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Ridiculously Good Looking Boats

Photo by Kathy Mansfield

Photo by Kathy Mansfield

Among many others, I have long admired Iain Oughtred’s boat designs.  I found photographer Kathy Mansfield has uploaded this stunning set of photos of a variety of Oughtred’s designs sailing in Scotland.  Recently, I’ve been thinking more about building one of Oughtred’s designs, especially once I found you can purchase kits.  I’m eager to find a boat that can be launched and loaded single handed from a beach(< 250 lbs?), and can hold four people with either two people rowing or enjoying a relaxed sail in Boston Harbor.  I don’t know if this is really possible, but it’s my current fantasy.  Sailing performance can be worse than rowing, but stability it very important, and the ability to handle big wakes and unexpected weather.  Oughtred’s beamier double enders like his Ness Yawl look wonderful.  There is a wide variety of choices in this range, both Oughtred designed and others.  Regardless, these photos are just delicious.

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My kind of side car, my kind of bike


Caillou boats made this cool side car for a tandem bike to hold their sailing kayak.  These guys apparently sell boats in only fancy, expensive stores.  It looks to be a fine boat, though I don’t see much backup to their claim of having “a better small boat.”  It appears to be a 17.5 ft sailing kayak with a dagger board, and a 27 sq ft sail.  I have a easier time believing “a better boat cart.”

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Beach Craft of Brazil

Thanks to a friend Jasmine, I recently got to scan these photographs from Brazil circa 1950 (give or take 10 years).  Her Grandfather was a pilot for Panam, a sailor, and photographer. In one of his trips to Brazil he took these pictures.  I am curious to learn more about the sailboats shown here.  They pair gorgeous exotic sails (at least to my eyes), with a simple rectangular keel-less hull that look almost like lashed rafts of logs that have been cut off to angle the bow.  I am completely taken by this set of photos.  Please post more information and links if you know anything, and I will add updates if I can learn more about this history of this vessel type.  I did learn so far the Praia de Iracema, as written on the image, is in Fortaleza, Brazil.     

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Tiny Boats Depart for Global Domination in Under One Month

That’s right, the Around In Ten race begins in less than 30 days.  It whittled down to three competitors, a Floridian, a Mainer, and Jerusalemite.  These fellows plan to race around the globe in boats smaller than 10 feet in length.  Steve Rinker, the Mainer (dare I say Mainiac? ) is doing the best job of updating the AIT photo gallery.  Here is his boat The Floating Bear in mid November.  


The Floating Bear.  Steve Rinker (November 17, 2008)

The Floating Bear by Steve Rinker (November 17, 2008)

Of course, if I were planning on sailing around the globe in a tiny boat, I would probably doing much more important things that uploading pictures to the internet.  So I thank Steve for sharing, and cant blame the others.  I hope this all actually works out, it will be fun to keep track.  

Speaking of tiny boats, no word on Tom McNally’s new crossing yet, but he was kind enough to actually comment here on this very blog! My first brush with greatness!

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Two Men Cross Pacific on 15,000 Plastic Soda Bottles

©Peter Bennett/Ambient Images (from JUNK blog)   

©Peter Bennett/Ambient Images (from JUNK blog)

This is JUNK, a homebrew boat made of recycled materials, proven in an ocean crossing.  Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal have crossed the Pacific ocean on a raft whose flotation uses the bottle-in-net floatation technique.  In fact, there are 6 individual 30 ft pontoons, lashed together with aluminum masts.  Perched on top is the fuselage of a Cessna airplane as the cabin.  It is square rigged and makes about 2 knots.

» Continue reading “Two Men Cross Pacific on 15,000 Plastic Soda Bottles”

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“Mine is Smaller Than Yours”

Tom McNally and his 3' - 10" vessel, Big C 


Tom McNally and his 3ft.-10in. Vessel, "The Big C"


Until recently, I was oblivious to an ongoing competition of ocean crossings in small boats, very small.  Pictured above is Tom McNally (image from his myspace page) from Liverpool, England.  At age 65, aboard this 3’10″ vessel, The Big C, he is about to attempt a 10,000 miles double-crossing of the Atlantic over about a year and half.  As part of sail 4 cancer, McNally will be raising money to fight cancer while under way (you can donate via the s4c link).

» Continue reading ““Mine is Smaller Than Yours””

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$100 Boat: Start Building One Today

I think I found a class of boat after my heart.  The Puddle Ducker Racer, or PDRacer, was designed by David “Shorty” Routh and members of the Lake Conroe Messabouts in Houston, Texas (circa 2003). It is an adaptation of the Bolger Brick, the Mouse, and similar box boats.  The one pictured is Hull #15 “YoHO” built by Ken Salvage.  As described in a Duck Works Magazine article, the boat was designed as a response to a $50 boat race where cheap creative boats of many materials (including a hot tub) were fun to race, but just one time.   Because you could build a boat from anything, the winning boat would remain the boat with the fastest hull.  The PDRacer takes the fun and creativity of the cheap materials try-anything racing class, and makes it fun to actually race by regulating the shape of lower 10″ of the hull.  It’s a boxy, easy to make shape that looks super fun to sail.  Check a video out after the jump…

» Continue reading “$100 Boat: Start Building One Today”

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Tubing: Quietly Revolutionized in 1950

Cropped from Boat Builders annual


Pint-Sized Sailor.  

Thanks to a letter by Mark Suszko in the latest issue [#15] of Make Magazine, I have learned about a boat design called the Corky designed by David M Swartwout published circa 1950 in Boat Builders Annual.  My lady Hannah and I used to live in Montana, and one of our favorite activities was floating rivers in a inner tube.  I always fantasized about ways to modify the truck inner tube to improve it as a tiny boat.  I was mostly thinking in the category of drink holders, but this Corky sailboat takes it to a whole new level.   » Continue reading “Tubing: Quietly Revolutionized in 1950″

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