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Cover Story:

How I Got Started in Boats

We all started somewhere.

Friday, September 19, 2014

  • October Reports

  • Thursday, September 18, 2014

    “Slingshot 16” Trimaran
    ‘Slingshot 16’ is a much-improved version of ‘Laura’s Boat,’ a 16’ trimaran I designed and built for my dear wife in 2010.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    How I Got Started in Boats
    My Boy Scouts troupe used to take lots of canoe trips. Every year, we would paddle the Grande Ronde River and hit some wicked rapids and a potentially deadly whirlpool.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    The Drawing Board
    Naval Architecture and small craft design as we know it today is a relatively new process in human terms.

    Monday, September 15, 2014

  • October Treasure Chest

  • Monday, September 15, 2014

    Jim Michalak's Newsletter
    We are big fans of Jim Michalak's designs and like to let you know when there is a new issue of his newsletter.

    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, September 12, 2014

    Managing Disaster
    Boat building disasters can happen so easily - and do. More so to some people than others it must be said, particularly the novice builder.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014

    What Happened?
    At risk of descending into a curmudgeonly rant, I'm going to offer a rhetorical question. What's happened?

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    Why I Build
    I build boats, but like a child playing T-Ball, I lack three essential properties: Skill, Talent, and Patience.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    The Sloughs Near Everett
    It's been 12 years since I built my Phil Theil designed Escargot, and no, the thrill is NOT gone!

    Monday, September 8, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, September 5, 2014

    Recollections of My Early Boating Life
    My parents were fabulous in every way except one: they forced me to grow up near Watford, an egregious dump a criminally long way from decent rowing waters.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

    Florida 120 2014
    The event this year had so many people scattered, delayed, forced to use anchorages that weren't planned for that there is no single detailed overview of the 2014 Florida 120.

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

    Phoenix and Her Sisters
    It is now more than five years since the first boat was built to my Phoenix III design.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    Installing an Outboard Fuel Filter
    I have a fairly large fuel tank (6 gallons), and unless I am leaving for overnight voyages, I let the fuel get quite low before refilling. Here's what I think happens.

    Monday, September 1, 2014

    A Good Day
    A good day for not doing what you're supposed to be doing.

    Monday, September 1, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Monday, September 1, 2014

    Jim Michalak's Newsletter
    We are big fans of Jim Michalak's designs and like to let you know when there is a new issue of his newsletter.

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • September Letters

  • Thursday, August 28, 2014

    First PDS Racer Regatta
    The inaugural race of the new PDS Racer one-design class is in the history books.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    Where the Winds Blow
    Jerry presents the wonderful world of model boats that sail under the power of the wind, remotely controlled, or otherwise.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • September Splash

  • Monday, August 25, 2014

    An Epic Schooner Launch in Maine
    We thought you'd appreciate one of OffCenterHarbor.com's most popular videos below, and the story behind the making of this remarkable short film.

    Monday, August 25, 2014

    Centex 16
    It would seem as though the “Golden Age” of yachting has passed us by.  Instead, perhaps, there is a new movement afoot...

    Monday, August 25, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, August 22, 2014

    Schooners, Deserts and Junks
    I've been known to bad mouth most of Bolger's designs as looking boxy but I'll make an exception for this schooner. It's about 30 feet long and has a flat bottom and looks great.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

    By Hand and Eye
    Often success chooses the man, rather than the man being a success. This was the case for the famous ship designer William Hand.

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • September Reports

  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    How To Add A Hatch
    One of the advantages of a skin-on-frame kayak is that it is light and easy to handle, both in the water, and out.

    Monday, August 18, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, August 15, 2014

  • September Treasure Chest

  • Friday, August 15, 2014

    Jim Michalak's Newsletter
    We are big fans of Jim Michalak's designs and like to let you know when there is a new issue of his newsletter.

    Thursday, August 14, 2014

    QUAD
    For a few months after designing and building the QUAD for my own use, I decided to make the plans free to those that requested them from my website.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

    It Really Gets You Fuming
    By now I had been thinking incessantly about the finish I wanted in the boat, but at what point do I put it into action?

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

    The Texas 200 - Part Two
    Six o'clock Monday rolled by, so did six thirty, and also seven o'clock and we were underway with one reef already tied in because the winds were 15-18 knots sustained.

    Monday, August 11, 2014

    The Texas 200 - Part One
    It is now a couple of weeks removed from completing the event. The sunburns are healed up, my sleep schedule is mostly back to normal, the aches and pains have somewhat subsided.

    Monday, August 11, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, August 8, 2014

    SUP Darlin?
    I am always looking for new ways to go boating. Three years ago I started hearing about this new kind of boat called stand up paddle board or SUP.

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

    Memorial Day, Varnish and More Boats
    Helen and I went sailing on Memorial Day along with a million motor boaters.

