The Splashing of a Mollyhawk at the Depoe Bay Wooden Boat Show
April 20, 21, 2012

When last we left the Mollyhawks, we were feverishly trying to get them ready for the Depoe Bay Wooden Boat Show that happens on the third weekend of April every year. The project had to lay fallow for a week as members were committed to various obligations, but the boat show was still happening. Bud had taken one Mollyhawk to the show and we'd planned on working on it there.

Rick L. a fellow boat builder from Canada and holder of the title of 2010 Puddle Duck World Champion as well as several Canadian PDR championships, came down for the show. Early Saturday morning, we went to the Boathouse to get some tools. This greeted us at the docks. Kony 2012? Come on, kids, that was so last March.

Neat thing about Canadians, they like to work. Rick jumped up and grabbed a broom while I started looking for bits and parts.

Rick took over making the plates for our oar sockets while I hauled stuff up to the car. We were making them out of 1/8 x 1.5" aluminum.

At the boatshow, we turned to, trying to get the Mollyhawk ready for her debut. These boats are very elegant and attracted a lot of attention.

Rick and I worked in tandem, me drilling pilot holes for the screws so they wouldn't split the spacer blocks and Rick placing the wale correctly.

Oh, that's a purty boat.

The Boathouse was also showing off one of the Teak Ladies - this is Ma Zu, our most recent addition. Rick J. is demonstrating how to insert oakum in the gaps in the planking.

Back at the Mollyhawk, we were installing the gussets that support the seat. This is a two man operation - one driving the screw up from the bottom . . .

While the other firmly holds the gusset in place - making sure it is straight up and down and aligned with the center of the boat.

Next was to attach the keel. We'd given it a nice coating of epoxy and Rick chipped off the runs so we had a a nice fit. We bedded the keel with a thick bead of PL Concrete and Masonry Patch rather than thickened epoxy - my reasoning being PL C&M remains flexible when cured and the keel is probably going to be subjected to shocks.

Mounting the keel is a multi-man operation. The keel has to be dead straight or the boat will track all catty-whompus. Rick and Dave B. held the keel down while the screws were driven and Curt kept it in alignment.

Next was installing the boat and stern seats, along with their inspection hatches. Dave B. is applying 3-Hour Rain, a paintable silicone II product that is not an adhesive. We want to make the seats air tight so they'll be floatation, but if we ever suffer damage under there, we might need to open it up to get at it.

I grabbed this random on-looker and put him to work driving screws.

l-r Dave B, Curt, me, Joe L and Rick. We got the seats bedded and now needed to wait 3 hours for the caulk to cure.

We waited 2 hours, then decided to splash her. We quite literally tossed her in.

Rick and I were the first to test her out. She is a very stable boat.

She FLIES on the water - just slips along like a queen. Both Rick and I weigh over 200lbs and you can see how nicely she trims.

What really surprised me was her maneuverability. The keel is just deep enough to get her to track nicely but she can turn in her own length.

Oh, yeah. This boat is fitting all the design criteria we had.

As afternoon went to evening, we put our toys away and went to the Exhibitor Appreciation dinner where the mayor of Depoe Bay thanked all of us for coming. She seems to be a very nice lady.

Still light out, I took Rick on a sight-seeing walkabout. It was low tide, so we went down to the north side of the Devil's Punchbowl.

We were walking along, talking and looking for red agates when we stumbled upon (nearly literally) a pile of harbor seals. We quickly backed off, snapped a shot, and headed back.

Sunset over Gull Rock. Very nice.

Sunday dawned as a day of adventure. It was time to take the Mollyhawk out around the buoy. The open ocean is a scary place, but I've set this up as a Rite of Passage kind of thing.

Very low tide. Rick and I exit the notch with total confidence.

We are adventurous, but not stupid. I'd encouraged a couple Coots to come out and act as chase boats. Dennis has a slick and fast motor boat (left) and Joe has his electric fantail (r.)

Backside of the buoy. That's how she's done, boys.

Oh, MAN, that's a nice shot of Joe and his fantail as we circle around for the trip back.

Back a the docks, it's time for more testing. Here, we have roughly 700lbs of people. Still easily rowed and very seaworthy - we have plenty of freeboard.

Another shot of traveling 4-up to show the exit at the stern. At the bow is Kendall, then Chuck G, and at the back is Dave B. I'm trying to convince Kendall to do the TX 200 with Dave and I this summer.

Jim B got this hand-crank outboard, so we thought we'd give it a go.

I'm using the oars for steerage while Kendall cranks away. Yes, it works (pretty nicely) but it is a 2 man operation.

Next had Aaron and Kendall trying out a 2hp. Kendall is a kayaker and has a hard time not having an oar in the water. Man, I was pleased with how this boat performs. Nice design, John Welsford!

Here's a nice shot of Jamie O in his strip canoe with the Mollyhawk under power in the background. Aaron had a blast playing with the outboard, he'd put it hard over and the Mollyhawk would spin in her own length. Very maneuverable.

Whilst we were tootling around, Greg, and Dan had been out catching their limit of ling cod in Greg's new-to-him Brockaway Skiff.

Having waved good-bye to Rick so he could start heading back to Canada, Kendall and I decided to round the buoy again. Dennis came out with his little runabout to keep and eye on us.

Right about here, the subject of "buoy slapping" came up. This is a stupid thing to do - very dangerous and foolhardy. No one should ever put their boat and crew to such risk just to say "I slapped the buoy."

Yep. No one. It actually took us a bit of maneuvering to get close enough. Oars don't make this easy.

So there you have it - one of the Mollyhawks was splashed with total success. I can't be more pleased.