The Duck Pond, 9 February 2017

Some of what has happened in “the duck pond” this week:

Cobra Catamaran

This is a 6.25% scale model of a Cobra Catamaran. The length is to ratio but I have increased all other panel dimensions by 10% to add buoyancy. This is because I’m planning a solid deck as opposed to a trampoline for a tent when camping out. Have I missed something? Will this work? What haven’t I thought of?

Andrew Stokes

from Facebook

Sawfish Kayak

This is my latest foam boat. I followed John Crystal Withe’s sawfish kayak model. My sneakyak
Is 11 feet long and 30 inches wide with a handle front and rear, two rod holders and twin drag blocks on the stern.

It is made from 2 inch insulation boards from Lowes, using Gorilla glue, Titebond 11, and canvas drop cloth. It weighs in at just under 32 pounds.

It is a joy to use, the cockpit has 12 inch sides that aid the old boatbuilder in and out. The flat bottom helps with entry and exit. The length and the drag blocks provide straight tracking,

I can sneak up on the local Ibis.


I think I hit a home run. Gosh almighty, what to do next???

Fred night


I just heard from another builder who used his kayak all last summer but I never knew he built one. I’m just happy to see people able to get out on the water,  as I spent many years dreaming when I should have been paddling.

Josh withe

8′ Nymph

Getting there on my first build. Decided to try making some oars. Super fun. Hoping to get the innards finished up and get to work on the underside this week.

I used plans from Warren Messer’s 8′ Nymph for the basic hull. The rest I fabricated after obsessively combing through thousands of photos on Google.

Doug Martin

from Facebook

Saffron 44

She flies 2! – as promised a couple more pictures of Neil William’s Saffron 44 footer on turn over plus a sketch of her profile and plan.

Paul Fisher

from Facebook

Point Comfort 23

Some recent pics of the Point Comfort 23. I made a little ventilated hatch for the bow compartment. Mortised for the mooring bitt. Deck is on. Moving towards motor install and launching hopefully by late April.

Jim Luton

from Facebook


Hopetown sailors learnt some useful lessons in the last couple of weeks while sailing their Abaco dinghies. The photo shows one, “what a pretty boat” people might say. But a pretty boat is never enough. Far more important is to have a seaworthy boat, and then one that is fun and easy to sail.

Abaco dinghies have none of those features. Which is why they aren’t used in winds much over 10 knots, they are too tender and directionally unstable. So are very easy to capsize (one has capsized three times since Christmas). The photos show what happens after a capsize. They have no buoyancy, so there is no chance of self rescue and a high risk of losing the boat or damaging the rig.

So what were the lessons learnt?

First off when you are sailing a small boat you should always wear a lifejacket. Furthermore, that jacket should be done up properly and be in a working condition. So check yours.

Just because your boat works when you go out for a gentle sail in ideal weather doesn’t mean it will be OK in stronger winds and bigger seas. Gear gets loaded and can break, usually at the most inopportune time and when it does break the strong winds and big seas just make repair or rescue that much harder. So always assume the worst and check your boat before sailing. Rudder fittings, shroud plates, buoyancy tanks, sail reef points, gooseneck attachment…. Usually hulls are strong enough, it’s the “bits” that fail.

Finally, if you are in a safety boat you don’t just zoom around the course taking photos. You have to be prepared to rescue people and that can mean getting in the water or administering first aid. So make sure you are properly trained and prepared to do either. Wear a lifejacket/wetsuit, have a knife/multitool on a belt and keep your first aid certificate up to date. Boats don’t matter, crews do. When frostbiting on the sea we would leave boats and take the crew ashore first, then go back for the boat.

Richard Woods

from Facebook

Stone Boat

Stone boat (gluing stage) for my latest FOF design, a tandem sawfish.

Josh Crystal Withe

from Facebook

Anacapa Dory Winter Maiden Voyage

The builder, Vic Bottomly lives in South-Eastern Washington, and can only put a few hours per week on this project, balancing his time between his day job and family. It took him about a year and a half, and he figures about 220 hours and $1500 to build the hull. He said he had some of the materials and epoxy, and if he accounted for everything, it would cost about $2000 – way less than the trailer or motor.

He said this about the test run:

“And finally, most pleasing of all, she planed fine at half throttle. The GPS showed 11.5 mph going against a 1-2 knot current and the bow settled nicely. The motor is still in break-in phase, so I didn’t go over 3000 rpms, but at that power, GPS readout was over 16 mph against that current. My most optimistic Crouch formula results gave me 19.5 mph at 1600 pounds with a 20 hp motor, and I’m thinking, once it is broken in, we will realistically hit that.”

Very nice job on this build. Vic has many photos on the Wooden Boat Forum web site.

More information and access to free study prints, and links to purchase the plans for the 19′ Anacapa Offshore Pacific Power Dory plans may be downloaded at:

Jeff Spira

from Facebook

Tolman Tuesdays – Building the Tolman Widebody Skiff

During the past week I got the final graphite/epoxy coat on the bottom of the boat, let it cure, and masked off the bootstripe while the boat was swtill upside down. Then I was ready to flip the hull, always a milestone in the building of any boat.

I consulted with my neighbor, Dave, an engineer by trade and a genius in all things rigging and moving. We devised a strategy to flip the boat in place in the shop, even though the shop isn’t wide enough to just roll the boat over. I enlisted my son and son-in-law to help, and after setting up the rigging, it took about 10 minutes to flip the hull.

Now I can start finishing off the inside; building the crash chamber, bow locker, sealed deck, center console, leaning post and drywell. I already got the chines filleted and taped, and may get to taping the stringers in tonight. I also have to finish the outside above the waterline, but I think I’ll wait on that until the boat is on the trailer. Right now the boat is sitting on dollies right on the floor, making it easy to get in and out by stepping over the transom.

Jim Shula

from Facebook

1 Comment

  1. Could the gentleman with the Sawfish Kayak say more about the insulation panels he used for his kayak, and point me towards a good article about how to build with the foam? Thank you so much. Your boat looks great!

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