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Posts posted by MikeStevenson

  1. I think I've come to this thread a bit late, but I am glad to see all the info and posts. We've been playing with electric boating for 35+ years and it's really a wonderful way to push a boat along! 


    Over the years we've tried a good many trolling motors and liked the results, but have recently been using the German Torqeedo motors more. Expensive, but a LOT of features and a lot of power in a compact design. I have yet to explore their Ultralight series in person, but I think they will be a great replacement for our cut-down trolling motors we've used on both our Weekenders and the SoleXplor solar boats. 


    I look forward to keeping an eye on this thread! 

    Mike Stevenson

  2. Hello, all. 


    We've been a bit remiss in updates to our site, what with one thing and another, but a new go-through of the websites has been going on and now it's a bit easier, we think. 


    We've just received a bunch of builder photos as well, so those will go up soon also. 


    And I am particularly happy that we just had our first order for one of the new Amphora plans! I've always had a soft spot for that design, and I had a chance to lead a workshop at Harvard recently where several of us built Amphoras, so I'm stoked that people are back building these great little boats!


    OK, thanks!




  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, and how my father helped you find an interesting new afternoon or several! I have hesitated to post anything on our site, but I suppose I should...I'm not quite sure why I have hesitated, but perhaps it's also not too hard to see why. 


    At any rate, I am very, very glad he was able to touch so MANY people's lives, and I know he was happy about that too. 


    Mike Stevenson

  4. The simple system just had a jam cleat to hold the motor up, and when you wanted it, a flick of the line and a quick tap of the throttle and you were going. Simple, but not much reverse, unless you reached back and held the motor down.

    A more complicated system was worked up which locked the motor, but released with the same simple pulling up of the line to lift the motor. Unfortunately, that system's on the boat and the boat is in Texas and I am not. I'll try to remember to take some shots when I'm back there next...

  5. It's been interesting getting to know this boat a bit more. It has far more cockpit room than the Weekender (as it's ALL cockpit), and is twitchier and brighter feeling (with the same rig on a boat which weighs less than half the weight), but the stately feel of the Weekender is also nice for more relaxed sailing. The mellow afternoon feel of the Weekender is really nice too (or even more so in the Pocket Cruiser!) Both have their plusses.

    I'll let you know when I take it down to San Diego again—I go right past Oxnard and we could sail for a couple of hours on my way past!


  6. Hello all,

    I'm taking my SSkipjack up to Sausalito tomorrow and Tomales Bay on Tuesday. If anyone's free, it'd be fun to get a couple of StevProj boats together. If not this trip, which was very last-minute, we'll set up something soon with more notice.

    Mike Stevenson

  7. What project is this for? I assume it's not one of ours, as we've never called for bi-ax in our plans.

    As to why I'd use it one something, because it adds far more stiffness than cloth. I'm assuming whatever project this is for, that they called for bi-ax for the structural properties it supplies. On our plans projects, we're only calling for glass as a weather-resistant element (as opposed to personal projects, which have certainly used bi and tri-ax for their strength.)

    The knitted fabrics (bi and tri-ax) are a bit harder to get into tight shapes, as compared with woven cloths, so we usually try to dry-fit things as closely as possible before beginning to mix resin. Don't try to dry-fit after you've started the reaction! Time seems to speed way up then...

    As I recall, xynole-type fabrics are a good alternative to thin glass cloth as a weather-beating layer. Not much for structure, though, if I remember right.


  8. On the Vector rigs we just did, which are entirely equivalent to the Mini-Cup's and came from earlier boat projects, we actually went to a shorter 10' mast so we could use one of the 20' pieces cut in half for two masts.

    As Andrew notes, the Gaff is the tough part. I would NOT splice two pieces, but that said, we're going to try it this Spring. I know we broke attempts in the '70's, so we've avoided spliced gaffs since then. But...It'd be nice to find a way to deal with shorter tubes. Certainly longer than 2' for the joiner...I guess we'll find out in Spring!

  9. Hmmmm. I'd keep checking.We just found tubes for our rigs in San Francisco (Bayshore Metals) for just over $300 for TWO rigs! I'd look around, as I had forgotten just how light that rig is! I have one, and a Vector, tied on top of the car right now, as Peter and I are driving out to Texas and I'm taking his Vector out for him. The rig really surprised me when I was tying on the car: It's LIGHT.

    I know a friend of ours is headed to Bayshore next week to get tubes, as far as I know, and I'll be getting some more in Spring for a Mini-Cup. I'll keep everyone posted on prices.

    It's too bad they're hard to ship: I'd be up for selling tubes along with the new hardware kits, but shipping tubes probably costs what the tubes do!


  10. SLow is better than not at all! I look forward to seeing another Mini-Cup hit the water this Spring. I am tentatively planning on making one then as well. If I recall correctly, and it's been a third of a century since I sailed a Mini-Cup, they're fast and fun, but slightly wet boats to sail. Warmer weather sounds right!

    I've posted two more builders today: Another Weekender, this one from the Phillipines and quite a great bunch of shots, and a new Vector built by a friend of ours here. (New Vectors—YAY!)




    Thanks, and we'll have to encourage each other to get our Mini-Cups built!


  11. Hello All,

    We have posted several new sets of pictures on our Builder Photo Pages, six new Weekenders, a Pocket Cruiser, and a Triad! It's great to see all the new boats hitting the water...Always exciting for us, and moreso for their builders!

