Dedicated To The Smallest Of Skiffs banner

1 - 20 of 170 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My name is Eric Kimes my cell is 919 432 7112. I live in Mount Olive NC.

Mount Olive, NC is a small rural community of about 5,000 people in Southern Wayne County. We are about 90 min from RDU and 60 min from Wrightsville Beach, NC. I fish water from NC to So. FL to LA. Fresh, Salt, fly, spin, plug, streams, lakes, ponds, ditches, whatever. I love to fish. I love to be on the water.

I have been watching many of the Chris Morejohn designs being built on the microskiff.com website and felt obligated to contribute something to the overall knowledge base. Chris has also encouraged me to do so. I understand it takes a lot of time to start and maintain one of these build threads. I also understand that there are micro skiff members that may have a lot of specific questions. For this reason, I have provided my cell. Just drop me a line and I'll be happy to discuss anything with anyone. I'm not important, I'm not cool, I just don't care about that attitude stuff. I'm just a Dad that likes to fish and a person who loves this whole process.

I was on the @conchfish16 build team that was on instagram for the Cedar Wood Core Conchfish 16 (CF16) that was built in Pompano Beach, FL. It was a great experience that lasted 530 days from start till finish. Nights, weekends, spare time, vacation time. Our crew was fortunate to have great wives and girlfriends and children that are very tolerant of our nonsense. Everyone had a blast and it gave us an excuse to spend time together. Everyone lives a busy life and having a reason to force us to get together was, in my opinion, the most valuable part of building the boat. Spending time with friends and family whom I love and respect is the main reason I enjoy fishing. Those relationships get even deeper when you spend a year and a half as a team building a skiff together. I have never had a bad conversation on a skiff. Now, our build crew gets together on the wood CF16. We camp, we fish, we solve all the world's problems. We get to enjoy it together. All good. All Perfect.

On Jan 4, 2017, I was on a fishing vacation with my three oldest kids. I was lucky to have Brian Floyd, a great friend of mine, introduce Chris Morejohn to me. Chris was in Islamorada, living on his Sailing Vessel, Hogfish Maximus with his wife, Rachel at that time.

I had purchased a 2004 HB Marquesa. I bought if from Chris Broulette (former son in law of Bill Bishop - author of the book on Tarpon fishing on the fly called "High Rollers." It is a great read if you like fly fishing or Tarpon Fishing). Kevin Fenn of East Cape Skiffs helped me find the Marquesa and I had a great experience with Kevin. He is a down to earth person and a great person. but, I digress. . .

Morejohn designed my 2004 HB Marquesa while he was a founding partner of Hells Bay. However, The Marquesa was not in production when he left HB. When I met Chris, he had never been on the Marquesa skiff. Of course, after meeting, we went out for a ride. He ran the skiff and poled it with my three oldest kids on it. I was stoked to meet Chris. This began a great friendship.

I ended up buying the Lithium 18 tiller skiff that Chris built in Islamorada in 2017. I still have the Lithium 18 skiff in NC today. It is an amazing boat. It's design led to the 10WT skiff that Brian Floyd is currently making in Edgewater, FL with his current skiff company, Floyd Skiff Co. The 10WT is my favorite 18 skiff I have ever been on. If you haven't checked it out, you owe it to yourself to take her for a ride. It is amazing. HB Marquesa (any year model) < Lithium < 10WT.

This November 2019, Chris moved to NC and currently lives two doors down from my home in Mount Olive. He is building two 18' skiffs this 2019/2020 winter. He is focused on his Beryllium and his Boron designs. There is a thread on this bragging spot section of micro skiff where you can follow his thoughts and photos of the progress on the BE and B skiff builds as well as the Pufferfish 19. The skiff build warehouse is a few blocks away from both of our houses and is huge. It is an ideal set up for now.

I'm happy to report Chris is also humoring me while I build the Pufferfish 19 canoe next to him. Chris is a legit artist and a gentleman. He works from sun up to sun down and beyond. He has helped me with countless hours of hard labor - getting the warehouse set up for boat building. He doesn't care about his instagram feed, his hair, his clothes, his likes or mentions, he has no ego. He is single minded in his purpose. He wants to design and build the ideas that he has for skiffs. He wants to test himself. He is not trying to make a lot of money, just enough to sail to the next destination.

I believe we all owe Chris Morejohn a debt of gratitude for his selflessness and contribution to the vessels that allow all of us to take part in this sport we love. He designed all the O.G. HB skiffs and built them for years. Personally, I am in debt to him for all of his kindness and assistance. He tolerates my endlessly distracting stupid questions and sarcasm. Chris is the real deal. I am happy to have the opportunity to call him a friend.

