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Free Range Human, Sailor, Writer, Artist, Videographer  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Painting Nonskid Sail Boat Deck Areas

In the later part of the last millennium, the HideAway crew armed with the philosophy that a project once done is always done, painted her nonskid deck areas. (Quit laughing, Brightsides is expensive marine grade paint!)  As expensive as it was there were problems concerning my intended purpose:  

Brightsides is Not Made for Nonskid Deck 

How to paint the nonskid deck
SV HideAway Old and New Nonskid Deck

Not for use on boat decks!
Not for Boat Decks!
Who would have thought that marine grade nonskid nodules existed?  Perhaps they didn’t at the time.  At least that would make the capt less guilty after he used common garage floor nonskid granules which mixed with the expensive paint had the feel and cutting ability of 40 grit sand paper.   

Over the ensuing decade and a half none of the crew complained, at least to the hard of hearing capt, nor did anyone slip off the boat.  When “paint the nonskid” came up on the refit list so did the request from the crew that some other nonskid material must be found.

Marine Grade Nonskid Nodules Do Exist!

 Marine Grade Dollars 

Research revealed a product that met all the criteria; it was marine grade, expensive and available at the local marine store. If I only had marine grade dollars life would be easy...

Intergrip made by Interlux consists of small spheres not unlike micro balloons used with epoxy.  In both cases you do not want to use them near a fan nor would you want to breathe in any of them.  Intergrip mixes easily with Brightside’s but you have to mix the lumps out and stir occasionally when painting.  The product can be sprinkled on wet paint but I prefer to mix.  

Sailing HideAway Refit

I used recycled 6oz yogurt cups to mix 1 part Intergrip to 8 parts paint. After waiting 15 minutes to let the paint cover the nodules as prescribed in the instructions, I found the concoction made just enough for one comfortable painting session.   (This yogurt cup is narrow at the base and wide at the top- the reverse would will set your mind at ease)

I’ve not had the chance to test the result under sail of course but the grip with bare feet or sandals with a bit of the morning dew is encouraging and it does not draw blood when knelt upon. 

Interlux Brightsides One Part Marine Grade Polyurethane 

Sailing HideAway Refit

I’ve used Interlux Brightsides successfully on the initial nonskid project where smoothness was not required and on the dinghy where it was.  Yes, it’s very expensive but it works very well.  After 15 years of hard use our dinghy still looks great. Besides, the existing nonskid paint did not fail-It just wore off in high use areas.

I’m not particularly happy with my color selection but the crew is and that my friends is all that matters.   After taping I started painting with a two inch good quality brush but later switched to foam rollers and a ¾ inch artist bristle brush for details. Rolling is much faster, however two coats were necessary for full coverage.    The nonskid nodules seemed to cover equally well with both, however it is important to stir often and I found that I had to dilute the paint during the painting session.

The Application

Sailing HideAway Refit
Taping is almost as important as the paint because if you make a mistake while taping it likely will last as long as the paint.  Masking tape has some flex to it so it can be tortured into place.  Do not hesitate to add another layer to cover an error.  Its easier and faster than re taping.

Sailing  HideAway Refit
I taped the straighter lines and experimented with corners and arcs using a razor sharp knife and lots of tape.  Either one seemed to work, but the latter favors steady hands.  

Sailing  HideAway Refit

 I found that pouring paint directly on the area less wasteful than using a tray.  Remember though, HideAway is on a sturdy trailer rather than in the wet slip.  {Darn}

Climbing around the rigging and constantly ducking under the mask takes its toll on old knees and backs.  It also causes finger prints and brush marks in unintended places. Another problem a solution caused.  I deep cleaned the nonskid areas but did little on the rest of the real estate with the idea that dirt on might possibly be more forgiving than a clean surface.  

Why Not Wax You Ask?

Sailing  HideAway Refit
SV HideAway 

Well, my experience with the compounding, polish and waxing program is that bits of the compounds fly everywhere and some are quite small.  One drop of any of the chemistry I was using, I feared, could contaminate the nonskid surface such that paint may not stick. 

Sailing  HideAway Refit
Finished cockpit SV HideAway

Next On The Refit List

We'll tackle deep cleaning of the top deck and repairing gelcoat cracks. What could possibly be more fun?


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Boca Ciega Yacht Club, Gulfport Fl, 30th Lighted Christmas Boat Parade 2015

As BCYC celebrates 50 years of sailing in Gulfport Florida, it continues the fine southern tradition of the annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade on December 12, 2015.

