Custom Search
   boat plans
   gift certificates
Join Duckworks
Get free newsletter
on this site
by Steve Woods - Dallas, Texas - USA

The little blue dink I towed 150± miles behind WENDY on the Texas 200.


I just had a shot fired over my bow with a Facebook posting reminding me that WINKY DINK needs to be ready for service two weeks from tomorrow! Fortunately, the last structural pieces, the shoe & skeg, were pox'd in their places over the last two days. The shoe went on on Friday afternoon with A LOT OF WEIGHT holding it in place. Too bad I forgot to take a picture of that adventure. Suffice it to say, the stack of heavy objects was QUITE A SIGHT!!! Trailer wheels, lead weights, a bag of lead shot, a chunk of I-beam, a chunk of standard gauge rail road rail AND my cast iron Craftsman router table with router in place - YIKES! All of that stuff was precariously balanced on bits n pieces of heavy lumber and as I stepped back to look at the assembly I decided to employ some old motor cycle tie down straps to insure the assembly stayed where I put it. I tippy toed into the barn yesterday fully expecting the worst & was delighted to find everything just where it was precariously placed/balanced.

For durability & rot resistance, the shoe is made of treated YP that was skinned down to 1/2" thick. The edges were 1/4 rounded over and a slot was cut in the rear to support/capture the 3/4" thick skeg. As you can see, the clear YP that i had was only 6' long and didn't quite reach the transom. OH WELL...

This old man's thoughts on the shape of the skeg are along the lines of trying to keep it from snagging on stuff as I row, so I slanted the front of it just slightly and will grind a gentle leading edge on it.

When I left the barn last night the skeg had been poxified in, the shoe had gentle fillets run down it's full length and the skeg was taped in place with hopes it will not escape it's proper/intended place.

Got my fingers crossed, hoping nuthin will be needin any major kneadin when Iget there today. If all is well, it'll be "A's" & "E's" sandin & primin the bottom today.

The tape held. The pox cured with the skeg plumb.

The fillets didn't sag much and cleaned up well.

The extra fillet on the side of the 1/2" thick shoe should hold it in place well enough.

The leading edge of the skeg was contoured so as not to snag obstructions.

The afternoon was spent cleaning up the fillets and re-sanding the whole outside of the hull. Once the sheen was knocked off two coats of primer were applied. The white primer did a fairly good job of hiding those BLANKETY BANK FOOTBALLS in the MARINE plywood. Hopefully, the finish coat(s) will do the rest.

Stay tuned to this station for the COLORIZED VERSION, that hopefully makes it's debut tomorrow. Then after a day or so of drying time it will be time to flip her, do the interior and add the hardware.

The exterior is COLORIZED! YEA!!! It took two coats of the blue and four coats of the red to achieve what I told the bridal unit would end up being a UTILITY FINISH. Used BEHR INTERIOR/EXTERIOR LATEX GLOSS over the VALSPAR primer.

If the paint is dry enough tomorrow she'll get flipped and the interior will be primed

Keep watching this station...

Darn, it takes a LONG tyme for paint to dry in all this rain!!! It took two days for the blue to get hard enough for the flip and begin on the interior. Two coats of primer 'cause the first one just wasn't covering to my likin'.

Second coat of primer covered quite well.

After a day to dry I colorized the interior & finished off the wales.

There is still some touch up to do and then, after some MORE drying tyme, it will be time to drill for three eyes & the rowing rig. I have galvanized 3/8" eyes and am vacillating between wooden thole pins & traditional row locks (galvanized or plastic). This is winding up none too soon since the Texas 200 is just over a week away & she'll make her splash in salt water, in Port Isabel, Texas for that event.

YIKES, is it the heat or the anxiety that is causing the sweat to run into my eyes? The act of drilling holes in my baby were causing me much consternation. That hole in the bow needed to be JUST SO, to come out in the middle of the stem on the inside. Yea, it worked! The larger washer was bent to conform with the shape of the bow and had a healthy dollop of latex caulk behind it. When the eye was snug'd up, the ooze was wiped smooth, leaving a clean appearance.

The transom eyes went in well, I think. If there is a formula for locating eyes I didn't know/use it. The bow eye was placed low in hopes it will help the bow ride up high enough to avoid any issues. The transom eyes were placed 1-thumb knuckle in & 1-thumb knuckle down, as seen from a distance of 10'...

