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Another Goat Island Skiff Launched

Here are the pics of the launch and christening of Goats Have No Manners (GHNM). I was too harried with last-minute tasks to feel much in the way of emotions. Boat launch traffic was heavy today, making for a challenging first-time trailer-backing experience. Rowing was awesome.



Cricket didn't sail last year, with all the work needed to get Mouse launched and rigged, so this year I did some much needed maintenance and repair, and re-launched her. Great little crab skiff, weatherly and handy. I put up the whole story on my blog.


Lillistone First Mate Launch

I have just finished the building of First Mate, designed by Ross Lillistone.

I followed his plans closely, including a hollow mast and yard. The sail is a balanced lug, from Sailrite. I built the outboard splash well, but the boat rows so nicely, the outboard stays at home.

I have been sailing on local lakes, learning as I go.

Yesterday, I sailed in stronger winds. I started with the reefed sail, but shook that out as the boat seemed underpowered. With the full sail, I had a great time! Winds were increasing and the waves were growing too, but I never had to sit up on the side decks.

When the whitecaps grew more noticeable, I put the reef back in. Once again, the sailing was sedate, but the boat rose and fell with the waves, never slamming into them.

I dropped the sail and used the oars for the last few hundred metres. The waves tossed me around a bit as I have much to learn about rowing in these conditions. The boat was reassuring and moved very quickly back to the ramp.

I chose this design for solo rowing, sailing and camping around Vancouver Island. The boat is more than I expected and I am looking forward to our adventures.


ChevyDuck Made it into the Water


Mayfly 12

Success! The Roof Rack Mayfly 12 was able to live up to my hope that it would Fly in May! No sailing pictures yet, but Saturday I was able to power through the last of the mountain of little tasks that separated the rowing version from the sailing version, and Monday my 3-year-old and I were able to enjoy a nice maiden voyage on Elkhorn Slough. My hands were far to busy to risk even taking my phone out of it's watertight storage, let alone trying to take any pictures, unfortunately. But the weather was perfect, there were very light, rather fluky winds coming from various directions, with a couple nice gusts to give us a couple nice runs. I'm not any good at estimating wind speed, but I guess I would call it 3 - 7 mile an hour winds. Nothing to stretch out the sail taught, and it's pretty wrinkly and crumpled from spending about a year rolled up and out of service.

Observations - I don't have much of a frame of reference for comparison, as I've only sailed my Puddle Duck Racer a few times. It's definitely not as stable as the PDR which of course makes sense, and is way more sensitive to weight distribution. But as long as I keep my butt on the floor it feels plenty stable.

There's definitely some drag when tacking to starboard when my ugly square leeboard braces get into the water, so I will probably have to fair them a bit. The graphite/Tightbond III mixture I used for bottom paint has now been subjected to a fair bit of rough dragging and scraping, but has held up admirably in my opinion. I think better than paint would.

The only photo I got of the day was everything loaded up on top of the minivan.



This is Figjam, a Twixt sailboat I built out of epoxy, 'glass and 5 mm plywood from the big box home improvement store nearby. Plans by Jim Michalak. I made a push/pull tiller to open up more cockpit room. If you look closely you can see a vertical slot in the side just forward of the mast on the side panel. The boat comes apart there. I put in two bulkheads so I can easily transport it without a trailer. The bow piece fits in my SUV and the hull goes on top. It bolts together with bolts gaskets and wing nuts. Super easy. She sails nicely with my Duckworks lugsail. I sail her out of the Lake Washington Sailing club in West Sacramento. Great website you have here. I am building an 18' dory to do the EVerglades Challenge in 2017!



This makes number eight! Memorial day weekend I launched Sea Foam, my eighth mouse. The big deal about it is that I built the whole thing out of EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam insulation panels. I did it as a learning experience. I have a large non boating project planned that will use EPS as the main material. Sea Foam survived a couple days of use on my parents ice pond, with many hidden tree stumps and rocks to test the ability of a foam boat to survive. Other than some dents in the foam the hull came through just fine. My dad really likes it so much it will be his. Cost wise the foam mouse comes out within a few dollars of a luan mouse, aprox. $100, weight wise the complete hull was 13 lbs, compared to my luan mouse at 35 lbs. Complete details of the build, including the blunders and how I am fixing them, is being written up right now.


Pictures and Commentary on the Launch of the SPIRIT

Bill Whalen

Goat Island Skiff

Bill Loux's Goat Island Skiff was wet for the first time.

MIK Storer

Water Rat "El Sotano" design by Ross Lillistone

The boat is built. It is a great boat and was a fun project. More pics. Plans are here.


Duck-Duck-Goose Launched!

I launched and sailed Duck-Duck-Goose Friday, May 30 at the Lake Pepin Messabout! She's not quite done, but close enough to launch and sail. She sailed pretty well, especially considering it was my first time sailing with a split rig and first with a balanced lug (main). I was able to make windward progress and she didn't break up in the chop. Quite a few pops, creaks, and cracks from the pieces moving in relation to each other. I think I need to add some latches near the chines to stiffen her up a bit. I did get some nice gushers coming up between the pieces, so need to add some gaskets.

I spent both nights reasonably comfortably in her cabin. One of those nights we had HEAVY rain. I had about 4" of water in the bow and stern sections but I stayed dry in the cabin with the cabin's winter cover on. Plenty of room for one person to stretch out in that 7'x4' space. It might be tight with two, especially with their gear. However, carrying supplies for camping ashore would not be an issue. 

I was hoping to have a better photo to share, one of her sailing, but it seems no one has uploaded one yet. Here she is while I was rigging her:


Dory Launching

Marisa and Matthew await the beginning of the Walnut to Walnut race.

Dory 29 was finished and launched in time for the Walnut to Walnut race sponsored by the Independence Seaport Museum of Philadelphia, PA on May 31, 2014. The 15 mile race started at Walnut Street on the Schuykill River and ended at Walnut Street on the Delaware River. Rowing crews from tall ship Gazela Primeiro finished the race in good time and enjoyed it so much that they have suggested an evening row one day a week. Dory 29 joins Dory 37, also built by me, on Gazela's deck as part of the living museum of this 113 year old Portuguese fishing vessel.


SOF Tender

My latest, a skin-on-frame tender. Almost 8'x4' and about 50lbs. We're calling her the Piankatank River Pram. That's my very pregnant wife, Anna, out for the test drive.

More info and pics here: New boat: An Ultralight Tender.

Plans available in July, if all goes as planned.


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