Welcome! Here in the Pacific Northwest, the holidays are over and we had a great time visiting with our family. Some of whom came down to inspect our shop, as you can see below. We are busily preparing for the Annual Seattle Boat Show at the end of January as you’ll read below and we hope to see you there. We had a great time over the winter holidays with our family and we hope you did too. Happy New Year! See you at the show!
The little girl inspecting the Navigator is our granddaughter Lena. She’s a real joy and a tough critic of our boats.
Testing the height and feel of the tiller.
Looks like a hollar for another well built boat!
New Sailing Melonseed!
Well the cat is out of the bag! (Or rather the cat boat?) We have decided to bring the Melonseed back to it’s roots and add a deck and a lug sail rig!
In order to give the boat enough freeboard we raised the seat rails and the sheer at the center of the boat by 2 1/2 inches. That’s not a lot of difference but along with some oarlock risers will allow two rowers to use the sliding seats, or to sail.
We looked at a lot of different sail rigs to use in this new boat. From our tried and true marconi rig, to a sprit sail, a sliding gunter to the balanced lug rig. We went with the balanced lug rig because it has good upwind and downwind performance characteristics and it’s very simple to rig and use. A lug sail can be easily reefed, unlike a traditional sprit sail which is more difficult.
One of the primary reasons we chose the balanced lug rig, along with it’s ease of use and potential speed, is that the mast is far forward which will allow the unencumbered use of BOTH sliding seats even when the mast is up. All the requests and comments we received last year were how fantastic it would be to be able to row sliding seat in tandem yet be able to switch to sailing mode instantly when the wind is fair. There is absolutely no other boat we know of anywhere in the world with this feature. Particularly where the sailing and/or rowing functions have little compromise in performance.
The Balanced Lug rig sails well to windward, within a few degrees of a marconi sloop rig and with the slippery hull shape she should move well even in light air conditions. However, in light air it is a fact that rowing directly into the wind is faster than tacking. We want the owners of the Melonseed to be able to use whatever method moves their boat to it’s best ability quickly and simply.
Here is the sketch of the rig and the lines from which we drew the hull.
This is the forms being laid out for the new seats and the centerboard.
A closeup of the enclosed cockpit in the bow.
A closeup of the enclosed cockpit in the stern sheets.
A long view of the whole boat plug.
Well this boat looks hot! If you want to be first in line, give us a call. If you just want to let your jaw drop come check out our booth at the boat show where we will have our newest boat on display!
If this boat sounds like just the boat you’ve been hunting for, give us a call and you can be the first owner of a very custom sailing Melonseed! Contact Us!
Well we have following Erden on his website, who has been rowing right at the equator in the Pacific Ocean. He’s wondering if the wind and currents will let him cross. It’s been very frustrating for him but we can tell that he’s determined to push on come what may. On the positive side his equipment and food seem to be holding up. Although recently he’s been sponging out the cabin bilge due to small leak a the control wire to his rudder. Nothing serious but it is anoying to be damp everywhere.
As you read Erden’s logs you can see that he’s very dedicated but seems to miss human company. It’s also amazing the wilingness of the birds to trust him enough to sleep on his boat. There have been a number which appear to have been glad of a chance to land and rest a night or so.
You can follow his trip here http://www.around-n-over.org
Black Noddy Tern
One of Erden’s new boat buddies, a white tipped shark!
A Red footed Booby
We are vicariously enjoying Erden’s trip and welcome his regular updates. If you enjoy them as much as we do, be sure to sign up for the notifications on his website.
If you can afford to give a donation to his trip, we are sure that it will be very much appreciated. He’s been on the ocean for 6 months now and we have no doubt that he will complete his journey. It’s also very evident from his journal updates that he knows how much he owes to all of his sponsers who have helped him along on this journey.
We will continue to provide updates in our newsletters as we receive updates from Erden.
Roz Savage Rows the Pacific!
Roz Savage is currently a land bound lass having fun dog sledding! Is a polar expedition in her future? We will again resume our reporting on her Pacific Ocean rowing adventure in the spring of 2008 when she plans to make a second go of it.
You can of course go directly to her website and sign up for updates. And as we hear from Roz we will add stuff to our newsletters. Roz Savege Rows the Pacific
From our Mailbag
Our Mailbag again has been overflowing so we’re sure you will enjoy reading about these adventures as much as we have.
Remember the Westwind? December 2006 Newsletter. The Westwind is the wonderfully restored 1924 wooden power yacht for which we built the custom Jersey skiff tender last year. Well, their dream trip is very definitely coming through! Check these photos from Wakaya Island Hugh included a short handwritten note saying how much they are enjoying the Jersey skiff and has given us permission to use these photos. He will send more photos as the trip progresses.
The Jersey Skiff on a nice beat in the cove.
A beat back to the beach on a beautiful day.
Boy are we double dog envious of this trip! Check back in the future newsletters for more photos as they come to us.
This fellow used to row lifeguard type boats on the East Coast. Sounds like fun, chasing whales in a 17. rowboat, huh? 17. Jersey Skiff, open version, no frills.
I have been using the rig five days a week for four to five miles a day. We were close to whales once. They are not many here yet. It was more than exciting to get around some whales in that little boat. Sometimes I wish I went with the dory but I really have gotten used to the skiff so it works well for us and I am really happy with it. It is rough enough occasionally they you appreciate the length, it does not hop like my little boat in NJ. We are using eight and halfs in the stern and nine and halfs in the bow with narrow blades in the bow for E. and I have the wider carlise blades in the stern. She is nowhere near as strong so the narrow blades make up a lot of the difference and I take longer strokes so the eight and halfs make that compensation work as well.
Anyway thanks again for building a nice boat. I was thinking about getting a ladder so I can get out of the boat on some of the outer reefs, the ones off kihei are really clear and I can see they would be good for lobster spearing.
West maui mountains in background.
More of the West maui mountains.
My wife is rowing from the front position.
Me rowing from the back position.
These photos are off kihei, no close ups of whales though Dave, if we get some good shots with your boat and the whales I will be sure to send them to you.
While visiting Port Townsend we spotted one of our dinks on top of this motorboat, so we stopped by to chat. Harold of the boat Shadow was visiting for the week and had a lot of nice things to say about his Gig Harbor Whitehall.
The first thing he said, was what a great boat the Whitehall was, and that he’d owned it for 12 years and was still using the same rain cover! That sunbrella is good fabric for boat covers. Harold metioned that he also owned a motor launch and when he carried that boat, he put the Whitehall inside of it with a custom mounting bracket. Three dinghy sure has him covered for any type of boating he might need.
Here’s Harold on the aft deck.
A view of the boat with two of the three dinghies they carry.
A closeup of the deck mounts.
Harold and his wife often make the trip up to Port Townsend for the weekend. It’s a nice little jaunt and a break from the daily routine.
So that’s all the news for now. We hope to hear from you soon. We’ll be busy working on our next newsletter as well as your boats. So if email is slow, please call.