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A Sam Devlin Duckling 14

Don Silsbe

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About two months ago, I decided to build a new rowing “shell”.  My old friend and mentor Don Rausch and I have been lusting over this boat for many years.  Five years ago, maybe seven, we even cut out the forms.  Finally, I bit the bullet, and ordered a new set of plans.  (Couldn’t find the old set!). I’ve been cutting out patterns and panels.  The last couple of days I finally got to wire the panels together.  Here’s a photo of the boat I’m planning to build, and some build photos to get you caught up.







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 By the way, I cannot afford $650 for a Piantedosi drop in sliding seat, or the Dreher oars at $530.  I’ll be building a sliding seat system from Angus Row Boats in Vancouver, and building my own oars.  That comes second, however.  For starters, It’ll be a fixed seat and my 8’ oars.  In the meantime, I’m rowing a friend’s Sam Devlin Bella 10.  It has been so much fun, that I got four foot fever!




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I am moving to a community in Florida with some man made ponds that they allow unpowered boats on.  I am considering a row boat of some kind for exercise, and, well, errr, an excuse to build another boat. Will likely go with a classic, but will be following your thread.

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I’ve got nearly all my exterior seams feathered in nicely.  All the while I was working the ROS, I was thinking about Chick Ludwig’s immaculate seams.  It inspired me to work extra hard on them.  I still have the uppermost seam to sand down.  I’m hoping to sheath the exterior with fiberglass this Tuesday.



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I took these this morning.  I still need to sand the seam and panel closest to the sheer.  She is only draped onto these molds, and lifts right off.  They help to eliminate twist and other nasties.





@Hirilonde— here’s the Bella 12 I was talking about.


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I’ve flipper her over, and have installed the breasthook & quarter knees, and taped all the seams.  I’ve made the rough cuts for the sliding sear.  I’ll use this to help position the center bulkheads.  I’ve also made the scarfs for the gunwales.  Now, we will go camping, and the boat will rest for almost a week.







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