From Gavin Atkin in Kent England
A Mouse on holiday
Colpitts took Mouse #1 along to the Small Craft Association's
annual fest at the Mystic Seaport Museum, and a lot of
people tried out the little boat, including the two great
girls in the pictures: Alyssa (eleven years old) and
Georganne (just turned 6). It seems to have been quite a hit, so
much so that it left our Dave fairly buzzing for days
afterwards! I should explain that the Mouse is a dirt cheap
to build, easy-peasy one-and-a-bit sheet plywood and
stitch-and-glue boat. The design is free and a download
is available via the design section of the Duckworks e-zine.
Here's Dave's report:
'Pouring rain Saturday, and very few other than the truly
hardy at Small Craft Association annual bash at Mystic
Seaport. Lots of nice small boats, lapstrake Rob Roys,
beautiful row and sail boats, with a few lovely
skin-on-frame kayaks and baidarkas, lots of Mystic River Jellyfish
(a nice double ender like the Six Hour Canoe, but made of real
wood as a family project at Mystic Seaport. Oh, and did I
make it short, almost everyone looked, laughed at it, tried it,
and raved about it. Really smart regular boat types were
among the most praising. Very few sarcastic comments, even
from this hotbed of traditionalism, so I am "wicked
psyched" for the next batch.
About the boat itself, everyone who tried it seemed to grin
from ear to ear, and were surprised at its comfort, rock
steady stability, nimbleness, and general easy grace, which
bely its rather ungainly initial visuals.
Testers ranged from about six foot four and 220 plus pounds
to about 3'4" and about 40 pounds. Versatile! People
also remarked on the obvious ease of launching and landing,
as well as the cartop simplicity. Some people even said it
felt "quick" which I didn't really feel, but didn't argue.
It was certainly not out of place darting in and out of the way
of "real" boats. That in itself speaks volumes.
'I sailed it about a mile back to the beach, with an
umbrella, to myriad grins from the assemblage. It was a
positive revelation was the ability to launch and land dryshod,
by quartering up to the beach with the snout of the Mouse, and
leaning one side of the bow/bottom til it beached, and
stepping in. This resulted in no discernible damage to the
snout, although I suspect that some rather aggressive
"heavy" landings on the "v" caused minor
splits on the outside v seam only, which was not ever even
taped, so it would look pretty. So much for that. Although
the insides are lightly taped and filleted (get this, with
a tacking of polyurethane and drywall tape, followed by
Phenoseal adhesive caulk) and showed no damage, I don't want weeping
wicking water wot in the cheap ply.
Hope you all enjoy the glimpse; it was a tremendous energy
boost for me to spring this new creation on a new niche
eager to try it.'