Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sea Magazine features Big Dipper

We spent the summer converting an old,13 foot, 1950's ski boat into a Pocket  Yacht, " The Big Dipper".. Our intention is to cruise our boat by land and sea; a practical option to a tear drop trailer.

We launched at Lake of the Woods in Oregon in early September after 8 weeks of construction. Crowds would form around the boat at the dock; we were getting lots of attention. Then we went to the Marifest at the Tacoma Maritime Museum to sell our Pond Yachts; I had met Joseph Govednik this summer, from the museum and he invited us to participate.We asked for a place to park the boat since we were hauling it on our way to the San Juan Islands. Joseph took a look at The Big Dipper and placed our boat on the esplanade on display; wow.

Then while we were on the dock at the Port of Friday Harbor we met Emily Greenburg on the docks. She is a reporter for the Friday Harbor Journal. She wrote a story that I will try to post a link to. It can be found on their website.

Well then Sea magazine emailed me; they saw the Journal article and wanted to talk to us about doing a bit in their question and answer section. Well to make a log story short they decided to do a feature. This was reported to be in the December issue; but I checked and did not see the article. So hopefully the article will be out soon.

I am going to try to draw up what we built so that it could be built on other hulls. In the meantime I'm going to post a few pictures of the boat and the building process. If anyone is interested you can always contact us at

And by the way we are still making Pond Yachts and I am building and designing a new 30.5 inch Gaff Cutter. It will be RC or not. Its a pretty boat and it sails well. Hang on more later.

Monday, December 9, 2013

sailing in the pool in Green Valley

Our new sailing instructions

Constellation Pond Yachts.
    Guaranteed to Sail.                                               
Congratulations on acquiring a Constellation Pond Yacht! These model boats are completely and lovingly handmade, in America. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy sailing your boat.
First set up your boat properly; hook the jib onto the forward staple on the deck. Check and be sure everything is in its right place. The main and jib sheets, are lines that control the main and jib sails. The guys, used to adjust these sails should slide freely up and down the shrouds. (lines that hold up the mast.)
As  with a full sized sailboat, you choose your body of water and weather  for optimum sailing. You need to be able to retrieve your boat from the shore so small ponds, pools, lakes and the like are preferable since you can walk around to the other side and collect your boat when it beaches. This being said, chasing your boat with a kayak is great fun!
For easy retrieval and sailing with younger sailors a fishing line with a swivel can be attached to the staple on the bow (Front of boat). If you want to change course, just give a light tug on the line and the sailboat will come about. With this method you do not have to leave a younger, non-swimming sailor alone to retrieve your boat; when finished just reel the boat to your location. Use at least 8 pound test line with a proper fishing swivel. Semi-fixed rudders on our larger boat can be used to certain advantage, but for beginners these are best set straight until some experience has been obtained.
Beating to Windward: The sails should be as tight and toward the center of the boat as needed to maintain the course desired. This should not be overdone as the boat will travel quicker when the sails are loose. Keep the sails as slack as you can while maintaining your course.
Beam and Broad Reach: These two course directions are with the wind coming off the beam side, or the rear quarter side of the boat, and are best with both the main and jib as slack as possible. This position of the sails also allows a boat to right itself more quickly and easily in heavier winds.
Reefing: If the amount of wind seems too great for the boat, the Jib sail can be unhooked, twisted round and round itself, and then re-hooked to support the mast. This is known as roller reefing on modern sailboats and helps to reduce the sail area.
We suggest a trip to the library for books on sailing, model boat sailing and nautical adventures. Please practice water and boating safety at all times; use adult supervision. Our boats are not recommended for the bath tub or younger children.

Pictures of some of our boats