Custom Search
   boat plans
   gift certificates
Join Duckworks
Get free newsletter
on this site

 Texas, the Other Half

Hello all, a couple years ago I was fortunate enough to sail with the Texas 200 crowd from Port Isabel, Texas to Seadrift, Texas. A great bunch of people. It was hot, windy, long days, sore butt.

It was also great. A long way from 7-11's. I had been wanting to do the other half. This past week it worked, almost. I lack now just fifty miles. The pictures show only a little, but they also show a lot. You don't want to break down out there. My initial trepidation being the set of river locks before Matagorda Harbor, well there were actually two sets, two rivers. Sailing through them, some paddle, yep, no engine. Went off smoothly. Ran aground only twice this trip.

The comfort level went something as such. Next time in August, I will tow a small dinghy for the generator to power the air conditioner I will install. Yes, it was a bit hot. Mosquitos were not a problem until I spilled my Citronella candle, slept that third night fully clothed, being tired, I slept.

Ate aboard, slept aboard, cooked aboard, the frozen water milk jug as it thawed leaked and spoiled a bunch of food, which kinda led to ending the trip at Stingaree Marina on the Bolivor Penn.

Another first, down from Sargent there is the last swing bridge I was told in the state of Texas. My hand held radio had ceased functioning on day one. I approach a power boater who informed me he had just radioed in to open, follow him, he says. Well they don't open the entire swing bridge for small power boats. They had installed a draw bridge at one end, 14' wide. The fellow proceeds to enter and looks back motioning me to follow. I point to my self, the the raising draw section, and he nods yes.

OK, my mast is short and just a few feet from the opening a gust of winds sends me heeling quite a bit. Earning me a long blast from some ship horn. Now I know there's no ships around so I know that's for me, possibly abort, abort this foolish attempt.

Naw, I figure I got clearance, I'll be in a wind shadow in a moment, the heeling won't happen, and if I need to induce heeling for mast height I can lean a bit. I'm sure the bridge operator hand't seen this before, neither had I.

I did have a foot or so clearance, I waved my thanks as I got to the other side. That guy will have a story to tell. "Some crazy guy in a sailboat...."

It was a good trip.


Quick Canoe

Quick Canoe build (probably first one in Poland).


Sail Oklahoma

Thursday, October 9

7-9 Continental Breakfast and Coffee 8-5 Private class/ John Welsford "Epoxy and Fiberglass" Coffee breaks and lunch included $150

8-4 Private classes/ Richard Woods "By Appointment" analysis and instruction $50 per hour

8-5 Family Boat Building/ Dave Gentry "Building Kiddyak Skin on Frame $350 kit/material

8-5 Registration at Boat Palace (No charge) Includes classes above if space available

Sandwiches and snacks available For Lunch

4-6 Richard Woods/ Multihull Program / Video and Slides / Tent Boat Palace / Free Class 8-5 Independent sailing or Group sails at Beach Launch Area

6-7:30 John Welsford/ "Care and Sharpening of Tools" Boat Palace/ Free Class

7:30-10:00 Group Buffet at City Wok, Main Street, Eufaula All You Can Eat Chinese Buffet- General Discussion and Visiting/ Meet and Greet

Friday, October 10, 2014

7-9 Breakfast Continental and Hot Breakfast Choice/ Boat Palace

8 :00 a. m. Dave Gentry "Family Boatbuilding Skin on Frame Kidyak" Continues / Observation Free

8-10 Michael Storer/ "How To Increase Performance Without Sacrificing Economy / Free Class

10:30 Cruise Across Lake/ Five Mile Cross Lake Eufaula/ Belle Starr Park and Back

Lunch / Sack Picnic Lunch Available in Boat Palace

3-5 Doug Snider "Heavy Weather Sailing" Beach Launch Area/ Free Class

5:30 "Ask the Designers" Panel Forum/ Welsford, Michalak, Storer, Gentry , Woods/ Boat Palace/ Free

7 :00 Dinner / Benefit for VFW Auxiliary- Cooked and Served by Women's Auxiliary / Boat Palace

8:00 Bob and Virgene Trygg "Building Our 32 Foot Tahitian Ketch and Sailing to Keys" / Boat Palace/ Free Class

9:30 Shawn Payment/ Michael Storer "The Canoe Trip of Doom" Building canoes and paddling Loire River, France / Boat Palace/ Free Program

