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by John Goodman - Houston, Texas - USA

Part One - Part Two - Part Three

Rosa and I sleep in the 6'-8" long cockpit and is my preferred place. The cabin floor is fine for napping but the curvature of the boats bottom is not comfortable for me since I sleep on my side. We built a canvas cockpit cover with pvc poles that we toss over the boom while anchored. It's just big enough to shade the cockpit, keeps the overnight dew off and just big enough to keep most of the rain out of the cockpit. The design is based on the Ocean Explorer canopy on the Duckworks website and was easy to build however I left off the end flaps and rain gets in thru the ends.

There are 4 people in the cockpit and 1 in the cabin enjoying an adult beverage and some much needed shade.

Like many builders of the walk-thru boats, we too scratched our heads on how to cover the walk-thru slot for rain and bug protection. On the Duckworks site I found an idea for using poly tarp material and pvc pipe to make a cover for the slot. This full length cover has a special slot in it for the mast and a boot to keep the water from running down the mast and into the boat. We use this cover for trailering and splash protection while sailing when lots of protection is needed, but most the time we use another short slot cover that covers from the mast forward to the front hatch. Taking this cover idea a little further I made a mosquito net that covers the slot and rises up at the cockpit end to make getting in and out of the cabin easier. We typically put up both the cockpit netting and the slot netting when camped since the porta-a-pottie is kept inside the cabin. For the cockpit mosquito protection we hang a store bought queen size bed bug net under the boom and/or sun shade and tie it off to the gunnels and a few pad-eyes. This bug net has a few modifications that include adding lead fishing weights to the corners and sides so it doesn't blow away and a few extra ties on the top for hanging from the boom. This provides enough head room for sitting and getting dressed.

Motor cruising up Double Bayou with sun canopy and cabin slot bug net in place. The port holes can be unscrewed from the inside for ventilation and have bug screens mounted outside. The Jim Michalak Caprice can be seen just upstream thru the front hatch.

We have slept with three on board, two in the cockpit and one in the cabin without any problems. We have comfortably day sailed with as many as 5 people on board. Part of the versatility of Hapscut is the large open cockpit. We did not install the seats or rowing ports that are in the plans. Instead of the seats per the plans we modified some store bought stadium seats that hang on the gunnels by two large hooks that drop into the open wales. (The open wale design is not in the plans.) This allows us to move the seats to any place along the gunnel and to either side of the boat depending on sailing conditions or where the shade is. They can also be folded up so they are out of the way for moving around the cockpit, while docking or getting the cockpit ready for sleeping.

My daughter's cat, Hinata napping on her favorite spot. The folding stadium chairs hang on the gunnels by bent aluminum flat bars screwed to the back supports.

When it comes to boat speed and comfort we are not disappointed. We have seen 10.2 MPH while sailing on a windy day and can motor at 6 MPH without straining the engine. We are still working out some of the details on how long the oars need to be and the height of the oars locks for stand up rowing, but a recent trip down the Neches River showed us that Hapscut can be rowed easily in flat water and a little wind.

Summer is definitely here and I am glad to have the sun shade up. Hapscut is gently rocking on the island's little beach as I doze off again. I hear my kids playing in the water around the boat and having a great day with their friends. The cool sea breeze flows down the cabin slot carrying the laughter of the kids. Life is good. I slip off to another nap happy to have a wife that loves to build boats and sail and happy to have met Jim Michalak and built the first Hapscut.

Rosa and John at Hap's Cut with Hapscut in the background. The mast warped during construction but gives the boat a zoomier look. We plan to build a new mast that will be straight and less flexible. Photo by: Stan Roberts


John and Rosa Goodman have been adventuring together for over 25 years and are enjoying their new home-built boat Hapscut. Some of their other adventures include wilderness canoe trips, back country hiking, and sailing. Their oldest son, Alexander won a special trophy in the Galveston Bay Cruisers Association Spring Series Regatta for being the youngest crew at 6 month old. The Goodman's playful use of colors has won them the "Most Colorful Award" at the Sail Oklahoma Boating Festival two years in a row thanks to their lime green Goat Island Skiff and Mardi Gras colored Hapscut. Be sure to check out his sailing videos on YouTube under 'Texas GIS'.

Another Sunset and another adventure awaits.

The End.

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