Dinghy Mooring

by liverpoolmarina
(Liverpool, United Kingdom)

When you need to get off your boat in water shallow enough to wade ashore, yet also secure the boat so that a drop in water level won’t leave it high and dry.

Whether you call it a clothesline moor or an outhaul, it’s slicker than mossy rocks.

And it’s easy to do, once you collect a few pieces of gear.

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Easy Caulking

by Bill

Thanks for the advice, it wasn't that difficult. but will she float?
I'll find out soon.

Hi Bill,

I won't keep my fingers crossed for you as I'm sure she will be water tight.

I look forward to hearing about the successful launch.


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To glass or not to glass

by Craig

What would be your guidelines on when to, and when not to put glass over wood?

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To Glass or not to Glass, that is the question?
by: Mike

My own personal preference is not to glass wood at all.

However, that is just my own view.

But I certainly would not under any circumstances
recommend using glass cloth and or epoxy on an old traditionally built boat.

There are quite a few kit boats and boat plans which call for glassing.

Mostly these are plywood boats.

So I have included this page for the benefit of those who might be inclined to go that route.

Better a glassed plywood boat than no boat or even worse a plastic boat.

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Great Story

by Matthew Parobek
(Buffalo, NY, USA)

Hi Mike (I think)

First boat was a small sailing pram.
I loved it and always wanted to have a larger sailing yacht.

For no good reason it never happened and that little boat was my last under sail.

I moved up through ten other boats buying most of them as fixer uppers.

I am currently abroad old glory, one of my favorites so far.

After reading your story it made me think back to my original dream of sailing from New York to the Caribbean, and never coming back.

I think I will keep you in mind as I pan my eyes across the horizon for my next boat.

Thanks great story and great boat.

Back to Why I re-built Mignonne

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Far Horizons
by: Mike

Thanks Matthew,

Its funny how those youthful dreams come back to haunt you.

I recon I've read every story about sailing around the world that’s ever been published.

Haven’t been nearly that far yet but there is still time.

Perhaps we will meet in the Caribbean one day.


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Nice Story

by Ron Wagner
(Decatur, IL)

I actually had an Uncle Charlie.

My middle name is Charles, for that reason.

He wasn't really an uncle, but a friend of the family.

He used to dole out coins to the kids.

A great guy, who helped the family, and ran a Greek deli in Detroit.

I am getting ready to retire, and become an "Uncle Charlie" myself.

I will be messing with boats,camping, fishing, traveling in my old van et all.

I am figuring out how much money I will need for my toys right now.

Thanks for the site, and the story!

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by: mike

Hi Ron,

Thanks for the comment.

I think there is more of my Uncle Charlie in me than I care to admit.

I guess the best part of getting older is realising that you don’t have to have the biggest, fastest, most expensive things to have fun.

Here’s wising you a long, happy retirement,


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Good for Fresher

by VikramJjeet Singh
(Shri Gnga Nagar)

It's good theory for fresher I like this.

Thank you Vikram,

I try to make it as straight forward as I can.

If there is anything you don't understand please ask and I will do my best to answer you.


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Good Advice

by Craig
((formerly Alaska))

We didn't follow protocol in renaming and the boat sunk to the bottom of the Pacific less than 6 months later!

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by: Mike

Sorry to hear about your loss Craig.

I hope there were no lives lost.

I'm not the least bit superstitious (touch wood) but.....
Besides, any excuse for a drink or two.

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Why Lofting

by Mike


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by: The Loftsman

Hmmmmm, interesting although somewhat opaque, skills that are passed down through hundereds of years,can be learned in a few days eh!
For a simple little wooden boat perhaps, but just too simplyfied for my thinking, but interesting all the same.
Visit http://leithbuiltships.blogspot.com to learn a wee bit more about ships and lofting.

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Sam Rabl-designed Picaroon

Great little boat with a big boat feel.

I helped my father build one in our backyard in Maryland.

Her hull was strip planked with 3/4" thick African Mahogany.

Last seen in Deale, Maryland.

Be interest to see her again if still around.

You can contact me by email


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nav lights

good luck with your site.
I have spotted what I think is a serious error

you state
A power-driven vessel of over 12 meters, while underway must display a white all-round masthead light forward as well as sidelights and a stern-light.

are you absolutely sure?
When I was teaching and when I am on the water. it was always the case that the masthead lights on motor vessels were viewable in the same sectors as the red green lights.

the stern light should be the only visible light from astern

you should correct this ASAP and be very careful about posting potentially misleading info

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Masthead Light
by: Mike

Oh dear, that was a very stupid error.

