Cheap Guitars, Proas, Sailing Canoes, Chinese Lugsails, Plywood Boats,
Tube Amps
, Wanda the Cat, Odd Sails from Polytarp, This & That & Bamboo

The Geek




The Author,,
before becoming addicted to boatbuilding.


Scroll down for What's New,
an Index
and Links

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Made on numberifous iMacs over the years. 

Craig O'D's Cheap Pages ... celebrating more than a decade of virtuality!

What are the Cheap Pages?

This is The Cheap Page. A pre-blog blog.

From the Cheap Page hang other Cheap Pages. They link to other stuff all over the place. They are:

Very elementary HTML, first created with a Great Lost WYSIWYG Application, "Claris Home Page."

Begun in 1998 and 1999.

... about inexpensive pastimes.

... full of lists. Designed to load fast in the dial-up low-bandwidth days.

Lots of DIY, especially boats and the cheapest of sailing boats: scows, canoes and sharpies.

E-Books and links to E-Books, most of which I published online long before anyone else was doing much of this. The pace of E-Book preparation has slowed, but changes and improvements will slowly begin again.

Please note that some of the information, such as the Bolger Boat Honor Roll, is here as history only -- so various e-mail addresses or external links may be broken. I'll flag the "historical interest" items. The cause of Bolger Boats, Sailing Canoes, and Junk Rigs (for example) are now served by multiple Web authors and discussion lists. The various Cheap Pages have been updated as far as possible to add links to these resources.

-- Craig O'Donnell, Dec. 2009

Our one endorsement:

"Speaking of Craig O'Donnell.... To date I've avoided listing Internet addresses on the theory that there are plenty of search engines out there and plenty of engineers to run them without my having to get in the way. But Craig's "Cheap Pages" are a lode of most interesting material, including the text and drawings of Herbert Warington Smyth's Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia (1906) and Tiphy's Practical Canoeing (1883), and deserve to be mentioned and recommended..."
    -- Peter Spectre, WoodenBoat, June 1999


Mast & Sail in Europe and Asia - the classic by H. Warington Smyth (1906)

Many sketches and pen and ink plates.

    Brian Platt's The Chinese Sail

Essay from circa 1960, never before published, from Anthony Platt.
Junk Sails & Junk Sail Tutorial
Vincent Reddish on making a (more or less) traditional Chinese sail.
Sail geometries by Hasler, Van Loan, Colvin and illustrations of Asian
sails by Audemard and such.


Cruises, Mainly in the Bay of the Chesapeake (1909)
The early days of yachting on the Bay.
Dictionary of Yachting Terms (Dixon Kemp et al, 1913)
Illustrated, but I'm still working on that part.
William Alden on The Flying Proa (1877)
Man bites dog and then invents Hobie Cat. From Harper's. A related article by William Alden: The Perfect Canoe.
John MacGregor: The Voyage Alone in the Yawl Rob Roy
Man sails Channel in a smallish yawl in the 1860s.
More MacGregor: Rob Roy on the Baltic
Excerpts from the book as seen in Harper's, 1867.
A.J. Kenealy: Boat Sailing in Fair Weather and Foul
State of the art for 1908, the last hurrah for yachting under sail.

...& in the works:

The yachty bits of Warington Smyth's Five Years in Siam (1898)

Obscure bits from C.P. Kunhardt's Small Yachts and Supplement

Rothrock: Vacation Cruising on the Chesapeake. I'm running out of Chesapeake cruising annals...

The Cabin Boat Primer (1913)

Speakman: Beyond Shanghai. A river voyage by an artist.


Canoe Sailing -- E-Books and More:

Practical Canoeing - by Tiphys (1883)

The legendary canoe sailing book by C. Penrose, aka "Tiphys."

