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Any threads on completed Castaway 12 or Mess About 12 builds?


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Hi I live in a big city and I often go down to the river to have a natural spot to hang out and read on the weekends. There's a couple islands near one of my hangout spots that would offer even more privacy if I could get there.


This part of the river is a couple miles up from a dam so it's wide and deep, there can be a little current but it's relatively lake-like most of the year.


It's a 2 mile walk to the river so the hardest part would be getting the boat there, would love something I can easily pull on wheels while I walk and won't get out of control on the hills down to the water.


So I'm looking at a light 12-footer, deciding between Gentry's Chuckanut 12/12s or the Mess About 12. There's a lot about the Kudzucraft building concepts I think I might prefer but what makes me uncertain is I have trouble finding a lot of info about these specific smaller boats. The link from the plans page to more info is broken and there's nothing about total width or build weight I can find on the plans page. Also having trouble finding complete builds for MA12 or CA12 in these forums so I can see what to expect from these boats.


For completeness I am 5'10, 160-170 pounds, medium to athletic build. I've built a stitch and glue canoe before and have an okay-ish woodworking shop.  (Main "problem" is I'll be using a jigsaw instead of a bandsaw but that's not a big deal for light plywood).

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Brother KCS:

Hard to say without knowing more about the characteristics of the water body where you plan to  paddle and how far you plan to go, but in general, a 12-foot boat is going to be slower than a longer one. With SOF boats, a couple of extra feet of length won't add much in weight. Of course, extra length can be an issue regarding storage. I'd say that either of the boats that you are thinking about will allow you to paddle a couple of miles in calm conditions (little wind or current) without too much exertion. Maybe you could borrow or rent a 12-foot plastic boat (there are many of that size) and try it out to get a better idea of what might suit your needs. Building a SOF boat will be fun in any case. 

Fair winds, Andy

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