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Not so fond memories

I capsized a home made sailing kayak in Feb. when I was 15 and used an inner tube located under the deck, after praying. Got home put on dry clothes and went back to the Elizabeth River hoping to salvage something. Was greeted by Coast Guard, Norfolk Police, a news reporter with photographer, a fire crew and a crowd of about 20 people who assumed I had drowned. A friend yelled at me from across the crowd asking who was using the Kayak aptly named Suicide.Then all hell descended on me each one lecturing about cold water. I have not gone boating in cold weather since and I am 71 years old. I did not tell my parents but, our local newspaper told the whole story the next morning on the first page of the local news. I caught hell again.

Bob Guess



Thanks for allowing my project to be a part of the January Splash feature. I am honored. Not to mention famous as well! I trust you and Sandra had a fine Christmas. Best regards, Stan

Stan Kowalski

Phishing in Duckworks?

Hi Chuck'

I hope you and yours are having a great holiday time.

I have been getting several responses to my ad for the 17ft electric kayak, but thought I would let you know that all of them have been like the one below.

"Dear Seller

My Name Douglas Smith,600 N 5th Street Opelika, AL 36801, I i saw your Advert posted for sale at the ads website,and i am willing to purchase your (duck work) posted for sale, so i want you to kindly get back to me with it present status of condition and your last selling price offer that you are willing to let it go.

Douglas Smith"

I just wanted you to see the wording so that maybe you could make mention of these answers in the magazine. They are all worded about the same, and are all pfishing responses. Please warn the others that they should NEVER OPEN this type of response. The responses do not even mention what you are advertising most of the time and when they do mention your item the spelling in the ads is never quite right.

Thank you for your magazine, I really enjoy reading it and I appreciate your allowing me to place my advertising in it.

Dennis Haven

Blast from the Past

Chuck - Maybe this boat is a little bigger than we usually encounter in Duckworks, but I'll bet the aura is the same.

I noted the blogger's comment this morning on the DW site - that the Google ads were getting in the way of reading the articles - and your rejoinder.

I agree with you. The site has to be profitable to be worth doing for long periods of time, and I am delighted to see that it is moving in that direction.

Duckworks is a real credit to you and Sandra, and I am more than happy to help make it a success. I am not at all worried that profitability will change anything, other than presenting me with some interesting ads.

Lets hope 2012 is less turbulent than 2011 - thanks very much for all that you and Sandra do for our community of small boaters!

Respectfully, Pete Leenhouts

Horn Tooting


I read the latest Michalak post in which he mentions the sail rig for the LF Herreshoff H-14. If anyone is interested in what Jim meant by the H-14 as a racing boat rather than a beach boat, in my Herreshoffs You Can Build, I have the lines for it with the board angled back. The number of dagger-boards on the old Sunfish and Sailfish that broke when someone couldn't get them up by the time they hit the beach was huge.

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I'd be glad to toot LF's horn at any time. By the way, this might not mean anything but the first boat Nathaniel Herreshoff built in the 19th century as a young boy was remarkably similar to Olive Oil.

As far as lowering sail goes, where I live in the Dallas area it's so windy a triangular sail is nearly mandatory.

Paul Austin

Eastern Messabout moving a little

Hi Chuck,

A year ago I drove down to Elk Neck, MD to scout the beach and campground for the 2011 Eastern Messabout. Today Steve Bosquette, Tom Maurer & Tom's son Vaughn and I met there again and decided to shift to a beach beyond the jetty below the ramp so that we'd not be so crowded. There is room on the beach above high tide for pop-up shade tents and some wider grassy space too. So it's on for the first Weekend in June again .. June 1-2-3. We're going down the day before (Thurs) to clear the path and get in some sailing. I see the 2012 Duckworks Calendar is up so I'm sending in the dates. Folks who want more info can find it at our Yahoo Group.

Bob Throne

Why do the EC in a PD?

I actually attempted to explain to my wife why I am attempting the EC in a Puddleduck and some of it actually sounded logical so I decided to post it here. It starts with the reasons I shouldn't be doing this then builds to the reasons for doing the challenge from there.

Why I shouldn't do this:
Like most designs, the Puddle Duck design is good for its intended purposes which is an inexpensive and easy to sail (stable) lake/pond racer well within the building capacity all. It is not designed as a cruising boat and especially not a coastal cruising boat so anyone, including myself, who uses it for that purpose are stretching the design possibly beyond the breaking point. My preference for a cruising boat is for one with a pointy bow and narrow hull easily driven by a small easily handled sail area and whose shape slices through waves without being slowed. It is big enough to have a separate sleeping area from the sailing area and to be comfortable for a couple of days without having to step onshore. The shape of the puddle duck is just not suited to pushing through waves and exceptional windward performance. I have stated these views in the past and they haven't changed even though I am building an ECduck.

Also, the Everglades Challenge really isn't my type of event. If I am going to sail with others then I want time each day to gather and tell stories. I want a course where I will regularly see other members of the group that I am sailing with. If I am on my own, then I want to go at my own pace and have the freedom to decide where I go and where I wind up while on the water. I know I could complete the Everglades Challenge in the right boat so the whole Challenge portion doesn't motivate me. Heck, I really would be happier sailing sections of the route myself and just exploring. After the 2011 EC I was even thinking of starting a group with the purpose of getting together and doing cruises in different places. The Florida 120 really reflects my preferences.

Knowing all of this, you can see why my wife was wondering if some sort of mental disease had set in and why I had to articulate why I am doing this.

Why am I doing this then?
Doing the EC in a PuddleDuck actually raises the whole event to something that is a Challenge in my mind thus making it very interesting. I also really enjoy design challenges imposed by enforced restraints including the "filters" for the EC (not sufficient enough in my mind) and the class rules for Puddle Duck racers. Plus, I am doing something new and never before attempted which is very appealing as well. You may be able to tell all of this from how quickly my design and boat came together. My mind loves this type of puzzle and I have been thinking design thoughts almost every waking moment.

I am happy that I have been successful in designing a duck that I can use for the Everglades Challenge. Can it complete the route? Well, given the limitations in speed given by the hull shape it will really all depend upon the conditions God sends my way. Best would be a steady wind from the North regardless of temperature. Worst would be no wind at all as I can't row the boat fast enough to make the checkpoints. This faith is also is a comforting thought that helped me decide to do this challenge...Faith in the fact that the outcome, whatever it is, will be what is best for all involved.

So, how is that for a sappy explanation.

Scott Widmeir

Goat Island Skiff resources


I just wanted to let you know that we are working on a Goat Island Skiff Calendar. The process is working itself out on the GIS Facebook page. Be sure to check out the gallery of photos.

Michael Storer

Another Power Tool Idea

On the new ideas for power tools, I would like a fully thermally insulated electric jug. Imagine the power that would be saved. Going for the second cup of tea and the water is already hot.

Don't miss this boat for sale

Boat and trailer. Bow seat, small galley,  two burner stove and sink, twin beds, head with toilet and sink, large cockpit with full soft enclosure and a screen enclosure as well. Diesel Perkins Perama 3 Cyl 29 Hp does 6 knots.  Stored under cover on the St. John's River in NE Florida.  Call 386 467-8883 - Marianne

Information, Please

Chuck, I would like to get more information on the boat building project in Feburary Reports under the words "A Boat". Is there any chance you could email me the builders first name and email address? Thanks for your help.

Bud: We have lost track of the unsigned letter that delivered the information. Maybe someone out there will help out. Here is a photo:

Heat shrink Dacron with bamboo. Hull - black bamboo (dyed),
Deck-carmalized bamboo veneer. 12' x 23".