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15 Discoveries After Two Days of (nearly) Non-Stop Driving

Bug massacre, crossing the Rockies, mysterious cattle, new truck, two…

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A Brief Tour of One Random Neighborhood in Salt Lake City

We found ourselves stranded on a Sunday in Salt Lake…

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For Your Information: The Rockies Are Big

In which our heroes discover that the Rocky Mountains eat…

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Desert Crossing

Today was the day I had scheduled to be in…

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The Trouble With Building a Boat in California

Stuck in California needing a new radiator. We are trying…

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A Series of Unfortunate Events

California, we love you, but please please let us achieve…

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Finally On Our Way

Our list of Must-Dos in the last few days was…

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The Joys and Heartache of Saying Goodbye

With days left before our departure for the Secret History…

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Odds and Ends We Still Need

This is like a Secret History scavenger hunt whose items…

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On the Eve of the Secret History Expedition

Our shantyboat nears completion and we are readying it for…

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A Month of Fervent Preparation

It was a busy month making preparations for the soon-to-be-launched…

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Minneapolis Reconnaissance

I have been in Minneapolis for the last week doing…

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Shantyboat on the Mississippi

In July, we are bringing the shantyboat across country to…

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What the #*@&% happened?

You must hate me. Last I left you with “Walls…

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We Turn To The River – 2014 Trailer [VIDEO]

The Secret History lyrical trailer from the talented Lauren Kincaid-Filbey…

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Roof Rafters – The cabin takes shape

When we disassembled the Hollister chicken coop, we got a…

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Cabin Framing, More Mistakes Were Made

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s not being…

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Cabin Wall Framing. Finally.

Whew, finally. We get to constructing the cabin walls. This…

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New Boat Vocabulary Word: Coaming

One of the smarter things I’ve done on the shantyboat,…

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A Collection of Photos from a Non-Shantyboat River Float

I took a two-week break from building the shantyboat to…

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Bow Eyes and Stern Tiedowns

Sometimes little things can be a big headache. And sometimes…

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The Cabin Has a Floor

Let’s put in a floor!  This is the floor that…

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Obsessive woodworking, top side

With both decks on, I could be an obsessive woodworker…

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Installing the aft deck

I put the aft deck on. Thought you should know.…

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Motor Well, A Mini-Project Unto Itself

Oh, the motor well.  Seems simple enough.  Build a box…

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Protecting the Bilge

Water is the enemy of wood longevity. Protecting the wood…

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A Front Deck and Photos of an Adorable Puppy

First off, now that the boat is upright, I made…

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More Cabin Planning

If you’ve been following the blog, you know that one…

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A Bunch of Questions

Here’s a big pile of questions that occur to me.…

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A Big Flippin’ Deal

For months I’ve been wanting to flip the boat hull…

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Fancy Pants New Renderings

There you go. 3D rendering doesn't make anything more real,…

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Thinking About Cabin Construction

Now that the boat is ready to be flipped, I’m…

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Welding the Trailer

Timeline: Less than a week before the boat flip! The…

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And now back to the trailer

Remember the trailer? This one, the one that almost killed us?…

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The Talented Mr. Johnson

For a while now, my cousin Brian has been wanting…

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Those Troublesome Skegs, Finishing Touches

So the skegs are mounted, but the carriage bolt countersinks…

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Those Troublesome Skegs, Mistakes Were Made

So the skegs have been cut, spliced, drilled, countersunk, stained,…

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Those Troublesome Skegs, Bolt Holes and Finish

Here we drill all sorts of holes in our newly…

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Those Troublesome Skegs, Scarf Joints

I had to turn 14 foot pieces of lumber into…

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Those Troublesome Skegs, Part the First

When we built punk rafts and floated several big rivers,…

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Hull UV Protection

Fiberglass over plywood is ridiculously tough.  There are wood and…

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Fiberglass Finish Coats

After the fill coat, the texture of the fiberglass cloth…

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Fiberglass Fill Coat

At this point, we have the fiberglass bonded to the…

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Fiberglass Bond Coat

Okay, so let’s review. Fiberglass (of more accurately glass-fiber reinforced…

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Fiberglass Seal Coat

We fretted over fiberglassing the hull so much, we put…

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Hockey Puck Manufacture (or Epoxy is Stressful II)

Did I mention that epoxy is stressful?  To recap:  You…

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Opinions are like assholes…

Everyone’s got one. Every now and then I’ll ask a…

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Hull Finish Work (or Correcting Mistakes III)

I like to joke that I bring Old World Craftsmanship…

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Hull Ends

Oh god, at the end of every work day when…

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Sheeting the Hull

It looks easy, right?  What could go wrong?  Four rectangular…

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Correcting Mistakes II: The Usefulness of Square Corners

When we went to put sheets of plywood on the…

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Correcting Mistakes I

Today, the chickens come home to roost.  Remember that pesky…

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Cross beams

This was an exciting day because for the first time,…

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Side Stringers

The side stringers are the sides of the boat.  So…

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Keel and Skeg Stringers

It most conventionally built wooden boats, the frames refer to…

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Epoxy is Stressful

You know the scene at the end of any action…

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Angles and Precision

I have experience in the housebuilding, construction world.  I used…

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Making Sawdust

The whole process of building a boat involves cutting a…

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Organization: How To Make Boatbuilding Not Suck

Boats are made of lots and lots of funny precision…

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First Build Day: Building Form

After months of hemming and hawing over plans and possibilities…

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Questions for the Old Man

I didn’t expect myself to be talking to the old…

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Boat Plans: Choices Made and Not Made

So it looks like we’re building a boat. Not merely…

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Boating errand in the flattest dryest spot in North America

“Ha ha,” said Alex when we took off with the…

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Tips on how not to die in a fiery ball of twisted metal on the highway

Anyone know anything about trailer tow hardware like sway bars…

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Destruction and Creation

Sometimes the treasure hunt of creating something from salvaged materials…

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Bruce’s Pontoons

We were planning to use Bruce’s pontoon boat that he…

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Math is Hard – Calculating a Waterline

Who would have thought boatbuilding would involve so much math?…

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Karaoke Doodles

So far, I’ve ignored the inside cabin layout, thinking that…

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Beyond Napkin Plans

I’m trying to turn my shantyboat speculations into something that…

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Folding Gable Ends

We were aware that this beast with its generously gabled…

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Boat Builder Porn

Is it hot in here, or is it just me? …

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WANTED

You know how many marinas there are in the Sacramento…

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Walls and diagonal bracing

I was worried that since we were planning to sheet…

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A Madcap Boat Scavenging Journey

Kai and I took a mad motorcycle trip up the…

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Inspiration

Looking around, shanty boats have been around for a long…

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A Mad Idea Fueled by Gin

It started with Camp Tipsy. Alex and I started talking…

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Sketchy Napkin Plans

As with all great projects, this one started with a…

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