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November 2014

The Friendship Catboat

A 21st-century makeover for an early-20th-century design

In boating circles, the word friendship brings to mind the classic Maine-built sloop from which pre-internal-combustion lobstermen tended their traps. For Richard Armstrong, however, the word conjures up a different image—a small catboat designed for the burgeoning summer community of Friendship, Maine, in the beginning of the 20th century.

Pinguino 145 and 145 4PD

Two comfortable sea kayaks

The Pinguino 145 and 145 4PD are versatile kayaks, even though they are a couple of feet shorter than most standard touring kayaks. It’s a well-mannered design with a respectable cruising speed and a good amount of cargo space.

I arrived at the finish smiling at the sight of my three girls waiting for me. It was the first time I’d seen them since the race started. One of the great gifts of the EC is a fresh perspective on what truly matters.

The 2014 Everglades Challenge

A solo sail-and-oar adventure race

The Everglades Challenge begins at Florida’s Fort Desoto State Park in Tampa Bay and runs roughly 300 miles south to the Sunset Cove Hotel in Key Largo. How boats get there is up to their crews as long as they sign in at each of the three checkpoints along the way within the allotted deadlines. The boats are all small because each solo racer or team of two must drag their boats from the high-water mark to the water’s edge without assistance. The race is unsupported; you’re on your own.

Without her beach legs, this Caledonia yawl would be resting on her planking and heeled at about 10°, the angle of her deadrise. With the legs she's level, supported by her keel and gunwales and fit for habitation.

Beaching Legs

A simple way to keep your boat upright

I prefer to anchor out when we are camp-cruising, but with Alaska’s 20’ tide range that isn't always an option in some of the shallower coves. Boats with flat bottoms wide enough to keep them upright will ground comfortably on a falling tide, but our Caledonia yawl, with its narrow keel, will come to rest heeled over. This is where beaching legs, also known as sheer legs, come in handy. This decidedly low-tech gear is just the thing to keep your boat upright on the beach, allowing the continued use of your boat as a base camp between tides.

The Rocker Stoppers nest when not in use. Weight is provided by a homemade mesh bag loaded with beach rocks.

Davis Instruments’ Rocker Stoppers

If you can't still the waters, steady the boat.

On many nights I would have traded my favorite pillow for anything that could keep my boat from rocking and let me fall asleep. Rocker Stoppers look like they’ll do the job.

H22FX Handheld Sonar

A depth finder for small boats

The H22FX Handheld Sonar System gives us a way to determine depth quickly and accurately.

With 130 square feet of sail set, the Coquina slips along in light air.

A Herreshoff Coquina

Joe Brennan’s as-yet-unnamed Herreshoff Coquina is a cold-molded version of the lapstrake cat-ketch that Nathanael Herreshoff built for himself in 1889. This is Joe’s first boat, built to test the idea of a career as a boatbuilder: “So I had this silly idea . . . ,” he said.