Launchings of Chase Small Craft

Family Boatbuilding at WoodenBoat School

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There are still 3 spaces! Register at the School's website. In one week, you can build this 10-foot outboard skiff with your family in the most beautiful, fun setting, in Brooklin, Maine, home of WoodenBoat.

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FEATURED LAUNCHING
Drake Raceboat 20
Nate Rooks has launched his own Drake Raceboat 20. He will race his boat in the Seventy48, a 2-day rowing race from Tacoma to Port Townsend, WA. He is also documenting the build, launch, training, and race as part of Off Center Harbor. So there will be some great video coming out. Here is a sneak peek video on Nate's FB page. | View all boat kits

FEATURED LAUNCHING
Build-your-own Calendar Islands Yawl
Jim wnated an upgrade from his Northeaster Dory, something bigger and more substantial but light. He launched his CIY and was really impressed with it. His boat will be a contestant in the Conours d' Elegance and on display in our booth at the WoodenBoat Show coming up in two weeks in Mystic.
View all boat kits

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FEATURED LAUNCHING
Drake 19
George Costakis in Washington State just launched his Drake 19. He'll be racing in the Seventy48 with is son. They are rowing tandem and plan to use the boat later for cruising the beautiful waters out there. 
View all boat kits

 

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TIP OF THE MONTH: Reading instruction manuals

I take a huge amount of pride in the instruction manuals that I write for my boats. It takes an enormous amount of time to accumulate the feedback, photos, and trials required to make a great manual. Mine are always being revised and so I have made them "live" in the cloud. A great way to use them is to read them right off the shared folder that you will receive and open them on your iPad, laptop, or desktop. You will always see the most current version. A live manual like this will also enable the use of slideshows and videos embedded in the manual itself. See more of our tips here.

 

 

 

 


Parting Shot from the Washington Coast

  Nate Rooks is going to have a great race on June 11th. It is the first annual  Seventy48 , a 2-day, 70-miler that goes from Tacoma and finishes in Port Townsend. I love this shot snapped by his brother while Nate was doing a training run 'round Bainbridge Island.

Nate Rooks is going to have a great race on June 11th. It is the first annual Seventy48, a 2-day, 70-miler that goes from Tacoma and finishes in Port Townsend. I love this shot snapped by his brother while Nate was doing a training run 'round Bainbridge Island.

Top 5 advantages of building from a kit

Talking with a potential customer for a Drake 19 recently brought up a common question. Do I have the skills to build from plans? And, Should I build from plans or from a kit?

To build from plans, the primary skills needed are plans reading and problem solving skills, or put another way, you have to figure things out on your own. Chase Small Craft plans have a ton of information, but there is no manual for how to read the plans and extract the info needed to make parts, set up the boat, and so on. I provide full size patterns for most of the parts, which allows the builder to transfer the shapes to wood and cut out, saving some measurement and layout time, but it still means there is a lot of cutting involved. Plans builders do have access to the information supplied to kit builders, so they do have a manual and timber list to assist them. And I am only a phone call away if they have questions.

 The pank layout for the Drake 19 showing the precut planks with NC Scarfs above and the layout-by-hand measurements below. There are 42 measurements  per plank that a plans builder would need to layout.

The pank layout for the Drake 19 showing the precut planks with NC Scarfs above and the layout-by-hand measurements below. There are 42 measurements per plank that a plans builder would need to layout.

In our shop we only build boats from kits. The reasons are bountiful, but here are the top 5:

  1. the strongback is part of the kit and everything jigs and interlocks together.
  2. the planks are precut with the scarfs saving a great deal of effort and time
  3. bulkheads, frames, and stems/transoms are both precut and designed to integrate into the building jig seamlessly
  4. when you turn the boat over, the major structure is already installed in the boat
  5. you'll knock down on the building time by about 25% allowing you to put more time into painting and fitting out the boat
 The Drake 19 kit set up, this one being built in Oregon currently. You can follow his progress on the  Google album linked to here .

The Drake 19 kit set up, this one being built in Oregon currently. You can follow his progress on the Google album linked to here.

These are the perks for building with a precut plywood kit. We haven't even begun discussing the advantages of a complete kit!

