.  If only.

Well, the chef parted that line like he was preparing medallions of beef bourguignon.  Dorade was running at full ahead.  Sadly, she was also pointed straight ACROSS the lock.  In a split second she buried her bow into the ribs and planking of a modest-sized wooden power boat.  I remember seeing the stemhead splinter and the forestay part.  The sound of planks and ribs cracking and crunching simply makes me flinch to this day.

By then the lock keeper was insisting that all my echelon skeedadle out of his lock chamber, so he could deal with the collision-just-happened.  I never saw her again.

Until, Paul Austin told us about her win in the Transpac, yet another 35 years hence.  What a happy ending to my sad story…

Dan Rogers

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