November Letters

Free Plans (just one catch)

Hi Chuck,

We have this Simonis-Design available for free, however before we give it there is a pledge to be signed whereby you acknowledge that the design cannot be used commercially and is intended to help sailors with disabilities (see information package link) but once signed we do send the plans (about 100+ pages) for free. Is this something Duckworks would like to advertise?

SV 14, world’s most affordable sailing yacht for the disabled with its hull graphics inspired by “Comanche” the world’s fastest keelboat. (Hull graphics with the permission of Jim Clark, owner of “Comanche’)

Peter Jacops

2018 Coot Calendar

It’s that time of year again! The 2018 Coot Calendar of NW boating events, featuring photos of Coot boats and events, will be going to the printer about December 10th. I only print enough Coot Calendars to fill advance orders, so if you’d like one, or more, please get your order in soon. This year the price will be $15, postpaid, for each Calendar. Thanks!

John (

Gotta Go

I have heard.  It’s a good thing.
To.  You know.  Slow down and smell the roses.

That’s what people say.

Just look around.  Count to ten.
Take a pause.  Appreciate the small things.

I’ve read it someplace.

Don’t start something.  Before you finish something.
Take a breather.  Think about what you got.

Mom always said, “Just, sit still!”

Let your mind go blank.  Don’t talk.
Don’t go rushing off.  Stop.  And, just…

Well, OK.  It’s nice to meet you.  Gotta go.

Dan Rogers


CLC Sassafras

Glenn Nerwin customizing CLC Sassafras canoe. Laminate seat hangers, brass inlay in outwale, laminating cockpit coaming .


New Record set

Raphaela le Gouvello has become the first person to windsurf across the Indian Ocean.

Suggested by Robert B.

Paducah, KY opens transient dock for Loopers

Hello Chuck,

Consider including the town of Paducah on your publication!

Explorers of the Great Loop, a waterway system that takes boaters up the Mississippi River and down the East Coast, now have a place to dock in Paducah, KY. The city of Paducah has recently opened their own 340-foot transient boat dock in an effort to welcome boat travelers to the area for a pit stop.

Loopers who spend months traveling the Great Loop need a place to stop every few days, much like hikers do with the Appalachian Trail. Whether they need to fill up on gas, stretch their legs, or sleep in a bed on land for an evening or two, the UNESCO Creative City of Paducah is poised to provide a break from life on the river. Step off the boat for a short walk into historic downtown Paducah or tour the Lower Town neighborhood, known for his art galleries and beautiful homes.

Amenities of the transient boat dock include both diesel and marine grade gasoline and free temporary mooring every day between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Reservations for an overnight stay can be made here.


Cruising Mirror dinghy under all sail

Chuck, I thought this photo might be worth showing on Duckworks. It’s David Sumner’s Mirror dinghy, converted to gaff, plus a topsail and spinnaker – a powerful light wind rig.

His tent is attached below the boom, making for easy deployment.

The photo was taken by Alan Moulton.

Best wishes,


Suggested by Stewart S

Seastories, pedagogy, and epistemology

My friend Larry and I, were solving the world’s problems yesterday.  Specifically, as a couple old seadogs, we were trying to get our minds wrapped around the “culture shifts” the current Navy leadership intends to implement in the wake of several horrendous failures of seamanship.  Individual officers and sailors need to “learn the basics.”  We both agree that the ONLY way to accomplish that, is under the direct tutelage of a master seaman, on a real ship, at sea.  These nuggets of hard-won wisdom are then passed along in the traditional form of an oral history unique to sailors the world over.  Seastories.  Suddenly, the way forward was clear—and unlikely.

We learn nothing, when we do it right the first time.  The only real learning, comes from an expectation, to fail at first.  We must, then, find an acceptable solution from actual experience, risk taking, and the continuing opportunity to fail, yet again.  Programmed instruction, and standardized testing have little utility here—other than to set rough performance parameters and task boundaries.

It has taken centuries to prove this, less than a decade to forget.

Dan & Larry


Still Early

This early in the season, snow can still be quite charming.


Dan Rogers

If Walls Could Talk?

Walls can talk.

They can tell stories about the men who stood them up.
Men forgotten immediately.  Just a name on a paycheck.
Remembered only by the walls they framed, and plastered, and wired, and painted.

Walls know the truth.  They know the touch of a lacerated thumb.
They testify to the lifting, and the pulling, and the sweat.
They display a sense of craftsmanship no one will ever see, or care to know.

Walls are the only record.
Nobody could even guess how many nails, how many saw cuts.
A man thought enough to make them fit, to pull ‘em into square.  Next house.

Walls remember the hideous whine of the saw, the jolt of the hammer.
See?  There’s the pencil marks.  Sixteen on center.  Two nails to the stud.
Two strokes to the nail, keep moving.  Yes, it hurts.  So?

Walls are like a book.  Perhaps the only kept account.
Of the man who wadded into the snow with a McCulloch or a Stihl.
One undercut, One wedge cut.  Another one down.  Set the choker.

Walls never forget.  They carry the scars.
Driven to make them true, wracked to make them plumb.
The omnivorous bite of the auger, the thousand pierces of the drywall nail.

Sure, Walls can talk.

Dan Rogers


Michalak Woobo Splash Down Under

Hi Chuck,

I just wanted to say thanks for being such an inspiration on my boatbuilding journey, and also to Duckworks for being such a great resource.  The crew over at the Michalak Yahoo Group have also been super supportive.  Jim always says that with his plans you can build a boat and teach yourself to sail, so that is exactly what I did.

I recently splashed my Jim Michalak Woobo near Bunbury in Western Australia.  We took plenty of video and photos to celebrate the event.

For more videos and photos, click HERE.

Graham P

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.