It is a Drake Rowboat Release Partay

Release of two new Drake Rowboat Kits

MkII Drake Rowboat & the all new Drake Raceboat 

Now shipping

The guys from Off Center Harbor produce some wonderful videos for all of us. They do it well, are gracious, and support my work. Please consider supporting them with a membership and get in return a wealth of wonderful knowledge and good vibes through their beautiful craftsmanship online.

 You can click here to watch the full video about this boat on  OffCenterHarbor.com , and please consider supporting their good work with a membership.

You can click here to watch the full video about this boat on OffCenterHarbor.com, and please consider supporting their good work with a membership.

Likewise, the good folks at Small Boats Monthly know their stuff and share it every month with us online. Another membership based site, they covered the prototype of the Drake Raceboat this past September. Consider supporting them as well and see a preview of the article their website.

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Bronze Oarlocks for Rowing: Horn style or Oval?

 Perko #1 Horn style oarlocks

Perko #1 Horn style oarlocks

 Thomas Oarlocks, oval

Thomas Oarlocks, oval

Chase Small Crafters can now choose between two styles of oarlocks in their kits. The familiar horn style oarlock is a standard choice. They allow the oar to pop out easily to stow in the boat and the oarlock comes out of its socket and stores in the boat, tied off to the boat with a gold colored, braided lanyard that comes with the hardware kit. However, new rowers tend to have to learn how to keep their oars from popping out prematurely. 

Or do you choose the Thomas oarlock? This oval lock is unique in shape and better than a round oarlock, in my opinion, because there is more freedom of movement vertically in the lock which is important for clearly waves and helping accommodate for a boat with a lot of flare. The fit is just right so that in the rowing motion, there is little if any slop. The shaft stays in contact with the lock through the stroke and won't lift out.

Although I am a seasoned rower, I have come to like the feel of these locks as much as I do the horn style, perhaps more so, because of the feel. However, one con is that the oarlocks live on the oar. So it is a matter of preference and I leave it up to you. 

Top five reasons to build the Echo Bay Dory Skiff for your first boat

#5 Quick to build

 The tab-n-lock system

The tab-n-lock system

Time is always tight when you are teaching kids or adults and people don't have the time to commit to a multi-week class. The EBDS can be built in 3-days or a 1-week class. While going fast is the last thing I want to see teachers or parents doing while working with their kids, having a boat that goes together within kids' natural spans of attention is nice. The Echo Bay kit does this by employing features like the Wavy Scarf and the Tab-n-Lock System.

#4 Lightweight 

When a boat is light, it is easy to move on land and much easier to cartop. At 85 lbs, the Echo Bay can be thrown in a pick up or on a typical rooftop car rack. Moving the boat is not a chore. I can move the boat by myself and two kids can move the boat. Likewise, the parts of the boat are small and light and little kids can lift and carry them, becoming part of the build.

#3 Beautiful lines

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We ought to be showing our children what beautiful is and means and why we should take care of nice things. Life is too short to own an ugly boat is a famous bumper sticker on the coast of Maine. Life is too short not to build a beautiful boat, is my saying.

#2 You can include kids in the project

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When I teach with the Echo Bay, the first day of a week long class is spent preparing parts, such as:

  1. Shaping the stem
  2. Gluing the planks
  3. Preparing the bulkheads
  4. Making the midship frame
  5. Making the transom

Each kid has a job that they can get their arms around. They have a concrete project that teaches them skills and builds familiarity with the materials and workflow in the shop. After making their part, they can bring it to the group project when the sides of the boat are formed.

The EBDS is also a good project for using tube adhesives, specifically I use GelMagic or Gluezilla which is an epoxy in a caulking tube with a mixing tip. The glue comes out premixed and the work stays much cleaner which is always good when you have kids involved.

#1 The Echo Bay is simply a joy on the water, sailing or rowing

The Echo Bay Dory Skiff sails and rows beautifully and you can get a 2-3 kids into the boat comfortably or two adults. The lug or sprit sail drives the boat very well without over-canvassing it and under oars the skiff flies. In fact, the Echo Bay routinely won a rowing race (Compass Projects Rowgatta) I used to run in Portland years ago.