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A Goat Island Skiff on "Ultimate Survival Alaska"

The story line is that they find the boat on a beach.

Actually, it was bought last year by National Geographic from a builder in Alaska.

I think they shoot a hole in it too.

National Geographic used to stand for something (shrug).

Michael Storer

Goat Island Skiff

Well good news is glass tape is on around all seams, and 4 oz fabric on the bottom, bad news I do not have much a future laying fiberglass. Tried to lay the whole bottom up at once with one long 4 oz piece of glass, too many bubbles and waves. Used thicker tape on the bow, stern, and where the sides, butt together. I'm tending to agree with MIK, just tape the chines/joints and coat the bottom with epoxy, no glass. I foresee a lot of sanding in my future.

Bill Loux

A New Book

A week from tomorrow we will publish Michael Tougias’ thrilling book A STORM TOO SOON: A True Story of Disaster, Survival, and an Incredible Rescue. Tougias is the master of maritime disaster tales—he is also the author of Overboard! and The Fatal Forecast—and A STORM TOO SOON is another of his vivid, heart-pounding narratives of survival, the power of the human spirit, and incredible rescues.


Record Cold

You know that I'm a fine cultured individual who would never say anything that might be in any way construed as offensive to any one but I will say this. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? These are current pictures sent to me within the last couple of hours and it seems that it's going to get worse where you live. Florida isn't all the way full up yet, you can still find a place to live here.

For comparison I'll send these to you, up north (anyplace north of the Fla line) and my house.

Me and Steve and Helen and Kayak Kathy and Nicole and our seven dogs just came in from a trip down the river. What's wrong with these pictures? Could it be the shorts and tee shirts.

I really look cold and miserable don't I ?

There is a distinct lack of ice on the river, something must be wrong; I guess global warming really is here cause we're all hot.

I'll see you in the spring when you thaw out.


Paper Boats

I got to see one of the few remaining Balch & Waters boats a few years ago at the Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, NY. It was in the shop for restoration, but I did not get to look at it closely. The other two examples are at the Cluett Peabody house in Troy, NY, where Balch and Waters were based, and another at the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mouintain lake. The racing shells were famous and may have been the great Courtney's sawed boat.

Another link to that story.


Book Review

If you're new to boats, this is the first book you should have. I say that because times and boats have changed since the first Payson-Bolger book. We have new methods and new designers who don't live in New England. We have a new generation of folks in boats, some of whom like myself can't hit a nail without yelling.

In the past, the boatbuilding books were written by those who made a living in boats - Payson, Bolger, Steward, Chapelle. They were for guys like me: in a garage, leaning over plywood, dust and chips flying.

But now we have cell phones, ipads, laptops and podcasts. Dan Mattson isn't a professional builder or designer. He's a typical today guy - internet savvy, flexible about his building methods, from the Northwest.

So he has written the first book - Get in the Wooden Boat Game: A Guide for Building Your First Boat.

The book doesn't have any single boat plan in it. It's about what you'll encounter when you build your first boat. It's about how much that new thing in the garage will cost, how much room do you have, the tools, starting small and what kind of hull you'll be learning to build.

Mattson has built five boats, but they aren't the usual stringer frame kind. He's done a kayak of 25 pounds, a lapstrake canoe out of a book, a kayak out of a kit and a cruising sailboat 12 feet long. Now that's eclectic. So he tells you how many hours it took, how much of Momma's budget he took.

The book describes six methods of building a hull - carvel, lapstrake, stitch on glue, skin on frame, cold molded and strip planked. The last four I mentioned are the ones we use today more than ever. These are the methods which get mentioned in forums, in boatbuilding schools, in ezines, in emails and the like.

Mattson goes into the pros and cons of kits, plans, boatbuilding classes, even designing your own. I don't know of any book or magazine article that tells you when a kit is better, when a class is better, or when to just get the plans and go.

If you're building today, this is your first book.

The photographs are unusually to the point, not always the case in the older boatbuilding books. And Dan has included a worksheet for tools and supplies, wood and resources.

If boatbuilding gets to the next generation, it will be because of guys like Dan Mattson.

The only drawback to this book is Dan doesn't describe how to make rum in your back yard so the neighbors think you're just building some boat. I await his next publication.

Dan's blog

The book is in the Duckworks Store.

Paul Austin

From Facebook

Duckworks Group

A little project I finished this summer.

Rick Landreville


I have gotten this far on my latest "nautical Marvel".

Pat Johnson


The 2014 PolySail small sailboat event calendars are in and will be mailed out to supporters today. These calendars will help you chart your course for the sailing events you will attend in 2014, make thoughtful gifts for fellow boatbuilders and sailors of home-built sailboats, and support great boat-related causes. Profits from your few dollars spent on the PolySail calendar, for example, will be equally divided between the Texas 200 Cancer Fund Raising Initiative, and the 2014 completion of the Civil War era sailing scow project at the Crystal River Archaeological State Park. We intend to continue sales of the 2014 PolySail calendars through February since there aren't too many sailing events scheduled until March and because we have several extras. Of course, the Texas 200 is among those events we highlight - along with photos of our sails which we think are a pretty good ways to debunk the high cost of sailing, attract newcomers to the sport, and help keep this niche enterprise afloat. Order your 2014 calendar today at the bottom of this page: and I will get it in the mail immediately.



My newest kayak design - a low volume Greenlander for smaller adults. 15' x 23" and 25lbs. Skin-on-frame, of course!

Dave Gentry

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