Subject: The Launch
Date: 11-3-02:

This is the sweetest little boat I've ever had, and not just because I built it myself. With the 15 hp Johnson (vintage: 1995), it came up on plane virtually immediately with two adults on board. We put it in 10 Mile Lake here in Southwestern Oregon on Saturday November 2.

It took half an hour to pull away from the dock because of all the questions from other boaters. Everywhere we went on and off the lake, from the gas station to McDonalds, resulted in extremely positive comments.

But nothing can compare to driving the Squirt. It's quick, dry and comfortable. The short windshield was more than enough to direct the wind up and over the driver and passenger. And after hours of being on the lake, there wasn't a drop of water inside the hull. The hull design must be commended. It tossed water away from the boat making for a spray-free ride.

Top speed was about 26 mph thanks to a nifty performance prop on the Johnson. Cruising at 20 was not a strain for the motor, hull or driver. It handled the wake of other boats well and while a fin would likely improve the crispness of turns, it steered where aimed and responded just fine without it.

While strangers who saw it were enthusiastic and complimentary, I was most surprised by the reaction of teenagers. At least a dozen teens at different locations all gushed over the Squirt. One, at the dock where we launched, yelled from the parallel ramp, "That's the coolest boat I have EVER seen!" Questions ranged from "How'd you get the plywood to bend like that" to "How many coats of varnish did you use?" And naturally, "Where did you get the plans?"

Thanks, everyone, for a great time building the Squirt and an even better time showing it off.