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Editor's note: Les' boat was built from Gavin Atkins "Minimouse" plans. Mr Atkin was nice enough to let us offer a free download of these plans... Click for more

Bumble Bee
by Les Brown

The main components for my tiny 6ft.6in. boat (2m.) The curves and piercings in the bulkhead sections are to give me room to stow the boat wheels when I am under way. Chine logs are already glued and tacked to the side panels.
Components all assembled. She is already starting to look sort of like a boat. click to enlarge
The flat bottom is attached to the chine logs. I hate polyurethane glue. The fumes make my throat sore, there are warnings on the container to keep it away from children and if you get it on your fingers you will be picking at it for days. When you are an old tosser like me the extra couple of inches of freeboard provided by a well with raised sides all round is very comforting. click to enlarge
Bottom-up. At this stage the inner gunnels are also on. All she needs now is a deck and a lot of sand papering. click to enlarge
Done and dusted. The rest of the pics are views of the finished boat and are not captioned - all except the last pic of all which has words of wisdom re. the uk climate and final info about my little boat. click to enlarge
I have named her "Bumble Bee" It is winter 2003 now so it is unlikely she will get her bottom wet until Spring comes again. Believe me, in the uk, getting the crutch of your trousers wet in December is a very different thing to getting it wet in Spring time. click to enlarge
But if you chance to be crossing the Shirley bridge on the Stratford Upon Avon canal next time the grass is strewn with daisies, you just might see the grand launching ceremony as I smash the bottle of champagne over her bows.
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OK, here I go, humming a merry sea shanty as I stride purposefully along...
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I am getting too old for this. (Danny Glover un quote)
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I reckon she is looking quite ship shape and Bristol fashion.
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Yep. Looks ok this way round too.
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Fine. Lets get down to business.
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Easy does it every time.
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Just casting her off. It is a pity you could not have been here a couple of minutes ago and seen me smashing the bottle of Dom Perignon '93 across her bows.
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Marvellous! I could paddle around like this all day. I am sure she is faster than my eight foot Mouse - spins on a sixpence too.
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Don't you just hate being buzzed by helicopters? What this guy does not know is that I have this special pen that fires ground to air missiles.
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'Bye everyone. It has been such a great day. I feel I could just keep paddling all the way to the open sea and let Bumble Bee carry me to a tropical island where clear water cascades down a mountain side, with bananas growing and wild pigs and big fish leaping among the breakers..... Nah! Not yet. I still have more boats to build.