Send a picture or three
and a short description of your boat and its launch to firstname.lastname@example.org
for inclusion here next month.
In June I launched my new boat, a Michalak design, the 20’
Frolic 2. In 1992 I built a Micro, which was designed
by Bolger. The Micro is very stable to sail but hard to launch.
With the kids grown up, I was looking for a new boat that was
lighter and easier to launch. The Frolic 2 has fit the bill.
The Micro’s main sail is 119 sp. Ft. The Frolic 2 main
sail is 113 sq. ft. Aha, why not use the sail I already have?
As you can see from the picture, the sail works very well. I’ve
enclosed a picture of the mast step. I put some lead in the bottom
of the mast to help counterbalance the weight. I’ve been
reading DuckworksMagazine.com for 2 years and read an article
about the bird’s mouth method of making a mast. This worked
real well, however the planing and sanding took a long time.
Going back to adopting Micro’s said to the Frolic 2, it
took 4 adjustments in the position of the mast before the helm
was balanced. I believe it still needs a little more weather
helm. I am thinking of adding the Micro’s mizzen,
which is 34 sq. ft.
Some observations that may help other builders:
1. Plywood – It seems to be difficult to find marine plywood
in ¼” or ½” dimensions. The company
sells in metric millimeters. For ¼” I used 7mm and
for ½” I used 12mm.
2. My son had leftover fiberglass cloth from a kayak project,
and being a cheapskate, I cut it in 4” strips. This worked
on my boat, but the edges would unravel when applying the epoxy
and it made a mess. Jim Michalak points this out in his book and
I should have heeded his advice.
3. I used limestone, from a garden center store, for the filler
to mix with the epoxy. This worked very well.
4. My first leeboard was 2 sheets of pressure treated plywood
glued together. The glue failed while I was sailing, and the board
came apart. I believe the pressure treatment prevents the glue
from properly doing its job. The new leeboard of 4 sheets of ¼”
untreated plywood has worked fine so far.
Well, we had about the worst weather ever for the 2010 edition
of our annual North Shore autumn vacation – cold, gray,
rainy, or else sunny and VERY windy. We did manage to get
out once, though, for a couple of hours. The boat is an absolute
Here's a photo taken dockside in the minutes after she was first
floated off the trailer, with my wife, Liz, holding the lines.
This was our Wow, it floats! moment.
Launched in Greece
Here are some photos of the Gato Especial having just been launched
The first Gato Especial has hit the water in Athens, Greece.
Alex and his father have done a sensational job building the
boat. They can now begin using their comfortable, yet compact,
21' catamaran to explore the Greek Islands of the Aegean Sea,
do some fishing if they like and simply get outdoors on the beautiful
blue waters surrounding their country.
Jon Fisher of Dripping Springs, Texas launched his John Welsford
designed Pathfinder at Canyon Lake on Sunday, October 17. He had
been working on the boat for a little over two years. Jon said
that the last month was particularly busy, what with final painting
and rigging. Several of the fellows from the San Antonio/Austin
came by to wish Jon a bon voyage as he sailed off for the first
time. Actually, we had to motor away from the dock due to a lack
of wind, but after 20 minutes, a 5-10 mph wind came up and we
sailed all afternoon. Jon said he was more than satisfied with
the boat and plans to sail it in the next Texas200.
The easiest way to simply describe the PuddleCat is that it is
a PDR- Catamaran. It uses the same hull shape and is also 4 foot
wide. It’s first splash was in June 2010 and has turned
out to be a very fine little boat. It is built from 4 sheets of
¼ plywood in stitch and glue and uses Duckworks hardware
and accessories. It has a lateen rig and I have used two sizes,
36 and 75 sq. foot. It is good for two large people and you can
set either on the bridgedeck between the hulls or inside the hulls.