Bio: I like boats that sail, particularly those made of wood.

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18 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi,
    I’m intrigued with your approach to building the Schulz F1 kayak. Such a wonderful little boat. Earlier this summer I attended Brian’s build workshop in Astoria, OR, in which all five of his designs were made. I registered as an observer (I’m from Maryland so didn’t want to deal with the added expense of shipping) but actually wound up working on multiple boats, and thus was able to experience the entire building process in a semi-linear fashion. I’m hoping to build an F1 myself this winter, although I’m waiting on Brian to complete the set of plans that were a promised part of the course.

    I see from your site that you have serious building and nautical skills. Also, I gather from your blog that you are located in the mid-Atlantic, so if you ever have time to show your F1 and build process, I’d really appreciate it. Or just allow me to pick your brains via email. A first question I’d like to ask is where do you normally purchase boat building lumber? I am currently living in Silver Spring, MD.

    I’ll look forward to exploring more of your site this evening.


    Steve R., MD

    1. Steven,
      Thanks for your note. If there is any “method” here, it is one showing perhaps a lack of confidence in getting Brian’s design right, thus the molds. I did see his beginnings of plans. Good to see that. I cut out rib material today (oak). I’ll soak them for a few days before steaming. Would be happy to show what I have whenever.
      More later- EB

      1. EB,
        Thanks for the reply. Fabricating and installing the ribbing is interesting, albeit a bit intense. In Brian’s class we used clear, unseasoned oak, ripped and planed to size and then steamed them in a PVC tube chamber using a wall paper steamer. Brian did not pre-soak the oak stock as he felt that one could over-steam the wood, so the ribs were steamed for a set number of minutes. I think we processed the ribs at 6-7 minute intervals and as we removed the current rib, we’d add one more in the series, working from bow to stern. We used a heavy leather strap to guide the bending, flexing/working the rib back and forth to obtain the desired conformation, this taking at least several minutes, before slipping the ribs into the gunnel mortises.

        All stages of the Astoria workshop build were videographed and an edited video will be included with the plans Brian will be offering for sale later this fall. Those of us in this summer’s class were promised the package for free, mainly because we often had to break while filming was taking place. Actually, I found the repetition very helpful because he moves at a pretty brisk pace, so it was good to catch a breather and a review. I was going to mention the partial plans that he has on his website but I guess you’ve already got those. And, by the sounds of it, you’ll have your kayaks finished before his plans are made available.

        While the construction method for these boats is very forgiving and adaptable on the fly (at least Brian makes it look easy), I like the idea of the molds you came up with. I plan to build at least 2 and I think the molds would be a useful aid to standardize design and to set the stringers.

        I gather you live around Richmond. Although I live in Maryland, I think my favorite places to paddle and kayak fish are the Piankatank River and Mobjack Bay. I’m hoping I’ll have time to get down there in early November.

        I’ll look forward to your next installment here and I’ll keep you posted on my progress to getting my own boat started.


      2. Steve,
        Thank you for the additional insight. I’m currently soaking the ribs. Many bigger boat builders do the same before steaming frames. We’ll see how it goes. I may use a PVC pipe and tea kettle. I haven’t ordered the ballistic nylon and coating yet. I want to make sure I have something to cover! Brian’s video of the sewing is most helpful.

  2. Peter Green

    reading this with a skin full of red wine, as the storm outside beats against my tensioned boat cover, over an almost completed 12′ lugsail dinghy (fron the pen of Paul Gartside). Beautiful site and engrossing videos, I am really enjoying your approach to sailing…. (and I’m in Australia)

    1. Peter,
      Not sure I was sipping red wine, but I do remember sitting in my “soon-to-be” UNA and dreaming about our future sailing. So, thank you. Are you sharing your build? Is it Paul’s Riff design? I don’t think he can draw a bad boat. Been wanting his “Plans and Dreams”. Maybe Santa will get my letter this year?
      As you can guess, winter is closing in fast here. Sounds like it is fitfully leaving you. My daughter and I did get out for a brisk sail yesterday with lunch on the hook in a favorite spot. Perhaps we can squeeze in another before the year is out.

  3. Axel WOLFF

    I live in France and I’m just about to start building an F1 of my own. I started lofting H. Golden’s drawings to enter them into CAD, then stumbled upon your building blog.
    If by any chance you are willing to share your CAD file, be sure it will be greatly appreciated. If not, no problem I would perfectly understand.
    I will be adapting the beam and depth (+1/2″) as Brian recommends. Got the mold dimensions calculated in an excel table already, next thing to to is enter them in Autodesk. Hope you can help.
    Thanks, Axel

    1. Axel,
      Now that Brian Schulz has his design plans available, I think it would be more appropriate to get those. He had not released them when I did my build. All I had was the same Golden hand drawing. I’m not certain I even took into account the 1/2″ you speak of. I can tell you that it is the best of the 5 kayaks I’ve built so far. It really is a light and versatile boat. And, I haven’t taken it to the beach yet.
      Best of luck-

  4. Axel WOLFF

    Thanks EB, no problem. I went on and entered the points in Autodesk, I’m about ready to print the forms. The 1/2″ adaptation is for people over 220 lbs, which may not be your case.
    The problem with the plans made available by BS is that you can’t buy them without buying the 10h building class videos for an additional $225. Although I completely understand his reasons to do so (building the boat exactly right), it just makes the price of the boat too high when you add the material. I’ll see how it comes out. Your step-by-step photos will definitely help, as well as other resources on the internet.

  5. Axel WOLFF

    Sure, I will too. Paying for a design is absolutely normal. I’m finishing a strip-planked Frej after plans I bought from the designer, Bjorn Thomasson.
    Thanks for your encouragements.

  6. Gary Gowans

    I’m told that you now have a Moth class sailboat that I sold to a gentleman that lived in the Richmond area. The sail number that he would have had is “Z 1”.
    The class historian sent me to your website as he and I like to keep track of where the Moths are.

    1. I’m fairly certain you sold the boat to me. Fixed her up: re-rigged a few things, painted her and named her Chica. Sold her 5 yrs ago to buy sails for Una. Can’t recall the name of the fellow who bought her. Sorry.

  7. Coeman Maarten

    Hello, whilst visiting Paul Gartside website I noticed a sweet 19ft double ender with you’re name on the plans…
    So I had to check in to see if there was any hints of a new build on the way?

    I have a Paul Gartside set of plans #165 smaller sister to #257.
    Sail a whilly tern, smaller sister to you’re sooty tern on the local pond…
    Refit and sail a 1963 28ft trintella 1, a boat not much unlike you’re tartan…

    Sincere greetings from Belgium,

    1. Hello Maarten,
      I like your selection of boats! Have you started the 165? As you may know, Off Center Harbor featured Rob Denny’s Skorri which got me thinking about a stretched version at a “Rhodes 19” scale with cuddy. A recent move and a garage built last summer has me closer to starting #257. Keep us posted on your end. Cheers-

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