OK, before you get all over me about being in the "real" world, just give me a minute to explain ;-)

I bought a set of plans for the Joli boat from Philip Thiel. Unfortunately, this is not the right "season" in my life to really start building a boat. So, should I just wait and dream, or should I make some kind of forward progress?

My intent here is to keep a journal of my progress. I'll be using Google Sketchup to build my virtual boat. I'm sure that along the way I'll run across problems that need solving, trouble keeping on task, and moments of inspiration.

I'll include pictures and video as I progress. Click on any picture if you'd like to see it larger.

Maybe I'm crazy, but follow along and see what you think

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The New Mistress

Yes, I’m courting a new lady, but only as a stepping stone. I’ve really been inspired by Bryan’s Blog about his Micro Shanty. He has designed and is building a neat little 8’ boat with a cabin for overnighting. How fun!

I was also encouraged by a post over on the Puddle Duck Yahoo Group from Bill Giles:

To all you lurkers out there,

I know you have never even thought about building a boat before. It is a really scary thought. And a sailing rig is even worse. What could happen? You could get wet. Do yourself a favor. Cut out 2 sides glue on the front and back, stick the bottom on, mount some oar locks and throw a 1 by board across the top and row what you just created or even use a paddle. The first time you push off from shore in a "boat" of your own creation you will be hooked forever! Understand all of the hard part has already been thought out. This thing works. There are over 300 of them floating around the world and that number is growing rapidly. Jump in with both feet (but not in the boat itself). I promise that no matter what happens you will not regret it. I have met many of the people here and they have told me their stories about the first time. It is worth it. You will never go back. You will amaze yourself. Even Andy Lynn sailed 200 miles in one of these and most people swore he would never go anywhere.

I need a nap now.


While I’ve really enjoyed the thought process in designing and drawing my Joli, I also realize that I want to get on the water. I follow the Oregon Coots vicariously through the internet but I think it’s time to “get real” ;-) They’re having so much fun getting together at various locations for their messabouts.

The Joli is going to be a wonderful shanty cruiser for me. It will have the size and comfort that will make it a great boat for longer trips. However, I’m not willing to wait.

I’m currently reading 3 Years in a 12 Foot Boat by Steve Ladd. This book got me to thinking about what I could do on a smaller scale to get me on the water.

I’ve also been following the exploits of a group of sailors competing in the Texas 200. An amazing feat in any boat, but these guys did it in 8’ Puddle Ducks. Wow! Some might call them real Duck Heroes.

The PDRacer site is jamb packed with information including notes about scaling up the design.

All of the things I’ve mentioned above have led me towards designing and building a 12’ shanty boat. I’m going to call the design a PDCruiser. It will have a center cockpit and will be set up to row, sail, and will include a small auxiliary outboard. The forward cabin will have a full sliding hatch with sides that will slide backwards to enclose the center cockpit. The rear cabin will contain a small galley and other storage. When the hatch is slid backwards, the cabin will be 7’ long, 44” wide, and 42” high at the tallest end.

In case you’re wondering if this virtual boat builder ever gets his hands dirty; Yes, I just finished building our front porch out of recycled cedar deck boards. I just love it!

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