Orchid Islanders launch a new canoe

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Orchid Islanders launch a new canoe

Orchid Island canoes. Photo by Caroline Gluck

Dig these fabulous canoes from Orchid Island!


A successful first adventure for the paddling and sailing expedition boat Expedition Mouse

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A successful first adventure for the paddling and sailing expedition boat Expedition Mouse

https://intheboatshed.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/dsc_0060-1024.jpg https://intheboatshed.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/dsc_0060-1024.jpg A successful first adventure for the paddling and sailing expedition boat Expedition Mouse

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.

A busy yard with some great projects to its name – and many more to come

Newson’s boatyard stands by Oulton Broad in Lowestoft, Suffolk – that is, right on the East Coast of England and at the gateway to the Norfolk Broads.

Restoration is only one part of the company’s business, for it is also a boatbuilder in wood, steel and fibreglass, makes masts, and undertakes surveys and engine installations. Nevertheless, Newson’s has surely done some terrific boat and yacht restoration projects of various sizes, and the company has kindly promised to let us publish some of their photos over time.

Just for a start, though take a look at the William & Kate Johnston (pictured below), and then take a look around for a taste of what’s to come from this yard:

This is where it is:

Launched in 1923, William & Kate Johnston was designed as a prototype lifeboat by James R. Barnett, Consulting Naval Architect to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and at the time of her launch she was the largest lifeboat in the world at 60ft in length. She was built with a double diagonal teak hull by J. Samuel White and Co at Cowes. For more on her:

If you would like to see your yard, project or boat listed here, please email us at gmatkin@gmail.com . There’s no charge, and no catch.

William & Kate Johnston