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:



January, 2002

From: Shorty Routh:

Do your taxes early, because April 13th is the annual Houston messabout at Lake Conroe. For details and pictures from previous years, see:

So come on down and have a great day with lots of other friendly folks messing about in boats.


January, 2002

From Kaarlo Lämsä: 

I´m starting to build catamaran of 28-30 feet for the ocean use (haven´t found the plans which are good and economic, yet) therefore all the text here about boatbuilding is interesting. 

I have sailed enough to know that the bridge of my catamaran will not be a summer-house. Still there must be protection against the bad weather, rain and cold, also when sailing. I think, it should be an open decked catamaran, which has good accommodation space in the hulls (with hulls that spread above the waterline) like for instance John Shuttleworth's (England) Shuttle 28 and 31.  It should also have big windows to see the rig and sails and the front sea from inside of the both hulls, not only to the sides.

If You know somebody that has that kind of drawings with affordable price, please, let me know. It might save my time for half a year and I'd avoid the boring calculation work of planning all the boat myself. If You'll help me find that kind of plans I'll let You know all the time how the building project is going on, also on your page, if You want.

Here in Finland the winter time makes the boat building, I suppose, at least a little different as you have it there. Just now we have the temperature of -20 degrees, horrible wind and plenty snow is coming all the time more, and the weather forecast is promising still colder for the next week. Still my new boat building project is situated in safe place, warm and dry and very near to go there even if for half an hour when I have time. But to do it, the workshop, I have already needed to use most of my free time of two and half last years; the same time as You might need to make all the boat.

Kaarlo Lämsä 

( Editor's note:  If you have any ideas for Kaarlo, please drop him a line)

January, 2002

From: Bill Paxton

I'm considering building a "birdwatcher" type boat, but would like to ride in one before launching the project. I'd hate to find out after building the boat that I didn't like the experience of sailing from inside the cabin. 

So I'm appealing to any owners of this type of boat who are still sailing at this time of year. Need a crew member for a day? I'd be willing to travel to where you are (provided you're in the continental US) to see your boat, and if possible, go for a ride. I've got a brief window of opportunity to make this happen. My wife works for a major airline, so I can fly pretty cheap. However, due to the recession, her job will end on February 15, and so will my flying privileges.

I'm really drawn to Jim Michalak's designs: Jewelbox, IMB and Scram Pram. Of course Bolger's Birdwatcher is the classic. If you own one of these boats, and would like the opportunity to show it off, please send me an email. I'd certainly appreciate it!

Bill Paxton 
Minneapolis, MN

January, 2002

Hi all,

Here is the latest on the Spring Messabout. I have created a webpage with some links of relevance and hopefully all the data needed by anyone coming down ( or up, or across) to the Spring Messabout.

I have scant hotel info, as I am still working on that, but I will complete that in a week or so. I have a directions page with links to interactive maps and "country boy" directions to the site.

Bookmark this page in your favorites and check back for updates. 

I hope to see many of you there. This Spring event promises to be a good turnout, and the location will be enjoyed by everyone who comes. Not to mention the company of the great group of members we have on both these groups.

Mikeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! ( Who is getting excited)

January, 2002

Hi Chuck,

I found, on your very interesting site, a link to a ski boat by Ken
Hankinson called the Desperado. I have been looking ever since for some
photos or someone who has built one or knows something about one.

Ken Hankinson is not much help as they only seem to sell the plans and claim
not to have any photos of a finished boat at all!

Would you have any knowledge of anyone who may have built this boat or would
you know of a good place where I could ask this question? I am keen to
purchase the plans and proceed but I really need to know what it looks like
in water first.

Any help much appreciated.


Gordon Scrim 
Tasmania, Australia

January, 2002

Hey, Chuckie!

Well, it's New-years-eve and I aint got a life so I'm e-mailing you!

It is 8 weeks and 3 days since starting construction on the AF3 and there has been zero progress since 7 weeks and 2 days, due to cold temps. It's supposed to be 10 degrees F tonight. Not fit for man nor beast (nor epoxy, latex, or P. L. Premium)

Am attaching a photo taken at exactly 6 weeks from "first cut." These Michalak boats go together fast if you ain't too worried about a "yacht" finish. Personally, I like the wood-grain texture of the BC pine plywood showing through the exterior house latex paint. Someone went to great expense to mold that same pattern into the vinyl siding on my house!

