Boats and boating are such a blessed relief from the woes and divisions of the world. So an email from Gerard Mittelstaedt about a bunch of kids building Mouseboats at Farley Boat Works at Port Aransas, Texas (it’s not far from Corpus Christi) had me grinning from ear to ear, as emails like this /always/ do. Thanks Gerard!
The Mouseboat design they used was the flat-bottomed Mini-mouse, which may now be the most popular version. Here’s what Gerard says about the project:
‘It was great fun. My wife, Mona, and I assisted… It was a 180 mile drive from our home in McAllen, Texas to do this… and well worth it. I’ve put a web page up celebrating the event.
‘A good time was had by all and the launching was very celebratory.
‘Mona, a retired teacher of the very young, noted that the children participating were amazingly well behavedand managed to finish and enjoy the project and the launch. It was amazing how well the children took to water… like little ducklings paddling along with great joy.’
If you’re in the area or can be, two youth boat building sessions at Farley Boat Works are scheduled for Summer 2017.
For Mouseboat plans, see the plans page here on Intheboatshed.net.
Boat designer John Owles has written to say that he has set up a new website, Summer Boat Design.
John has had a lifetime with boats: he learned to sail at the age of six years and spent childhood summers exploring the creeks of North Norfolk, and has since had a working life as a professional seaman and boat builder working with many kinds of vessels.
He’s done a lot of traditional wooden boat building, including designing and producing small traditional dinghies, designing sailing rigs, and repairing classic yachts, smacks, bawleys and a German WW2 schnellboot (E-boat).
He’s been going through his old plans and re-working them digitally – which meand they can be cut using form. Being digitised, many of the components can be CNC cut, which makes construction much easier and quicker. He says:
‘After consuming considerable quantities of midnight oil, I have re-drawn, in digital form, a number of my archive of previously hand drawn traditional ‘sail & oar’ boat designs.
‘We will be building two of these designs, Owlet and Windchime, commencing in a couple of weeks’ time.’
He’s promised to send pictures when the two boats are completed.
Oxfordshire-based Philip Burton is building a Julie skiff – and once it’s done we’re naturally very much looking forward to being able to call by to see it in action on the river. Here’s what he says:
‘I have spent the last few months building my first boat which I choose to be a Julie skiff.
‘I live in Oxford uk and I’m sure you will be aware that the river Thames runs right through our beautiful university city, so I’m really looking forward to getting the boat in the water very soon.
‘I am very impressed how easy it was to follow your plans and the basic hull came together relatively quickly, and I learned a lot about stitch and glue and fibreglass techniques.
‘I used 6mm marine ply and I was quite surprised by how much it weighed, and also how much it blunted my planes and chisels. But I guess that’s the price to pay for using ply that will last a long time in wet and soggy conditions.’