We start at the Gulfport Municipal Marina and pass by the BCYC clubhouse on our way out into the bay. Next we head to Gulfport's Williams Pier and the beach, passing by the Gulfport Casino. We make our way through the communities of Town Shores, Pelican Bay, Kipps Colony and the Pasadena Yacht & Country Club, where holiday parties wait for us to pass by. Lastly we visit Isla del Sol, then head back to the BCYC clubhouse for the Post Parade party.

If you're in the Tampa Bay area be sure to stop by.  If you want to participate in the parade please  click here

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Refit That Continues to Begin - Compounding Oxidation, Polishing,Waxing Yikes Whatta Job!

A Florida Summer Sun Shade
If you live in Florida long enough you begin to realize that summer is not your friend.

A recent touch of fall air dropped the temperature below 80 by midnight.  A sure sign summer has turned tail at last.   We are happy to see it go, along with the incessant rain and drowning humidity, not to mention the blast furnace hot air valiantly described as a sea breeze.

A Dirty Green SV HideAway Sleeps on her Trailer in the Drive

A Lovely color- Green, Don't ya think?  
She knows it’s not proper for a lady of her upbringing to spend her days fending off water from the sky instead of from below and she is upset about it.  Sure her masters have done their best to keep her clean and dry, but they’re are slowly losing the battle of the green.  Thus the first task will be a deep cleaning topsides down of the gel coat.

Boat Soap Exists to Sell More Boat Soap

It doesn’t clean well, and you get to use it often for barely satisfactory results at least in green conditions- Such a deal!  After a few rounds of cleaning with official boat soap, the capt was ready for a different solution      There are, of course, all sorts of dual purpose commercial hull cleaners that serve to clean your hull and your wallet with one smallish bottle of secret sauce.

Bleach and Dawn Liquid Detergent

SV HideAway Hull Cleaning
The almighty Internet seems to prefer a combination of about one cup of bleach to a gallon of water with a heavy squirt of liquid dish detergent. It to effectively removes real dirt, green things and wax. Not that HideAway suffers much from wax build  up.  She’s a sailboat, not a wax boat, according to the capt.. 

The theory is the bleach nails the green/black stuff while the dish detergent removes waxy stuff and an arm-powering a good stiff cleaning brush handles the rest.  When used vigorously the process builds strong muscles.  Think of it as conditioning for the main event.

The Main Event: The buffer and the buff

The next phase involves a power buffer equipped with an expensive buff that uses equally impressive chemistry.  The wizards of the net agree marine grade products are necessary for compounding, polishing and waxing gel coat but are less clear about the power buffer.  My buffer budget, however, is.   

Nearly all of the buffer info on line seems to be written by pros touting pro grade equipment.  The industry standards are, in no recognizable order, the Milwaukee #5540, the Makita #9227C, and the Dewalt #DW849.

The question is whether a big bucks pro grade buffer is really necessary for what will likely be a one time effort.   (The HideAway is not expected to let the capt slide into oxidation after sparkling in the sun)

And now a word picture from our sponsor 

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The Most Desirable Traits of the Pro Buffers

This is tough, demanding work that makes a strong buffer mandatory for even the casual week end buffer. Many rotary buffers feature variable speed no load motors with thumb control speed settings.  I first thought thumb control ridiculous.  After a few minutes of use I would not be without it. The “no load” motor means the motor won’t slow down under the hard work of the job even if you do.  Ounces count.  Don't buy a heavy buffer
Low end speed recommendations seem to agree at 600rpm and the high at 3k.  The pro models have “soft start” mechanisms so you don’t start up splattering compound over the known universe or burn a hole in your boat.  The lower end models do not.  

Drill Master 7" Variable speed 10 amp Beast
However, if you start at the low speed and roll it up with your thumb you create a poor man’s soft start, as it were.   If your buffer has a trigger lock; NEVER use it.  If fhe buffer grabs an errant line or electrical cord at speed, and that is likely, it could break your bones and do other things you’ll regret.  
The less expensive models should come with ear protection.  Either class requires safety glasses. 

The reversible “D” handle on some of the rotary buffers is a good idea given the contortions necessary to compound a sailboat hull.  I cannot imagine using a standard T handle found on some models.  10 amp motors are the rage with good reason.  

