October Letters

Electric Paddles is Back

Hello Chuck,  Electric Paddle is back- as EP Carry;  a much more powerful and efficient product for small boats.

Thought you’d want to know our new website is up ( www.epcarry.com ) and we’re shipping motors!


On the Subject of Flapdoodles

Hi Chuck

It was great to finally meet you and have a chat at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.

I am in the process of building the Flapdoodle and have been experimenting with sealants for thin plywood.  I don’t need a “varnished” look and do not plan to use the spar varnish suggested.

Several folks including myself have suggested using TiteBond III as a good waterproof sealant.  I think it works great and would like to suggest the following improvement.

The TiteBond III can act as both a sealer and a non flaking/non peeling paint if one adds a colorant that is used for latex/acrylic paints.  Note: If you are looking for this on the web, Google “colorant” not “pigment.”  I learned this the hard wasy.

Most paint stores (not your generic Home Depots and Lowe’s) carry colorants in 8 or 16 oz bottles.  When you make the glue slurry (3 or 4 parts glue to 1 part water) add the colorant at about a 20:1 ratio by volume.  You can get almost any color you want by mixing different colorants.

Paint two coats of this “concoction” on clean dry plywood surface and you will have a great watertight finish.

The one disadvantage is that the fish only has a “satin” like gloss.  You won’t get a glossy finish like you can with varnish or paint.

On the subject of building FlapDoodles:

If you seal and strengthen the plywood with epoxy resin rather than the polyurethane spar varnish you will need to use a different glue to attach the PVC fabric seams.  The PVC glue suggested by the designer will not create a very strong bond with epoxy.  I tested the PVC glue, E6000, “SeamGrip” and gel cyanoacrylate. Of these the gel super glue provided the strongest bond (the fabric ripped and separated before the glue bond).  The next strongest was the SeamGrip followed by the E6000.  The PVC glue was the weakest.

Tom Hruby

P.S. Since I don’t think you had a chance to stop by at the festival, here is a picture of my dory


Hey guys,

Got an e-mail from Kyle in Ontario this morning. He finished his “Colibri” dinghy and is actually using it as a tender for his sailboat. Attached are pictures.

Warm regards,


A Happy Hour in Latvia

Good morning Chuck and Sandra,

Last night I got these pictures from Matis in Latvia. He launched his “Happy Hour” kayak on the weekend. Here’s what he says:

Hi Alex!
Yess, It’s finally done, the boat is ready! I called it “Happy”(in latvian “Laimīgais”). Wheels, you see at the bootom , I made for easy transportation to the water, they are fast removable.
I  already took the first ride on the water and found it more stable as I thought it will be.
Thanks you for the project!
There are some photos too.

Sincerely, Maris

Warm regards,


A Happy Hour in PA

Hi Chuck and Sandra,

Just got these pictures of Mark’s “Happy Hour” in Pittsburgh, PA. An outstanding job I think, here’s what he wrote me:

Hi Alex, the plans were easy to follow and understand. I am from Pittsburgh PA that’s why the gold and black colors. It’s a boat for a penguins fan. I think that this is a great project for anyone who would like to jump into boat building, especially stitch and glue. It is fairly easy and fairly quick and inexpensive.

If you take your time follow the instructions and have a little imagination you will end up with a really cool little boat.

Thanks for a great design. Looked all over the web for a cute small boat to build and this hit the mark perfectly.

Mark P.

Warm regards,


Bad Link


Thanks for writing up this post (http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/01/links.htm). You have a lot of great resources mentioned there.

I have a suggestion for another fantastic resource: https://outdoorstack.com/deer-hunting-tips

It is a 4000+ word guide on deer hunting tips, strategies, and equipment. Have you seen it yet? It provides a ton of value to anyone who is new to deer hunting.

Anyways, just wanted to say thanks and repay you with a suggested resource you can add to your list 🙂

Thanks and Cheers,

Victor Mays


Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Victor, but that page is 16 years old and we don’t maintain them that far back.  There’s your link, though. (Chuck)

Mystic Seaport Video

Hi Chuck,

Just letting you know that we’ve just launched a new Mystic Seaport video today, Building for the Future: Going Green at Mystic Seaport. The Thompson Exhibition Building at Mystic Seaport is a unique blend of modern architecture and green engineering. Ken Wilson, Director of Facilities and Chad Floyd of Centerbrook Architects discuss some of the building’s most notable green features including geothermal wells, recycled materials and porous pavement.

Here is the link to the video: http://stories.mysticseaport.org/building-future-going-green-mystic-seaport/

Let me know what you think!


Pinocchio in Arizona

Hey guys,

Just got this picture from Dale down in Arizona. His grandson’s “Pinocchio” kayak is ready for paint…

Here are some more pictures of this boat:

Warm regards,


AF4 Splash!

Hi Chuck:

It is a BOAT!  Splash this morning in Lake Union near Gasworks Park.  I defiantly need a tiller extension.  Things went well until the 9.9 stopped.  I had the 4 with me.