Saturday, October 11

7-9 Breakfast/ Continental or Hot Breakfast Choice/ Boat Palace

9-11 Jim Michalak / "Design Your Own Boat" / Boat Palace/ Free Program

11-12 Richard Woods/ Program Beach Launch Area/ Free Class

12:00 Noon Sack Picnic Lunch Sandwiches Beach Launch Area

1-5 End Cancer Duck Races and Other Races / Beach Launch Area / Free

6:00 Tom Pamperin "Jagular" Reading and Leads Panel on Writing For Publication with Other Authors / Boat Palace / Free Program

7:30 Dinner / Fried Chicken and Southern Eats / Boat Palace

8:00 Boat Show Awards and Racing Awards

8:30 Captain Ledge Band Concert and Kelly McGuire- Redfish Records

Sunday, October 12

7-9 Breakfast / Boat Palace Continental or Hot Breakfast Choice

9-11 Sean Mulligan / "Paradox by Matt Layden" and Sail Havasu Presentation/ Free Program

11:00 Pirate Poker and Naval Battle / Beach Front/ Boats 12 Feet and Under/ Free

Lunch Sandwiches and Snacks Available at Beach

12:30-2:00 Recovery and Flotation Seminar / Richard Woods, Dave Gentry, Jim Michalak, John Welsford, Michael Storer/ Free Program

2 :00 Marshmallow Scooping and Bombardment/ Beach Front/ Boats 12 feet and Under/ Free

3:30 Free Sail Time or Improvise Programs

7 Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant / Highway 9, I mile east of Boat Palace / Sail or Motor/ Drive / Menu

Jackie and Mike Monies

Print and share this Life Jacket Design Competition flyer with friends, armchair inventors, boaters and schools.


Design A Better Life Jacket and Win $10,000

Contest Calls for “Out-of-the-Box” Entries

ANNAPOLIS, Md., August 21, 2014 – Are you an armchair inventor with a better way to keep boaters, sailors and anglers afloat? The BoatUS Foundation, along with the Personal Floatation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), have teamed up to seek out the newest technologies and design ideas with the “Innovation in Life Jacket Design Competition” which kicks off today. “We believe there are some creative folks out there that can help us rethink a 100-year-old design with fresh, out-of-the-box ideas,” said BoatUS Foundation President Chris Edmonston. A $10,000 cash award goes to the winning designer and inventors have until April 15, 2015 to submit their idea to

“Waterway users are always looking for more comfortable life jackets,” added Edmonston. “While current models of life jackets save lives every day, many are still bulky and uncomfortable, leaving boaters reluctant to wear them. This competition hopes to challenge that mindset.”

Entries that embrace new technologies and non-traditional thinking are being encouraged from individuals or groups, such as high school science clubs, collegiate design programs or even boat and fishing clubs. There are no rules regarding types of materials to be used or whether the design meets any current US standards. Entries can be as simple as hand-drawn theoretical designs to working prototypes.

The entries will be judged based on four criteria: wearability, reliability, cost and innovation. "Wearability" relates to the level of comfort. "Reliability" will take into account the chances for potential failure, while "cost" will look at the affordability of the design. "Innovation" will take into account originality or the utilization of new technologies. Additionally, the BoatUS Foundation will post entries on their website and Facebook page for public voting. The winner will be announced at the September 2015 International Boat Builders Exhibition and Conference in Louisville, Kentucky and additional cash prizes are offered for second and third place.  For more information or to enter visit

Core Sound 17

Duckworks readers might be interested in my blog on building a Core Sound 17.  I am decidedly amateurish in my approach to building boats, but the end result is having fun while doing it.



Thought I'd share my homebuilt shantyboat, as my wife took some pictures during a recent trip. I don't have many OF the boat. Escargot by Phil Thiel.

More at 


Boat Hook

What to do on a rainy day... Well, making a boat hook. Should come in handy in the raid we are participating in mid September. A few coats of varnish and it should be ready. Bronze boat hook head (Duckworks US) and pine handle.


La Grace - Flagship of Africa-Europe Challenge in 2014

Tall Ship La Grace, an authentically built replica of a brig from the second half of the 18th century is also to take part in the events of the Africa-Europe ChallengeYacht Rally in 2014 as the flagship of the cruise.

