Help for a novel


My name is Denice Hughes Lewis.

I am writing a young adult fantasy novel.

I have no experience with sailing at all.

One of my characters has experience and has to build a 4-man, sea-worthy boat on an island.

It has to have oars as a motor cannot be built.

Sails are okay.

I thought a sloop might work and downloaded your Star-Lite handbook for reference.

I do not have to describe the building of the boat, only the sailing away and the problems with a storm that forces the characters to wait it out below deck.

The characters will not be spending much time on this boat because it is going to be sucked into a whirlpool and destroyed.

Any help you can give me would be much appreciated and I would be happy to list you as a resource in my book, "Enchantress, Sabotage."

Here are my questions:

Is the size of your Star-LIte a feasible vessel for someone with limited supplies?

Wood, stone, fabric, gold and jewels are readily available on the island, but no industrialization, instruments or mechanical objects are available except for a small compass and of course the stars.

Could someone stow away in the rope and anchor locker?

Would the stowaway have to get rid of the anchor first?

Where would you put 4 oars?

Thank you so much for your help.



Comments for Help for a novel

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Nov 02, 2016
Thank you
by: Denice

Thank you for your helpful comments, J.Jarvis. I appreciate the time you took to help me with my research!

Nov 01, 2016
help for a novel
by: j jarvis

Denise, I would have to say find the boat that fits your story.

Yes, a boat can be made without nails, there is an art to it but when Birch is boiled it becomes like rope. stitch and glue with pitch.

Writing a book can be a real pleasure, I found using characters I knew.

The best way not to get lost if it’s about money, my friend sent me "Shoeless Joe" they paid Kinsella 20.000, it became "Fields of Dreams" they made millions.

Writers are at the bottom of the list. and when I was writing you had to go to a library and make sure what you wrote was factual or it will be biked to peace.

And yes, there are whirlpools that can flip a sixty-foot tug in a blink of an eye, take sixty-ton bundle of logs to the bottom and spit them out like tooth picks.

Got to love the west coast.

Oct 31, 2016
by: Denice

Thank you Dr. Hugo. Your book sounds fascinating.

Oct 29, 2016
Writing a Sea Story
by: Dr Hugo

Hi Denice,

To find more ideas about writing your novel and building the boat, you may like to read my own novel about building a boat in the remote islands of the Malay Archipelago, and all the adventures and misadventures associated with it, based on my own experiences.

Search for it on Amazon by using the search words: One Wise Fool by Dr Hugh Brennan.

Keep in touch.

Oct 29, 2016
Thank you
by: Denice Hughes Lewis

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments.

From your answers, I see that I need much more thought on the kind of vessel that can be made.

I really appreciate your help!


Oct 29, 2016
"Enchantress, Sabotage"
by: Mike

Hi Denice,

Building something akin to the "Star-LIte" would be virtually impossible without metal tools and fastenings.

Not so much the size as the need to cut, drill and join the parts of what is a fairly complex structure.

One of my favourite books as a child was "The Swiss Family Robinson" by Johann David Wyss.

The main reason for the family’s ability to survive depended on their being able to bring ashore everything useful from the wreck of the ship they had been on, particularly the carpenter’s tools and lumber.

However, you say that "Wood, stone, fabric, gold and jewels are readily available on the island, but no industrialization, instruments or mechanical objects".

Gold and jewels as Voltaire’s Candide found when in El Dorado, cease to have any value when they are plentiful but of no practical use.

When European sailors first visited the islands of Polynesia, metal objects were greatly prized by the locals, a hand full of nails could buy almost anything including the favours of the local women.

However, the Polynesians had previously been able to build their ocean-going boats using only the materials available on the islands.

So, might your characters be more inclined to build a craft more in the Polynesia style?

The main tool used by the Polynesians was an ‘adze’ made from basalt.

Others were pumice, or coral rock for polishing and sanding and stone hammers and bone.

The ancient double-hulled voyaging canoes were carved from logs wherever timber of sufficient size was found.

The depth of a hull could be increased by adding one or two courses of boards lashed above the hull's upper edges.

There were many ways of knotting and lashing parts together using ‘cordage’ made from coconut husks and the bark from the hibiscus.

Sails were of pandanus matting.

So, I would suggest that an outrigger canoe or double hulled type of boat would be the most practical and reliable option considering the location and resources.

Not much room for a stowaway in the anchor locker on the "Star-LIte" even without the anchor.

The Polynesians built shelters on their ocean-going boats and would take supplies in various containers.

I don’t think they had barrels but perhaps some sort of supplies box or container might be large enough to hide a stowaway?

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