Timely reports of interesting goings on from around the boat building world.  If you have pictures of anything of interest please send them in for posting.  Don't be shy.  Send to:



November, 2001

From Don Hodges: 

We had a glorious day on our 20-foot "Emerald Coaster" yesterday - 80 degrees, plenty of menhaden for the bait net, and caught a few blues and juvenile kingfish. The highlight of the day, though, was the passage of a moderate-sized container ship through the channel we were fishing. The ship had one of those underwater bulbs at the bow, and was peeling a big bow wave which rose over the bulb about 4 feet deep before curling away. Three or four porpoises were cavorting in the wave, leaping clear of the water, cartwheeling off to the side, and generally having a great day. The bait fish were so thick I guess these guys could take a few minutes off from feeding to have some fun...

Our "Emerald Coaster" continues to satisfy, and I'll post some observations on performance, weight distribution, and such in coming days.

Don Hodges

November, 2001

From: Chuck Littleton:

Guy's take a look - I have the forum now on my web site.... it covers canoeing, pirogues, kayaks and camping...feel free to use it (that is why it is there) and tell your friends.  -  in the 'Links' section

or go direct to: 

November, 2001

From:  Joseph L. White 

DN Goodchild (doing business as The Press at Toad Hall,  etc.) is apparently one of those modern computer-based publishers with an inventory of manuscripts on the hard drive. Instead of putting 1,000 copies through the press and trying to sell them (almost impossible in today’s book market) these publishers print “on-demand.” You order, they print one copy.

You can look through many lists of their books, booklets and one-page “datasheets” at the website at

Most of the books are out of print and unavailable anywhere except the antiquarian market. In my little database of books I need to get, I entered 33 titles from here, ranging from $17.95 (Practical Aid to the Navigator, EW Sturdy, 132 pp., published 1884) to several at $65 (Manual of Yacht & Boat Sailing, Dixon Kemp, 500 pp., 1878). My next allowance goes for W.P. Stephens’ Canoe & Boat Building for the Amateur and the separately printed plates of the 1889 designs.

The booklets are largely reprints of old Popular Mechanics/ Mechanix Illustrated etc. articles originally headlined “A Boat You Can Build!” They’ve been re-typeset in a standard format. Plates are small but relatively clear. Hey, for $4.95 what do you want? Scan it and blow it up yourself. The ones that aren’t boat plans are largely compilations of several related items. I got one with four different designs for building on-board chart cases.

Returning to my database, I see that from this source I’ve noted two boat plans by Howard Chapelle, two by Sam Rabl, one by Wes Farmer, one by Francis Hereshoff.

The “datasheets” are reprints of other, shorter articles, printed at $1 each (“How to Make a Real Ship’s Wheel” by Hi Sibley).

The plans all show that disturbing attitude of the 1930s and 1940s of assuming that readers can work their way through a project without having their hands held. Instead of every dimension being spelled out, there is usually a scale and you can use your dividers to figure out how big to cut the plywood. And you have to remind yourself that back then, a “sheet” of plywood might be 14 feet long.

I ordered four sets of plans and a couple of datasheets and got the stuff back in a couple weeks. One of the plans was Wes Farmer’s Dolly Varden. I remembered reading about the design in a 1999 article by Robb White in Messing About in Boats and Robb saying he wished he could find the plans. 

And it’s a great design, like a big, squared-sterned canoe, strip-built. Any gluer-up of a modern-designed strip-built canoe could work from these plans and put together a sweet open-water boat (15’6” by 48”).

One design named “Pod” jumped out at me. Even though it prints in black and white I can say with assurance that in the original magazine article, back in the ’60s, it was painted green. I remember the article. It was a simple dory made of three pieces of plywood and a transom and as a teenager I grieved because I didn’t have a place to build it. Now I have a workshop.

One of the datasheets I ordered had morphed into a 16-page booklet and thus cost $4 more; the publisher simply sent me the booklet at no additional charge. 

Joe White

November, 2001

From: Mike Saunders  

Chuck.....Let me tell you what the article in Duckworks about Boo Boo the Dinghy has accomplished for me.

I sent a link to a friend at work. Little did I know that he secretly emailed most everyone else at work, and told them about the article. Needless to say, I received many compliments, which I politely shrugged off and said thanks.

The owner of the company today called me on the intercom and paged me to call him. I did, and he said that he had just finished the article and was wondering what my next boating project was going to be.

