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 wife.

Amy in my driveway (click to enlarge)

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 partner.

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 a transom.

Until next time

Kevin P Riley