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Some of Craig's Projects

This page is a catchall for things I haven't been able to completely write up

It's chronically "unfinished" so don't let random stuff at the bottom distress you.

Building a Nansen Kayak

The Great Awk Paddle

A 12' Sailing Scow

A Tacking Proa: Nothing gets cheaper than this

Skinney 17' Sailing Canoe

Deadfall: I Collect Tree Parts

A Canoe Jam Cleat

Rigs: Tiny Gaff, Lug, Batwing Sails

An AS19 Model

A Jinni Model

Building a Nansen Kayak  
...not an archaeological dig!

More bamboo-kayak-building photos coming. I've gotten to the point of attaching the chines. Now, if it would stop raining.

Oops. Now, if it would warm up some...

Pages of background with images of the original Nansen Kayak.


The Great Awk Paddle:  bamboo, ply and carbon fiber

  Begin here...

  ...end here.

I was inspired by Marc Pettingill's Widgeon paddle article in WoodenBoat some months back. Essentially I made an angled blade and then began shaving the edges until I got a nice balance. I still haven't shaved both blades, which probably says something about paddles. I want to try S-glass as well as carbon cloth. The paddle held up very well for a season, except for breaking at a place where I did a dumb stunt when epoxying the bamboo to the blades: don't make the cut between nodes, make it at a node.

St Michaels Sailing Scow: a genuine, 12-foot one-design sailboat.

About the Scow: dimensions will be added. As well as new class rules, since I've pirated administration of the class from whoever had it before <grin>.

An AS19 Model

About Bolger's AS19: has anyone ever built one of these? Is it a Martha Jane in miniature, a stumpy AS29, or a leeboard Long Micro? I bought plans because at one point I thought this would be a nice cruising boat for Chesapeake waters. Now I have other plans... and other plans.

The Tacking Proa, or, the Bolger Ama Saga

These thumbnails will have to do for now, until I get all the scans organized.

Ama and Vaka from starboard.



Beams are 2x2x8-ft scrap. Beams are lashed to ama and to the canoe with genuine flotsam poly line, of which there's quite a bit along the Chesapeake shores. The sail is my Chinese lugsail. The vaka is a Coleman molded canoe.

Ama and Vaka from port.


The oval thing in the canoe is the leeboard. I tried several different mountings and finally opted for a simple rope. There is a push-pull tiller attached to a balanced rudder on the canoe.

Ama only; bow view.

The ama is scaled way down from Phil Bolger's Tarantula design. It's a simple box-sharpie hull with some rocker. It's very nearly symmetrical fore and aft.

Don't ask me why I built this one, it was a whim.


The ama is lauan ply with a 1/2-inch ply bottom. Some bulkheads are blue foam. Chines are fiberglass taped and epoxied.

At the time this photo was taken the hatch covers were not in place, in case I wanted to add weight inside the hull. There are fore and aft airtight compartments. The aft compartment has a lower deckline than the fore compartment. I figured a place to stash stuff made sense.

The whole banana head-on.

Yes, it's true that the ama has no stem or sternpost. I couldn't decide what to put there. Still haven't.

It's interesting to note how well the lashings worked out. They didn't come loose, and they allowed lots of flexibility so the ama rode over chop well.

I also tried split-rail fence rails which I found washed up on the beach hereabouts. They're a cheap and easy way to get an ama happening, but I did want the tack and tape experience.

Has anyone considered "Trex" recycled-plastic boards? It's waterproof and fairly heavy, almost to the point of neutral buoyancy. I imagine a sort of "T"-shaped ama providing weight and some lateral plane.

These items aren't quite ready yet:

Peero Rigs: Gaff, Lug, Batwing, More

This past summer I quickly cobbled up some more rigs for the Bolger peero. Self-explanatory photos and drawings coming sometime... they're tiny and therefore suitable for almost any boat.

Skinney, the Sailing Canoe: it's Bolgeresque, but from maybe 1925

Here's a 17-ft, sharpie-hulled sailing canoe. I'm making a model. I don't think you could find a simpler sailing canoe design. By Chester Nedwidek, from MoToR Boating.

Deadfall Cedar, Ash and Locust: I Collect Tree Parts

This is what I make cleats from. I've made cleats completely freehand (saw, chisels, drawknife, rasps) and with the assistance of bandsaw and sander. I've expanded my horizons to include woods like Paulownia and Osage Orange.

The Butler Cleat: a Jam Cleat for Canoes

Just what you wanted: a historical essay on cleats... now featured on the Cleats Page.






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1.0 10/22/97
1.2 11/08/97
1.3 01/27/98