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Any interest in a Catspaw build? Also featuring rabbits.


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I love those nostalgic moments of boating history.  So many things you couldn't do today because some committee of henpeckers would demand a law.  There's sometimes a justification but so often it just deprives the world of a specific form of anarchic beauty...


One day I'll write down all the stories I remember from growing up poor in a coastal town, at a time when people were walking away from their homes and rowing boats because a dollar a gallon was too much money to fuel a ten horse Johnson, but the whole area wasn't overfished and almost everyone respected the limits and the size, so even if you were broke you could eat like a king and we ate salmon steaks, kelp greenling or ling cod most nights because catching them from a rowboat on homemade lures and cheap spinning gear was practically free.


We didn't have a high-speed beach launch option but there was a sheltered spot my dad would run the leaky old 12' Springbok into, then drag it up the gravel, stand it up and carry it on his back up past the breakwater to the street and load it onto the car, which was a '68 Volvo sedan.  The outboard would go in the trunk, and we'd drive up the street back to the house, which was about a block and a half away; it was just a little too far for him to carry the boat although I recall him doing it once or twice, while I dragged the motor and tackle in a wagon.


Beach launches and simple boats...not something I'll ever lose the love for, I don't think.

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If your making a mass just be sure to reinforce it with epoxy and string wrapped around or at least coat the outside in epoxy and mesh .  I built 2 that snapped because I didn't wrap them .  Heck I grew up in cb we used to search the shores after a heavy storm looking for lobster and scallop.    had to beat the seagulls.  We also fished salmon with a pitchfork in the shallows , knew every fish run by year and shot my first animal at 6.  Yup I know about growing up poor.  Couldn't imagine given a tike a firearm at 6 but when you get sick of eating porridge for 3 meals a day you learn fast!!  My first boat was ,3 pieces of Styrofoam binded together with masking tape and two homemade oars locked under my arms but... I pulled up eel traps with it. 

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WR-LPU and drill-fill-drill.  Oarlock sockets on.  Clamcleat on the daggerboard trunk for a snotter; loop on the mast step for a shackle.  Box of love from Harken/Racelite arrived yesterday.  Most everything is getting mounted on the spars though so not much to do with the little toys yet.  Still waiting on pintle/gudgeon.  Drew up a plan for a tiller arm today; will laminate some stuff together tomorrow.


Still haven't decided about taking it down this weekend; was going to take it down but now I'm thinking I'll build wooden deck plates instead of using plastic ones so that'll take a bit of extra time.  Plus the closer it gets the more I want to touch up the paint more carefully.  Might wait and lift it down early next week instead.

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This thing will spend a lot of time on the hook in our bay so a boat cover is probably necessary to keep it from filling with water.  My wife made a raincoat for it out of canvas and shock cord today; it should work pretty well.


I haven't infra-gunned the black but there's been a heat wave here and it's sitting in full sun and there doesn't seem to be any problems resulting so that seems to be a non-issue.  It'll never be this hot in any normal circumstances so I think that's fine.


The tiller I put a slight curve in for no particular reason; I just liked the look.


I was going to use kayak deck plates but then at the last minute I just decided to do wooden ones instead.  They seal with neoprene tape so you push and give them a 1/8 twist and they're in there.  They're not really intended for serious tie-downs or anything but I thought I'd make the handles work as cleats for light duty stuff, like tying off a fishing rod or tackle box so I don't lose it if I capsize.


Cutting the hatch holes was a pain; if I'd intended to do the sail version this year I'd have cut them out before assembling.  Instead I had to drill several 1/16" holes really close together, then put a fine jigsaw blade through them and work it with a pair of vise grips.  For whatever reason I wanted to use the cutout sections as the backing plates for the hatch covers so I had to cut really carefully to keep everything intact.  No idea why I wanted to do it that way and it was a bunch of extra work.  For some reason I just didn't want to waste the wood.  I do drink a lot while I build so it's possible I made that decision while drunk or something.


