December Letters

Beach Rollers


I purchased four beach rollers ( in two orders ) recently.

Here is a photo which you may use if you choose.

Place – Lake Poteriteri, New Zealand,     4.9m stabicraft helicoptered in, need to bring boat up beach to avoid waves etc  when poor weather, which is very frequent. Note also need 5:1 block and tackle.


Chris Drennan

Washington’s Birthday Regatta

Date: Saturday, February 24, 2018

Join us for the 22nd Annual Regatta and Chowder Party at The Barnacle in Coconut Grove, Florida!

The Ralph Middleton Munroe Chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association is hosting the 22nd Annual Washington’s Birthday Regatta at The Barnacle Historic State Park in Coconut Grove, Florida—home of famous Sharpie sailboat designer, “Commodore” Ralph Middleton Munroe.

The weekend event includes:

  • Friday Night Concert at The Barnacle
  • Saturday Regatta on Biscayne Bay
  • Saturday Night Chowder Party & Awards at The Barnacle
  • Sunday “Mail Run” Fun Sail on Biscayne Bay

Since this is a reenactment of the first Regatta organized on Biscayne Bay in the winter of 1887, small sailing craft of “traditional” rig are encouraged to participate!

Register your boat today and be a part of sailing history.

Registration Form

Once Upon a Time

Still got the boat.  Still got the hair.  One went dark.  The other, went white.  Don’t blink.  The puppy, went deaf, blind, and loyal to the very end.  Just, don’t, blink…

Dan Rogers


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.

You can find Videos here:

and Photos here

I also found that one of the most helpful resources was the experiences of other builders.  Question and answers on discussion groups is great, but builders’ blogs with photos and rigging tutorials were absolute gold.  So in an effort to pass on this assistance I took dozens of photos of the build process from beginning to end and posted them here.

If you think you could include my boat “Dabble” in your Splash News on the Duckworks magazine that would be great.

Cheers, Graham

A moment of reflection, on those who do it right

I’ve had the privilege of getting to know—at least somewhat—a number of gentlemen who actually know what they are doing.  And, I mean to say that in several levels of discourse.  In stark contrast, is the ragtag crew here at Frankenwerke, lost someplace in the outlands in the snowy wastes of Almostcanada.  When folks march across a parking lot, or walk out on a pier someplace, to ask me about my latest floating creation—and yes, it happens a lot—I typically tell them that “This is what results when a cluttered mind has access to sharp tools…”  These other guys, actually have sharper tools.  They, also, do know what they are doing.  But, more importantly, they know what they are going to do, next.

It does seem doubtful that I will ever bother to get as proficient as the fellows, I’m attempting to compliment.  We all have our places in this smallcraft diaspora we inhabit with differing levels of acumen, energy, and resources.  I’m not unproud of my own self-proclaimed niche.  But, let me tell you something.

I have actually had the quite remarkable opportunity to sit across the dinner table form John Wellsford.  I got to mix up epoxy in Mike Monies’ shop.  I got to argue about rudder design with Michael Storer, while we each foraged for breakfast on Mr. Monies’ back porch.  I’ve gotten to talk about multihulls with Richard Woods.  I’ve anchored out with Marty Loken.  Talked with Howard Rice.  Stood in the Maritime Center lot and talked with Bob Miller; and corresponded with Pete Leenhouts for a couple years.  My own Smallcraft Hall of Fame doesn’t begin to stop there.  Just my short term memory for names.  Perhaps, you know somebody like that.  Someplace near the top of that list is Everybody’s Friend, and certainly a guy I call my friend, Our Father who art in Harper.  What am I driveling and yelping around the feet of?  These guys actually know what a boat they are involved with designing and building is gonna’ look like when it’s finished!  You just may not think that’s all so very unusual.  And, likely, you’d be right.  But, I also think it takes patience, and skill, and a real love for the art of the thing.

And, on a day like today, when I really don’t have clue what I’m gonna’ do next; I naturally wander back to those pretty-damn-special conversations I’ve had, at what I refer to as “moments at feet of the masters.”  May we all have those really-cool opportunities.

Now, damn it!  Get back to work, and turn some more perfectly good pine trees into dust, noise, chips, and a few useful parts, willya?  Gettin’ a little too quiet…

Dan Rogers


Call me a fuddy-duddy, but I cannot find anything positive to say about this picture.  Starting with the loose jewelry, and ending with the flipflops.  Ears?  Eyes?  And, a great example to the little girl who comes to visit.  Sheesh!




Hi Chuck,

On my recommendation a neighbor bought some of your epoxy almost a year ago and I used it to stick rocks back on the fascia of his crawlspace.  It had been built with very porous rock that mortar didn’t stick to very well. Over time quite a few had fallen off.  Once dry they sucked up epoxy and I stuck them back with an epoxy/cabosil/microballons mix. Through freeze and thaw no problems so far.

