Roughing out the Corky
June 27-30, 2016

A Corky is a novelty boat - basically a sailing inner tube It has long been a joke in the adventure boating world, but I've never actually seen one, so I thought we better have a couple at the Boathouse.

The free plans can be found on Simplicity Boats: Corky Plans. I found some large truck tires at a river tubing company: Outdoor Supply Inc. The rest of the bits, we'll be making at home.

There's the inner tube in the raw.

Inflated, it's just like the website said: About 12" high and . . .

about 44" wide.

I wanted to elongate the shape - just because.

I got the cheapest 1x10 the local lumber store had: Pre-primed exterior trim. I got one piece about 8' long, then had to get another about 6' long to make the rudder and mast partner.

Trying to figure out how to do the stems. Eh, close enough.

I'm seeing how far I can stretch the tube so I can place the second stem.

That's it, essentially.

Here's my idea for the rudder: Plumbing straps for the gudgeons and a big dowel for the pintle. You'll see more on this, later.

Time to make some sails. I used an old tarp that sat on my roof for 4 months a year ago - it had suffered UV degradation, but the price was right. I have 3 tubes, so I'll make 3 sails. I don't feel like drawing out copies of the sail, so I folded the tarp over to get 3 layers, and pinned it together.

I am using a version of the Michalak 75 sqft Balanced Lug scaled down to 16sqft.

The tarp was fraying badly. UV is tough on plastics. I needed to come up with a way to keep the sails from disintegrating once hung on he mast.

I decided to put a 3/4" fold at the edge of the panels - no raw edges. I like this method - I might continue it.


Pin the panels in place and stitch 'em in. That's the way to get it done.

I wanted to run an edge rope around the peak, head, throat, luff, clew, foot, and tack of the sail - leaving the leach clean. I went to Walmart (because it is close) and looked at their pathetic selection of ropes. Clothes line ought to not be stretchy, don't you think? WRONG - this garbage is stretchy as heck. Don't use it (but I did)

Welting foot to get the thread close to the edge rope.

One of these sails will be going to a friend and fellow adventurer who lives in Canada. I had some spare white polytarp so I printed up a maple leaf and . .

Tada! Except now that I look at it, the leaf is in line with the leach, but when hung properly, the leach will be at an angle, so the leaf will be at an angle. Those crazy Canuks. What will they think of next?

It's grommet time! One at each corner, one each for the reef points , and five each for the head and foot, 16 total. Grommets can be gotten from Duckworks, your friendly on-line chandlery.

Get the tools, too - they make the job go much easier. The hole punch is from Harbor Freight.

Again: Tada! A 16sqft balanced lug made from an old tarp and with a crooked leaf for decoration. It's poetry, man!