One thing I discovered when the Racelite stuff arrived: part 337, which is one of two parts without pictures on the Racelite site, is actually not what you need.  Where it says "RL337" on the plans, order "RL336" which is the other part without a picture and which I now need to order because RL337 is definitely wrong.  It's a rudder stop, but not a spring stop.  Or, I guess I could just look around for some stainless stock and bend it to work, but at any rate if you're doing one of these, you don't need RL337.














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Nah, I'm kidding.  Rows well; fiddly bits fit although the hatch covers may need some tuning as they're a little tight now that all the corners have a few layers of epoxy and LPU on them.


I took it out for a bit solo to make sure it wasn't homicidal; it's like a jet compared to our current tender.  I'd row for a bit and all kinds of stuff that was off in the distance would sneak up behind me; very unnerving.  The long sweep of the oars is probably going to bite me in the ass in the bay but it'll be great for fishing and crabbing so what the hell.  It literally moves at twice the speed of the boat it's replacing.


Obviously there was no need for the centreboard and tiller/rudder assembly for rowing but I dropped them in place just to see how they worked in the water.  They seem fine so that's good.


Then I took the wife out for a spin; she's happy because it seems stable and easy to row.  The river we're on here is really busy with commercial traffic so we got to take on a bunch of big wakes which this boat is much more capable of handling than our other one.


Absolutely cannot wait to get the sail sorted.  Kit from Sailrite scheduled to arrive tomorrow and I PLAN to be at my island place on Saturday, although there is impending labour unrest at one of my jobs which is threatening my disposable income in the short term.


If I'm stuck at home I'll just laminate some SPF 1x3s into a mast because at that point I'll really want a boat that doesn't burn heavy deep vee carbureted V8 fuel.











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That's a really good question.  I've been trying to relocate out of the city for a couple of years and it looks like I might be able to do it in the next 6-12 months; I probably won't build anything else until I have a more conventional shop.  But then I could see either a Marissa for fishing the areas around my island place and for cheap supply runs to town, or possibly an pilothouse version of an Ocracoke 256.  My current boat burns about the same amount of fuel as one of those and it would be nice to have more space for transporting people, plus a bit of size for offshore tuna runs.


But a light little runabout like the marissa would be handy and so much cheaper to fish than my current tank that I feel like I'd spend more time on her, which is always the trick IMO.  If I get the relocate handled the way I want, I won't have to run as far or through nearly as rough water, so the big Deep V thick solid fiberglass machine won't be as important.

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So close I can taste it!  Will be at the island place the day after tomorrow; plan to cut the spars and rig it maybe Sunday.  Should probably whittle a little gunnel guard that fits in an oarlock socket and gives me a notch to pull crab trap ropes in; maybe I'll get to that up there.  The splash is done but the real launch is just a few days away and I'm going to be up there for a week or two so plenty of water time ahead for the little girl!





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Tomorrow she goes to her true home at Ruxton, affectionately known as "double eagle island" on account of the preponderance of DE boats used by owners and my own highly questionable and margarita-dependent instagram account.
The sail is done; spars and rigging on the island.  Will update after the coast guard rescues me trying to transit Porlier or mooch Thrasher Rock.
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The boat arrived on the island to some fanfare: I have also been posting about the build on a local sportfishing forum and it turns out the first two people on the island that I ran into have been following the build and knew all about the boat and just didn't realize it was me building it or what island I was talking about until they saw the transom lettering.


The sail is done and I can't say enough good things about Sailrite.  Really excellent kit and super helpful people.


The mast is about done but needs to be fitted to the collar.  Tomorrow I'll do that and make the sprit and HOPEFULLY take her for a sail!


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The rabbits are coping without the boat but I did have to cheer them up by giving them the cardboard boxes all the hardware came in. They love cardboard boxes of all sizes so accepted the trade.


I had her out for a sail yesterday although it was more of a row and drift...really calm and barely enough wind to ripple the sea.  I am getting lots of pics but the internet is pretty flaky up here so I'll have better updates next week.


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