Puff . . Puff. . Pufferfish. . .
I had been dreaming of a little boat with a lot of capability. Duck hunting in NC, Glades camping, NMZ trips for days, getting to the way, way, super back in the winter and being able to stay there for a week or more without ever leaving to camp on land or a chickee. Leaving bread crumb trails on mangroves with toilet paper markers to know what way to go when trying to get back home.

After making the Conchfish, our build team started talking about this kind of vessel. We wanted to call it the Pufferfish. The logo would be a Rasta pufferfish. We didn't have an idea of what the boat would look like just a rough outline of what we wanted it to do. I ran this by Chris while we were on a recent fishing trip to Chokoloskee and he told me he had already drawn the canoe way back in 2016. He had done the wilderness waterway trail in a canoe with is wife and had been thinking about this canoe for the past several decades. Fortune favors the brave. . . It had to be built.

Cabinet and furniture making has been a big hobby of mine for a while. I have a great woodworking shop. Chris recommended I go with wood core again, just like the CF16 team build. I love the wood core boat feel. Wood is different from foam core. Nothing wrong with either core choice, it is just different. Think Cedar Wood Core. Think light. (I can pick up the entire stack of wood we used to build the Conchfish 16 and carry it on one shoulder). Think solid. Think Jocko Willink. Think Rugby player. It feels solid while running. I like the wood care Conchfish 16 feel. Plus, I like working with wood and have the source for raw materials and the tools to work the wood. Wood was an obvious choice.

So, this will be the thread on the pufferfish 19 canoe. Chris will also be posting about it on his own thread. This thread will be my novice builder info and impressions regarding the build. I hope everyone enjoys it.

Eric Kimes
Mount Olive NC
December 7, 2019
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Taking delivery of the 2018 Lithium, hanging with Chris on his 60th birthday at Pierre's with Captain Joe Murphy, hanging with Brian Floyd, spending the night on Hogfish Maximus with the kids in the little basin.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Pufferfish table build and setting up the stations. You draw the canoe outline on the table with pencil and then lay out the stations on the table per the plan.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Buying the battens. Basically just 12' long thin moulding at the hardware store used for trim carpentry.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Using the battens to fair the stations. You just place the long thin wood trim on the stations to make sure the curve that you are making will actually allow the wood to bend over it. If there are high spots, you just sand them down. This canoe drawing was in Chris' head, so the full on dimensions were approximate. The fine tuning of the hull shape happened on the stations using the battens.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The wood supplier I used for the Conchfish 16 had retired. (Bill Nelson of Precision Woodworking and Moulding in New Bern NC). He is 86 years young and a true class act. I drove to New Bern yesterday to have lunch with him and visit. He's a personal hero of mine. Sorry he sold the business and retired. Happy for the adventures he has planned for himself in the future. These kind of men are the salt of the earth. I want to be like Bill Nelson when I grow up.

We used Eastern White Cedar for the Conchfish 16 build (sourced at Precision in New Bern with Bill Nelson) It was $3.20/bf (board foot). This price was S4S straight line ripped at 1'' by 3/4''. Great price! I was able to source Western Red Cedar in Raleigh NC at Capitol City Lumber 4216 Beryl Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606 // capitolcitylumber.com // (919) 832-6492. I could fit 12' long boards in my van. They were 4/4 thick (one inch) and 5 3/4'' wide. The boards were S3S (surfaced on a planer one one face and both sides). It was $5.30/bf. I plan to S4S (smooth all four sides on a planer) with my Laguna 16'' planer, square the ends on my miter saw. Then use a 1:10 angle (equivalent to 5.7 degrees on a protractor) to create a scarph joint to glue up the 12 foot boards lengthwise and create 24 foot boards. I will then straight line rip the 6 inch wide boards into 3/4 inch wide strips on my 36'' Laguna Bandsaw. This will yield 24 foot cedar strips that I can use to plank the canoe.

Regarding the different Cedar varieties: My first impression is that the Wester Red Cedar is superior. The stock I'm working with for the Pufferfish 19 is much clearer, with less defects like splits and knots. The Eastern White Cedar had quite a lot of knots in it and seems less flexible than the Western Red Cedar. I may change my mind as the build goes on, but so far I think the Western Red may be a superior product. The disclaimer is that I may just have a cleaner lot of Western Red to choose from at the Capitol City Lumber supplier I am using now. No telling. Anyone with experience please comment.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
My family vacationed in Lake Tahoe, CA in the summers a few times while I was in high school. My Dad would talk about how my Grandfather (his Father) had one of these old school wooden boats that he would ride around Lake Tahoe back in the 60's. This is one of the design inspirations for the Pufferfish 19 build. Super sexy lines.
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 170 Posts
Top