8-Ball centerboard trunk

25 Oct 2005

Dear Glen-L,
It's been about two years since I last wrote with a project update on my 8-Ball so I guess it's time.

In my last letter I mentioned I had first built a sailing version of 8-Ball back in the seventies and it turned out GREAT! I towed it behind more than one sailboat, all over the Great Lakes, up into Canada and all over. I used it as a tender, hauling people and gear to and from the boat for years. I sailed it every chance I got and used to amaze the folks sitting in their cockpits having cocktails when I'd reach out, push the boom out perpendicular to the beam, catch the breeze straight on the bow and BACK IN to my slip alongside my Pearson-26!!

I used that boat until I used it up! And, by the way, don't let anybody tell you you can't still build a boat out of nothing more than good old Weldwood brown powder wood glue mixed with cold water to the consistency of syrup! That's all that old boat was built with, NO epoxy (what was epoxy in 1972?) and sat outside year in and year out til I got rid of her in 1985. Two years ago I decided I wanted another 8-Ball so I bought another set of plans from you folks and set to work building TWO at a time...one for me and one for my wife. After all...if you have to cut out a center board trunk, why not cut out two at the same time? The first one, named after my wife "Teresa Ann" took to the water two summers ago (2003), less the sailing rig and was every bit the great little "leaf on the water" dingy I had remembered. Teresa and I had a ball rowing her around the boats near our mooring, exploring nooks and crannies and teaching kids the fine art of getting somewhere on the water via oars. But I wanted to sail her!

This summer, after an amusing conversation with Harold "Dynamite" Payson who scoffs at people spending big bucks on expensive wood for spars, I went down to The Home Depot, found two 2x4s 14' long, clear as a bell, laminated them together and made my mast. The boom came from a very nice and straight piece of pine lath I had sitting around in my shop.

I'd give it a try.

8-Ball centerboard trunk 2

8-Ball with builder

8-Ball under sail