Happy New Year! Here’s to a better 2022, filled with fun boating adventures! Not to be forgotten, 2021 gave us a beautiful snowy Christmas day in Port Townsend, trimming our boat barn/workshop in white. Not that we could forget 2021. It was a wreck.
I somewhat aimlessly created this website a year ago. The desire for it had been fermenting for about five years, or maybe festering is more accurate. Because after all that time I had no clear idea why anyone would want to read yet another personal boating website. Sometimes though, action, any action, is better than stagnation. I was good and sick of thinking about it. So I forced some wet noodle ideas through the word press, and shared a few articles. Then, after summer, life got in the way, and I did very little boating or boat projects.
I am glad I pushed forward with creating this website though. The stories have been well received, and crowbarring it out of my noodle bowl must have freed up space, because I now have a clear plan for many projects and adventures to share in 2022 that I think you will both and enjoy and may even find useful. And it is damn exciting!
2022 Boat Building Projects
Skerry Boom Tent Construction
The first boating project of the year will be finishing sewing up the boom tent for my Skerry dinghy, that is about 80% done. I had bought a 70 year old Necchi BU sewing machine for $70, that works like new and is a mechanical work of art. Man I wish products were made like this today, that last a lifetime or more.
Speaking of Skerry projects, at some point in the summer I made a new rudder arm for the boat. The old one had a clunky universal joint that the tiller handle attached to. A neighbor had given me a nice stick of Purpleheart that I whittled a new arm from. It now rotates in a waxed hole in the head of the rudder. The arm is also a few inches longer, giving more tiller leverage. All and all it is a much more elegant solution that works great. I have to thank Eric Hvalsoe and Ben Fuller for helpful suggestions on this project. I pretty much copied a tiller on Eric’s Havalsoe 16‘, right down to the wood species. Although Eric does not use a bolt connecting the tiller handle and arm.
Hummingbird 16 Rowboat Design & Construction
I have been dreaming about building some sort of Adirondack Guideboat for a long time. I have a specific need for a very lightweight fixed seat rowboat that I can cartop myself, and which can handle our local conditions. My friends Rob & Allison visited this summer, and gave me plans for their gorgeous 16′ guideboat, which I considered building in cedar strip, since I lack their extraordinary skills to build one traditionally.
But I always seem to want things that don’t yet exist, so of course I decided to design my own boat, currently named the Hummingbird 16. The design pulls heavily from guideboats, with a bit of St. Lawrence River Skiff thrown in. I will finish the design work, loft it full size, and get to building it this winter/spring. It will have a cedar strip hull, and marine ply decks and bulkheads. Although it may seem somewhat similar to my Skerry, it is going to be a pure rowing boat, and much lighter at 60 pounds or less, with a 38″ beam, using heavily overlapped oars. It will be a fragile, fast, capable little thing, with a small sail for downwind use. It will have big sealed tanks under the decks allowing me to bail and re-enter it after a capsize. Like a peapod, it will be fully double ended. With a second person aboard, the boat will be rowed the other direction, using the same single set of oarlocks. Moveable ballast will likely be used for trim when alone.
Refurbish Rosborough 246
I will also be putting up for sale our Rosborough 246 power boat. It needs refurbishing, paint and a motor. It will be a good opportunity for someone who can do a bit of work themselves, as the market for these used boats has gone through the roof in the last few years. If I don’t quickly find a buyer, I will start refurbishing it myself and then sell it.
Lavro Dory Cabin Build & Repower
Finally, depending on when the Rosborough sells, I will start will start building a new cabin for my Lavro Sea Dory and re-powering it. I recently decided to give it a West Coast style windshield, angled toward the stern at the bottom, for a variety of practical reasons. They shed rain and spray better, greatly reduce windshield glare, and provide more headroom, which is important in this tiny cabin. I will also be powering it with a newer 50 or 60 horsepower four stroke outboard.
I am also going to remove the odd spray rails in the stern, and replace them with a full length chine flat that widens out in the stern. I will also be extending the hull in the outboard well, and adding a removable plug behind the motor, to increase planing surface. These changes should improve a number of quirks in the boat’s performance.
2022 Small Adventures
2022 Small Boat Adventures Guides
In 2022 I will return to exploring and writing some useful small boat adventure guides for the Port Townsend area. There are a lot of folks who don’t explore as much as they would like to in their small boats. They don’t know where to go, what to expect, and have safety concerns about the strong currents, and other potential dangers. These guides will help with all of that.
Go Boating Once A Week
Friend Bruce Bateau in his excellent 48° North article writes “My boat is my mental health plan”, and I could not agree more. A day of boating grounds me, and gives positive mental benefits that I can feel for a week. So I am going to try and get out at least once a week in 2022. That will not be difficult in the warmer months, but more challenging in the winter. For example, New Years Day, members of our local Pocket Yachter’s group want to gather on Rat Island, a great way to welcome the new year. In the past it is has often been a cold but clear and beautiful day. But currently the weather shows 13mph winds out of the south, and nearly freezing temps. In my little Skerry that means beating into the wind and wet chop to reach Rat Island. If the wind is stronger than forecast it could be dang cold, if not deadly. I am on the fence.
Work Ethic On Steroids Or Delusional Fool?
Will I get all of the above done in 2022, in addition to my other business work? Almost surely not. My big brawny dreams are always way too big for my scrawny little work ethic jeans. Most likely I will tear myself a new one for not getting enough done while simultaneously consoling myself that a good life is more than work, and that I will never, ever, get it all done.
So stay tuned. And may your 2022 be full of small boating fun!
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