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Tom's Mushulu 12
Making the decision whether or not to build or buy was very easy for me, I found Mark through his web page, rang him and with a great deal of enthusiasm he explained how easy it would be for me to build the Mushulu 12 or 14. The cost of building was also very cheap and you also had the excitement knowing that you will build something with different shapes, sections and curves and once built, it will float! As a carpenter this all gave me much excitement and I was ready to start.
To all of you reading this, I can honestly say that the build was very easy. Anyone who is good with their hands, who is patient and wants to achieve a high quality product will find this project very enjoyable and complete it with ease. When I had the entire boat formed and glassed, I decided that I wouldn't just paint the boat. I would detail it with as much exposed timber as possible. The bulkheads would be in clear veneer with solid edging with solid doors, the front seat and anchor hatch would have inlays in a contrasting colour and the boat would have a sole with contrasting colors. Also the rubbing strake would have timber inlays and the entire boat would be a pearly white color with as much chrome as possible, as it had to look like it was made for a classy yacht. This I hoped would make it easier to sell. The things I didn't enjoy as much as others was obviously the sanding of fiberglass, but all in all it was very enjoyable. It would be great to be able to build full time, not part time as the stages would be completed faster and certain elements would be cheaper.
For the next build I intend to build two boats at the same time as this will save me time and money. I will be ready to build a larger vessel as the build stages of this boat carry on to the next one.
And to my good friend Mark, we haven't yet met face to face, but I'm sure we will one day. Just so you all know when reading this, Mark is not just someone who you buy the plans from. He is the person you will be able to contact at any time and any day regarding your build. His web page is full of information and each boat has its own build stages of previously built boats. So when you start out building, you are surrounded by photos of each stage of construction and with your plans in your hands, you also have a visual library of the construction stages. If you still need help, you can just call him and he will explain everything so that you understand! This makes it so easy and stress free!
Having been very busy with other commitments, I finally finished building the Mushulu 12 and set of to the Hawkesbury river boat ramp to launch my boat. It was my birthday and we had booked a house on the Island Bar point, so that we could launch and use the boat as an exiting transporter and fishing vessel for the weekend.
Unfortunately, the weather was very windy and rainy, but we had to launch her and get on with the day.
A couple of old sea dogs were cleaning their catch beside the boat ramp, and commented that my boat was too small for the Hawsburry and that the boat seemed out of proportion to its length. I polity answered back stating that I had built it myself and that it was a certified vessel. They briefly smirked and watched as I launched her into the bay.
When we had all the food, wine, fishing rods and my beautiful girlfriend on board, I started my 15 hp merc and let it rip, she went onto a plane straight away, and it felt so comfortable and great to handle.
I turned around gave a few circles around the old sea dogs and past their old dirty tinny, and asked them what they thought, they were all surprised and had nothing to say, I understood why, I had build a beautiful boat, had a beautiful girl with me and three days to enjoy my boat, I was in heaven !
EasyB is probably pushing 1,000 miles on the odometer (some Colorado 100s and now lamented but magnificent Big Bend trips included) but this is her first excursion sailing.
I had been steadily working on the rig in preparation for the Texas 200 when Laurent Coquilleau and Kevin O'Neill (fellow proanauts) decided to spend a weekend at Lake Somerville. Not wanting to miss a little companionship, expert advice and potential help if things swarmed, things were slapped together and buttoned up for the trip.
Leeboard and rudder are shaped, skinned and coated but finish can charitably be described as bumpy 40 grit at the moment but everything went surprisingly well for a harried first trip out. Winds were light Saturday and a bit better, 5-10 knots, on Sunday but a touch chilly particularly for the unprepared.
There's a touch of lee helm even in the stronger winds so the mast needs to be raked back a bit. Still with unfinished foils and lee helm EasyB(S) could tack thru 100-120 degrees and then run back to the beach under full control... fun. Motorsailing in light air with one hand paddling puts me on par with the proas but they walk away easily when the wind picks up.
Besides the obvious finish up and detail items, I need to make a new sail, 6 oz polytarp is just too much stuff for such a small sail.
Look forward to seeing you at Centex.
Here are two pictures of my boat. It is a Pacific Pelican 14-1/2 feet long with 6-1/2 foot beam. As you can see I'm using a Sunfish rig which is about 1/2 the sail area called for. Sails just fine for me.
Carlsbad, New Mexico
Here are some photos of our recent Houdini launch.
Sam Devlin's Egret 15'2" Sail/Row
The Egret is a Sam Devlin stitch and glue design for rowing and sail. I have been building the Egret for the past 6 years after work and when time allowed. The build was a very rewarding and challenging experience learning skills and acquiring new tools as I went along. I had no prior boat building or wood working experience learning everything from the internet, books and a little common sense. I stuck with the plans only adding scuppered inwhales, sealed air compartments for and aft, and a centerboard. Everything was hand made with the exception of the sail from C&C Sailmakers and the oars 8'11" from Shaw and Tenney. Photos of the construction can be seen at this link: http://ronnieo72.multiply.com/photos.
I enjoyed my first row with my wife on Lake Woodlands in The Woodlands, TX. north of Houston. I was pleasantly surprised being a first time rower kept up with a flat bottom Johboat with two small trolling motors for 1/4 mile.(Going with the wind). Well, the true purpose of this boat is for sail. I have no prior sailing experience... except for a sailing for dummies style book, which I read while I was dreaming of sailing. Today I set up the sail on the same Lake Woodlands to test my sailing knowledge. Before setting sail a local resident was kind enough to offer a phone # in case I got in trouble, thought that was very kind! I then trough caution to the wind and set off into the unknown... life jacket on... less than 10 mph south winds forcing me to tack back and forth on the narrow shores. I had no problems tacking shore to shore, actually allowed me a lot of practice. I got a half mile down the lake and the winds picked up big time, heeling the boat and getting my heart pumping... was able to control the heel by easing the sheets, rudder adjustment and moving my weight around. On this same tack the shore came up quick and the water was getting a chop.. I had to let the main sheet go or I either would have crashed into the concrete bulk head or been in the drink. I just couldn't get the boat to feel like it was tacking correctly in the high wind, or it was the heart attack I was experiencing, one or the other. Got the boat under control and headed back down wind to the dock for safety. I think the winds got up to 20+mph. Took about and hour and half to get my heart beats back down to normal. But in retrospect the Egret was really moving quickly under sail and was a lot of fun. I can't wait to try it again in more open water.
Ronnie Houston, Tx.
We launched the Michalak Toon 2 on April 2, 2011 in Port St. Joe, FL bay. Many thanks to Gary and Helen Blankenship, Noel Davis, And Olivier Chamel. They not only helped with the rigging and the launch, but brought their boats as well. It was almost an impromptu Panhandle messabout! At the launch were 3 Michalak boats (Frolic 2, Wobooto, Toon 2) also a Goat Island Skiff. Winds were near perfect, and the toon 2 sailed great. After a couple of resets to the sail, she balanced out just right. I was a little concered that she might be a bit "tubby" but turns out she is surprisingly agile with a good turn of speed. Here are a few pictures from the launch and a short couple of videos.
Thanks Jim for another great boat!
Made my test launch today of Die foldermause a slightly batty version that at first glance looks a little bit like Gavin Atkin's Mouse (hence the name).
At the moment when drifting it feels like it is tracking well then suddenly veers one way or the other and spins out.