By Ed Davis - Melbourne, Florida - USA

Three months ago, I’m still not sure what finally happened, but there I was with some plywood from 2004 hurricane shutters. A pencil and tape measure. Laying up the plans for Chuck Merrell’s Christmas present from the past “Apple Pie”.

I guess it’s in order to thank You (Chuck and Sandra) for a great Web site, Chuck Merrell for the “Apple Pie” plans, Dale Austin for His build of “Apple Pie” (also your Panquar Ban), Mike Gill for the 12’ Tug “Patricia Ann”, Paul Boyer for the question “Why the hell did you do that?” (Which is actually after the fact) and all of the other articles written for “DuckWorks”. (Yes I did read all the back articles, 1999 and on.) That’s how I found my self in this state.

Truth be told, this started long long ago in a land far far away.
It was April 1965. I had just reported on board the USS Grapple ARS7 (built 1941) out of Pearl Harbor Hawaii. I picked up a boating mag and saw plans for a Glen-L boat of some sort (now completely forgotten) that started a dream of building and sailing far away. How could a seaman apprentice (E-2) find time, money, or space to build such a thing. All those frames, battens, hatches, gunnels, on and on.

I got out in 1968 moved back to Florida with my wife of two years and bought a home. We had a Daughter and I went back on active duty. Charleston, Norflok, USS Forrestal, San Diego, Mare Island, we had a Son, Monterey, San Diego, Jacksonville USS Saratoga, NAS Jacksonville, Mayport USS Forrestal, Bermuda, 1986 Retirement. Now a civie, Maryland, and with a job with lots of travel- Bermuda ,Spain, Guam, Hawaii, Philippines, Okinawa, Missawa, Japan, San Diego, Alaska, Iceland and job cut - back. Florida, more travel - Spain, Luxemburg, Finland, England, Bangkok, and Fukuoka, Japan. Another job cut -back.

I’m now a Security Officer for the kind of place I once worked in. Now outside guarding the building.

No regrets. We’ve had a good life. Now how do we fill our retirement? Can’t quit work, just yet. Want a camper/ Motor home to see more of the USA. We’ve also been sailing on the Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Costa and Canaveral cruise lines. This has helped to fill the need I have to feel the movement of a ship at sea under my feet. To go up on deck and see the stars go on for ever and ever. The sun rise over tropical islands and to sink slowly over a vast expanse of unobstructed ocean.
Paul here’s an answer for you. To make it yours. You would own a plastic boat, but this will be like a child which you can never OWN but is still yours. She could be sweet tempered or foul, but some how you’ll still love Her. Good day or bad! Mine has my blood in her (see Applie Pie below).

Also look back at Mike Gill’s “Patricia Ann”, a fine Lady full in the front and rear as should be and just the right lines in the middle. No plastic boat can give you the same feel as your own built. I worked for a plastic boat builder in high school. He sprayed the forms, we laid in the glass (tops and bottoms) let it set, popped them out and mated the two pieces. Three boats a week, two on Saturday. I never wanted one of his boats. They were made good and looked fine. Just didn’t suite my taste.

My “Apple Pie” when done will be mine. To start, it will be like no other. My leftovers were not full sheets. So I changed the plans, just over 6 ft. I used copper wire to start, but I have a problem with bleeding with the small scratches. Out came the wire, in went wire ties. No more scratches. The aft end is square which will serve well for the trolling motor I want to use. The gunnels are PVC pipe thanks to Mike Gill. I’m not a good wood butcher so that was no sacrifice. Dale, I tried some of that barn carpentry, in MD built a shed, came out really good.

I will try to make oars and try rowing and sculling. If this turns out well, I have Mike’s tugboat, that’s what I really wanted to build.

Dale Austin said “If building a rowboat makes him crazy. He should take up knitting”. I’m not getting any crazier; even though my wife may think so. The tug will be a slow build. Don’t think it’ll take 43 years, though.

My first thought for a name was “Junq Pyle”. That’s where the material came from, but then “Tres Centavo”. Some might say it’s not worth two cents, but I’ll epoxy three pennies’ in the forward floatation chamber. That’s an old tradition with sailing ships for good fortune.

Tres is my grandson’s name. He’s named after me, the third (tres - Spanish for three). I showed him and a friend how to work epoxy. So this is also theirs and has been a learning time for them.

I’ve enclosed a photo, like the Puddle Ducks, I’ve gone 3D. Who else has gone 3D on an Apple Pie? Are we a small group, or are their many?

I’ve been rereading about the Everglades Challenge. Do they take 7’ tenders? Can a sail be put on this Apple Pie? How much sqft? How about outriggers? What is a tack anyway? Or a reach? How do you sail into the wind? How could a 63 year old, out of shape fellow do such a thing? Now I am bordering on crazy. Oh, but still a dream, still something to wonder about. Maybe my grandson? Building boats , sailing the seas, keeping the dream alive. I read some where it’s family fun.

Thanks again for a wonderful web site. I’m still reading up everyday.

Ed “Chief Redbear” Davis DSC USN Ret (

Notes! DSC means Data Systems Chief Petty Officer. That’s a computer repair tech.

A married E3 in 1966 made about $100.00 a month. Plus sea pay and hazard duty gave me $30 and my wife $100.

The Navy will ship a boat, but not a boat in work.

“ARS” is Navy speak for “Auxiliary Rescue Salvage”

Why do the Navy and Coast Guard have a Chief Petty Officer Club and the other branches have an NCO (non commissioned officer) Club? Navy and Coast Guard E-7 pay grades are commissioned by Congress. If the officers of a ship at sea or battle are killed or wounded command passes to the senior CPO to fight the ship or take her to safety. Yard ships (tugboats, oilers, etc) are normally commanded by CPO’s. We may be call petty officers, but we are Officers of the line.

Click HERE for complete plans of Apple Pie (PDF)

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