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I could have called this “unusual sail.”

That’s me in the two-person sailing Folbot back in 2002.  I had bought it back around 1998 from an ad I saw in a publication called Messing Around in Boats.  The gentleman who sold it said it had been in his barn for at least 30 years.  When I peeled off a layer of pigeon shit, the skin came off with it and exposed a wooden frame that broke down into pieces four-foot or shorter.  The hull, mast, leeboards, sail, rudder all could fit into a seabag, and I fancied myself, a show-off,  hiking up to a roadless mountain lake, assembling my vessel, and sailing  . . . in the clouds.

When I couldn’t sew a new skin or find someone who could do it–two different canvas shops took on the job and then backed out–I decided to skin it with leftover shrink-wrap boat covers,

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reinforce the bow with duct tape, and go paddling.

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It worked!  Here’s a blurry shot showing the insides . . . shrink-wrap and plastic strapping.

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As time passed, I decided the Folbot could at least as be sculptural until such time that I find a canvas skin maker.

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So this is the top of big room in my Queens cliff dwelling, where I should maybe keep some shrink-wrap and a heat gun handy to skin my boat in case the water level here rises.

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And since I’ve invited you into my home, how about more of the tour.  Yes, that’s the stern of the Folbot in the center top of the photo and a spare one-seater kayak, which I cut-bent-glued-stitched at Mystic Seaport, to the left. [They appear not to offer the kayak building classes now.]   Only problem with the stitched kayak . . . the only egress/ingress is out the window, down 12′ onto a flat roof, and then down another 15′ onto the sidewalk.

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In a pinch, you could make a kayak using a tarp, willow or similar shoots, and wire.  And in the long ago and far away department, here I was back in January 2005 sewing that kayak you see hanging to the left above . . .  10 hours of just sewing once the skin was on, per these plans.

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Bending ribs right out of the steam box and

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knotting together the bow pieces happened

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prior to the actual two-needle sewing.

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These last two pics are not mine but come from a Folbot publication from the 1960s.  The photo below shows what a later-model sailing Folbot–just out of the duffel bag– looked like.

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Here’s what the publication says it looks like sailing.

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For now, mine remains sculpture.

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