November, 2016

Eastern Messabout

Hi Chuck

Could you please post a notice about the next messabout. We are changing venues but will still meet the first weekend in June. We will meet at MARTINAK STATE PARK, DENTON MD. The dates are June 2, 3 & 4    2017. Folks may want to reserve early as the campground is a little smaller than Elk Neck but offers better facilities.

Steve Bosquette

Building with Foam
Hey Chuck,

I hope all is well. I saw this video the other day and thought maybe the
boat building community may be interested. In the video he uses this method
to build light weight cabinets for a camper van. But I could see this being
used to build boats. Like he states (about the cabinets not boats) you could
actually build a simple boat with these materials with out using any power

I know we have seen a lot of interest in building boats out of foam lately.
I guess it’s cheap, easy to work with and readily available (also very light
in weight). I have seen some similar ideas to the video below, but he does a
good job of describing different techniques and what worked best for him. I
like the sheet method versus the shaping method because I could see
“shaving” the foam into a boat shape would cause tons of foam “dust” to deal
with. I could see someone building a PDR with this or maybe a version of the
mouse boat. Could you imagine a PDR that weighs 30 lbs! Heck even a lot of
Ken Simpson’s boats could be built with this “composite” foam method. I
really do appreciate you posting this video to your site for others to view.
I know how creative the boat building community is and I would love to see
others expand on this idea.

He will have a follow up video on how he finishes it. I don’t think the
finish he uses would be boat/water friendly but the composite foam would
still be enough to build a usable boat (heck one you could cut in half and
both halves would still float!) I just wanted to add that if possible, when
posted to your site, you may want to include a link to his site. He has a
more detailed write up on the procedure. And also I have no affiliation with
this guy what so ever. I just thought it was a great idea and wanted to
share it with fellow boat builders.

Thanks again,

Life is a race…


We all end up at the finish line, sooner or later.  But, some of us have better stories to tell…

Dan Rogers


Hello Mike. Just read your column about getting a Lightning. FanTastic. I’ve had a 1970 Lightning since about 1997. I, also, have many boats, and the all around best is the Lightning. I believe the draft is a mere 6″, and they’ll plane fairly easily. Only 700 lbs. Added a back mount for an electric trolling motor. Removed the siphon drain n glassed in a conventional plug same spot. Made a cabin frame from the 1″ square aluminum tubes from one of those old 8′ dia. TV dish. Covered with vinyl. Looks and works good. And adds little weight. Made the mast to swivel above the foredeck. And made a new mast of aluminum tubing after the very weathered wooden one broke. No pics, they were all in my other phone and didn’t transfer.

Had a reef point put in the main by a major sail maker. I said I’d like two. He said if it’s that bad, should go in. Nope. Just the opposite. If i need to get in that bad, ill need a second reef. If yer making a reef line, no reason to not make two. Or three. All the more so on a slider like a Lightning. So Duckworks is my sail maker now.

The Lightning is one great float machine. A lotta sail for no real ballast. I’m in lower low Michigan. I took mine across Saginaw Bay. And on L. Michigan, out a few miles. And on the inland lakes around Jackson here, of which there are many.
Mike, congrats on becoming a very wealthy man – a Lightning owner.

I believe there are only three things you’re going to dislike about your Lightning:

1 . Waited far too long to get one.
2. All the excursions in it are too short.
3. It’ll be way too long before ya get in it again. (°__,°)

Also Mike, be careful in allowing the skeg to hit anything bigger than a bluegill. On the glass Lightnings anyway, they are frail. Made to go fast, not to cruise the rocky scenic shore. Broke mine completly off just on a sandy shore. Now its redone with a wooden inside and some extra glass fillet buildup along the connection. If you refurbish yours, if i may, i suggest beefing the skeg too. Maybe cutting out one side, adding glued in hard plastic, reinstalling the side. Add fillet along the connection. Or make one for each side, English style, for stability on the flats.
And! Yours in the photo looks just like mine. Same colors in same places. Except mine has a name and lightning icon on the freeboard. Even your trailer is the same. Must be the type they came with from Bay City, Michigan. If yours has a SS centerboard, it is worth a pile of money.