The 9.9 top speed was 12.6K and the 4 was 5.7k.  I think I will always carry the spare motor.  The 9.9 goes back to the shop.


Stressing the limits of rediculosity.

Three girls, all dressed up, and noplace to go.  Actually, lotsa’ places to go.  Just too many excuses.  I always let the Townies have the ramp on big summer holidays.  Too crowded, without my help.  It’s Labor Day Weekend, fergawdsakes.

And, then, that little voice begins to chirp.  “…Deeeeepp in Deeeeecembeeerrrrr, it’s nice to reeemmmeemmmbbeerrrrr…”  And  the Yeahbutt Bird offers a clinching jibe, “…yeahbutt, you gotta get that snowplow ready.  Winter’s coming, Win…”

And, that’s when I say, “That plow blade can wait.  I’ll drive around it.  Outa’ my waaaayyyyy…”

20 minutes later.  Back in the driveway.  As I was waiting for the next truck and trailer in line, I came to notice that there wasn’t anybody in the driver’s seat.  It was just parked there.  Well, OK.  On around.  Ready to back in.  Starting down toward the water.

…a toddler, toddles from one mirror, out of sight and into the other mirror.  Didn’t know you can get tires to “SCREECHHHHH!!!” from backing at about 3mph.  But, I guess you can…adrenal-induced heart failure comes in many forms…but I think I know what the bugs on my windshield felt like…return kid to a family group with a curt, “This, one of yours!?!”

…backing in…again…two boats decide to tie up in the spot I fully expected my trailer to occupy, in about eight point two seconds…too many Townies…

Sometimes that ol’ Yeahbutt Bird knows what he’s squawking about, huh?

Dan Rogers

Zest for You

Great footage from the recent excursion to the Alvord.  Gives a great feel for these boats at speed!

The end of Summer

Summer draws to a close, in Almostcanada.

A smart guy once said, “You can’t have spring, without winter, first.”  S’pose so.  I’ve been doing nothing but working with heavy tools that cut heavy pieces of steel and make my hands hurt, for about two weeks now.  It’s Sunday.  I declared holiday routine, and put the crew on liberty.

I told Kate that Jamie the Seadog and I were going “someplace.”  Didn’t know quite where, or for how long.  But, I figured we’d be back after we’d been there for long enough.  She probably figured out that we were gonna’ launch a boat and go someplace by water.  At least, that’s what I figured she figured.  Big Red has been hooked up to Mr. Tom and Miss Kathleen for several days running, while we go down to the ramp every hour or two to see if maybe I’ve got it right yet.  And, I do think we’re close enough to take a day off.  The LED lights that I ordered should show up in a day or so.  But, otherwise, Mr. Tom is pretty close to a going concern.  Hope so.

I considered the driving distances, ramp “quality,” and general parameters of several destinations.  Then, without much further deliberation; we simply went down to the local ramp here at Diamond Puddle.  It’s all of a half mile away.  Other than a couple die-hard fishermen already out drowning worms, all the traffic at the ramp was of a one-way nature.  Hauling out for the winter.  Heading home.  Giving it up for another year.  These two kids seemed like they have accepted the inevitable.

I don’t really think we’ve gotten to the end of our string with MK yet.  The ramp still ain’t locked.  The water is still above the solid state temperature.

And, besides.  I didn’t work all those hours out there with cold fingers and bloody knuckles to simply put Mr. Tom up for the winter.  Not quite yet.  So, in we went, and got parked in a New York second.

Our prevailing wind comes out of the west hereabouts.  Except for when it comes from the east.  But not today.  Right down from the northpole.  Gusty, and cold.  A great day for a roofboat.  There’s a cove on the north side of the lake that I sometimes anchor in, to go swimming.  It’s shallow, with a mud bottom.

We dropped the hook and immediately began to sashay around in that classic figure-eight pattern.  The williwaws would come surging down the draw and send us pacing back and forth.  I remembered that someplace in the garage rafters, I think maybe, is a pretty-cool little dinghy main that I got ready as a riding sail over a year ago.  Dunno if it works.  Never tried it.  And, now I couldn’t tell ya’ where it is.  Would have been a good day for it.  But, what a marvelous excuse to go back out again on a windy day, eh?

It’s that time of year when the lockers are getting down to the stuff that nobody wanted to eat all summer.  So other than “tie dyed bread” and a couple squishy oranges, we were pretty much stuck with something out of a can or a box.  Since it was a holiday routine day, I opted for the cans.  Not nearly as labor intensive as mixing water—and simulating milk and butter and stuff like pan fried chicken chunks.

OK.  So, Anthony Bourdain will likely never come for lunch with me on my boat.  Still, he wouldn’t starve.  Except maybe out of protest.  But, there’s no accounting for good taste.

Jamie made a nest of my filthy and tattered old Carhart snowplow coat, a bit of my sleeping bag, and my erstwhile clean pillow.  He settled in and worked on a chew stick.  One of those that, shall we say, at least one bull was fully involved in the making of.

Simple pleasures.

Dan Rogers

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