This time we have the following boats:

Send a picture or three and a short description of your boat and its launch to for inclusion here next month.

Mystery Boat

This mystery boat was reported by Bruce Dillahunty at his website: - Rumor there is that the boat will not sail, but an anonymous reporter and eye witness told Duckworks that indeed it does sail and that it does so very well.

A few things we know from the guy that passed it to me, or can guess with a close examination:

  • Photo was taken in France
  • About 7 feet long
  • Sail/power/both? Looks like it has pintle mounts for a rudder (sail), but transom is fairly beefy... outboard?
  • Looks like its a nesting design (looks to have a 'break' at the midpoint.
  • Rowlocks - normally nesting boats don't have a good sitting position for rowing, but...
  • No seat evident
  • Translucent skin - fabric?
  • Interesting diagonal supports for the hull form
  • Should be light weight

Anybody want to toss a guess out? Some of the skin-on-frame kayaks seem really neat to me, but haven't seen it used on a dinghy, especially something that comes apart for storage.

I can't believe we will not hear more about this boat soon.


Matt Layden's New Boat

New monster went out for first trial sail in the Indian River this afternoon, wind S 15-20, sea 1-2', rain bearing down ahead of the next front, but held off till I got home. Rigged up with Sand Flea's sail to get her going & fine tune design of this boat's sail. Ballasted with a couple 5 gal. pails of sand + water jugs etc. to simulate cruising load.

Went well- weather helm, new roller-reefing standing lug sail will be a bit more forward so should be good. Upwind, reaching, running, good speed, good control, stable & feels like it should. Little wet, as windows not yet fitted, that spray is chilly! Paddling trials to decide seat height, steering details... all good. Also got in 4 miles of road portage practice to & from launch park.

Happy so far, no changes to hull/deck so now to get some paint on her...


Sweet Pea

For those interested, I just posted several photos of a rowing version of Sweet Pea I built and used extensively last year. It is a great little rowboat.

I keep the boat on a mooring in Casco Bay Maine. She really rows like a dream. I have been out rowing with a friend who owns an original Jimmy Steele cedar on oak peapod. My Sweet Pea has less volume, weighs about the same, and is faster if you really want to race. We went out after a northeaster blew through this past September and we had a blast rowing in some big swells. A Coast Guard 40'er stopped us and asked if we were heading in. I can't remember where I read this description about a boat but it is fitting for Sweet Pea; this is one of those boats can withstand rougher water than you can. She tracks great dead into the wind and with the wind on the beam. With the wind on the quarter or dead astern you need frequent corrective strokes but she flies downwind. My friend with the peapod says the same is true of his boat. He often puts a rock in the stern to help get more of the keel in the water. I notice she tracks better downwind with a passenger in the stern. I guess the longest row I went on was about 8 miles. I would recommend this for anyone looking for a safe, fast rowboat to explore coastal waters. Oh - and she has no problem covering ground against a couple of knots of current, especially if the wind is with you. I'll add a photo of the Pride of Baltimore that visited Portland harbor last summer.

I attached a small keel to give her a little directional stability. It started as a 1-1/2" square piece of spruce that I tapered toward the ends both in width and depth prior to attaching it. At the extreme ends it is sided about 3/4" and about 1" in depth. I'm not sure if it was really necessary for tracking. The paint scheme is Petit Vivid white on the bottom, because I keep her on a mooring, with Epiphanes light blue enamel on the topsides with an Interlux flag blue bootstripe. The interior is Epipanes buff.

I made 7-1/2 foot oars with fairly narrow blades that seem to work OK except that they don't have a lot of power. I borrowed my friend's Shaw & Tenney 8' oars that have wider blades and the increased "bite" on the water is noticeable. I traced his so I can duplicate a pair this winter from some spruce scraps. I also intend to leave the looms square above the leathers to add mass inboard of the rowlocks. I know what you mean playing in the swells. It's a blast.