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

    A New Dory For Tall Ship Gazela
    Tall ship Gazela Primeiro, the official tall ship of Philadelphia, carried 30 dories when it fished The Grand Banks of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    LCYC Messabout
    I was at a beer tasting about a year ago and ran into some friends (members of one of the local yacht clubs) who have a boat out at the marina on Sabine Lake.

    Monday, August 4, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, August 1, 2014

    How I Got Started in Boats
    I grew up on a saltwater estuary in Oregon, in a town bustling with every imaginable sort of maritime activity.

    Friday, August 1, 2014

    Jim Michalak's Newsletter
    We are big fans of Jim Michalak's designs and like to let you know when there is a new issue of his newsletter.

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

  • August Letters

  • Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    2014 Around the Shop
    There's a lot going on at the shop right new so I took a walk around and got some pictures to show you.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Foldyak 12 - Folding Kayak
    The Foldak is constructed from a lightweight wooden keel assembly, a pair of drop down plywood floors and four hinged laminated hoops.

    Monday, July 28, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • August Splash

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014

    Where the Winds Blow
    Mark Steele cannot be replaced, but we can keep his column alive. I think that would have pleased him.

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Drawn to the Water
    I grew up in Wasaga Beach, the longest fresh water beach in the world on the southern end of Georgian Bay.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

  • August Reports

  • Monday, July 21, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, July 18, 2014

    My Free Boat
    I suspect all boat builders have a "How I got started story" and here is mine.

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

    Twelve Reasons
    12 reasons why I believe small, homemade trimarans are the very best way to go sailing!

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    On Varnish
    M any builders go for a more "yacht" type finish, quite commonly the boats are painted outside, but gunwales and interiors are fully varnished.

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • August Treasure Chest

  • Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    Jim Michalak's Newsletter
    We are big fans of Jim Michalak's designs and like to let you know when there is a new issue of his newsletter.

    Monday, July 14, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, July 11, 2014

    SSS Boat Fest, Odd Boat, Salt Lake
    The Small Craft meet was held at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron last April and Saturday 19 was blown away by strong winds, gusts to 28 were recorded.

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

    Going Off Plan – Part One
    Now comes the scary moment when I start to design to my own requirements, with no training as a marine architect and not even the appreciation of form of an artist.

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

    Birth of a Boat Show
    So on a Saturday morning last year, the three of us met and it was obvious that the Texas Wooden Boat Show idea had reached critical mass.

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

    A Sea Bird Day
    Although by the 1890s the age of sail was declining, the great shipyards were still thriving.

    Monday, July 7, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, July 4, 2014

    Mark D'Arcy Steele, 1934 - 2014
    I'm attaching Dad's eulogy which my sister Carrie Ogier created with his help over the last couple of months of his life.

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

    Fast Sailboats - Part Two
    The result of my first real effort to design and build a trimaran from scratch was extremely positive – especially for a novice sailor like me.

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

    Fast Sailboats - Part One
    The real fault lies with that blasted Sunfish – which is what I later discovered they call that tippy little sailboat that everybody (but me) was already familiar with.

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014

    DUO 800 S
    Boats around 8 m (27 ft) are most interesting for the average sailor.

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014

    Jim Michalak's Newsletter
    We are big fans of Jim Michalak's designs and like to let you know when there is a new issue of his newsletter.

    Monday, June 30, 2014

  • July Letters

  • Monday, June 30, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, June 27, 2014

    Alaska People and Stuff
    The furry faced one on the right in Chelsea is Alaska Brook. You may remember him from the picture I once sent of the boat he built that looked like an igloo.

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

    Another Fix
    March delivers my 61st birthday, and Kathy sends me off to the Mojave Desert to celebrate!

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

  • July Splash

  • Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    Demise of the Goose
    While trying to get my yard cleaned up for the summer, we decided it was time to get rid of my Puddle Goose.

    Monday, June 23, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • July Reports

  • Thursday, June 19, 2014

    The Winch Post
    When I first started building and writing about the aluminium trailer I expected to finish the job in three articles, no such luck, it dragged on to four articles for the construction and still wasn't finished.

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    Kayak Building, with Heroes
    For the last couple of weekends, I was privileged to work with a great group of folks who are dedicated to helping out our nation's veterans in a way we can all relate to - boating.

    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

  • July Treasure Chest

  • Monday, June 16, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Monday, June 16, 2014

    Jim Michalak's Newsletter
    We are big fans of Jim Michalak's designs and like to let you know when there is a new issue of his newsletter.

    Friday, June 13, 2014

    Visitors and Boats, We Love Um Both
    I'll start with a video of an old motor like Larry gave us. It's going to be perfect in the boat we'll have to make for it.

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

    Fabricating Amas for a Sailing Canoe Project - 2
    Here are photos of my next step in glassing the pontoons/outriggers.

