Tampa Bay Boat Expo - Part 1 click here to read or make an observation about this  article
by Bruce Hector - Kingston, Ontario - Canada

“Plastic, Plastic Everywhere...
...and Not A Stick O’ Wood Anywhere!”

I know, I know, what’s a wooden boat builder like me doing in a javex bottle exposition like this?

Simple!

I was looking for ideas. Storage space ideas, cool ways to hide a marine head ideas, sheer line ideas, things I could modify to my own use ideas, art ideas, and of course, …… pirate clothing! The Gasparilla Pirate Invasion in Tampa was the same weekend, and I didn’t want to be underdressed!

I had the opportunity to attend the big, commercial, exclusively plastic, Tampa Bay Boat Expo this January 2006. Plastic or not, I enjoyed it.

First off, before I even got to purchase my $7 ticket, was this nice flats boat:

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Good use of a cooler as a helmsman seat, nicely chocked off too. Could easily be done in most wooden powerboats.

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As with all flatties, this one drew next to zip, (almost like a flat bottomed wooden boat, hmmmm…) and even let you raise the motor electrically and operate as a surface piecing propeller boat at low speeds in ultra shallow water. Why not lift the motor and row asks I?

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Unlike most flats vessels, this baby was a catamaran.

 
Right way it gave me an improvement idea for Herb Taylor’s Bolger Fishcat, which was so wet he built a plexi and wood cabin to keep the water out of the helmsman’s eyes. Decking her to the extreme bows would eliminate the wetness and increase usable deck space.

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Here’s a shot of an interesting sheer line, imagine Bolger’s 18 foot Clam Skiff built with it!

 

Another idea I got was a method for building in a head on an open boat.

I like this offset to starboard doghouse as a potty concealing rig. I can see this built into a TIMS unit.

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Perhaps the Duckworks TIMs unit would look just fine graced with a rectangular head and oval window.

 
While an all fibreglass show, this was one design that would be good in wood. A traditional looking 23 foot plastic launch, the lines and interior easily adapted to a Shivaree or Work Skiff.

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The other design I loved was this, a 23 foot Panga inspired fibreglass launch. Way overpowered with a 60, but cool.

 
Build one yourself from plans at boat plans online.
Interior set up of launch.

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As always, as an artist, I’m on the lookout for new subjects for my watercolours. I thought this would look good in my houseboat or redneck trailer haven in Largo, FL.

 
This flats boat interior shows a clever way to build in floatation and add clear deck space. Just build in a big well, storage space all around and add a small console. Great in a Michalak Jonboat

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Cool, extra long bimini for shade in something long and thin, says TIMS?

 
Imagine a long bimini over Timmy at 30 feet, shady and cool!

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Nicely done cruiser, similar to a Mark V 20 or Bluejacket. I take these as good examples of colours and proportions. A friend once told me, if you steal a little information, its plagiarism, BUT if you take EVERYTHING, its research! I love to do my research.

 
Small dinette makes a single, vee berth for two below.

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Command station and mini galley to starboard.

 
Course’ a pyrate like me, or that rascal, Peter Lenihan “Le Mouton Gris de Montreal” can’t pass up a goode buccaneer bargain. I stole this image to copy later (the pirates motto is: If you can take it, you DESERVE it!”), and bought two pirate hats to boot.

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Because it was the weekend of the Gasparilla Pirate fest, pirate on left, your author on the right. T’was a night a skallywag like meself couldna’ miss!

 
And I HAD to go, strictly for research of course, I’m planning on opening my own “Scumgullions Buccaneer Bar” soon. Arrgghhhhh, avst there matey, an’ pass the rhum!

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....on to Part 2......