I do not talk much of my "other boat" because it took a back seat to Spark which is really a shame, the Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) Expedition Wherry is truly a neat little boat. With work on my GP slowing aside from a few repairs and tidying up some details, it is time to refocus on my "pulling" boat.
As with so many things, I can never just leave well enough alone. I have this insatiable need to tinker. It does not matter if it is my Sea Sprite, the GP, the Land Rover, and certainly not with something I am building from scratch. There is no way I could not leave my fingerprints all over this boat.
To start with, the biggest change I made to the plans was to beef up the internal bulkheads for one and one reason only, I want to take her apart. CLC offers the East Port Pram, the Passagemaker Dinghy, and their Shearwater Sport with "take apart" options. Simply unscrewing a few knobs allows one to take these boats into sections for easy transport and storage. As the Wherry is almost eighteen feet in length, yet only thirty-two inches wide, it is a bit bulky to move and store, hence the need to make it sectional.
What does that have to do with today? It's all done to explain why I only sanded down the bow section.
As the Wherry comes with full sized plans, building is easy. Lay out your 3mm sheet of Okoume Plywood on the building table, lay the plans over it, and start poking. Literally, you take an ice pick, or in my case, a "Scratch awl" and poke through the paper along the edges of the drawing you want to cut out of the wood. Once you do that, you remove the paper, connect the dots with a pencil, and cut it out.
It really is that easy, it just takes a steady hand with the pencil and saw. The entire boat is done like that, no lofting required. If I had bought the kit, all of these parts would have been cut out on a giant CNC router that Chesapeake Light Craft owns, it's a truly fearsome machine.
There are two ways to build the Chesapeake Light Craft's Expedition Wherry. You can go on their website and order the complete kit. This will deliver to your door everything but the oars and sliding sea mechanism. All the wood will be pre-cut and the instructions and fitting out will be quick and simple.
The other way is the harder, if slightly cheaper way. You order the plans. This gives you two rolls of 20 foot long sheets of paper with full size drawings for all the wood you need to cut out. It also comes with a very handy book of instructions to explain to you in plain terms exactly what you are getting into.
If you go this route, you need to supply everything, the epoxy, the glassfibre, the wood, the wire, and the know how to bring it all together into something boat shaped. While the kit may not be for the faint of heart, the plans method requires a certain amount of madness.
Guess which way I decided to go.
While I grew up along the shallow salty waters of Southern New Jersey's back bays, It was not until High School that I learned to row. While illness kept me from joining the Crew Team, it gave me the knowledge and need to get back on the water again in a slender boat designed for all out speed.
The Expedition Wherry is a not a slender and tippy racing shell, it is not even a recreational shell, it is a beast onto itself that has most of the speed of a shell, but is seaworthy like a kayak. Able to carry over 400 pounds in cockpit and both sealed compartments, this is the perfect boat for a day on the water or a weekend of "camp cruising" on some deserted island beach.