Boating Articles by Tom

Starting with the little two-person inflatable raft I had as my very first boat, I have always loved the freedom and the feeling of being out on the water. With my father's help, I added a hard plywood floor to that little inflatable, and that was the beginning of a long chain of boats I have owned, loved, maintained, modified, fixed, enjoyed, and scared myself to death on over the past few decades.
A lot of boating time is spent fixing boats, maintaining boats, and upgrading boats with new boating equipment to suit our specific tastes and needs. Lots of salespeople at stores that sell marine boating supplies and boating accessories have learned to recognize me over the years. I have spent my share of time and money working on just about anything you could name on a boat, and made plenty of mistakes. I'm here to share the lessons learned.

Creating The Extremely Light Boat

Expensive Little Boat Expletive Little Boat (You get the idea...) Multihull Dreams The ELB (Extremely Light Boat) project began as many great ideas do: with a couple of guys messing about with a boat. In this case, my friend Don and his buddy … [Read more...]

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 11

Ready to Repair October 16, 2011 Repairing Port Side of Pec We started the day disassembling the repair that we dry fit the night before, then Gene went to work vacuuming the pieces of wood and solvent wiping the repair area while I gathered … [Read more...]

West Coast Trailer Sailing Squadron Pelican Bay Gathering March 2012

The West Coast Trailer Sailing Squadron is a group of Florida sailors who like to gather in different locations to camp out on small boats. I have been aware of the group for several years, but have never made it to one of their cruises. At the … [Read more...]

WaterTribe Everglades Challenge 2012 Start

Kayak and sailing fleets depart from Fort Desoto Park beach Beach at Daybreak Daybreak at Fort Desoto Park looked rather ominous for adventurous racers setting off on the 2012 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge and concurrent events. Low … [Read more...]

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 10

Gusset Deck Underside October 7, 2011 More Lamination and Sanding on Pec To take the picture at right, I stuck my camera up underneath the deck pointing aft toward the new gusset. You can see the different layers of fiberglass underneath the core … [Read more...]

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 9

Crack Evaluation September 29, 2011 Removing Side Deck on Pec Today began a series of days on which honest evaluations of different parts of the boats resulted in their removal. Gene is looking at a little crack in the deck, but it is really not a … [Read more...]

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 8

Chopped Glass Filling September 25, 2011 Rebuilding Side Deck of Fluke The morning began with final preparations to install the scab board underneath the side deck and replace the deck core and gusset that we removed earlier. In the picture at … [Read more...]

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 7

Grinding Deck on Fluke September 20, 2011 More Sanding and Grinding If you want to build or rebuild fiberglass boats, you had better not mind sanding and grinding. We spent many hours doing both. On this day, Gene mostly finished grinding out the … [Read more...]

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 6

Peeling Wax Paper August 31, 2011 More Test Laminations, Removing Gussets, More Deck Skin Removal We decided today was the day to find out more about using wax paper as a release layer under fiberglass laminations. As noted back on page 4, the … [Read more...]

Rebuilding Whaleboat Tenders Part 5: Boat Parts Shopping Day

Fuel Tanks at Marine Surplus August 30, 2011 Marine Surplus Inc, Fort Myers We left early in the morning to head down to Marine Surplus Inc in Fort Myers, FL. Our primary mission for the day is to check out fuel tanks, but we also want to scout … [Read more...]