My Drillmaster costs around $40.00 vs up to $300+ for the pro version. The question becomes; Will it last the job? (I'll leave you to ponder why a rotary buffer is named after a drill)

 My orbital buffer used for the car and truck has .50 amp motor; thus is best used to remove wax haze.  No way can it help compound.
Corded Drill and Auto Buffer
 My 3/8” corded electric drill sporting a buffing pad is no better for large areas, but may play a role, with special attachments, on smaller areas of the deck.  Don’t waste your battery powered drill on any part of this job.

Like it or not; the rotary buffer or the beast as it is known in these parts, is the tool of choice for compounding.

The Quest for The State of Shine
Make no mistake, you’ll want the best quality toos,  compound, polish and wax you can afford to make this task less of something to be endured.   The considerable cost and risk demand it.  Besides, it is foolish to use lessor quality materials unless you’re really into a more pain and suffering than the average small boat trailer-sailor. 

The beginning of the finish
Some pros demand that you stay away from products containing silicone or essential oils on the basis that both create a faux finish that won’t last.   Others assert marine carnauba wax will make you shine while others believe you’re dull to use it. 

 One proclaims the process is not to gain a mirror finish but a finish that protects the gel coat from UV rays, Green Stuff and Spilt Stuff. 

 Several sources denounced the all in one products, while others advocated a “why buff it twice?” philosophy.

You’ll read a lot about 3M Rubbing Compound, Finesse it II and marine wax vs the Collinite Fleet Wax 885 and others including Starbrite and Meguiar’s marine products.  I’ve always been partial to 3M, but the others are well known brands with good reputations. 

The Reality

I messed about in West Marine a good long while but could not find the 3M rubbing compound then settled for 3MMarine Restorer and Wax, a good product, though not ideally suited for my needs.  I read a review extolling the virtues of Collinite Fleet wax 885 but picked up a bottle of Collinite 925 wax by mistake.
I returned the Collinite wax because of separation anxity issues. The wax had separated in the bottle forming a hard disc at the top of the bottle that never mixed well creating a spotty finish when used. It had the consistency water.  The Collinite 925 has rave reviews and I am sure it is a quality product within the limitations of chemical separation issues.  

 I picked up some 3M Finesse it II that successfully removed the restorer wax and allows a consistant shiny finish.  I should have found a source for the straight rubbing compound and saved myself time, expense and over the counter pain medications.

Water, Wax and Micro Fibers 

For a Shining Good Time

 Warnings abound concerning burning the gel coat with the heat generated by the buffer and the compound, not to mention the real risk of gouging the gel coat to the glass if the buffer jumps or wobbles as it is wont to do. 

One sage compared rubbing compound to coarse liquid sand paper.  A spray bottle of water helps lubricate and extend the buffing opportunity while keeping heat under control.  

Think of polishing compounds as fine finish sand paper and the wax as the final protection.  I kept the hull wet with a water spray bottle with both the compounding and polish stages.  I polished with 3M Finesse it II with good results then followed up with several layers of a marine grade carnauba wax.  

The wax was hand applied then buffed with a small car buffer using the water to “spit shine” then  micro fiber rags to get the final gloss. Micro Fiber cloths are perfect for perfecting the shine.  They are easy to use, cheap and do a better job than terry cloth for fine finishing.

Work in small areas no bigger than 2 foot square.  It is much easier to work in small areas than large.  Use as little of the compound/wax as you dare.  Remember it is easier to add more product than to remove the excess.  

How Long The Shine

Shine Duration is a slippery deck in that the shortest failure time for the more debated products is about three months while the very best finishes may last only nine.   Not encouraging news for the average sailor.  Based on the time and effort expended to finish one quarter of the hull I suspect the process has a lot in common with washing a giraffe’s neck.   My hope is that the wax will keep green stuff in check or at least make the boat easier to keep clean.                                                                                                              
A little rain does not stop the project

At This Point: A Quarter of Half Finished

 If your hair, or whats left of it, is gray, and like the HideAway, your pocket yacht now seems several football fields LOD, perhaps it may be time to hire out the initial compounding, polish and wax to someone who has the tools, knowledge and skills to do a professional job.  Then a few months later you can do the relatively easy stuff – Refinish and wax.

As With All Projects on the HideAway

 I do not claim to be an expert at any of them. I’m just an average sailor trying to handle various projects without injuring the boat, myself or the sailing kitty.   You are just as likely to learn the wrong way to handle any given project as you are to find the best way.  Be thou warned!  And for your sake don’t make the same mistakes I sometimes  achieve!  

