boats (134)

Small, Flat-bottomed Sailboat

“It was the dream of returning to those simple pleasures that inspired thoughts of S.C.A.M.P. (Small Craft Advisor Magazine Project). That and a persistent desire to go over “there” – that place we often see but are unable to reach. It seems to happen on every cruise. Never mind that we’re usually sailing the smallest boat around for miles, we always come upon some ultra-shallow lagoon or serpentine tidal stream that disappears into the reeds, trees and rushes. To get in there – to really commune with nature – a boat needs to be light, shallow and easily propelled – and preferably flat-bottomed in case we decide to stay right though the ebb.”

Sent us by Lynne

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Kayak Made from Recycled Bottles in Argentina

“Industrial engineer Federico Blanc had a dream to float down Argentina’s gorgeous Parana River on a recycled kayak, and his vision recently came to fruition! Blanc collected dozens of plastic soda bottles and glued them together to create his fantastic blue kayak. Simple, strong and eco-friendly, this boat can carry up to 2 people plus a cooler for when the rafters get hungry.”

From Inhabitat

Sent us by Godfrey Stephens

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David Shipway’s Rebuilt 23\′ Sailboat

Canadian master builder David Shipway was one of the featured carpenters in Builders of the Pacific Coast. Here’s the latest:

“Hi Lloyd,

In between various small house projects I finally got this rebuild of a 23ft catboat finished and back in the water in time for a late summer on the Salish Sea. She was one of Bill Garden’s favourite designs with a strong fibreglass hull which made the boat well worth restoring, a vintage 7hp hand-crank Volvo diesel, a cedar and fir double-berth cabin with a forward galley, a few choice bits of locust, nazareno and bronze, but more paint than varnish. A simple classic 3 ton cruiser for inside waters with a 10ft beam and a big centerboard, she can handle an insanely huge gaff sail that will get lashed on as soon as I’ve strung up some new lazyjacks.

 ~david shipway, cortes island”

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Horseneck Clams, Seaweed, Door Latch

On Sunday I took my little (12′) aluminum boat (15 hp 2-stroke Evinrude) up to Tomales Bay to go clamming. A couple of near disasters: Backing up with a trailer has always been a problem for me; you have to turn the truck in an opposite direction from from your instincts to angle the trailer correctly. So after much travail and embarrassment (all the other boat launchers did it perfectly), I got my boat trailer down the ramp and boat in water. After parking returned to find 6″ of water in the boat. Forgot to put drain plug in. Estúpido numero dos. Bailed it out, headed for clam beds. The bay is beautiful, sandy beaches reachable only via water.

Sign made of license plates on Grandi Building in Pt. Reyes Station

   This was my first foray with my clam gun, and I ended up getting 7 horse necks and one Washington. The gun is a piece of 4″ PVC pipe with a handle and plunger that pumps mud out and gets you down to the clam without doing a lot of shoveling. This week I’m gonna practice backing up trailer in a parking lot. I’m upping my intake of food from the sea (including seaweed) these days.

Left: nifty door latch of plumbing parts in Fertile Grounds coffee shop this morning in Berkeley

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Two Boats

The spiffy sailboat was anchored in Coupeville. The big boat is one of 1000s of boats in drydock in Anacortes, which is a boat wonderland. This morning I’m heading over to SunRay Kelley’s place near Cedro Woolley to photograph the latest in his prolific building career, then tomorrow to Puyallup for the Mother Earth News Fair. James Brown now playing in the bakery, Poppa’s Got a Brand New Bag. He ain’t no drag…

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Monday Morning Musings

Off the Clock I ran — well, ambled over — the Dipsea Trail last week with my running buddies. I started real early. It was the first time in 20 years I’ve run the (7+) mile course without a certain amount of stress and a definite amount of pain. The upside, of course, is the beauty of the trail and the lore and romance of the race. We all had fine dinners at the Parkside in Stinson Beach (they have a knockout inky black porter on tap), gemütlicheit of all these healthy people.

  I was forced to quit by knees that would no longer take the hard downhills (where I had to make up for being a slow uphill runner). Being forced into racing retirement has huge benefits. Running, if I do now, for the joy of it. Off the clock. No hurry, no need to train, hey, there’s a lot of other stuff to do!

Look Where You Want To Go This is what a pro mountain biker told me. Meaning when you’re say, going fast downhill in rough terrain, look at where you want your front tire to go, don’t look at the immediate foreground. Look ahead and your body will make the adjustments and get you there. Same principle in life. Focus on where you want to go and by golly, you’ll usually get there. Athletes know this.

Our Next TWO Books I’m starting on Water and Wheels: Tiny Homes On the Move as soon as I get back from this (my last) PR road trip. I’m going to start the book with mobile units by one guy — tent, dogsled, umiak, sailboat, birchbark canoes, road van — all created from scratch by Mark Hansen, a prolific and remarkable builder living on the shores of Lake Superior.

  The second book, due to a flash yesterday, will maybe be on Small Homes, say under 1000 sq.ft. We’re starting to collect info, so if you know of unique home in this category, please leave a comment with yr. email address and we’ll be in touch. It’s either a book like this, or a second tiny homes book. Just have to see what shakes out.

My Last Tiny Homes Roadshow Trip I’m leaving tomorrow morning for Seattle, renting a car, hoping to both go to a somewhat remote hot springs and then to SunRay Kelley’s Sedro Woolley compound to photograph his latest works, if time, out to Anacortes, to check out aluminum fishing boats (in the 15′ range), then drive to Puyallup to do a slide show at the Mother Earth News Fair at 4 PM on Saturday June 2d, then Sunday to NYC for the annual Book Expo America and a slide show at the v. cool Spoonbill and Sugartown bookstore in Brooklyn, Wed. June 6 at 7 PM. I’m so excited to be going to NYC; it’s been a 40-year love affair. When the cab hits 2nd, 3rd avenues my pulse starts racing. Absolutely station central. I’ll be blogging up a storm from there.

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Paul’s Row/Sail Boat


Paul Clark’s  homebuilt 16′ row/sail boat in Victoria. The hull without any equipment weighs about 150 pounds. Paul has a leeboard on the starboard side. (With a centerboard  he wouldn’t be able to sleep in the boat — which he does). He’s rowed and sailed in local (Vancouver Island) waters and has gone on trips of a week or more. He and Godfrey are talking about sailing across the Strait of San Juan de  Fuca in September,  Godfrey in his 12′ San Francisco Pelican, to go to the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival (Sept 7-9.)

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A Boatbuilders’ Tools

Godfrey’s friend Cos is getting ready to build a wooden 58′ cruising ketch, based on plans from 1926. The hull will be Douglas Fir milled by Cos and joints will be caulked with oakum — old school. Above is a huge ship’s saw. The old table saw below has two blades, either of which can be cranked into position. It operate smoothly.

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