The Ship

According to a Wikipedia entry on the ship, La Grace is an authentic replica of the brig from the second half of the 18th century. Brigs were the most common commercial ship since they didn’t require a large crew. For their speed and maneuverability they were used by navy as courier boats, for combats with pirates and for espionage. The construction of La Grace is based on blueprints published in 1768 by Swedish Admiral Fredrik Henrik af Chapman in the book Architectura navalis mercatoria. Chapman is credited as the first naval architect who laid the foundations of the modern shipbuilding while relying on precise blueprints. He introduced batch production of the ships using pre-constructed segments long before Henry Ford, and thus radically shortened the construction time. Many ships, both naval and merchant ships, were constructed using his blueprints, including modern replicas of the historic sailing ships from 15th to 18th century.

Although La Grace is built in such a way that even admiral Nelson will not recognize any historical inconsistency at first sight, inside she is equipped by all the modern electronics, safety systems and equipment which will allow her to sail safely and also provide the crew by comfortable environment for relaxation or training.

La Grace in AEC

La Grace, as the flagship of AEC will play an important role during the ceremonial starts of rally legs, will sail together with the AEC fleet and will be hosting VIP events while in port. Further to this, it is also very likely that captain Dvorsky and his crew, as inveterate naval tradition-keepers will not only entertain all who is interested by their appearance wearing all authentic costumes, but also by telling interesting stories from the history of boating, navigation, trading between continents and maybe some stories of their own adventures aboard La Grace too.

For adventurers seeking a closer insight of the life aboard such a historical vessel, it is also possible to book a cabin or a bunk on La Grace and take part in AEC events aboard this beauty. She offers 6 cabins in the aft and middle of the boat. In each cabin there is a double bed and over it a third bed, making them suitable for two adults or for a family with one child under 15 years of age. There are further 8 bunks in the fore part and 4 more in the mess room.

For more details and availability please visit the reservation page of La Grace at:

The official website of the ship is:

Tamas Szekely

“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”: Do You Know Weather?

United States Power Squadrons and BoatUS Foundation

Help Boaters Understand Weather Basics Through Online Course

ANNAPOLIS, Md., August 27, 2014 – For boaters, sailors or anglers, knowing the forecast and understanding the weather can mean the difference between smooth, sunny sailing or slogging through uncomfortably rough seas. Weather for Boaters, a new online course from the United States Power Squadrons (USPS) and the BoatUS Foundation aims to teach boaters the basics of weather and forecasting so they may recognize and prepare for storms coming their way, interpret cloud formations and wind shifts, learn when to prepare for lightning and thunderstorms, and more.

Weather for Boaters follows the traditions of USPS to prepare boaters to make informed decisions on the water.” said Robert Baldridge, Chief Commander, US Power Squadrons.  The course is an easy-to-follow boater’s guide to forecasting, winds and storms that will help any boat owner decide when it’s time to go out, head back in, or seek cover. Included is an understanding of weather elements such as air masses, fronts and winds, storms, squalls and fog. It also helps boaters know the early signs of changing weather and how to use a barometer and weather map. It may also help race committees reduce risk.

As a special offer, Weather for Boaters is available until September 30 for just $29.95. Additional USPS/BoatUS Foundation online learning courses such as Partner in Command, which is great for first mates, and Boating on Rivers, Locks and Lakes are also available until September 30 for the same the special pricing of $29.95 per course. To receive the discounted special pricing on these courses, enter the promotional code “weather” when signing up at

The United States Power Squadrons is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable through teaching boaters courses and seminars covering dozens of topics. To date, over four million boaters have taken a USPS course or seminar. The partnership with the BoatUS Foundation aims to increase the accessibility to boating education courses by tapping into the Foundation’s expertise at presenting engaging and effective course materials for online study at home. United States Power Squadrons have over 30 advanced courses and seminars taught by local squadrons that will be made available online in the next two to three years. 

The BoatUS Foundation has its roots when Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) Founder and Chairman Richard Schwartz testified before Congress in 1969 that led to the watershed Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971. Today, the BoatUS member-funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating, and provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, The Foundation’s Online Boating Safety Course is the only free, NASBLA-approved online boating safety course in 33 states. To date, over one million boaters have taken the course.

To comment on Duckworks articles, please visit one of the following:

our Yahoo forum our Facebook page