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.
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.’
Hmmm… Howard Rice is about to sail an 11ft 11in Scamp sailing boat south through the Strait of Magellan from Punta Arenas down to the remote Southwest Islands of Tierra del Fuego…
He’s supposed to be setting off today. Great, good luck to him!
I hope he won’t mind my borrowing some of his photos of the loading process. He’ll be carrying three months’ food and who knows how much water, along with everything else.
The boat is designed by John Welsford: the main change to the original design that I can see is that he’s got a two-stick rig. Well you would want a very controllable rig going down to pennyweight sails, wouldn’t you?
Howard’s done this before, as his Wikipedia page shows – that time he rounded the Horn in a sailing canoe equipped with a storm sail measuring only 2sqft – this time he’s got a storm sail of 5sqft.
Follow his progress on John’s weblog, on Howard’s weblog, Howard’s Facebook page, on the Scamp Sailboat Facebook page and doubtless quite a few other places as well.
Read about Scamp and get plans here.
PS – Listen to this interview with Howard on Boat Radio.