I told him I was starting on a powerboat. He asked did I have a motor, that he had one that he wanted to give me. The motor is a ELTO (Evinrude Light Twin Outboard) in perfect condition. He even has a picture taken of him sitting in his grandfathers boat with the motor on it that dates back to when he was 3-4 years old. This motor has been in climate controlled storage for years and he said even the paint looks new on it.

Thanks Chuck.  Little things like this make all your efforts worthwhile.

November, 2001

From: ozkal ozsoy 


This is our mailing list's info in turkish:

"evet, biz evde, okulda, işyerinde, bir fabrikanın küçük köşesinde tekne, evet kendi teknemizi yapıyoruz. yelken açıyor, kürek çekiyor ya da motor takıp gazlıyoruz. Biz çok eğleniyoruz. Neden siz de katılmıyorsunuz?"

and our mailing list page

our home boatbuilding portal site

November, 2001

From Rob Denny


Photos of harrigami nearly finished. I am still sorting out the trailer, but it looks as if the folding system will work pretty well. Plan is to go sailing in a week or so, then back into the shed to put a table, seats, galley etc in the windward hull.

449 hours to this stage, including mistakes, testing, thinking time and cutting and shutting to lower the cockpit floor, excluding a few weeks of messing about with the trailer, altering the boom, mast and rudders from harry and playing with the folding system. Materials, including consumables and the trailer come to $5,435. This includes some bargains, which may or may not be repeatable. In the unlikely event that I lessons learnt from this one and applied them to building another one, I would expect to have a much better job in under 300 hours.

I have an Excel spreadsheet with a fairly complete breakdown of the costs, weights and time. Anyone wanting this, please ask. If you can't use excel, let me know and I will send it as text.


The space between the beams and hulls will be trampoline deck. Since the last photos were taken, I have lowered the cockpit floor and bunk area between the beams on the windward (short high fat) hull. The floor is now level with the bottom of the beams rather than the top. This gives more sit up space inside, more shelter in the cockpit, ergonomically better seats and a positive location for the beams, at the expense of lowering the tramp clearance from 900mm (3') to 700mm/28". Thanks to Rob desRoches and Han Bijlard for pointing out the advantages of this.

The beams are joined at the colour change. The end closest to the camera has 4 angle pieces of f/glass clamped across the join and the other has a ply/glass box which encloses the join. Both are tied, very tightly, with spectra string. Both work, but the angle pieces are more elegant and lighter. The test was to jack the boat up under each beam join. Movement of the hulls was about 30 mms/1.5". No idea if this is a fair test, or a useful result, but it will do till we go sailing. The webbing at the windward hull end of the beams is a part of the folding system. They may or may not be structural in certain conditions, but are pretty strong just in case.

Windward side of windward hull. Height is 1.95m (6'4"), length 8m (27') Will draw about 300mm/1' at half a tonne load. Will look better with a window or two. Anyone who feels the urge to sketch some possible window shapes, and send them to me is welcome to try. The next one will be 100mm/4" lower which will also help.

End on shot of windward hull

Thanks to Ted Lamont for the photos.

Any questions, please ask. Any criticisms, or possible or obvious faults, let me know. It is far easier for me to fix things now than later.

About Harrigami:

Harrigami is a folding, trailerable proa based on what I learnt with Harry (Harry + folding = Harrigami), my 12m/40' proa. Harrigami is 10.5m/35' long, 5.25/17'6" wide and has all the accommodation in the windward hull, the short, fat, high one in the photos. This hull has full headroom, a huge double bunk and a single, plus table and seats, the galley and toilet, all of which were to be installed before it was launched. It is 8m long (Harry's was 7), wider and better set out. The materials weight of Harrigami ready to sail is 525/kgs 1150 lbs. With a bit of luck, I will be able to weigh it on launching day. For racing, the windward hull is easily detached and a much smaller, lower drag hull installed. This won't be built till the cruising version is working satisfactorily. The long skinny hull is always to leeward and has the rig and rudders in it. Harrigami will use the rudders and rig from harry. Perth is far windier than Brisbane, and the boat is lighter so the rig will probably be reduced in height, if it doesn't break first.

Harrigami should be sailing soon. Maybe November, or December or January.......

For more information and some pictures of harry and U (7m prototype of harry) have a look at: 



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