By the way, you'll notice that dark-looking wood comprising the "lazarette" hatch coaming. That ain't no special tropical hardwood. That's the 42-year-old pine boards that used to be the bedroom closet shelves, before my wife made me replace them with those fancy wire-grid shelves. Then I suggested I do the hall closet with Melamine. After seeing that, she wanted me to re-do the bedroom closets with Melamine! I drew the line there, as I could not think of a way to incorporate the wire shelves into the boat!

Anyway, I plan to have the boat at the Midwest Messabout in June. Will probably do "capsize tests" (possibly unintentional) Hope you are considering coming again.

Also hope Richard gets that Chebacco done and brings it would like to see one of those.

Well, its off to the boating chat-boards to see what kind of trouble I can get into over there! 



January, 2002

Merry Christmas Chuck

I simply love the Tolman after fishing a full season. Even my dad - who has been a very conservative and safety conscious man his entire 66 years, thinks nothing about heading out the inlet in 8 foot swells or bigger...and we fish long after the others guys are headed home..and we also use teacups of fuel with the 90 Honda and the light hull.... (although you do have to slow down heading into a stiff chop)  we also launch off a sand ramp (free!) using a 2WD (Silverado) Truck.

Here is one more taken a few weeks back as we went out for some year end Blackfishing.

Happy New Year.

Dave Nolan, Brick, NJ (Tolman Skiff's rule!)

January, 2002

Chuck, happy new year. DWM is getting better and better! Please take note of my new e-mail address:

Boatwise, I've started the construction of another boat, which is going to be a lot more useable at my beachhouse that a Micro. It's the CK17 designed by Jaques Mertens ( Hope you like it.
I've set up a new web page. Not so much in it by now, as the work just started, but it's going to grow soon:   



January, 2002

From Craig O'Donnell 

The CLC Kayak-Building Video is Informative AND Watchable.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, moving pictures are worth even more to anyone who tackles a boatbuilding project. And in December potential boatbuilders got a present under the tree: Chesapeake Light Craft's new video, all about building a Chesapeake 16 kayak from parts pile to launch.

"The Zen of Wooden Kayak Building: How to Build a Lightweight Sea Kayak" was released just before Christmas on VHS cassette and DVD.

Emphasizing epoxy-fiberglass work and varnishing techniques, the 60-minute video features the popular Chesapeake 16 kayak, but it's more than that: the techniques are so clearly demonstrated that it clarifies how to build almost any stitch-and-glue boat. "Arcane and abstract stitch-and-glue tasks are much easier once a builder has seen how it's done and how easy it really is," says CLC president John Harris. "It's serious boatbuilding, but my challenge was to make this video fun to watch."

Harris worked with SamZak Productions to produce CLC's first boatbuilding video. "With the talented group at SamZak on board it all fell together," says John. With SamZak, he wrote a script and organized a 70-hour video shoot in a specially-built studio. "We put together 13 boats, each assembled to a different point, to avoid delays while the glue dried," he remarks.

The production crew boasts four Emmy awards collectively. Producer Kathy Nelson is a "Today Show" veteran. Randy Birch, also from NBC, was director of photography. Original music is by John Harris (who has yet to win an Emmy).

Expect to be entertained. "Our goal throughout was to create an informative and watchable video -- a lot of boatbuilding videos contain the info but they'll put you to sleep before you've absorbed any of it," remarks Harris.

The video is replete with clear visuals and engaging wit, including Vikings and a ubiquitous guy in an ape suit who assist as John completes the boat. John says, "We really enjoy teaching people how to build our boats, but we can only teach so many classes in person each year. For a fraction of the cost of a class, Zen of Wooden Kayak Building lets everyone in on the techniques I've used for years building scores of stitch-and-glue boats."

QuickTime clips of the video are on-line for viewing: 

The Zen of Wooden Kayak Building: How to Build a Lightweight Sea Kayak retails for $29.95
on VHS and DVD: call Chesapeake Light Craft at 410-267-0137 or see the CLC website.

Wholesale pricing is available. Call Ed Wigglesworth for details.