Jim G

My Long Winded Paper

Hi Chuck,

For everything you never thought you needed to know about woven bamboo boats, my paper on the subject has recently been published in the journal “Moussons”. (Moussons is a French anthropology-ethnology journal publishing in both French and English, and focusing on Southeast Asia.) Anyway, I went over their word count limit by quite a bit and completely blew away their limit on illustrations. . .but they were good sports and published the whole thing. Some of “Duckworks” readers may find it interesting and it’s posted on line HERE.


I’ve shelved new construction projects for now and am working on renovation of a lovely old O’day “Ospray” 16′ daysailer sort of boat. . .will shortly be looking for a number of blocks and cleats and small bits of rigging and line she’d like to have. <grin>

Hope you and Sandra are well and happy!



Coast Guard PSA


NEW LONDON, Conn. (Nov. 7, 2016) – The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. (NCGMA)   today announced the presentation of conceptual exhibit designs to the U.S. Coast Guard Museum Advisory Council. The design concepts are the product of a year-long review of Coast Guard history conducted by the internationally-recognized museum planning and design firm, Gallagher & Associates. The review included input from an exhibit advisory panel composed of representatives of over 20 non-profit organizations focused on preserving the history and culture of the United State Coast Guard.

“With the advisory panel members, we gained insights and experiences of those who lived this life,” said Robert Malootian, senior designer at Gallagher & Associates. “That helps us create exhibits that are realistic and depict, in an exciting way, what it means to serve in the Coast Guard.”

The exhibit design organizes the Museum Coast Guard stories around the service’s missions in three major galleries; Security, Safety, and Stewardship. Thematic wings in the galleries merge the exhibits along the following storylines:

  • Defenders of our Nation
  • Enforces on the Seas
  • Lifesavers around the Globe
  • Protectors of the Environment
  • Champions of Commerce

The Museum will also include an introductory wing, an educational and technology center, and waterfront and rooftop exhibits.

“The exhibits will tell stories of the Service’s rich maritime history and about the courageous and daring men and women who proudly served in the Coast Guard,” said retired Coast Guard Capt. Jon Nickerson, coordinator of the Museum Exhibition Advisory Panel.  “The National Coast Guard Museum will showcase a stunning variety of national maritime artifacts, interactive experiences and educational programs.”

“Presentation of the exhibit design concept is an important milestone in the development of a world-class museum that will honor the Coast Guard’s legacy of service to our nation,” said Rear Adm. Anthony Vogt, director of Coast Guard Governmental and Public Affairs. “We will continue to work closely with the Association in developing the proposed designs.”

NCGMA President and CEO Richard Grahn said, “There is extraordinary commitment to build the world class museum that the Coast Guard and the nation deserve. The input of individuals with personal Coast Guard experience is critical to create an immersive experience and vividly illustrate the stories and challenges of United States Coast Guard in the past, present and future.”

The Museum Association retained interior design contractor, Gallagher and Associates, to develop a comprehensive interior exhibit design concept to “Bring Coast Guard History to Life.”  This important milestone was reached after productive meetings with the United States Coast Guard Advisory Council at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC.

The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. – a 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Charitable Organization – was formed to raise funds and apply for and administer federal and state grants for the purpose of acquiring land, designing, constructing, developing exhibits and turning over to the US Coast Guard a national museum in the City of New London, Connecticut. For more information, please visit www.CoastGuardMuseum.org.

You might like this

Stewart S


Here is another of Herb’s old catalog scans…




  1. For Jim G.
    Thanks, and much thanks for the tips and encouragement. If your reading my stuff you may think I crossed the line in my plans, ideas, and doings with the Lightning.
    I’ve had to rid about 80% of the balsa floor/core, the deck core is real bad as well, covered with 1/4″ for ply. More pounds I know, it’s getting risky.
    Thanks again for the note.

  2. Harold, foam boats are great like you said, I also had the idea of making a mouseboat out of foam, and still have the resulting boat.
    Google “seafoam kayak” for the build and use pictures.
    Duckworks ran a multi part series of the build also.
    I wasn’t the first, I believe a foam PDR might have been.

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