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By John Bell - Acworth, Georgia - USA
and Mike Shannon - Fairmont Hot Springs, British Columbia - Canada

Hey Chuck and Sandra,

I received a nice surprise in an email the other day from a gentleman named Mike Shannon in Fairmont Hot Springs, BC. Last year he built the second (to my knowledge) rendition of my Blackberry 14 dories. The attached photographs are the nicest I’ve ever seen of one of my boats. The fact that Mike lives in the Canadian Rockies really adds a lot of drama to the images.

 

The attached photographs are the nicest I’ve ever seen of one of my boats. The fact that Mike lives in the Canadian Rockies really adds a lot of drama to the images.

click images to enlarge

Mike writes:

“I built the Blackberry 14 last fall. I am very pleased with the way it performs. Your plans are easy to follow . I used a combination of frame, and stitch and glue, and used materials that I had on hand: exterior grade fir plywood, etc. (I) did not spend a lot of time on the fine finish as I wanted to get it in the water and see how it performed. My wife rows it on the Columbia River almost every day. I am going to build another one now using Marine grade mahogany ply and totally stitch and glue.”

"I used a combination of frame, and stitch and glue, and used materials that I had on hand: exterior grade fir plywood, etc."

My Blackberry dories have been a pleasant surprise. They are also proving to be a minor success  in the free boat plans market, with a couple dozen of the 12’ers having been built around the world and now a couple of the 14’ers.

Thanks for letting me introduce these designs to the world on Duckworks. Without this great resource, I doubt these little boats would have ever seen so many bodies of water.

"My wife rows it on the Columbia River almost every day. I am going to build another one now using Marine grade mahogany ply and totally stitch and glue."

Plans for the 12’ and 14’ Blackberry dories are still available for free on my personal website at http://jmbell.home.mindspring.com/boatyard.htm. All I ask is if someone builds one is that they send me a picture and report.

Mike has asked me to draw a 16’ stretched version. I’m going to start working on one this month and when the plans are complete they will be published on my website. The only change I have contemplated is to take a little bit of rocker out of the keel to hopefully make her a little less sensitive to fore and aft trim.

Mike has asked me to draw a 16’ stretched version. I’m going to start working on one this month and when the plans are complete they will be published on my website.

I’m hoping to see you guys again sometime in a 2010 event, either the Texas 200, the Florida 120, or possibly even the Everglades Challenge!

Best to you both,

John Bell

Acworth, GA

*****

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