Monday, August 3, 2015

Hogfish Life the past few months, new skiffs, Stoner Boatworks update,lots more

Will try and catch up on a bunch of things going on with the Hogfish, Rachel and I.
We have sailed as far south as Grenada and are now anchored in a bay off of place called Jolly Harbor in Antigua for the summer. I have a project to do which is redoing all the teak decking on Wild Bird in its cockpit and fore cabin deck. The rest of the 34 year old teak decking I will remove, fiberglass over the underlying deck and Awlgrip to yacht standards. Will show this project on a future blog post when finished.
I get a few emails a day asking advice about this and that from some of my old Flats Fishing boat owners and others that are doing their own designs and making new plugs. 
Following is a sample of what's been going on lately.
My story about finding treasure and the feel of greed was published last mont in the Caribbean Compass. You can read this paper online. I'am homered to be in there.

This is Capt. John Iversons skiff from Louisiana. This is the first flats boat I built in 1983 for Carley Causey.
Jon emailed me a couple of years ago asking for any kind of info I had on this skiff that he had just bought. I sent him all the building photos that I had. We have become friends.
Ten months ago he sent me an email saying that he was moving on to a new boat and would like to give me this skiff free and clear. He wanted it to go back to its creator. Wow, such a kind offer. I explained to him in declining his offer that I was not a flats fisherman so would have no real use for it. 
But would try and help him find a good home for it. Find him at

It's still in perfect shape. 
This is a picture that was posted on Facebook of the Stoners Version of the Spanish Wells Marina skiff design that I had put together 26 years ago. In my earlier post I explained my feelings about what this skiff could be when the Stoners Boat Company got their version done. Would it be an improvement or a quick splash to capitalize on the new Spanish Wells Boatworks revamping and improving of my old molds? It looks like a splash from here. Nothing new. But it's sitting on its original lines nicely.
Another facebook picture of the hull coming out of the mold. When I look at pictures online and I can plainly see sloppy glass work on a mold I have to wonder what's the boat going to look like in the out of the way places. They have cut off the keel making a small flat pad here. Mark Stoner says its for fuel efficiency. I have seen a picture of the inside and all they have done that I can see is put in a square hatch in the foredeck. So far to me this is a splash. Waiting to see what they will be charging. I'am disappointed so far.

The other day in Grenada these guys were selling these fish along the carnage. They are very tasty when deep fried. This you can buy for cents.
 I just love the colors in this wooden skiff
Next along the carnage is this plywood go fast skiff. These boats really take a sea well and are very fast
Here's some more up in Carriacou on the beach. All bare painted plywood.
A two bow skiff down the beach. These are now only for sailing
My favorite plywood skiff in Carriacou 
Hers one with a bit of detail
Lots of wee as they say.
A new varnished one built in Carriacou

See how the Chines are above the water when at rest. Perfect. 
In the French islands they race these little sloops with big sprit sail mains and small jibs. When the mast is up the boat cannot stay upright so off you must go sailing, hiking out and bailing away.

Sweet transom
The fastest Carriacou sloop this year. It's for sale for $50,000.00 US with a full racing mast and sails.

This is Alexis Andrews Carriacou sloop " Genesis" with Alex at the stern. He has just sailed up from St. Bart's to Falmouth in Antigua. He's buying 1,800 lbs of extra lead from me for these sloops. They all carry inside ballest.
While at Woodstock Boatbuilders in Antigua the other day I got around to talking half models with its owner Andrew Robinson. He was going to order a custom one for hundreds of dollars to give as gift To the owner of the boat he had just rebuilt. I said I could make a bunch in a few hours and would trade for some of his company's tee shirts. 
This I did and he was very happy
Here's a plug that Dustin Bates is building for a personal flats skiff. He has been emailing me questions and sending photos of what he's up to asking advice. He wants to build three skiffs for himself and family.

This is going to be a very stable and dry skiff from the looks of it. Nice plug work too. I'am looking forward to seeing it upright.
Going through some old papers on board I found these old sales brochures from when I worked at Gold Coast Yachts in St. Croix 25 years ago. I worked building their wooden catamarans till they found out I could draw and had lots of design ideas. Next thing I know I'am in an air conditioned office doing conceptuall designs for their future wave piercing power cats. I drew and designed the boats to scale and they took these and gave them to their computer guy to print out.

It's nice to see a vision I had many years ago afloat in the Caribbean today. Actually they are all over the place now.
Local fish vendor in St. Pierre in Martinique selling Ballyhoo to eat. Beaks cut off and all gutted.

 Little red snappers for sale. The bucket was not full. That's all they had
Some trigger fish for sale. Very small. They catch everything and sell it.
These tuna are 14" long! 
Why are all the fish vendors so grumpy looking. I get the women to smile when I say don't cut yourself when buying some tuna.
Rachel climbing up a hill we are trying to get over when hiking along the coast of Guadaloupe

At the top was this great stack of rocks placed by nature.
Hogfish sailing up to Diamond Rock off the south coast of Martinique. This island was commissioned by the British to be a Man O War ship. Wrecked havoc for quite awhile back in the day.
Gayle under a tree on a hike up from the sea side town of St. Pierre. We were going to hike along a 100 plus year old aqueduct that was built by slaves to provide water for sugarcane fields.

Once you started walking along the edge of the waterway you could look down the sheer face the mountain side to the valley below. The water was perfectly clear and clean and fast moving.
In Antigua now it is very dry and dusty, such a contrast to the other islands. Back in the slave days in Antigua they cut all the trees down to grow sugar cane so this helps to not draw in the moisture. Antigua is a very trashy dirty island, the worst place I've seen. Rachel and I do lots of hiking here and no matter where we go in the bush its full of plastic trash.
There were lots of these big huge trees about
Rachel does not like heights as she says she feels like she wants to jump. All went well though as she's still on the ground with me.
On another hike in Martinique we walked along the west coast of the island on our sailing circumnavigation of Martinique.
With other boating friends we did a 11 mile hike out around the eastern most point of land in Martinique.
You can see our four sailboats at anchor below in this secure lagoon.
The view from the light house was great.
To finish off a nice big Palm tree at a rum estate. There were many about at this size.
We will sail back to Martinique after the Hurricane season in December with our daughter Lillian on her Christmas break to do more beach combing as its so good there. From there we start sailing back towards the Bahamas via Cuba and other islands.

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