‘I build skin on frame boats and make paddles and teach other people how to build skin boats and make paddles. Skin on frame technology may seem like retro technology but in fact is the wave of the future. There’s no technique for building small boats that is faster and uses fewer materials than skin on frame. It is the boat building method of choice in a world of dwindling resources.’
The maiden outing for Dan Noble’s Expedition Mouse seems to have been a little more exciting than anyone intended, but even with two grown men aboard she seems to have coped pretty well. Sailing nearby the Statue of Liberty seems rather exotic from my perspective in Kent, England
I’ve said it before, but boat designers love a builder who follows the plans, builds the boat well and makes good use of it. But even those of us who are lucky in our builders have at least a little nervousness before a launch, for there’s always the danger that something about the boat might not work quite as expected.
Well, Dan Noble’s done a nice job of building the Expedition Mouse, and I seem to have got away with it – as once again one of my little boats has proved to work the way it should. Thanks Dan!
The Expedition Mouse is a stretched 14ft variant of my Mouseboat series of easy and cheap to build designs, but instead of being intended for the pond or river at the end of the road, this one is intended for real trips, perhaps involving camping. Many people would say that she’s an unusual looking craft with a surprisingly large sail are, but there is method in my madness. Her scow shape and hard chine makes her stable enough to stand up to quite a lot of sail, but her entry and exit are sufficiently easy that she’s easy to paddle much like a conventional cruising kayak. Her builder has reported that she while she sails well, she paddles ‘like a dream’.
The plans for the Expedition Mouse are available for free and can be downloaded at the Yahoogroup Mouseboats.