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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I don't think I ever posted a picture of the electric motor which can be used to provide auxiliary power if needed.  The only problem with an auxiliary is they tend to get in the way when you are sailing so I generally just use my canoe paddle.
I received an email form Wooden Boat that they plan to include L' Etoile Du Matin in the 2016 addition of Small Boats Magazine which will be available this December.  She was previously published in  the June Small Boats Monthly which is their monthly internet publication.  Now that my newest project Smaug ( is almost completed I need to get serious about selling L'Etoile Du Matin.  I have decided to price her at $14,900.  She is in my garage in our home in Fillmore Ca.  If you're interested send me an email ( and let's talk.  No reasonable offer will be refused.
This is the shot that was used for the Small Boats Monthly publication and I believe will be used as the lead photo for the article in Small Boats Magazine.  Fortunately I am somewhat hidden by the sail.  Wouldn't want to spoil the picture.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Good News; L'Etoile Du Matin has been selected by Small Boats Monthly to be published in their June internet edition.  We will be shooting some more photos at Ventura Harbor over Memorial Day Weekend so hopefully we'll have a good  breeze.  The new header photo was taken in the harbor last month with about 18 mph of wind. This boat handles like a dream in a brisk breeze.

Her she is on a beam reach and she is smoking.  I didn't have the GPS on board so I can only guess we were doing about 9 mph.  I was amazed at how little she healed under full sail.

Sorry about the spot on the lense, probably a drop of water.  As I have mentioned before you can turn her 180 degrees on a dime.  Since I was sailing back and forth on a beam reach each turn was a complete 180 and she spun around so quickly I barely had time to duck under the boom and switch sides.  Next trip I'll have a crew so we will she how she handles with an extra crewman aboard.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I finally got the chance to take her out on Ventura Harbor.  A beautiful day for July (Fog Normal) and about 15 MPH steady onshore breeze.  What a pleasure compared to sailing on mountain reservoirs with light unpredictable wind.  She is a very well behaved vessel and turns on a dime as you can see in the photo.

  The 600lb ballast keeps her upright and steady.  She points well for a Gaffer and although I didn't get any photos of  her tacking up to the breakwater she made excellent headway into a steady Westerly breeze.
This is the last shot my wife took as I sailed towards the harbor entrance channel.  The breakwater in the foreground is the right side of the of the channel (Green Buoy). The channel turns to the left so you only make headway on the starboard tack.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I did some touch up painting on the bottom.  Hoisted her up and set her on a pair of posts.  I used three hoists this time to spread the weight over a larger area and yes my canopy is still standing.   I will be taking her to our home in Southern California so I can sail her in Ventura Harbor or Channel Islands Harbor.  The wind is much more predictable along the coast.   I am currently in the process of starting a new build.  My next venture will be a Rundgatting Snipa drawn by Bertil Andersson.  The plans are available from  The Snipa is a double ended sail/row boat.  The one I will be building is 14 1/2 long.   I am starting a new blog for the Snipa build at  Love to have you join me for a two year adventure.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sailing in the foothill lakes can be a real challenge.  On the day we launched the wind was from the West and supposed to  blow from 5 to 9 mph.  In reality it blew from 0 to  about 5 mph.  I sat becalmed 10 feet from the dock for the first five minutes.  Finally we started to get a gust now and then.  She handles beautifully tacking on a dime.  Hopefully I'll have better wind next time and post some pictures with a little more action.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Time to customize the trailer

The Trailer is an EZloader EZW 14-18 2,100 lb capacity with torsion bar suspension.  I took the large rear bunk supports and installed them mid section.  I then scribe'd a wood block to fit the hull and added filler blocks until I had a nice tight fit against the hull.  Once again my overhead bracing did the job of lifting her off the chocks and setting her gently on the trailer.
  Here is a close up of the wood blocking wrapped in the carpet that came with the original bunker.  I used the remaining bunker as a center support for the keel.  That is why I ordered the torsion bar model so I wouldn't have an axle interfering with my keel bunker.  The steel bunker support was about 30" long by 4" wide so it made a perfect support . Another feature of this trailer is you can relocate the cross bars.  I moved both crass bars forward to the next hole to get better placement of the lead keel on the bunker.  I will probably need to move the torsion bar bracket forward as she has to much tongue weight.

The mast support was made from two pieces of  1/8" by 4" flat rolled steel.  It fit very nicely on either side of the roller support and I simply made a wood insert to hold the mast.

The stern mast support simply attaches to the bulkhead.  I installed two 3/4" by 1 1/2" oak strips with nut certs to receive the bolts.  This way once the bolts have been loosened you can remove them without a wrench.  The Gaff mast is 18' long so it fits nicely on the boat and trailer.  The brace also helps to steady the mast when you are getting ready to step it.

As you can see the mast fits nicely in the chocks.  I added tie downs on either side of the chocks to facilitate strapping the mast to the chocks.

And finally the sails are on and they fit.  Still have a few small issues to resolve but for the most part she is ready for launching.  The mast gets a bit heavy when you add the blocks and rope.  I am using 3/8" Dacron  for the running rigging and 1/4" three strand nylon for the lazy jacks.  I am still working on a good way to step the mast without scaring the forward bulkhead.  If anyone has some thoughts as how best to step the mast I will be happy to listen.  I'll photograph the hardware installation on my next post.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

The weather is finally getting a little warmer and it's time to start mixing epoxy again.  I decided I didn't like looking at all the screws holding the Coaming to the sheer stiffener.  Since I still had one sheet of 3/8 marine ply left I decided to overlay the first sheet and epoxy the two together.  I cut and scarfed the  plywood using the original 1/8 template I spiled the overlay sheet slightly larger so I could sand it in to match the original coaming.  After a couple of dry fits I was satisfied with the new piece.

The most challenging problem was pulling the bottom edge of the plywood tight against the original coaming.  Fortunately I had over-sized the original coaming as I did not want to look at the bottom edge of the sheer stiffener   This gave me a small lip to get a C clamp to grab hold of and with a wood brace clamped to the coaming the C clamp was able to pull the new plywood overlay tight up against the existing coaming.  I also stained the new coaming piece prior to installation to keep the epoxy from spotting the plywood  preventing stain from covering evenly.