Building a Mixer
The area where I live is essentially a swamp. Aside from the
big bodies of water, like the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic
Ocean, there are hundreds of smaller lakes, creeks, ditches, and
canals that are inaccessible by larger boat. Having gotten a
taste of these gems-within-the-surburban-jungle before in a
canoe, I figured that a small rowboat/sailboat would be just the
ticket for further exploration.
Now, a sailboat and a rowboat have opposing requirements.
Rowboats tend to be narrow to reduce wetted surface. Unballasted
sailboats need beam to counteract the force of the sails. So a
boat that is made for both rowing and sailing is normally
considered to be good at neither. But that doesn't stop designers
from trying and customers from buying.
Enter Jim Michalak (pronounced like metallic only replace the
"t" with a "k" sound). As an amateur
boatbuilder and designer who hasn't quit his day job, Mr.
Michalak has the disease of an engineer--always tinkering. In
amongst his rowboats, sailboats, powerboats, and many
combinations is the Mixer.
Here are the specifications.
||68 sq. ft.
What attracted me to the Mixer was:
- Short length - which translates to light and easy to
- Large cockpit - can carry 2 people in more comfort than
- Floatation chambers - essential in my view,
- Fixed Leeboard - leaves cockpit uncluttered, and
- Balanced Lug Rig - intriguing sail that keeps the spars
Now, after spending over 2½ years putting together Egia,
constructing a 12 ft. dinghy would be just too easy. Or would it?
Originally intending to build 2 different boats at once, I
deferred to just working on one. Good thing, since putting
together the Mixer has taken over 1 year.
The construction details of the Mixer will not be as detailed
as my log of Egia. There are so many other resources on building
these smaller craft that I felt I'd just be repeating what others
have already written. And most are written better than my meager
talent can produce. So I'll just give a brief chronicle of
activity and talk about my numerous changes that make a mockery
of the designer's hard work. Oh, and maybe a few pictures, too.