Video to follow

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Computer Update - What a Load

After all attempts at revival failed, the fine folks at Dell finally decided to replace my computer .  The replacement is supposed to have the same specs as the one I melted my credit card to obtain a few months ago.   It's the new version of our old machine complete with a shiny new "Refurbished" label on it's backside.   That means I have a computer that had serious performance issues, was returned to Dell, hopefully fixed, then sent to me.

No Worries There!

In the few weeks we've had the machine we seem to be getting along alright with it.  However, our old machine came with Microsoft Office and the latest  Sony video software. Both items were deal makers when I made the purchase since none of the competition offered that package with similar machines.

Dell Does Not Warranty Software

 The fact that the Dell hardware failed is of no apparent concern. Adding injury to their insult, I received notice that my McAfee security software trial subscription is ending on the Refurbished model while my full  subscription on my new old machine, the one I no longer possess, continues.

To their credit - Microsoft honored their part of the deal but I have only one more download available from Sony. I have spent most of the day getting  that software up and running.  I can make some movies At last!

Is The  Monster You Know  Better Than One You Don't?

My Refurbished model came with Windows 8.1.  After 148 updates it informed me that I could have Windows 10 at no charge.  Well,  since I'm setting up a new computer anyway, why not?  As bad as Windows 8.1 was; I had gotten used to its quirks.  Now I have a whole new pile of quirks to get used to and these are a squirrelly bunch!

All I want to do is go sailing,  tell some stories, paint a little and make some movies.  Hopefully  the HideAways have sailed through the worst of the tech storm  and  can get back to normal, whatever that is.  Stay tuned!


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Sunday, July 26, 2015

The HideAways Are Still Here!

I wish I could say the same about my brand new hopped-up state of the art computer. It blew up like whatever is in the photo below!  We've had two Lieutenant Wizards out to the house.  So far we have a new keyboard, new hard drive and not one, but two, new operating systems installed.  No dice.

UFO over Gulfport Fl ?

Are there Mountains in Texas?

We spoke to the Wizard of All Electronics in the Known Universe the other day and he/she/it sent a ticket for My Computer to fly to the Chief Geek of Computer Wisdom high in the mountains of Texas.

Things are looking up.  I've been able to coax my old clunker computer back to life.  The one where I can click on a link then have some lunch or a nap while I wait for it to come up.  No stress there!

Have You Seen This?

Sometimes the lines are so bad the text is unreadable and in one case a document printed with the lines. The lines shimmer and shake like a bad pole dancer. The other problem is not having a key board that works full time!  Sigh!

At least now I can watch my sailing videos albeit in slow motion!  Stay tuned!

Alligator Beach Resort Can Cooler
Alligator Beach Resort Can Cooler by MACmedia
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Reserve your place in the swamp! Fine Tourist Cuisine Served Daily

Saturday, July 4, 2015

An American Birthday

A long held tradition of the HideAways, on this day, is to be found tearing up Boca Ciega Bay flying the largest US flag we can find.  

We are compelled to do this to celebrate our heritage
 as citizens of  the

United States of America.

Hard aground - Still flying!

The full meaning of this, for us anyway, was not apparent until we travelled abroad. Try it. You'll see....

But, for now, Let's PARTY!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

One Mistake & HideAway Sails Away-Sans Her Crew!

Sun set on the second day of a three day cruise found HideAway rafted with SV Miandros in the usual fashion.  Both crew and guests occupied with sun-downers and dinner.  

The capt commented that a boat was passing to starboard uncomfortably close to the raft. Then realized it was HideAway sans her crew!   Her bow line dragging as she pivoted on her stern line blown by the strong winds.   The line held leaving HideAway stern to Miandros. WHEW!

SV HideAway- Stern To

Always Double Check Your Lines!


 No Matter Who Attached Them!

As HideAway’s capt I take full blame for the incident. I had forgotten one of the major rules of raft up.  Due to the difference in size of the boats the bow line was attached to a stanchion.   This arrangement worked well the night before anchored in the Gulf of Mexico, but was not adequate the higher winds we were experiencing.  

Had the stern line not held, HideAway likely would have run aground a few hundred yards in the general direction of rocky rip rap.

The Video:


Cruising Notebook
Cruising Notebook by SailingHideAway
Add your own image and text!
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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sailing's Other Side: The Refit!

