The designer grins as the first Julie skiff is built and launched in Florida

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Bill Gay’s Julie skiff

I’m really chuffed today because the great news this morning is that Bill Gay has built and launched the first Julie skiff. From what I can see she still needs some work, including knees at the stern (they’ll add a lot of strength) and the breasthook (which will add some strength and provide a place to attach the essential painter), painting and some drain plugs for the boxed-in areas, but she’s looking good and will look even better (and go faster and further) with the batteries in the middle of the boat.

‘After three weekends of hard work the Julie Skiff saw the flats of the Intercoastal of Fl today. What a great boat. It will be great to fish, clam and camp out of for years to come.’

Thanks for the report and the photos Bill! She looks like a winner to me. To download the plans Bill used to build this 15ft 7in rowing skiff, click here.

Ben Crawshaw’s Light Trow appears in Wooden Boat magazine

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Light Trow built by Ben Crawshaw of The Invisible Boatshed

One of the best Christmas presents for me this year has been the news that Ben Crawshaw’s very nice project Onawind Blue built to my Light Trow design has made the launchings section of the superb US magazine Wooden Boat! Well done Ben – that’s quite an achievement with a first boat, and a plywood one at that.

I originally drew the Light Trow to be built on a strongback, but Ben built his using conventional stitch and glue at my suggestion, and we were both please when it worked perfectly. Some time I’ll revise the plans to eliminate the strongback, but in the meantime you can build the boat the same way using the plans Ben used. The free plans download is here.

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I want to sail a proa on a warm sea…

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Gary Dierking sailing proa

Here I sit in chilly, laid-up England, and for a few minutes I watch YouTube clips like this of Gary Dierking sailing a proa in the warm, far-off antipodes. Would some kind soul please send me there right now? I could write a very nice review, or whatever might be required to persuade someone to pay my fare!

Of course, Amazon has Gary Dierking’s latest book on sale.

In the meantime, don’t forget to buy my book for your favourite budding boatbuilder. Now there are no Wiis left to buy anywhere in the country, my little book must be in with a chance to be the present of the year. Have I mention that four purchasers over at the site have given it five-star reviews? No? Well I have now!

For more from Gary, go to his website

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