Probably not much good as an endorsement on a boat building site, but kudos for a fine product in any case.


John Conneely

The Bucket List

It’s been 40 years, this coming summer.  One of my very best voyages of discovery.  I was certain that I would return.  Soon.  And, again, and again.  It was just, simply, fabulous.

I never made it back.

Things have a way of turning out, the way they are going to turn out.  It’s mostly about the choices me make.  Mostly.  So many of the high, clear, notes get swallowed up by the static and hum of every day.  I topped out at 50-23’32.54”N – 125-09’29.14”W.  Canadian Stuart Island.  Yuculta Rapids.  A place where crystalline-white glacial melt from the northeast, meets with cold Pacific Ocean water from the northwest, and with the warm water captured in a maze of rocks and fjords and islands just to the south.  Barely, the edge of the beginning.  And, it was time to turn around.

And, now.  Forty years have come.  And, gone.

This time, I hope that I can manage to get past the perimeter.  No, it doesn’t really matter.  Not really.  But, we can all use a target.  The goal is just to shove off and head north.  And, after a while, one rock looks a lot like the next one.  More a mind game than anything else.  Trips like this one can be about finding the perfect cove, the best gunkhole.  The World’s Most Scenic BBQ Anchorage, even.  The idea is to head out to someplace new.  Someplace, not completely easy to get to.

That summer of 1978, the only time I ever got this far north in my own boat, came at the end of a very dismal decade, for many of us.  Things could only get better.  And, I suppose they did.  But, that was as far as I ever got, in that direction, anyway.  Travelling the way I still think that I’d like to travel.

My own boat.  My own schedule.  A new adventure.  A new place.  An old dream.

So, here we sit.  It’s just a few days before Christmas, 2017.  June has a nice ring to it.  Miss Kathleen, the boat I built for this sort of voyage is completely dismantled and undergoing a complete rebuild at the moment.  There’s a new-to-us tandem axle trailer under her that still needs to meet up with the highway patrol inspector.  It’s cold out and snowing.  We have other messabouts and cruises we plan to attend from spring to fall.  This won’t be the first or last, likely.  I say that with a bit of fatalism.  Certainly, nothing happens if we don’t get started working on it.  So, here’s the notion.  Just a vague outline.  And, could be, the best way forward is to just keep it that way.  Dunno.

That rough outline.  The racers for the Race to Alaska head out from Port Townsend on 14 Jun 18.  I’d like to be in the tag-along fleet.  I’d like to tag along behind for a while.  I haven’t been to Victoria since 1978, either.  Sure.  Everything is different.  More people.  More boats.  Bigger boats.  You have to go farther north to get away from the most of it.  OK.  So, we have to go farther.  So, fine.

No matter what, we all have to dream our own dreams.   We have to make our own plans.  Pursue our own adventures.  But, what I’m hoping, is that somewhere “out there,” is somebody else with a similar dream, a similar boat, and a similar need to shove off and head north– this year.

It would grand to have another boat along to anchor with, transit with.  Somebody to raft up with for chow.  In that perfect cove.  Someplace up north.  Maybe, you know somebody like that.

We never know how many voyages we’re gonna’ get.  But, it could be a lot fewer, if we never shove off and head north.  A whole lot fewer.


My Next Boat

My next build is a bit smaller at 10′ 5″ it’s called a NED, or Nesting Expedition Dinghy.

michael beebe

Puddles and Ponds

Of course, it’s silly.

That’s what makes it fun,
}Worth doing.  Worth remembering.
Good for telling stories.


We don’t really go anyplace,
Not real far.  Not terribly different.
There’s comfort in that.


You can paddle,
I can row.  We can drift.
We don’t even have to talk.


That was nice,
How about again, tomorrow?
Yeah.  Me too.

Dan Rogers

Just a moment of reflection

Stand on.

“How the hell did I get to be 64 years old so quickly?”  A guy I met once, and continue to correspond with for the couple years since, asked that question.  He’s an accomplished, well read, well-travelled, fellow.  A nice guy.  I consider him a friend.  He asked the question, to no one in particular.  One, none of us seem able to answer, to our own satisfaction.

We talk about boats, a lot.  Little wooden ones.  Big, gray ones.

As I ponder his question, as we all must; I conclude that the answer lies somewhere in our favorite topic.  One quartering sea at a time.  One mid watch, one sea detail, one straight-line ISE, at a time.  One perfect spoke shave pass, at a time.

How we “got here” matters less, than how we’ll stand on.

I think, perhaps, if there is good water ahead.  If the grain lays vertical and clear.  Then, simply, mind your helm.  And, stand on, my friend.  Stand on.

If not.  You’ll know what to do.  Like all the times before.  You’ll know.  It’s how you got this far.  Indeed.

Dan Rogers


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.