The sweat burned my eyes during the whole hole drilling procedure... Now, standing back & perusing my work my eyes dried up and I see I was worried for naught. Latex caulk was chosen for it's compatibility with the latex house paint.

While my friend Mike was learning how to make fillets to hold the blades in our two sets of oars (he's building a PD next), I took WINKY DINK out for her first bath in the sunshine. She loved it!

She loved the aromas of the grass & flowers. It was a pleasant change from the smell of pox n latex.

While WINKY DINK was out basking in the sun, Mike was knee deep to a tall giraffe in FILLETS 101.

Mike has been charged with bonding the blades to the closet poles being used for our two sets of home made oars. He has never worked with pox and I thought it about time he got his fingers sticky since he will be starting his dink as soon as WINKY is off the building table.

Mike chose 1-1/4" closet rods for his oars while I am using 1-7/16" rods. Both sets of blades are 1/4" plywood. Mike has already defined his shape while my blades are still just ruff cut. I think Mike's 1st round with pox n fillets turned out quite well!

Now, all WINKY needs is her oar hardware and her soon to be finished home made oars to be ready for SPLASH, which is still on schedule for a week from now in Port Isabel, Texas to tag along behind WENDY on the Texas 200.

This week will be filled with "A's" & "E's" cleaning, loading, checking & double checking WENDY, the gear and supplies for that infamous upcoming event, ALL while finishing the oars & installing their hardware.

The OAR SOCKETS were inspired by Phil Bolger's minimalistic method. They are a piece of 1/8"x1" aluminum strap inlet into the 2x blocks that were already in place.


Yeppers... they're POOL NOODLES from the DOLLAR STORE with PVC cores.

Just a bit of trimming and touch-up left before loading up for the TEXAS 200. WENDY, THE GLASS FIBER REINFORCED PLASTIQUE MOTHER SHIP, was pulled out of the barn, her winter home, yesterday, checked out and run for 30 minutes (our lakes are closed due to flooding so no shake-down cruise).

SPLASH is planned for this coming weekend in PORT ISABEL, TEXAS.

TAKE ME WITH YOU, DADDY was heard and when I looked up WINKY had already jump'd up on the back of the pickup, like one of those cattle dogs we see here in Texas. Unlike the cattle dogs that run from side to side on the tool box, WINKY is tied down securely, I hope.

We hooked WENDY up and prepared to leave the protection of THE BARN for points SOUTH, like PORT ISABEL, PORT MANSFIELD, CORPUS CHRISTI, PORT ARANSAS & MAGNOLIA BEACH. The first stage of the trip will only be 35 miles, to the house, where final provisioning will take place and the last 620 mile segment will begin.

As we leave THE BARN I look in the mirror and find a happy little girl looking over my shoulder.


The boats performed quiet well, it was ole LARDUSS BOTTOMUSS MAXIMUSS that suffered the wrath of the SOUTH TEXAS COAST/HEAT!!!?? The pics are on the camera and I will get some posted when I get them transferred to the 'puter.

We managed to log about 150 statute miles under some SPORTY conditions, SPORTY for this old man... The ICW down south can be/is rather desolate though the scenery is MAGNIFICENT. The birds are many, numbers & species, as are the dolphins. HOT during the days and needed covers at night. The Port Aransas harbour, just over half way to the shrimp boil at the end of the publicized route, is where I decided to call it quits for this year. Next year I hope to complete the route, from Port Aransas to Magnolia Beach and take part in the celebratory shrimp boil.

KSPLASH, Port Isabel, Texas, Monday June 13, 2016 about 8am.


She floated on the lines I had hoped for. And followed dutifully out of the harbour to begin the odyssey.

Under oars she behaved quite well. The skeg was a good call, for improved tracking.

We did not finish the whole 200 miles of the event, but did log right at 150 statute miles. The boats performed well and we had no mechanical issues. The skipper had more heat than he needed and determined it wise to drop out. Next year we will start where we left off this year.


We are now home, safe & sound.

Thanks for following along.

To comment on Duckworks articles, please visit one of the following:

our Yahoo forum our Facebook page