Welcome statement

Welcome to my blog on the building and sailing of a Goat Island Skiff (GIS). Join us on the Michael Storer Wooden Boat Plans forum or on Facebook, where the community of Storer Boat builders, owners, and admirers share their ideas, experiences, and watery hi-jinx.

If you are new to this blog, start at the beginning by selecting the oldest date in the blog archive located in the left-hand column. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

20th Annual WoodenBoat Show, Mystic, Connecticut

I attended the WoodenBoat Show in Mystic, Connecticut, this weekend and had an absolute blast!  My primary mission was to get up close and personal with a real live Goat Island Skiffs.  Once I learned that Michael Storer would be attending, I cleared my calendar and made this trip a top priority.

It was an honor and a pleasure to meet the GIS designer, especially alongside a GIS in progress.  It was a very encouraging sign that I had to wait my turn to meet Michael as he was busy talking to seriously interested potential builders.  Go Goat!  Here I am with my father chatting it up with MIK.

I'm sure I said something quite witty...

Explaining to my Dad the purpose of the two mast positions in this yawl version of the GIS

I was actually not expecting to see this particular GIS, knowing that it's builder, Clint Chase, had plans to be quite busy in the Family Boat Building event.  Thankfully, he chose to display his in-progress Goat alongside an example of the Eric Risch-designed Echo Bay Dory Skiff that was being built in the Family Boat Building tent.

Visit Clint's website! Buy his stuff!

Thankfully, the reason Clint's build is still in progress is because he is busy with real work!  I caught up with him in the big tent where he was guiding several customers in the construction of Echo Bay Dory Skiffs.  When I mentioned my love of the Vivier-designed Ebihen, he quickly shared his recent experience in France sailing it and other Vivier boats.  Clint assures me that an Ebihen would make a fine addition to the fleet!  Sadly, my photographer was not nearby to capture me shaking hands with Clint.

Nor did he capture my encounter with the inimitable--some might say infamous--Christophe, aka Callsign222.  His attendance was another surprise (to me) and I was very glad to meet the intrepid owner, builder, and captain of the sailing vessel I Am Zinea, Pterodactylus.  His exploits are legendary--epic even--and are chronicled in his blog, Goat Island Skiff Amateur Style which the reader will find linked to the right of this scribbling.  I highly recommend visiting his blog for the sheer entertainment value as well as a thorough and extremely helpful log of his GIS build.  I only regret we could not spend more time getting to know one another.  Alas, there was much more to see such as...

Another beautiful Goat Island Skiff!

Paul of Connecticut displayed his GIS in the Built It Myself exhibit, committing to attending all three days and remaining available with his craft for visitors to ask questions.

Owner/builder Paul with his handiwork
Paul, too, is still working to finish his vessel.  However, he burned much late night oil to get his hull finished in time for the show.  Still to come is the sail part of Paul's sailboat.  We wish Paul all the best in his efforts to launch sometime this year.  Paul has threatened to come and check on my progress, so I might need to look busy soon...  Paul's choice of black hull really offsets the brightwork and makes the grain POP.  Something to consider indeed.

The author pontificates...
Another Storer design was present in the form of a Quick Canoe Electric under the Family Boat Building tent.  This is an evolution of his Quick Canoe design to accommodate a trolling motor on a small transom.  These Quick Canoes are intended to be inexpensive builds suitable for a couple of seasons of use rather than heirloom quality crafts.  Here MIK explains the benefits of tape as an alternative to traditional copper stitching.

Other Family Boat Building projects:

There was way too much to see in an afternoon.  It was, after all, a three-day event. Here are a few select images of all the beautiful boats gathered:


Many thanks to my photographer, brother, and captain of the sailing vessel Bag Of Tricks, Rick LaFontaine.  Please respect his work by not pirating his images.  If you have occasion to make copies of these photos, please give him credit as he has worked hard to deserve it.

My apologies to all the boat owners whose vessels appear here without a citation.  I will gladly add whatever information is made available.

I hope to see YOU next year at the WoodenBoat Show with my own Goat Island Skiff on display!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The ol' Spars and Stripes

Not that they're finished, but I can honestly say I have three spars.  As most of you know, there is nothing quite like holding a smooth solid piece of wood that you've shaped your self.  Very rewarding.  I have high hopes for these sticks and I'm very happy with how they're coming along.

^^The intersection of multiple hunks of wood

I have fiberglass cloth to wrap the bottom end of the mast but my order of tape is on hold for now (TX200 takes priority for the Duckworks folks).  I'll spend a few nights hand sanding just to knock down little bumps and such.  Then 'glass and coats of 'pox.  I think I'm going to look for some brass tubing to line the lashing holes a la Alzuger of Brooklyn.

My next phase will be foils.

Friday, June 17, 2011

When the wind don't blow...

...ya better be ready to row.

While I'm still in the mode of making the supporting cast for my Goat Island Skiff, I've turned my attention to an important piece of safety gear: oars.  Michael Storer has a free set of plans for a 9' set of oars, a size he finds to be well suited to the GIS.  But his plans call for plywood spoons and I'm not ready to do that yet so I surfed around for other free plans.  Jim Michalak, a well known and highly respected designer, has an essay on rowing theory in which he includes simple plans for oars.  I found it with Google, but here is a link to his newsletter site where one can probably find this and other great writings: Jim Michalak's Boat Designs

His plan is for 7' oars, so I distributed two additional feet from the pivot point outward.

I think the rest of the pics are pretty self explanatory.  Mark boards, cut on the lines.  Use the off fall to add thickness, glue up the lamination.  There will be extensive shaping, but I still need to glue up the second oar.

Next up: more spar work.