Sunday, December 16, 2012

Floorboards and Crabs

I made some floorboards out of the old Douglass Fir pola beams from the outrigger canoe that I replaced with the new hollow Sitka Spruce ones. I really just wanted to build something on which to test my old fashioned finishing recipe of pine tar, linseed oil, turpentine and japan drier. It turned out pretty well (and stinky). Last weekend my friend Wen and I took the Otter out for another successful crabbing mission. Our beach launch and landing was quite a bit smoother than last time! Here's a photo set of the floorboards and crabs.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

New Decks for the Otter

The old rotten teak decks are gone and the new western red cedar decks are on. I used the off-cuts from the 10'8 cedar longboard I made two years ago. I bedded the decks in 3M 4200 and fastened it down with SS screws. Here are few more photos.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Otter update

My brother and I took out the almost-finished Otter a few weeks ago for opening day of crab season. Luckily there are no photos because our surf launch was far from smooth! Some valuable lessons were learned. All in all we landed our Dungeness limit and had a great feast. The real fun, however, was the midinight crabbing session in the canoe the night before. Four of us paddled from Crissy field under the bridge to Baker Beach and back between 10:00PM and 1:00AM. Very cool experience. Here's a gallery of recent Otter pics.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Progress on the Otter

Gary, Ted and Jonny lent a hand this weekend to bring the Otter back to life in time for the Dungeness Crab season opener in November. After pulling out the old rotten inwales and busted breasthook and transom knees, it was clear that the mahogany outwales were serviceable and actually really nice. So, I decided to "restore" the boat rather than convert it to a work boat. Here are some photos of the progress.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gaviota Coast Adventure

Bart, Kyle and I just returned home from an amazing three-day surf adventure along the Gaviota Coast. Truly spectacular. We paddled in twelve miles with minimal help from the wind, camped two nights on the boat and and then sailed downwind most of the way home before the wind died. I used the small fortress anchor with success and the new Iakos and Pola supported all three tramps perfectly. I've never slept so well.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

15 minutes of fame

Here are the rest of David Fenton's photos from the Sunset Mag photoshoot

Shark Karma

Over the weekend my good friend Marco Seandel caught then released this huge shark from his kayak with a broken rod!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Blasting out of Bolinas

It all fits!

With the new ialkos and pola roughed out I slapped on some sealer and rigged the canoe this weekend in Stinson Beach. It all looked and performed beautifully. I need to make some minor adjustments but nothing major. A keen eye will notice that I've moved away from flexible lashings in favor of stainless steal bolts and 2000lb test webbing. Yikes! It certainly stiffened up the ride. I'm a bit worried about the consequences in the event of a massive load event (i.e. a huge broach or pitch pole). More photos here

Hollow Pola Construction

I made six new Pola. All are hollow and carbon reinforced. The goal is maximum stiffness and minimum weight. The idea is to be able to rig three tramps for sleeping out at anchor. More construction photos here.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Whoops... bought another boat!

Got an outstanding deal on this fiberglass 13'4" Chamberlain Dory Skiff today in Sausalito. Its missing the thwarts and needs some repair to the wood gunwales - both easy jobs. Otherwise, the hull is in great shape. This is a perfect vessel for off-the-beach crabbing and fishing trips.

Iakos set in rough form

The broken wing iako nests nicely with the main iako. I'll probably cut away some of the lower laminates to  lighten the outboard end of the broken wing iako, which has CF cloth between the top two laminates for additional stiffness.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Check out some videos of the canoe in action here:

Iakos continued

Laminated the blocks that will support the broken wing iakos atop the main iakos. These will be glued to the bottom of the broken wings and point them slightly upwards of level with the waterline.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blackhall Skiff

Here ares some action shots of our Long Island Sound sailing aboard the blackhall skiff - name TBD. After some changes to the main sheet geometry and adding a boom to the sail, we've got her moving right along.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

David Fenton Photography

Big thanks to David Fenton who shot this photo of my canoe for a magazine. Check out his other work here and here's the rest of the Sunset Mag shoot.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Boom Jaws

I'm not thrilled with this set-up. Ill probably epoxy it together and glass it for extra strength.

Started making the broken wing Iakos

Resawed a bunch of 3x2 Sitka Spruce. Here's my funky double fence technique. Despite appearances it works great.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

New Boom for the Blackhall

double layer near mainsheet connection

nice wet out

boom jaw man!
I also began the third generation mast for the trusty blackhall skill in Fairfield CT. I gave into the temptation to hide some carbon fiber in the sitka spruce. it should look traditional but will be super stiff. No more boom snapping on long island sound! Per JP Bradley standards the cf is feathered in to disperse the load around the mainsheet connection 2/3 the way along the spar. notice that the boom jaws have a surprise inside as well.

New Iakos Under Construction

 These will be stiffer yet the same weight as the old ones which were made from douglass fir. the new ones are sitka spruce with unidirectional carbon fiber between the 1/4 inch spruce laminates. these are 3in wide by 2 in thick. each of the 5 laminate joints has a 6oz cf layer a foot shorter than the last so the iako should be slightly less stiff on the outboard end.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Some Past Projects

Welcome to my new chronicle of workshop antics and ocean adventures. Here are some photos of past fun. stay tuned. Full photo set here

Alia Surboard

190S ceder hollow core longboard for Kyle Kaufman.  70lbs!

Kahuna Bernie Blesses the canoe


the new ama debuts

TLG at 40