Secret Anchorage Dunedin, Fl

Settling in for another night at anchor.  The boat gently rocks.  The full moon, framed by two empty wine glasses on the bridge deck, dances across the cool night sky.  A fish jumps from its prey.  A no-see-em calls to its’ mate.  Soft jazz wafts from the stereo.  The snoring begins.

 A Shriek!

“Something fell on my head!” she panics knowing well the HideAway’s reputation concerning reptilian creatures of the night.

“Is it moving?” Queried the sleepy capts mind.  “How many legs does it have?”

 “I don’t know --- I don’t care --- Where is it?!!!” 

“Here it is --- Right here” 


“There! “

“It’s only a paint flake”

“Whadaya mean ONLY?”

“THAT flake fell flat on my forehead!”

“It just fell from the cabin top…”

“You mean the cabin that top looks like a chart of the islands?

“It’s not THAT bad is it?”

“Then why don’t you try having an island fall on your flat head?”

Islands of the Green Fiberglass Sea

And that, my friends is the precise moment when the “To Do” list emerges from its chrysalis to become a full-fledged REFIT 

Refitting is a Voyage of Discovery

SV HideAway's Rudder with Acne

The rudder casing developed a serious case of salt water acne. 
Certainly not a major project, however, on both sides of the rudder lurk the cockpit drains.  

Unprotected by scupper valve baffles, they have long been the source of flooding in the cockpit when HideAway sails with a bone in her teeth.  

Baffle Me Please

And what about that pieced together boarding ladder to starboard and the motor mount to port, the one with the broken springs?  Where do you start? What do you do? It’s really simple; you just…

Bust Your Nuts

Did you know that unlike most boats of this size, a Com- Pac 23 has eight separate stays? Each of them are held in place by two or more hardened stainless steel bolts with personal oxidation issues.  

Rusted Nuts

Hearing stories of chain plate bolts rusting through from the inside, then finding the malady on your boat adds some urgency to the project.     
     Living Below the Deck

 The biggest part of the refit is overhauling our below deck living space, if it can be called that on a 23 foot boat, and we do.  Humans are a lot like gold fish when it comes to adapting to living spaces.  We are both happy in the smallest spaces if we don’t think about it too much.  Ignorance, or at least inattention to detail, is bliss.

Below Decks SV HideAway

The aforementioned falling paint flakes take center salon at first. Then we will build some storage, a hanging closet, maybe a chart table with chart storage.  New lights and maybe a quieter fan.

The Usual Suspects

 Repainting the non-skid area of the deck, a general clean-up, a new boarding ladder, sole, replacement of a cleat or two, and a host of yet to be discovered joys fit to be refitted.

So join in the fun of sailing’s other side - Here’s the latest video update

The North Coast Of Imagination


Monday, February 16, 2015

Used Trailer Rust - A Hot Dip Into Galvanizing

In all the years of sailing in fresh waters of Nebraska and South Dakota the subject of used trailer rust never reached consciousness of this sailor.   After all, salt is for icy streets.  It has nothing to do with water, unless your cabin fever is so severe that you take your boat and trailer for a drive in snow country. 

The Magic Pearl

Upon relocation to a hot place with lots of salt in the water we did not take much notice that our newly acquired Sea Pearl had a hot dipped galvanized trailer strapped under it.  Years upon years passed before the capt noticed the port side trailer wheel leaning inboard at an alarming angle as he backed the trailer into the driveway.    

 “This sort of thing happens a lot in Florida” My trailer parts guy declared.  “Just cover your new axle completely with axle grease and you’ll not have a problem again”.   As he wrote out the bill for the axle and the grease.  True to his word, we didn’t and we learned how difficult it is for no see ems to penetrate the axle grease that found its way to our extremities.   Winners all, we were.

Then Came the HideAway – A Trailer-Less Com Pac 23

As the rent on my little patch of salt water increased from $100 per month to just north of $230, it became economically clear the HideAway needed a home on the hard or worse -The Hook.  Of course she would hear nothing of this nonsense and held out for leaf springs and four, mind you, four, soft cushy wheels.  