C. Bowyer Vaux: Canoe Handling
An overview of The Sport as practiced in the 1880s and 1890s by the ever-amusing Vaux.

Charles Neidé: The Canoe Aurora
Lake George to Pensacola via the Mississippi, 1882.
Perry Frazer: Canoe Cruising and Camping
How-to guide, published 1885 and 1897.
Frederic Fenger: Alone in the Caribbean
A sailing canoe among the islands, 1911; a legendary cruise; includes photos from the 1919 edition.
Reefing Schemes for Battened Sails.
Text and drawings from C.B. Vaux, Canoe Handling (1885).


Canoe Sailing Resources:

Each includes interesting other links where appropriate and links to the updated Canoe Sailing Resources - which is still under construction, but coming along and catching up with the backlog of great old stuff from magazines.


Short Boats:

More small boat-ism including scows, sneakboxes, skiffs, garveys and what-have-you. Articles from the late 1800s and early 1900s on how they did it then. Links! Graphics! Whoopee!

Plus More!

... a special page about sampans: Cranks With Planks;
... the Seaside Bateau of Maryland's Eastern Shore: Fassitt & Bateau;
... a page of info for one-armed sailors: E.F. Knight.


Stuff About Junks

Bibliographical items;
links to Yangtze Pelican builders;
a great illustrated article by Andrade, plus an R/C model;
info about Audemard's books;
a rare junk photo: Keying or not?

Gilbertese Canoe

The best short description of a Pacific canoe, or proa, I've found. Text and Figures. No rig; however, all the info for the akas and platform is right here. By Robin Drews (1945).


American Proas, 1898-1998.
Umm, 2000. -n- 1 ... 2010 already.

Articles, photos drawings from The Rudder -- the definitive early material. Plus proa projects from a bunch of us -- including Jim Michalak's stitch-and-glue plywood proa. For some non-American proas, see Gary Dierking's website. (Especially these two links: Tarawa and Toroa.) Don't ask me about my proas. I am indeed the world's slowest builder.

The Proa Word has been spreading and proa talk can be found at Proafile and also at Duckworks Magazine.

Ralph Munroe's 30-footer

John Harris' 20-footer MBULI. About the boat...

Plans for this boat
are here for free:

Munroe's 1898 Proa

Plans for this proa, minus the silly wingmasts, can be purchased from Chesapeake Light Craft. A second Mbuli has been built and is sailing successfully.

Mbuli in primer

About the Cheap Pages: Index

Things that are cheap, and still fun.

This Page:

Links to:

Cheap Guitars


  • itself (it's only a hobby™)

Chinese Lugsails


  • Photos, including Keying
  • Bibliography
  • Tutorial
  • Lessons from a Sampan
  • Rig Geometry
  • Sailcut 8 Web Link

Odd Sails from Polytarp

  • Gunter & Batwing Sails
    • Tiphys, Kemp, Stephens, me
  • Sharpie Sail How-To
  • Balanced Lugsail How-To
  • Sailcut 4 and 8 Web Link
  • Photos

Plywood Boats


  • Bolger Boat Bibliography & Web Links
  • Bolger Boat Honor Roll
  • Some Phil Bolger Boats
  • Build Bolger's Peero
  • Bolger Pirogue 12 Plans


  • Some Jim Michalak Boats
  • Marc Pettingill's Sweet Dream
  • Dave Carnell's $200 Sailboat
  • St Michaels Sailing Scow Plan
  • Short Boats: Scows, Skiffs, Sneakboxes


  • Craig's Boat Models
  • Knots: Constrictor Hitch & More
  • DIY Cleats
  • Bamboo Paddles
  • Bamboo Kayak



  • The Proa FAQ & Web Links
  • ProaBoat: About Proas
  • ProaBoat: American Proas 1898-1998


  • Munroe Proa Plans
  • Mary & Lamb Plans
  • Bolger's Proa
  • UBU, the Scow-Proa
  • My Cheap Coleman Proa
  • Gilbertese Canoes

