When they decided to try the Ultimate Florida Challenge, sailing and then paddling and then sailing some more in a circumnavigation of the state of Florida, our salty Spawnsters thought long and hard about what vessels would work best.
Trusty OH Rodgers-designed Spawn is still their darling for sailing, but my favorite skipper and his crew require a designated hitter to carry them across the middle of the state, where open water is hard to find.
Nor is the 22-foot sloop suited to being pushed or pulled by human labor for the 40-mile walk between the St. Marys and the Suwannee Rivers.
The team considered and quickly discarded the idea of a traditional kayak. Way too tippy. Moresailesed and TwoBeers are not especially motivated to learn the skill of re-righting a double-handed kayak. Regardless how nifty a skill that is.
Neither could they imagine fitting out a modern sit-on-top kayak with their pile of necessities and moving at speed.
Moresailesed got his merit badge in canoeing as a boy scout.
And TwoBeers has a tiny wooden disk recognizing his mastery of the canoe paddle from summer camp when he was a wee nipper.
A canoe felt right.
*I just love these nautical double-entendres. (Oh, subconscious, you slay me with the triple!)
As an adjective, tender refers to how liable a boat is to heeling over. As a noun, it's that small, accompanying vessel often used to transport people and things from shore to an anchored boat.
Over the summer, TwoBeers spent many an evening consulting buddies about the pros and cons of various makes and models before ordering a 18-foot-long canoe built by Wenonah in Minnesota.
It's designed for racing, so it's very light (read also: fragile) and very plain.
The factory was in the midst of surviving the Pandemic, so it was a huge relief when the boat was delivered to our lawn in October.
On the advice of young Chip Clifton, Jeff also ordered a pair of speedy kayak paddles to use rather than canoe paddles.
Evidently, all the cool kiddies are doing it.
Okay, maybe not in the dead of night.
A former windsurfing mast -- cut down and settled into a custom mast-step -- forms both a short mast for a sail (less than 2 square meters per WaterTribe rules) as well as a pull-handle for the long portage.
The old-fashioned, newfangled lee-board comes from an Opti, which gave of its centerboard for the cause. It slips over the gunnel and proves remarkably efficient against a cross-wind. In about 18 knots of sidewind, the lee-board kept Miss Patsie on the straight if not narrow.
The rudder once graced the stern of an A-cat catamaran. Steering with the rudder is worth another blog.
Instead, Moresailesed and TwoBeers must ride shank's mare along the side of the road. Pushing or pulling or carrying Miss Patsie as they go.
Which segues right into the most extreme Frankensteinization of Miss Patsie: wheels.
He looped Ed Ruark (who desperately needs a WaterTribe name) into the program to consult on the most efficient bike wheels and axel. 27.5 inch road wheels on a 20 mm hub. Because metric plays well with imperial, she said, counting hex wrenches...
TwoBeers loaded Miss Patsie onto his van and conveyed her to OH Rodger's boat playground. OH and TwoBeers installed a carbon-fiber tube to hold said axel.
With a littleJTR Enterprises millwork, the whole thing rolls pretty smoothly...