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$12 Boat

Here are some pictures of a little coracle I made one day from scraps of 1/4" ply ripped to 1.5 in width, left over moulding strips, bean poles and some old bed sheets, and half a gallon of found latex house paint. Total cost: $12CDN, mostly for the screws, a paint brush, glue, and a few sticks for the duck boards.
    The duck boards were made to come out as a unit, sort of like a piece of garden trellis, so that they could be laid on the ground to provide a slightly raised sleeping platform, and the coracle raised on one edge by a oar, to create a sort of lean-to.
    I made two local, very short test runs, and scrapped the kyack paddle in place of some oars, lashed to the rudimentary gunwales.
    Packed a knap sack with junk food, cadged a lift and threw it in the Fraser upriver from Hope. Though the river was low, there were still a large number of whirlpools, eddies and many riffles. I made it to Strawberry Island the first night, about 45 km, where it was just tidal, and and made camp. On to Mission the next day, where tide, a head wind, hard rain, and wake from large pleasure craft produced waves of 3 feet, and I decided I'd had enough. My legs ached as I couldn't extend them, the coracle only being 6 foot long, my butt being sore as hell, and the weather having gone from bright warm sun the previous day, to cold rain.
    I'm thinking of suggesting a challenge: the $20 boat race from Yale to Mission. Or trying it next tme in some odd "boat", like a fridge with the door ripped off. 


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all images (c) Joseph Goldstein

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