Teal "Motorsailer" Amy
I have wanted to build a boat since before I was
a teenager (over 30 years). Finally in December of 2001 I began.
With no prior boatbuilding experience, I decided that I better
start small, so I built a Bolger Teal which I named after my
Amy in my driveway (click
It took over a year of part time building, minus
four months off related to therapy and recovery from injuries
incurred pursuing my previous hobby. Besides, with little woodworking
experience I made a number of time consuming mistakes. I use
to ride a motorcycle. I had an unfortunate encounter with some
local wild life (which left the scene unharmed), while riding
my bike causing seven broken bones. After almost twenty years
of riding off and on, I don't ride any more.
I did have some concerns about Teal's carrying
capacity, so my Teal has one inch more rocker in the chine line.
Every picture of a teal I've seen with two people on board,
showed the stem pushing through the water, I don't know how
this modification affects my Teal's sailing performance, but
it seems to work just fine. My teal has sailed well in the intracoastal
waterway here in Florida with two people onboard. She has also
sailed well with two people, 60 lb battery and trolling motor,
totaling 500 pounds. I stood on my bathroom scale with my Teal
on my back and weighed eighty pounds more. The winds here are
somewhat unreliable and rowing with the sharpie rig is a bit
difficult, so I Find the motor very convenient.
Dog island on Lake Maitland
I used a Michalak type kick up rudder and pivoting
leeboard, as well as three quarter inch thick lumber for butt
blocks. Future modifications will include decking over the fore
and aft flotation areas. For flotation I have removable Home
Depot Styrofoam blocks wrapped in poly tarp. I would also like
to replace the sixteen foot long mast and leg of mutton sail
with something lower and reefable.
The hull is constructed of epoxy coated home depot
luan plywood, with fir chine and gunwale logs. I tapered the
top edge of the chine logs to make it easier to wrap fiberglass
cloth around it and hallway up the side.
In the intracoastal waterway
As I stated earlier, she seems to perform well,
though as sailing is not very popular here in central Florida
I've had nothing to compare her to. Having the battery bolted
to the mid frame definitely improves stability, as does a passenger.
I have not capsized her yet, but have sailed at a thirty degree
angle with water running along the top of the gunwale (but not
in the boat) according to my inclinometer mounted on the mast
Overall, I'm pleased with my teal but want to
build a bigger boat. In addition to being bigger, my next boat
will have a transom stem, as double enders give up too much
stability and capacity. Motor mounting will also be easier on
Until next time
Kevin P Riley