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 Splash!

This time we have the following boats:

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

Eureka 155

I've just launched my Michael Storer designed Eureka 155 canoe, 'Coucal'. Building took a while (almost two years), but I suppose you could say that things happened at a pretty casual pace. At one point I was sneaking out during my childrens' nap times for surreptitious sanding and epoxying. I've never built anything more complicated than a timber deck before, so I took it slow and easy - more time was spent with my nose in the 'net than in the dust mask.

She's made of 6mm Gaboon ply, and the solid timbers are hoop pine. I sheathed her in 6oz 'glass in epoxy, which I curse every time I lift her off the roof rack (Eurekas are meant to be built light - 34 to 44lbs), but feel a little better about every time I grind her into something rock-like (which is more often than I'd want). The seats are woven from synthetic window sash cord, which is cheap and stretchy but surprisingly comfortable. She's finished in a lah-de-dah water-based clear polyurethane topcoat, which might be gilding the lily a bit, but after some late-night worrying about UV exposure and a temporary rush of blood to the wallet I just couldn't help myself.

I paddle her in the brown & grungy Yarra river (A. K. A. "The River That Flows Upside Down") in Melbourne, Australia, and she paddles just fine; fast & easy, turns well, tracks nicely. My next job is to dump the el-cheapo telescopic aluminium & plastic paddles (they unscrew and collapse at each J-stroke; not a classy look when solo paddling) and finish the timber paddles from Michael's free PDF plans. Sadly, I'm wasting all my potential paddle-building time paddling, so I expect it'll be another 2 years before they're ready...

I think she looks pretty good, and I get nice comments about her from the gung-ho K1 training crews who roar up and down the river at warp speed.

Jack Ellis

PDGoose No Mas

On Saturday April 23rd my wife Amanda, my son Jacob, and I took our PDGoose, No Mas, out for her first sail. All week long the winds been blowing like crazy so naturally when I got up that morning and there's was no wind. But that didn't stop us. We tied the first reef in the sail before we left the house, after all my wife Amanda and I had never sailed before. We headed the four blocks uptown to Lake Alice to try her out. As we drove by the Lake Alice Park we couldn't help but notice the 250 motorcycles or so at a biker rally. "Great," I said to Amanda, "We'll have an audience." We launched without incident and paddled out to the middle of the lake. At first all we had were ghosts of winds past. Finally, I started to get the whole steering thing down and we caught a few gusts and sailed back and forth across the lake.

After an hour of sailing, tacking, gybing, and drifting we both decided we needed to shake out the reef and fly our full 100 sqft of balanced lug in all her glory. Maybe we'd catch a breeze or two and really go. There was a lull in the winds and I had my 11 year old move to the stern and I moved to the middle to help Amanda with the sail. We were sitting about 25 yards off the shore from the biker rally jamming out to the sound track of Easy Rider. The sail went up to her full glory and I was talking Amanda through tensioning the boom when we were hit broadside by a 15 mph gust and the sail suddenly fills. Amanda and Jacob are on the lee side and I'm on the windward side hiking out like it was a Laser instead of a Goose, the starboard chine was lifting clear, and I saw Jacob's foot was on the sheet. I hollered, "Jacob, lift your foot!" he did and the sheet and sail ran out and we quickly recovered.

After we got our composure back, we buzzed and drifted, buzzed and drifted until it was time to go home. On the wind with that 100 sqft sail, she's "Ricky Bobby fast." We're experimenting and learning her strengths and weaknesses getting ready to sail the Florida 120.

John Boy Huft

Navigator

The latest pics on flickr include a few of her in the water: this one is a still from a little video shown on the blog of her under electric power at launch. Here is the blog link- http://middlething.blogspot.com/

There are a couple of references to the quality of the sails amongst the posts since fit-out began.

Being quite tentative backing under
electric power, but soon found
it very positive and maneuverable.

Here's a link to my book.

Rob

Glaspar Seafair - She Floats

Some things are bigger than maybe they aughta' be.

Brochure pictures of the 1959 Glaspar Seafair sedan cruiser were pinned up on my wall back in junior high school as THE BOAT. At face value, it's pretty strange that today was the absolute first time I have ever actually been aboard one while actually floating-I don't think I had ever even touched one until I hauled this one home with the flowers still growing out of the hatch, and 20 seasons of wasp nests clinging to every possible crevice and deck underside, last fall-it's a pretty big day for me. And, admittedly, I rarely do things on the spur of the moment, because that simply takes much too long. Soooooooo waiting 50-odd years for something is quite unusual. For me, anyway.

After a 3 month spurt of adrenalin, I have a more or less restored-and completely modified-little stinkpot back in the water. I doubt she's been wet from anything but rain and snow in a generation. You perhaps know the drill. I was just going to test the trailer adjustments, to see how things look on the ramp with perhaps the bottom touching the water. Well, that went pretty good. So, then I was only gong to start up the motor and see how the throttle linkage and steering and fueling lines and electrical lines and all that motorboat stuff was going to work out. But, when I looked down at the lower unit to see if the tilt/trim had functioned properly, SHE WAS ALREADY FLOATING. We were simply captured by the guides that I had placed on the new trailer more or less by eyeball.

Only a landlubber with absolutely no soul would have called the experiment quits at that point. Soooooooo, it was then a simple matter to cast off the winch strap and stuff the control lever into reverse. And, there we were. Actually afloat and not leaking and not tipping over and not even listing markedly. The nautical equivalent of Nelson Mandella finally walking out into the sunlight. Or pick your own Butterflys Are Free analogy. Such an emotional stewpot of legitimate concern, discovery, pride of accomplishment, relief, and petty annoyance. Only a boatbuilder or a new father can truly relate.

Dan Rogers

 

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