The Splashing of a Mollyhawk at the Depoe Bay Wooden Boat Show
April 20, 21, 2012
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
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
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
I grabbed this random on-looker and put him to work
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
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
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
Jim B got this hand-crank outboard, so we thought we'd give it
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
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.