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, 2002

Just a quick note to thank you for the link to my project on you page. I really enjoy the Duckworks site. I think it's one of the best on the web!! Our Mark V-39 is coming along well. We started the cabin structure last night and I update our web page every Monday.
Thanks again.

Brad and Debbie Indicott
web page:

November, 2002

New issue of Chebacco online at

Richard Spelling

November, 2002

Hello Chuck,

I saw this beautiful 18' Bolger Work Skiff in Key West and had to have Elaine take a shot of me with it. I don't know the builder (even though we hung around the bar in the background for an hour or so, for no other reason than hoping he or she would show up, but no one did) and it has a beautiful yacht finish. The boat looked very shippy and extremey servicable. Perhaps the builder will see it in Duckworks and 'fess up for the glory that is well deserved.

Bruce Hector

November, 2002

Thought I might share this with you , inflatable roof racks, I purchased a set some time back , and have been very happy with them , I use them to carry my Toto around , ( see photo) , Ideal for light boats , or just to bring lumber etc, home from the store , if you don't have a built on rack , , the link should give all the info , Stephen Dandridge

November, 2002

Hi Chuck,

Gavin suggested I forward this to you as part of the “how does the Auray handle” discussion. I’ve put up some pictures at the URL below, this is the second “rescue” the Auray has been in this year. We towed a 33’ boat in after she had grounded and killed the engine.

I’ve never been in a dinghy where I’ve had such confidence in her sea-worthiness. This is all thanks to Gavin because I was looking for a tender for our big boat and he suggested the Auray because I needed a decent payload (read as “I weigh 230lbs plus wife, daughter and dog”)

Because we were supposed to be first out of the water, Sue and I went down to the big boat to motor her to the wall from the mooring.  The water is so low that there is only about 3 feet at the harbour entrance. It was blowing a bugger, as we watched the waves break at the entrance, deciding not to put the boat on the wall because of the surge, we saw a sailboat come up to the sand bar.

“They are going to have trouble”

“They” grounded, with the mast whipping through 120 degrees bouncing around like crazy and the crew holding onto the stays for dear life.

Better go help.

Out comes the Auray and in to her Sue and I go, rowing fairly hard into the wind and a fair chop.

!/2 way down the channel (the channel is about 150 yards long) we decide that Sue needs to be on shore to help the boat, so I row over to the nearest ladder and she disembarks.

By this time the boat in trouble (a Tanzer 22’) has lost her rudder (I guess they hadn’t read the chapter where it tells you to attach your rudder with a piece of line) and drifted close to the wall.

Using the Auray I rowed into 4 foot breaking waves and shepherded the rudder to the rocks where a bystander managed to grasp it. This is into the corner where the rocks and the jetty wall meet, quite confused waters, bobbing up and down like a cork and bouncing on a few rocks.

Then it was around to the bow of the Tanzer 22 to take a line and tow her through a somewhat gentler swell to inside the harbour.

“What do you draw” I shouted to the young man on the boat.

A blank expression was followed by “about a fathom!”.

“OK” I thought, “better get Sue on to the boat, they don’t know what to do”

So Sue jumps onto the boat, fends her off the wall, gives me a bowline and we tow her with minimal trouble, for a boat with no rudder, to a place on the wall a good 100 yards away.

The Auray performs magnificently, bobs like a cork, rides the waves very nicely and tows like a dream.

I’m not sure how this works but she is not only highly maneuverable, under oars turning around in her length, but she also tracks extremely well.

I have to add a modification, towing capability. An eye would sit in the middle of the backrest and mess up the comfort of the seat. So it will have to be a bridle

I should also mention this was 2 days ago on Sue’s 60th birthday!

Bill Jaine

November, 2002

Hiya Chuck and Sandra,

Thanks for the Newsletter update. It's fun to poke around your site (when I get the chance.) Sheesh!!! There aren't enough hours in the day, or night to do all the things I have in mind.

Anyway... I can't join the Contest without blatantly pirating thishere (sic) boat.

ALBATROSS' cradle is built but family obligations are pushing the rollover back and back. At this point, because of commitments I can't duck out of, I'll be happy to get her over by Christmas. Grumble, grumble.

"Maddog MacBride!"

November, 2002
click pictures to enlarge

A Viking ship replica was launched on the Guadalupe River near my home a few weeks ago.  It was built and operated by a group of San Antonio-area history lovers.

Charles Davis, a former Texas State Sculptor who is planning a move to Kerrville, and other members of the San Antonio chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, built the ship about seven years ago after extensive research, Davis said. The vessel is owned by Ansteorra Longship Company of San Antonio.

The ship was featured in a Smithsonian exhibit on Scandinavian culture at the Museum of Natural Science in Houston in 2001.

The group might plan a bigger event in the future, in which SCA members will dress in full Viking costume and set up camp, Davis said.

Davis and other group members are currently working on a 40-foot replica of the Viking ship Golstad.


November, 2002

Hey Chuck!

I just wanted to let you know about what some DW readers are up to with some of my designs.

I'm pleased to report Blackberry has been built at least four times and there are rumors of one or two more abuilding. I've even heard from someone who was going to cut the boat out of aluminum with one of those fancy CNC plasma cutters to weld up for a trade show prop. Never heard if he finished it, though. Those who've built them seem to like them, which is a great relief to me. I've since drawn a 14' version of the boat that I'd be willing to share if anyone was interested.

Blackberry #2 built by John Spragg in California.

My entry for the DW design contest last year has finally had a taker. John Burgh in Indiana has started building Blondie #1. Here's a few shots of the progress to date. It looks to me like he's resisted temptation to stray far from the plans, but he's also made the worthwhile addition of skids and a skeg to the bottom. I was a little worried about the size, but he claims it's plenty of boat for his 6' plus frame. I can't wait to see the finished result.