It mattered not the least to her that a new trailer would cost, at minimum, the same as the HideAway not including the full sized pickup truck needed to tow said trailer.    Boats are like that you know.   Ahhh, but Florida is nautical place.  A trip to the local Marine Salvage yard was in order followed shortly by a similar journey to a local used truck emporium to find a Big Red Truck.  (Well, you know – Nebraska and all…)

A New Old Trailer

A substantial looking former power boat trailer was found, measured and priced to include an additional axle and a drum surge braking system to accommodate the capts dreams of far away and certainly exotic, if not romantic destinations.   (This from a transplanted Nebraska/South Dakota sailor living in Florida – The land of no winter to speak of).

A Problem Solved

In the passing years the HideAways followed the same ritual.  Launch, Sail, Recover and Wash.  In summer the washing included the crew.  In winter, not so much, however the motor and the trailer always had a good fresh water bath. 

Cast off all lines! SV HideAway

Then one hot summer’s day one of the trailer wheels refused to turn. The brake shoes had rusted to the drum!  Then the other brake equipped wheel got in the habit of making loud protest noises littering the parking lot with a trail of red every time it rolled.   Click here for the shocking video!

One of the holy fenders
 Added nuisances included the giving away of all staples holding the carpet on the bunks not to mention the appearance of the holy fenders.  How could a hot dipped galvanized part rust?  After all, wasn't that the purpose of the hot dip in the first place?

“I thought that hot dip galvanizing formed a bond between metal and stuff that stopped rust from forming” I stammered to my trailer parts guy.

“Well, this sort of thing happens a lot in Florida”

 he said.  “It’s a lot like lovers breaking up… You see, what happens is that any injury to the galvanized parts allows air and metal to mix it up with the salt… you see and…rust forms…. that breaks them apart….” His voice trailed off then continued.    “You have to repent……err…. Repaint… you know” his eyes glazed a bit just then “…to get the bond back you see….. Just a minute… I have to make a call….”  He said as I watched his back disappear into a maze of trailer parts.

Southward bound - Sailing HideAway
 So that’s why I spent a beautiful warm winter day on my back with an electric drill, the one with the wire disk on it, grinding my galvanizing off  when I should have been sailing on salty water to some exotic destination.

Don’t Let this happen to you!    Repaint my friend - often

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cheasapeake Light Craft St Pete 2015 Report

CLC Boats came to the Gandy Bridge, St Petersburg side this weekend bringing with them a large selection of kayaks, canoes, and rowing craft.  While there were no sailboats, several of the boats can be sailed and there was a private owner with a beautiful rendition of a Northeaster Dory on display.

During a previous visit I had the opportunity of sailing this work of art.  Although it’s fast and remarkably stable, the narrow stern will not support a human therefore it requires a tiller several feet long that operates on the arm you see to starboard.  I found the  push-pull steering tiresome.  The boat rows and sails well- It’s just not for me. 

Beauty VS Art

Another old salt admiring the workmanship and design of the boat told me that he has built thirty boats in his time, some as pretty as this and others not so much.   He said the pretty boats, usually bright finished, were seldom used for fear of disfigurement while the less so saw great use. 

He brought one with him, a sort of shallow draft trawler about 20 feet loa, recently painted using home center deck paint using a cheap foam roller.  It looks sharp at 30 feet, he bragged, but he has no fear of the usual dings and marks associated with normal use.  It brought to mind HideAways encounter with large commercial fishing boat whose wake threw us into a fuel dock at John’s Pass.  A repair that required a new rub rail  --- Here's the link- Rub Rail Installation SV HideAway

We have been looking for an extreme shallow draft kayak for exploration and photography of our area’s back waters and rivers.  The Mill Creek 16.5 double kayak looked interesting, but the online photos didn’t show a good, dry place for camera equipment.  A quick paddle out proved this to be true.  We tried some of the row boats and found them either too large or cumbersome for our purpose.

Then we discovered the Wood Duck 10 and 12.

Both are available in different woods.  The strip planked Wood Duck 12 Hybrid shown feels heavier than the website weight comparison for both hybrid models of 4 lbs. However our WD10 featured the sable wood option that felt much lighter than the WD 12 Hybrid. At 40 lbs. maximum either one is easy to transport.    Both have a large cockpit that is easy to get into, with plenty of space for gear and are very responsive.  The wide beam keeps them comfortably stable.  While the 12 takes more effort to paddle either one will move with little effort.  Both track well. Basic handling between the two boats is what you’d expect for the water line difference.   

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In any event, if Chesapeake Lightcraft comes to your area be sure to make the trip - It's a lot of fun

And who knows- you may end up with an addition to your fleet!