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    Why Didn't I Think of That
    More than just an easy way to go swimming, a reboarding ladder is essential safety equipment.

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

    Sea Rover
    Mainly it is the result of my some 60 years in and around the boating scene. Builder, designer, author, sailboat racer and — to be sure - dreamer.

    Monday, June 9, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, June 6, 2014

    Design and Build Your Own Perfect Boat
    This is not so much the story of a boat, but a story about a member who knew what he wanted and got it by designing his boat himself.

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

    Munroe and Egret
    Ralph Munroe was born during the American Civil War, but far from the battle front in New York City, in the quiet family home.

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    Why I'm Doing the Texas 200 in a PDR
    Way back in the day my father, Bill Moffitt, built a boat designed by some guy named Jim Michalak.

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

    MacGregor Sailing Canoe
    It's kind of funny how you come to own some boats.

    Monday, June 2, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Monday, June 2, 2014

    Jim Michalak's Newsletter
    We are big fans of Jim Michalak's designs and like to let you know when there is a new issue of his newsletter.

    Friday, May 30, 2014

  • June Letters

  • Thursday, May 29, 2014

    Can't Keep a Boatbuilder Down
    Here's an example of boat design gone wild. Our friend Austin designed and built this boat. It's a sailboat/motor boat combo.

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    Robin
    "Robin" is a small skin-on-frame (SOF) pram design with a twist; a solid plywood floor.

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • June Splash

  • Monday, May 26, 2014

    Special Feature - Texas 200 Cancer Sail
    Sometimes we are blindsided by life and the infinite we cannot control.

    Monday, May 26, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, May 23, 2014

    The Archer of Norway
    The great designer of Norway's rescue ships was Colin Archer, a man who seemed to have three lives.

    Thursday, May 22, 2014

    Getting The Ratio Right
    Epoxy glues are quite sensitive to mix ratios, especially those that require proportions of 4 or 5 to one hardener to resin.

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

    Been Quite a Week
    This was that unbudgeted, unplanned, but certainly not unloved boat project that was "allowed" a six week nitch on the building schedule.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • June Reports

  • Monday, May 19, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    Old boats, Old Motors and Old Me
    Here's a note from Steve of the Crystal River Rats. This is the Civil War scow they just finished, looks like it actually floats.

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

  • June Treasure Chest

  • Thursday, May 15, 2014

    Jim Michalak's Newsletter
    We are big fans of Jim Michalak's designs and like to let you know when there is a new issue of his newsletter.

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    How I Got Started in Boats (And Beyond)
    Uncle Bobby came to visit us. He saw me reading books about sailing and adventures again and asked me if I would be interested in signing up in the local sailing club.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    One Night Trip
    Lake Puula is nice place for lake kayaking. Two open water areas are separated by hundreds of islands, which create sheltered waterways for a kayaker to explore.

    Monday, May 12, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, May 9, 2014

    Fabricating Amas for a Sailing Canoe Project - 1
    I'm putting together a yawl sailing canoe. I've chosen a Grumman 17 as the canoe, but that could change.

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    Hapscut: Boat Review - 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.

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

    Hapscut: Boat Review - Part Two
    Hapscut was designed to be a downwind flyer and she does it well.

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

    Hapscut: Boat Review - Part One
    Drifting in and out of sleep, I can feel Hapscut surging down the face of a larger wave as I lay comfortably on the shaded cabin floor enjoying a nap.

    Monday, May 5, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, May 2, 2014

    Skipjack "Messenger"
    This is the story of the building of the skipjack "Messenger" as shown in Chapelle's "American Small Sailing Craft".

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

    Lake Pepin Messabout
    I started building boats in the garage five years ago. My journey turned out to be typical. Middle aged dad decides to build a boat to sail away from life.

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

    Jim Michalak's Newsletter
    We are big fans of Jim Michalak's designs and like to let you know when there is a new issue of his newsletter.

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • May Letters

  • Tuesday, April 29, 2014

    KWIKY
    This is the second generation of the Folding Kayak design.

    Monday, April 28, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, April 25, 2014

  • May Splash

  • Thursday, April 24, 2014

    Community Junk Day
    My family has had a summer cottage in a community on the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan since 1966.

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    Making Boat Handling Easier
    There are a number of things to make boat handling easier.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

  • May Reports

  • Monday, April 21, 2014

    Monday Blog Roundup
    Read all the boat building blogs from the past week.

    Friday, April 18, 2014

    The Hut, Water Dog, Broken Boat
    A lot of boating events are coming up in the next couple of months, I'll try to keep you up on some.

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    Dorade
    Roderick Stephens Sr. retired early from the coal business in the 1930s. He believed in and invested in what his sons did for sheer fun - sailing.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    The First American Ship
    The first recorded ship built in America by English settlers was at the Popham settlement near the mouth of the Sagadahoc river in Maine about 1607.

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

  • May Treasure Chest



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