Greg Smith in Massachusetts built the rig for Blondie earlier this year, intending to build the boat at a later date.

It's too bad these two individuals live so far apart. Because if they were closer, we could see one of these sailing in just a few days!

In the meantime I've been working on my next project for me, a four foot stretch of Blondie, the Blondie 12.

I still haven't finalized the rig as of yet. It may stay the gaff rig I've shown here, it could be a smaller Solent lug, or maybe even a balanced lug. It's all part of the fun of drawing your own boats.

What I'd like most to say is THANKS! To you Chuck for giving me a forum to share these boats, THANKS to all the people who've written with such kind words about my work, and most of all THANKS to those who've been brave and generous enough to try these boats out for real. It's been the highlight of my year.

John Bell <><
Kennesaw, GA

November, 2002

Hey Chuck,

We have an update to the Free Design Resources Website

  • Highlights of this months update include:
  • Alternative materials and methods - Lots of non-mainstream (and cheap!) materials and methods from David Beede and others.
  • Birdsmouth mast - Frank Hagan's page on making a birdsmouth mast.
  • Fat little dory - A design from George Beuhler that makes a 9ft dory for one person. And he says you can stand up in in it!
  • Epoxy company gives away dink design! - UK Epoxies is offering a set of plans for an 8ft pram dinghy to people who buy a £75 epoxy pack.
  • Animated boatbuilding - UK Some nice animations of boatbuilding techniques.
  • Birdsmouth mast - Frank Hagan's page on making a birdsmouth mast.
  • Practical projects - Projects and tips including making windows and Dorade boxes from a bunch of Bertram 31 enthusiasts.
  • Classic Marine articles - A new address for the excellent Classic Marine articles.
  • More reading on epoxy - Another source of information on using epoxy. It is worth reading the instructions before you use it, as I keep finding out!

All this and much more at:

I trust you enjoy it. Gavin Atkin

November, 2002

Saved after 3 weeks of drifing at sea.

Sixtyone year old Roger Edström was picked up by Latvian Cost Guards after drifting in the Sea of Baltic, between Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Latvia. He´d been drifting for 20 days since early september. He lived of beans, potatoes, carrots, dog food and rain.On the day of his rescue he´d been out of food for 9 days.

The dogfod was realy tasty. I cooked it with soya and pepper for half an hour. It saved his life. He skimmed the surface of the sea for fresh water.

It rained so much, so it did not taste so much salt. According to doctors he was found in good health. He had been anchoring for the night in the outer sherrys of Stochkholm. When he woke up he only saw sea. The motor was not to be started.

But he got no help from other ships. None, of in all 20 ships, wanted to assists with neither food or towing.

This boat is better than the Kon-Tiki raft. It sort of dances on the waves.

The boat being a traditional wooden double ender of 23 feet, built in 1960.

Three times he had overhand weather. But he lay calmly in his sleeping bag reading Donald Duck.

"The whole time I was thinking that this darned water must come to an end by a shore. I can't navigate. I usually ask others the direction", says Roger.

Roger Edström say that he's out for a trip again in November. He was never afraid during his three weeks at sea.

"Nope, It's beautiful at sea with the sunrises and sunsets."

Dejan Petrovic´

November, 2002

I finally got Jetfish on the water about 5 this afternoon. The delay happened when I tried to turn the engine over in the shop and nothing happened except click, click. An hour of troubleshooting and I was down to one possibility - starter relay. So I headed out for the hour and a half round trip to the Seadoo dealer. The relay was in stock and my troubleshooting was accurate.

Shaking from excitement (or fatigue) I headed to the ugly but close Lake Pickthorne. This was the first time I launched from the new trailer so I took it a little more slowly than my typical back, dump, and park. The trailer bunks would benefit from minor adjustment - but not today.

She floated well, level, and easy - hiding well the inboard engine she carries. With twelve gallons of fresh fuel in her twenty gallon tank, a freshly charged battery, and hundreds of hours of my labor, she was ready - again.

But not so soon, leak checks and final inspections must be performed - so I opened the hatches and waited. After about ten minutes or so (seemed like hours!) there it was - a tablespoon of water near the pump housing. How could this be? I was careful - triple and quadruple seams - up to six layers of glass - no way it could leak. Then it dawned on me - oops in my haste I forgot to seal the bolts that mount the intake grate (they go through the hull into nutplates). I knew I would forget that, and I did! Since the water intake was something on the scale of a gallon a week I decided it was safe to continue with the test.

I was right to be concerned about the engine - due to unknown causes it was full of water when I removed it from the jetski (???). I tore it down completely, cleaned it and reassembled it - carefully following the factory specs to the point of ordering three different types of Loctite and two types of molly lubricants. I used all the skill I would have used on military helicopters where lives were depending upon my efforts. Even though I had never split a case nor even seen a rotary valve it had to run; it must! And it did! Turning over just enough for the fuel pump to engage she kicked off. What power!

Much smoother and quieter than it's predecessors, and 50 horse power stronger, it wasn't an idle precaution when I turned my hat around and pulled it snug. Already moving (no neutral) I squeezed the throttle to about 30% and Jetfish lurched like a race horse coming out of the starting gates. Instantly on plane I eased the throttle to 50% open and my eyes began to tear from the stinging wide. Damn the choppy lake (near whitecaps!) full speed ahead! And she immediately began to fly across the water. 85 horsepower throwing a rooster tail a full fifty feet behind her - ah now that's a fishing boat - Arkansas style!

Larry Pullon