Visit to Duck Flat Wooden Boats in Adelaide.

I used to work at DuckFlat many years ago. Now they are one of my main Australian plans agents. I visited them in Adelaide. Photo and text of a fast plywood trimaran, 40ft steam liveaboard boat, kayak, rowboat and a Hartley Powerboat restoration

A week fast building two Quick Canoes for touring the Loire in France – Part 1

The above photo was taken on the third day of our Canoeing trip on the Loire River in France. The two black canoes didn’t even exist a week ago. When I wrote the original article on Disposable Canoeing I had no idea at all what it would lead to me and a bunch of adventurers, wine and cheese connoisseurs. Most of us didn’t even know each other! The picture above is the result of this adventurism, but what happened to make it happen? What technology was involved to make the boats faster to build than most stitch and glue boats and what weather conditions did we have to overcome to make it all happen.

How much fiberglass will prevent most damage to my ply or timber canoe or sailing dinghy?

How much fibreglass is really necessary to prevent damage to a plywood boat for most users? For a long time I’ve been suspicious that both designers and builders are in a never ending spiral of more and more heavier fibreglass. I argue, with data from the Turner designed Jarcat, that the weights of glass are clearly excessive for most uses and users of small boats.

Taking videos on board sailing boats using a boom camera

Cameras, digicams, video cameras are fun on boats, but it is hard to get good pics of yourselves sailing the boat or the boat doing its stuff nicely. John Goodman and Family built their Goat Island Skiff GIR and sailed it in the Texas 200 event as well as some solo river cruising. They used a camera boom to great advantage – to move the camera away from the boat. Another alternative is a wide angle lens which can produce dramatic effects for marine photography but the toom seems much more useful. It works well with the steadying of anti-shake electronics.

Sailboats and canoe hire on the Murray Lakes – an hour from Adelaide.

My friends Rob and Jane Hylton run sailing boat and canoe hire on some of my favourite sailing waters – the lower Murray Lakes – just an hour south of Adelaide. The boat hire is quite cheap but linked with you overnight staying in the small town of Clayton Bay – on the edge of the Murray River. There are a number of different options. My favourite is a tent or an on site caravan on the river’s edge camping area. But there are classier (?) options as well. Low season is quite cheap and the days down there can be very beautiful in winter with a good weather report. They also offer sailing lessons which can include a picnic and/or a tour of the fascinating Murray wetlands.

What I was busy with last week – building a Quick Canoe

I built the Quick Canoe in a day and a half. This is way slower than some of my customers. It is the first time I have been disappointed building a complete boat this quick. The risk of high expectations! But a day and a half with the problems I had is pretty good.

The two plywood canoes in my range – How to choose.

This page compares the two plywood canoes in my range. Both have detailed plans and are simple to build. The page is to explain the differences and to help potential builders see if one of the boats suits their needs. Lots of links to pictures, build articles and even videos. The cla

Minimal repairs to keep an old Mirror plywood sailing dinghy going

Melanie in the UK wrote to me. She has just bought an old Mirror dinghy and started sailing for the first time. Problem is that the boat leaks and she doesn’t want to stop using the boat until the end of the season. I have a philosophy of keeping older boats on the water and not pulling them off for months on end until you have the time to do the job. So the article here is useful to see what can be done with an old leaky plywood sailing dinghy to keep it going. It is perfect sailing weather at the moment in the UK and it is better she is out there learning but with the worst of the leaks gone. With a disciplined approach she should be able to get all of this done in a week or so. The general leaks fixed permanently and the rotted area reinforced so that the boat won’t break.

New plywood “Quick Canoe” plan builds in as little as 4.5 hours (or a couple of weekends)

The plywood “disposable” canoe (see here) has been renamed the more salubrious “Quick Canoe”. I quite liked the name of “Disposable Canoe” but I agreed with the critique that it hinted at something that was poor quality rather than simple and Easy. It has been designed to be as easy to build as possible while keeping some of the qualities of a good paddling canoe – in particular the ability to track.

Podcast Online – Wooden Boat Construction by Michael Storer – 2 of 3

This is the second of my talks in the USA. It focuses a bit more on construction and some of the methods that can be used to keep a boat light and simple, but very strong and stiff. It also discusses how there is a “creep” in boatbuilding and design that increases the weight of boats way over what is really needed for a strong structure.

Q&A – gluing endgrain – including Plywood and Scarfs

Gluing Endgrain Gluing timber end grain with epoxySee drawing of endgrain right.. The basic problem is that end grain is highly absorbent so it can steal the resin from the join leaving insufficient for good bonding.  The trick … is to feed the end grain some mixed resin before the glue mix is put on […]

Q&A – Keep epoxy warm for good handling – Lightbox

There are huge advantages in keeping the epoxy at a slightly raised temperature. * It flows out better onto the work * It mixes easier * The curing kicks off faster in cold weather (and the box can easily only be turned on when needed. There are huge advantages in keeping the epoxy at a […]

Q&A – Should I use coarse sandpaper on timber or ply to make the epoxy stick.

There  was the suggestion that very coarse sandpaper was the best to use on a timber surface to ensure good bonding when gluing or fiberglassing the surface. This is not recommended – the following explains why. There  was the suggestion that very coarse sandpaper was the best to use on a timber surface to ensure […]