A carvel-built Mouse in Vietnam

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Here’s a surprise – a carvel-built The Edge member of the Mouseboat family being built in Nha Trang, Vietnam by Jacques Molinari.

I don’t normally write about Mouseboats here. They’re simple little boats intended to be made from plywood that I designed years ago for people without either money or skills who wanted to construct a little boat and get afloat. In fact, the first Mouseboat was originally designed for teenagers and children to make!

I’m delighted that some of the Mouse family designs have been very popular, but although some have been built to very high standards and many have been used for purposes very far from my original conception, I don’t generally see them as belonging on a weblog that focuses on boats that either are traditional, or which include a clear traditional element, and which also likes to celebrate old-fashioned rather than new-fashioned craftsmanship – so they rarely feature at intheboatshed.net.

But this particular scow-bowed spritsail Mouse is an exception, for it isn’t being built by stitch and glue, not least because plywood is difficult to obtain in Nha Trang. In the absence of the dimensionally stable and easy to work 20th century wonder material Jacques has clearly used the offsets from the plans, and is building his boat in the traditional way. He plans to be in the water in December, after the hurricane season is over.

Great good luck Jacques!

I’m greatly looking forward to seeing how this project goes; it’s terrific to see this boat being built in this way, and The Edge is one of my favourite Mouseboat designs, even if it hasn’t been built as often as some of the others.

For other stories relating to Mouseboats at intheboatshed.net click here.

If you’d like to join the Mouseboats forum and download the plans, click here.

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A new model of the Sunny skiff

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Sunny skiff model – download both model-making and full-scale plans here

I’ve been happy today to hear from a reader who has made a model of the Sunny skiff that she has been working on and has kindly sent them over. The model maker described the little boat as ‘a thing of beauty’, so I you can probably imagine I was very chuffed indeed.

I’m always pleased to see shots of models of my designs, so if anyone else has any to share, please send them over! I’m at gmatkin@gmail.com.

This boat is designed to be built using the stitch and glue technique – if you haven’t done this before you might be interested in my book Ultrasimple Boat Building: 17 Plywood Boats Anyone Can Build Sunny skiff 14ft plywood flattie plans or one of the other books on this topic available from Amazon Sunny skiff 14ft plywood flattie plans.

New low-power skiff sketches and model drawings

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New sketch for intheboatshed.net 470

Low-power skiff, at 24 Oct 2009

Working on the low-power skiff I’m drawing for my friend (who wisely chooses to be anonymous) today: 15ft 4in by 4ft 8in, intended for 4-5hp.

Please let me know if your interested using the comment link below, or even if you can see some fatal flaw before it’s too late!!! Be aware that this isn’t meant to be a planing hull – at this power (specified by my ‘customer’) a semi-planing hull form seems a more sensible option. It was his low-power specification that has made the project interesting, and worth the several days I’ve spent on it – I think we need more designs to be created specifically to meet the needs of the expensive oil era.

It would be great if a few builders were to make use of the plans once they are complete. For now however, we have the wherewithal to make a model – which will hopefully keep some of you interested.

The drawings to make a model of this little skiff are in the pdf files below:

Model parts skiff part 1 200910

Model parts skiff part 2 200910

The main frames – frames nos 1,2 and 3 align with the lines marked on the chines. The positions of all other framing, seating and decking components are defined by cut-outs on the main frames, fore and aft lengths of thwartsm decking and chine line.

Full-size plans are to follow. I’m thinking about a small cuddy or shelter, btw.

See the latest posts on this project.

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