Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Capt. Eric Kellen


In December 2007, I first stepped onto Capt. Eric Kellen's sailboat, s/v Escapades, and fell in love with sailing. I started sailing on his Irwin 41 ketch, with instruction from Eric. He was a very patient instructor. Dale and I crewed for him for about three years. There were many overnight trips and several three and four day weekend trips. They were so much fun. Those are some of my favorite memories.

Eric & I have kept in touch over the years, and I invited him to come sail on my boat, s/v Gdnuff. We went out to a small lake on the north side of Lubbock, and launched her. There wasn't a lot of wind and sometimes shaded by trees. But with a strong gust, she was up on plane a time or two. She's in a different class than Eric's Irwin, but he had a great time. 

Capt. Eric always had good sailing stories. One day, he was telling us of a writer that overheard he and his friends talking about sailing, and she came over and joined in, asking questions, as she was doing research for her book. They were going out again the next day, so they invited her along. To pay Eric for his generosity, she said she would name one of the characters after him... and so she did. Of course I bought a copy, and have read it. While he was here, I asked him to sign my copy. 

Thank you Eric for many, many wonderful memories.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Gdnuff Got Wet

 FINALLY! I splashed Gdnuff. She was built on the back porch of my mother's house, which sits next to a park with water. They call it a "lake", but really it's a big pond. Anyway, I splashed the boat there so my mother could see her sailing. The wind was about 13 mph this morning, but shadowed by the houses and trees nearby. Once I got out in the open, the wind was better. She was scooting right along, I was pleased with her. I do feel like I will be in the drink, if I don't pay close attention. My next outing will be a capsize test. 

Monday, March 1, 2021


When I received the plans for the boat, I didn't pay much attention to the sail. And when it was time to build the sail, I just sent the sail page to Sailrite and they made a kit for me. This sail has a sleeve for the mast, and a zipper in the sleeve. I didn't pay must attention to that... until I had already sewn the sail. Not a problem, I ordered the 10 foot zipper and installed it.

NOW the sail is finished, complete with battens and telltales. And of course, the sail needs a proper bag!

I moved Gdnuff out from under the patio so I could step the mast. The mast is 16', and looks really tall, but it is light and I had no trouble holding it upright and sliding into the mast partner and down to the step. The boom has all the hardware attached now, and I attached it to the mast. The wind was too high to add the sail today. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Sail Loft

 The weather turned cold and wet, so I turned my living room into a sail loft. I wanted to use dacron for the sail. I sent Sailrite the sail plan and they made a kit for me. It's going together pretty easy.

This is the second sail kit I have ordered from them. The paradox I built flew a sail I made from a Sailrite kit. I recommend them.

The panels are well marked, and the instructions are easy to follow.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Gdnuff's Mast

The plans for the Spindrift call for an aluminum mast. I have always liked the wooden mast and have made them for the other boats I have built. However, I decided to use an aluminum mast this time. On the B&B Yacht website, one can purchase a mast kit. This kit includes the three piece mast and starboard plugs for both ends. I took the easy way out and purchased the kit along with the mast step. Yes, instead of making the mast step... I bought their beautifully machined step. 

I have added to my tools collection. That was kind of an expensive hole, but if I ever need another 2 inch hole cut... I have the tool to do it.

My brother got real excited when I told him I bought a table saw. Because I will store it at his house.

Sunday, July 19, 2020


Every time I've worked on this boat, I heard myself say, "That's good enough." So, that's her name now... Gdnuff.

All the seams have fiberglass tape on the inside. Gunwales are on, and the temporary bulkhead is out. This week, I'll be working on the centerboard trunk, and shopping for aluminum for the mast.

Monday, July 6, 2020


My Spindrift went 3D this weekend. It feels good! I do have to say, the plans are not as easy as my previous builds. I am confident this is not for a newbie in the boat building world. My son was my extra pair of hands. He was a big help with the unfolding and getting that forward bulkhead in place. I think I may have cut that bulkhead wrong, but I made it work.

The cradle where she will live for a little bit.

With both sides and both bottoms stacked, you are able to have both side exactly the same.

This seemed backwards to me. Glass the sides to the bottoms for the first 8 inches, wire the bow and two bottom pieces together, and then open her up and work your way back wiring the sides to the bottom. It was very difficult getting that forward bulkhead in place.

Clamping the longitudinal bulkheads together, I was able to make sure they were the same for the seat.

And there she is. I do like her shape. All my other boats have had flat bottoms, so I'm sure this will sail a little different than I'm used to. But, I just had to share my progress! Yay!