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The 2012 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival – skin-on-frame party!

[Editors note: we are doing something here we loath, which is to back-post content to fill in a hole in time. Our only excuse is that the content is genuinely form the period in time, but we never got around to sharing it. Enjoy regardless.]

With the season winding down, we made it out to the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s, MD. With the sailing rig on AL DEMANY CHIMAN complete, it seemed right to put her up for judging again, hoping to beat the second-place finish of two years ago. We also we looking to spread the new sail and try our hand at a race.

Judging looked tough from the outset. Looking around the little green, there was a bumper crop of skin-on-frame boats. Check out the pictures.

The one guy – I didn’t get his name – was showing three, including a Greenland-style kayak he had tricked out with faux-bone spears, mocked-up arctic tools, and even a neoprene “seal.” The others were more straight-forward, but were really well done. AL DEMANY CHIMAN held her own, though, impressing with uniqueness and creativity. We got many nice compliments again. In the end, though, that qajaq was too much, and we took a proud second again.

The race proved much less successful. It was blowing modestly, and for good measure we tied in a reef (worked great!) and headed out with the fleet. Things felt good, with the latest iteration of the leeboard bracket holding it down OK and seeming snug. But then… we came about and the board pivoted up. Athwartships. The bracket failed again in a new way. Ugh. Discouraged but resolute, we headed back in, more iterating ahead of us. In retrospect, we should have given the race a whirl anyway, lateral resistance be darned. But there is always next year…

Final story from the 2011 Mid-Atantic Small Craft Festival – John Harris in the cocktail class racer

Toward the end of the day Saturday, I happened to be on hand when John Harris, father of Chesapeake Light Craft, took a spin in one of the two cocktail class racers that were about. For those who don’t know, these boats are 8′ plywood outboard boats that barely hold a single man. They go fast and have a devoted following. John was getting into the boat and setting of when one fo the other guys from CLC yelled out “John! Stop! You’re in the wrong boat! It has a MOTOR! [as John heads out] Uhhh… he’s gone to the dark side.” LOL. John came back after an out-and-back run looking somewhat exhilerated and more than mildly terrified. In the next three minutes I heard him say “the steering is really an art” no less than five times with his eyes the size of bulkhead ports. I wouldn’t be holding your breath for the CLC cocktail class kit.

2011 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival – the complete pictures

I wanted to get these pictures of the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival up right away; I’ll be adding captions soon.

[UPDATE] Captions are now on there. I encourage you to browse through. There were some AMAZING AMAZING boats there. I’d highlight the sailing canoe SEVEN STARS, the Melonseeds, the sailing canoe in pictures 4 and 31, and, of course, the Coquina.

Races at Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival


For those scoring at home, your 2011 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival sailing race winner was a Sunfish. A non-traditional, plastic boat – kinda violates my sensibilities. But well done.

I am eager to get going with the paddling race as it is COLD here in St. Michael’s, MD.

[UPDATE] It was me and four kayaks. I got shallaced… again. Time to get my double paddle working with this boat (tried once and I could get my position right). At least the race committee noted I was the only single paddle and called me my own class. So they gave me recognition.

Replica Capt. John Smith shallop


Rushton rowing boat, anyone?


Lovely sprit cat ketch


This is why we love the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival.

Skin-on-frame outrigger canoe AL DEMANY CHIMAN fully rigged


She’s all ready for show…

Getting ready for the day at Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival


It’s a chilly, breezy day here, but a kayak with amas and a bat-wing sail is out on the water and a few other folks and getting their boats ready. Getting ready to do a serious tour.

It’s official – the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe AL DEMANY CHIMAN is a sailing canoe

For the next 24-odd hours Chine bLog is reporting LIVE from the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s, MD. As I type on my smart phone, a lovely folk trio is playing in the background while folks eat and mingle. A whole fleet of amazing boats is already here, and I’ll be sharing some in the AM.

The biggest news, from our perspective, is that the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe AL DEMANY CHIMAN finally got under sail today. That was the afternoon’s goal and we got it done. As you may recall, “DEMANY” means “sail”, so she has fully taken her name. Results? Well, winds were light, but we completed several tacks and had no catastrophic issues. That said, we have some work to do. The leeboard is not behaving well at all and was minimally useful. Design flaw there. The configuration of steering vs. sheet will also take some getting used to. All told, though, we’ll call it a success.

Stay tuned…

[UPDATE] The sailing rig did not fair so well during the blustery next day. While still on land showing off her rig, the yard snapped (building flaw) and the mast partner lashing failed (design flaw). Neither was catastrophic, but we’ll need to deal with these issues before we get back on the water under sail. A guy who was next to the rig when it broke looked at me like my brother just died and said a sincere “I’m sorry.” It was a bummer, yes, but I regard the whole boat as an experiment and a learning experience, particularly the sailing rig. I will learn from this and fix the issues and we will be back. This boat CAN sail – we proved that.