I had an enquiry early last year from a gent who lives on the North Shore of Aucklands amazing harbour, wanting to know if I knew of a good boat builder who would produce one of my Pathfinders for him. I passed on Peter Murtons contact details and told him that I'd been sailing in a very nicely built 6M Whaler of my design that Peter had built for Pat Quin, and had seen enough of his work to be happy to recommend him.

Time passed, I had some questions from Pete about a 6M Whaler he was building for himself and he mentioned once or twice that he was working on a new Pathfinder. About two weeks ago I got a brief email from him to say that the new boat sailed very well, and that the owner was coming to pick her up in a few days.

Yesterday Bill Crocker emailed these photos and the note below. he's really pleased with the new boat and the way she is performing, I'm hoping to catch up with him sometime soon and hitch a ride. Peters built 7 JW boats now, all of them very nicely done, and I'd recommend him to anyone wanting a small boat built or an old one restored

John Welsford
Marine Designer.


Hi John,

I thought you'd like to see some snaps of what must be the latest Pathfinder. She was finished by Peter Murton last week, and we managed a brief but very satisfying sea trial in Nelson before I drove her to Auckland.

Today was my first solo sail from Browns Bay beach, with a perfect 6-8 knot Easterly. She is everything I hoped for and more. In today's breeze she was doing 4.5 to 5.5 knots while I played with setting the sails and just learning how she works. Wonderful sailing on a terrific boat!

The name Salacia (pronounced sa-lay-shia) comes from the Goddess of salt seas, and she was Neptune's wife .

Kind regards

Bill Crocker
Waiake, Auckland - New Zealand

Mushulu 12


Well "Salt Peter" is finished, launched and has done 9 hours of cruising. Everything went well. The craft performed beautifully. A very dry boat, running straight and steady and, took turns like a champion.



All I can say Peter is WOW!! That is a really beautiful boat. Mate, you deserve a 10/10. WELL DONE !!.


Boat Plans For both Power, Yacht and Multihull designs.
Mark Bowdidge (MRINA) Bowdidge Marine Designs


More pictures here at Mark Bowdidge's (designer) forum.

Plans for Mark Bowdidge's Mushulu 12 are available in printed form at Duckworks - Click HERE



NorseBoat Builds Whale Boats For Moby Dick
Lunenburg Shop Builds 6 Boats For German Remake of Film Classic

February 4, 2010, Belfast, Prince Edward Island, Canada - NorseBoat Limited built six traditional whale boats in their Lunenburg, Nova Scotia shop for the remake of the film classic Moby Dick. The film, based on Herman Melville's 1851 novel, is being produced by Herbert Kloiber's Tele Munchen, a German film company.

The boats were built of spruce strip planking and epoxy, with one layer of glass cloth on the outside of the hull and ash frames and a partial second layer of spruce planking on the inside of the hull. Five of the boats were 23 ft. long. The sixth was a 28-footer with twin outboards mounted midships in a concealed central pod, and mounting locations for cameras under the seats. Movie set designers completed the finish work of the boats to make them look like well worn whaling boats from the nineteenth century.

NorseBoat received the contract in July 2009 because of their ability to build high quality reproductions of classic boats within tight budget and time constraints. The work was supervised by NorseBoat shipwright Scott Dagley. By late September six completed whale boats were shipped to the Mediterranean island of Malta where much of the filming of sea scenes took place. Malta was selected because it has one of the world’s largest cinemagraphic ponds, adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the land-based scenes were filmed in Shelburne and Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

The budget for the Moby Dick remake was $25 million, reportedly the most expensive project in Tele Munchen’s 40-year history. The film is a two-part TV mini series and is expected to air in 2011. William Hurt (Robin Hood, Kiss of the Spider Woman), portrays the peg-legged captain Ahab of the whaler Pequod, and Ethan Hawke (Staten Island, Training Day) plays first mate Starbuck.


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