    The new Weekender photos are on pages 12 and 13 of the Weekender Builder Photos Pages.


    The new Pocket Cruiser is on the second page here:


    And the new Triad is here:


    We've posted a new page to make it easier to find all the Builder Photo Pages (actually, a return to the older way of arranging the shots I used to use!)


    Also, Stevenson Projects is now entering the world of Social Media, albeit slowly!


    You can Friend us, Follow us, etc. now!


    Mike Stevenson

  12. Ah; sorry, I misunderstood. I'd have to say, still possibly 60% or so, but I haven't priced it out. We added a bit of depth, actually, rather than beam. Just a little less rocker aft. Not too different.

    I had lots of fun with the self-tending jib, as it's nearly effortless, but a big asymmetrical would be fun to try (with a good crew! I'd want another person who knew what they were doing in that case.) When I get time, I'll take it up to Sierra Point in San Francisco Bay and see what sort of speed it can do on that flat, shallow water with 25kts of wind...Once again: with experienced crew in wetsuits! I have a neighbor who kite-surfs and had a Hobie 16 for years, so I think he'd be easy to Shanghai!


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  13. Hi Frank, thanks for clarifying the process of posting YouTube vids.

    The Super Skipjack is 14' on deck, and has a very similar hull shape to the Weekender. It's essentially a 7/8-scale Weekender hull (with a slightly modified aft third of the hull). There is no cabin, so all that work is eliminated, and the cockpit's actually much larger than the Weekender. (But one loses the dry space and coziness of the cabin.) The keel is thinner (1 1/2" instead of 2 1/4"), plywood thicknesses are reduced, so the cost and overall weight is less. The weight is close to HALF of what a Weekender weighs!

    I wouldn't say 1/4 the materials, or time, but I would say maybe 5/8? There's a certain amount of fixed time it takes to sand and prep and all that and the difference in size is just not that much. BUT: the open cockpit really changes the finishing work. This is a small, sporty boat. With that in mind, I did NO non-skid on mine. One won't be walking forward (possibly crawling, but not often) as you can walk right up to the mast, standing on the side-decks isn't quite possible (it's barely so for a lightweight person on the Weekender), so the only places one will be stepping is either the seats (and personally, I didn't want to non-skid them) or the cockpit floor (and I have boat carpeting velcroed down there). That saves weight and time also.

    I ended up finishing the deck and seats to a higher degree than we usually do on our prototypes, in that we knew this was a "keeper" and I wanted to finish it a bit more for my own satisfaction. (for those readers new to boatbuilding, that's a great thing about building one's own boat: You get to finish it to your own level of happiness, and you can go back a season or two later and bring things up another level, which is essentially what I just did here!)

    I added a taff-rail of Australian Jarrah, cut and routed new cockpit coamings, made a new rudder box and rudder (and a MUCH longer tiller—I prefer this to what Peter has in the plans—using an axe handle like the very first Skipjack we did in the '70's!), I upgraded the standing and running rigging (and I had to make a new boom and gaff, as the first pair stayed in Texas on Peter's Weekender, and I re-made all the fittings (gooseneck, mounting straps, chainplates, etc.) from stainless strap which I then polished with sandpaper and compound.

    So work-wise, I added a bit to my job, certainly, but then these were personal additions and one could build the boat more simply, as usual, and it would perform exactly the same! I may still do one more coat of black on the hull, but not until next Winter.

    I'll post a page with shots from along the process and more details, probably next week. Thanks again for the video link help!


  14. Frank: The Vector is great fun on a beach. It's been almost thirty years since I sailed one on a beach though. In Mexico last time (back when it wasn't expensive to go to Mexico, in either cost or life!)

    The deserts would be fun, but I would LOVE to get on Pismo Beach. For some asinine reason they are specifically excluded there! I am sorely tempted to take some to New Zealand, Australia, France—Anywhere they let sailcars run on the sand...(just need a willing sponsor...) :rolleyes:

    Konrad made a Vector many years ago, or his friend Tom. Not too many get made, but I understand why: Venues are just impossible to find nowadays. I am getting ready to start using it as an example of how this country has reduced the opportunities for people to play in so many arenas, which of course limits young people's exposure to tons of creative play and learning.

    OK: off soapbox now...


  15. Hmmm. I had originally thought to do that but no place around here has easy trailer bits. (Odd, in that Monterey is a harbor, but not too many homebuilders and small stuff. We have a West Express, which is a kind of Stop-n-Go of marine stores, but I'll go over to the Walmart.) That'd be certainly fast and easy! I want to drop the rpm's a bit, as trailering out from TX I could most definitely feel an increase in bearing temp at speeds of 70+. If I stayed 65 or so, they were tolerable. I just don't mush like the way the tiny tires almost fall into the massive California potholes on the freeways here.

    Thanks for the reminder/tip!


  16. Thanks Frank,

    I'll edit a quick bit about the hoops to show what they look like and post it.

    To the Sparrow: You might want to get in touch with the fellows from around the Petaluma/Napa areas. They sail up the Delta or trail up and sail back down to the bay and you're all within a fairly easy trailering range. (actually, so am I, come to think of it! It'd only be a couple of hours up to those areas and I'd enjoy putting the SSkipjack in up there. I need to get a new axle for the trailer: I dislike the dinkoid 8" wheels on this one...)


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