I should not have used the expression ‘all round’ the masthead light as you so rightly point out should not be visible from astern.

Thank you for letting me know.

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Sliver Lining?

I have heard it on the grapevine that some Marinas are finding it more and more difficult to fill the spaces they have available, due to the economic downturn.

So perhaps there is a ‘Silver Lining’, perhaps they will start to ease up on their short term, money grabbing policies and get back to basics, back to putting boaters before profits.


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Boat Space
by: Cal

Peter must be in BC and he is correct I put my name in for a space at at a club I belong to just as I thought I had found the boat of my dreams.

So I droped the boat fastlike, it's to big to put up on dry land.

So paid for a spot at the marina one more year that only coast 25 dollars.

Feels like I have been here and knew what was up, then a sales man that came to our store told me he just sold his boat and sold his dock space for 15 grand.

Now I just turned 65 so if I don't find the boat I want in a year I can sell my spot, fly to the Caribean, rent a boat.

And that all round white lite at anchor or fishing adrift in BC.

Not the case here...
by: Peter

Over here in our part of the world, that doesn't seem to be the case...

Our marinas seem to be filling up more or less the same.

In fact they don't do much to keep the smaller boat owners happy because they know there are constantly a lot of bigger boats being built and looking for a place.

Prices are going up all the time..:-(

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boat design

by Deesha

I have used a 3D boat design software and have, through trial and error, achieved a boat design which i like.

Do I now need a naval person to verify my design and do the final detail?

Also how can I turn the images into a real boat?

Who could help me with the working plan?

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Boat Design
by: Michael

You don’t have to have your design verified if it isn’t intended to be used for commercial reasons.

Bur whether the design is 'sea worthy' is another matter.

Much will depend on the quality of the software.

There are some freeware programs that leave a lot to be desired.

Hiring a qualified naval architect to turn you design into a viable project won't come cheap.

Then you will still have to learn to loft the plans etc.

I would think it might be cheaper in the long run and less hazardous to look for a tried and tested design from the plethora of boat plans available.

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Pain Staking

by Daniel
(Vancouver Island, BC, Canada)

I'm looking at a traditional wooden boat,and they tell me that it's "build in the traditional time honored, painstaking method of the talented ship-builders of western USA".

If anyone can explain what that means I would appreciate it.


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Pain staking..really means swearing a lot
by: bill

I think some of this conversation has headed a bit south :).

I agree with the first response, sounds like sales talk. like "handcrafted" and "old world skill."

To me it just means built the old way by guys who knew how to build boats...but then again most boats built before the 60's were built "the old way" eyeballed fittings etc.

Like the difference in old barn construction compared to today's..ugh houses.

Pain staking because it was done slowly and again till it fit, no lazer wood cutters.

Truely though, looking at an old boat and don't know too much about them?

Look for a Boat surveyor to come with you...well worth his cost.

by: Anonymous

Must be the FAR west (Pacific coast).

I think probably the northeast U.S. is better known for wooden boat building.

Most folks don't see the point of having a wooden boat anymore, as craftsmanship doesn't really carry a premium for consumers in general.

I didn't understand until I saw the cool old ones in the harbor of Ketchikan, AK.

Then it can get "under your skin" or "into your blood"!

While I spend ridiculous amounts of money and time on my old boat, I'll be thinking of the social benefit I'm lending to society... ;-)

by: pr

it helps if you know, that some americans are taught they are the most skilled, important, , talented, attractive people in the universe, before they can walk, & that no one can do anything as well as they can, it doesn't help them much, when they realise later that this is not the way to communicate with the rest of the world, & that in fact , it may not be true, it is tiresome & childish, & far from being a selling point, it has the reverse desired effect, & can put people off what is in fact a good product.

Sain staking
by: daniel

Thank you for replying,the boat is a 2 mast schooner build in 1957-58.it was build in long beach,CA.

The hull is of clear fur planking 2 inch stock
the frames is fur double sawn,9 inches apart with an iron concrete ballast 10.000 lbs
net tonage 24 tons.

Sales talk?
by: Anonymous

There is no doubt that there were no end of superb boat builders in Western USA.

But that sounds like 'sales talk' to me.

Tell us more about the boat, it's age, type of construction etc.

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However, I need to point out that I am an amateur wooden boat enthusiast simply writing in order to try to help other amateur wooden boat enthusiasts.
And while I take every care to ensure that the information in DIY Wood Boat.com is correct, anyone acting on the information on this website does so at their own risk.