The New Season Begins

Three skin-on-frame canoes,one stitch and glue kayak and one skiff. 

Moulds set up for the skin-on-frame canoes

The parts of the Jimmy Skiff, from Chesapeake Light Craft

Glue-up of the 'puzzle-joints' on the Chesapeake LT17




Late October Paddle

My 'regular route'.  From the river access near Bartholomew's Cobble, north through the little riffle under the 7A railroad bridge and up to my geocache under Rte 7.  Dropped some frames trying to capture the trip upstream; it was pretty shaky.


Early evening paddle on fast moving flood waters

The Housatonic is in full flood again.  Maybe not spring conditions, but plenty of water is going over the dam.
I paddled up to the Hollenbeck from the dam parking lot and up the Hollenbeck as far as the railroad bridge at Point of Rocks Road.  Cool trip.  I had to maneuver around a few strainers -probably could not have done it had the water not been so high.  'Accompanied' a good part of the way by the Great Blue Heron; also spotted a Kingfisher.


Close to home...

..and closer to the opening of school.

Mudge Pond is in Sharon, CT and is popular with fishermen.  The 'path' from the boat ramp at the south end is a clear passage through the water lilies.

The more I use my skin-on-frame canoe, the more I appreciate its convenience.  Its like a pocket knife.  I can pull it out when I need it, and be on the water in the time it takes to drive to the shore.


Parker River, Newburyport, MA

While visiting family in Gloucester last week, I got out on the Parker River.  This winds through a salt water marsh, as far as the ocean, though I didn't get that far.


Whale Watch

Not strictly boat-building, but very cool!  These are from Maia's photos of the cruise.

The boat sailed out of Gloucester, MA, but these shots were taken within sight of Provincetown, over the Stellwagen Bank.


Todays trip

7 or 8 miles on the Housatonic, starting (and finishing) at the Falls Village power dam.  Saw one Heron, and a bunch of day-trippers from Clarke Outdoors.


How I spent my summer vacation...

This is what I'll be doing this summer, with the help of a grant from the Connecticut Commission on Tourism and Culture.



Final Exam

Here are some photos from the launching and of finished or nearly finished boats.





Its coming down to the wire.  No doubt we will be able to finish the boats; what is up in the air is whether we can get them all varnished/painted completely. We are looking at May 26 as our 'exam', or launching.


The Sassafras is pretty much 'done' - except for sanding, sanding, sanding, priming ,painting and varnishing.

Richard's sea kayak is nearing completion, as well.  Trimming the cockpit and opening up the deck hatches is all that remains.

Doubler on the bow of the Eastport Pram.

Gunwales on the Chester Yawl.


Extra-long kayak paddles for the low-seat canoes:


Quick paddle on Twin Lakes

A free 'long block'.  Plenty of time to paddle from the boathouse to the north end of the lake and into the inlet that leads up to Taconic. Four Canada geese, one heron, six painted turtles.


Windy, windy....

Planned to get out on the lake today, but it was way too windy. Even the sailing team cancelled practice. So, instead, I borrowed a plastic kayak from my neighbor, and explored the brook behind my house, in Salisbury.


More Pictures

Oiled (Waterlox) frame, ready for skinning, when dry.  

WJ Wood's Sassafras canoe.

WJ Woods canoe seat.

 Gunwales being glued on Gabe Antoni's Pram.


Damn Beavers !!

My plan to make a willow-rod coracle this spring is in jeopardy. Went out to the pond with the dog on Sunday, to check the 30 saplings I had bundled and submerged in the pond. My friend the beaver had dragged them out and helped himself to a free lunch! He did not just nibble the ends; he chewed 20 of them clean in half.  Sigh.....

New Photos


Housatonic paddle

We don't just build boats; sometimes we get a chance to get out and paddle. This is the boat launch on Rannapo Road in Ashley Falls, MA. On Easter morning, the water was very high and a big trout was hanging out in the shallows. I paddled downriver to the end of the Konkapot River, and up it as far as I could before getting stopped by strainers.

This poor canoe seems to be buried in the silt on the Konkapot, or this may simply be its broken-off bow.


New boat

Gabe Antoni just started an Eastport Pram, and already it is recognizably a boat. This took one week of classes, at 45 minutes a pop. To his credit, Gabe has spent a lot of his free time wiring it together to be this far along so quickly.

April Fools?


I came across this link on the Indigenous Boats blog. It was announced on April 1st.


Picture update

As we leave for spring break, this is where things stand.

WJ Woods, 'Sassafras' canoe

Richard Mellish and Peter Tocci, sea kayaks

Cameron Fitch, Chester Yawl

Matt Mulvaney, skin-on-frame canoe