Sailing Canoes


  • Practical Canoeing
  • The Sailing Canoe Pages Web Link
  • W.P. Stephens Web Link
  • Reefing Battened Sails from C.B. Vaux
  • Batwing Gunter Rigs
  • Canoe Rigs from W.P. Stephens
  • My Cheap Coleman Sailing Canoe

This & That & Bamboo


  • The American Bamboo Society Web Link
  • Bamboo Links
  • Tray Boat of Tai Wan
  • Bamboo Rafts
  • Vietnamese Basket Boat
  • Fridtjof Nansen's Bamboo Kayaks
  • Bamboo Kayak Plans
  • Scientific Americans Links

Tube Amps


  • another hobby
  • schematics, maybe

Wanda the Cat


  • Wanda the Wonder Cat herself
  • Trouser, Digit, Bert

Other Cheap Spots, including Many Johns, a Dave, Tim, Clyde, Joe and Ken:

Blue Dot A huge, enormous and giant list of Nautical Links from John Kohnen.

Blue Dot Small Boating Calendar - Who's Doing What Where.

Blue Dot The Boatbuilding Community - Resources Galore.

Blue Dot Shantyboats courtesy of Joe McWilliams. Build one today and get going!

Blue Dot Eric Eldred's Magnificent e-Book site, Eldritch Press.

Blue Dot Eric's site for Nathaniel Bishop - of Sneakbox, Paper Canoe and Pampas fame.

Blue Dot Ancestor Stuff: Seafaring Fassitts, Lifesaving Hitchens, and the Seaside Bateau. 

Blue Dot John's Cool Boats - Doodles and Designs from John Harris.

Blue Dot Gary Dierking's Proas - great stuff.

Blue Dot Reuel Parker likes sharpies, skiffs and junks.

He has got to be one of the hippest designers going. Wonderful boats on a very elegant page.

Blue Dot Uncle John's Cajun Pirogues - Skiffs too - Possibly the Simplest Boat Kit Made.

and Mike talks about building and sailing his (tarp sail alert!)

Blue Dot Jim Michalak's Web Site - Plans and Interesting Essays.

Blue Dot John's Nautical Stuff & Old Steam Navy - from John Kohnen.

Blue Dot The Paper Boat Page - Paper was High Tech Once.

Blue Dot Build a Paper Boat - Paper was Low Tech Once.

Dr. Mark's reprint of an old article, and cruising medical info.

Voyage of the Paper Canoe - N.H. Bishop

Blue Dot Sailing Canoe Page - Rob Hupfield's overview of organized canoe sailing and racing.

Blue Dot Wooden Canoe Heritage Assn - old canoeing articles & misc. A great site.

Blue Dot MAIB - Bits and pieces of Messing About in Boats magazine on the Web. Index too.

Blue Dot Tim Webber's Scram Pram - a Michalak Design.

Blue Dot Clyde Wisner's Bolger LILY - an Electric-Powered 15-foot Skiff.

Blue Dot Dave Carnell's Home Page

- Dave hits cyberspace with info on epoxy, preservatives, plans and more.

Blue Dot Cold Moulded Spars - Lay Up Carbon Fiber in Your Spare Time.

Blue Dot PVC Cleats and other great cheap stuff from David Beede. Us Cheap Guys must Stick Together.

Blue Dot The Amateur Yacht Research Society - Simon Fishwick's "unofficial" page & links.

Blue Dot The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum - Well, it's nearby and very nice.

and CBMM Boat Plans - Order Some Today!

Blue Dot Selway Fisher Design - Sailing Canoes and such.

Blue Dot Penny - and other MacNaughton Designs boats with a junk rig.

Blue Dot San Francisco Pelican - the smallest Junk Rigged Small Boat?




Cheap Guitars

Tube Amps


Wanda Cat

Sailing Canoes

Odd Sails

Chinese Lugsails

This & That

Plywood Boats

Made on a Macintosh




4.0 11/09/99
4.8 09/20/00
10.0 12/2009