The Texas 200 is over and I made it! Right now I am writing two separate posts, one on the trip and one a review of the Pathfinder Flying M. I will get it out as soon as I can but between work and the 200 I have not had a day off in three weeks. I’ll get it out as soon as I can.



Five days until I fly out to Houston for the Texas 200. Equipment is checked. All that’s left is to pack my clothes. Activated my Spot GPS messenger. Here is the link if any of you want to follow it:

Link to Spot GPS Messenger

The Spot is a small GPS receiver that fits in the palm of your hand. Its primary job is to alert the authorities in case of an emergency. If you press the S.O.S. button it sends your location to the authorities and the cavalry is on its way.  Also it lets your loved ones and interested parties track your location in near real time from any computer. The link above will take you to my page and you can follow along with me (If you click on it before the race the map will be blank).


I fly out on Friday morning and help Peter get the boat ready that afternoon. Drive down to Port Isabel Saturday. Captains meeting Sunday. Horn sounds on Monday. The weather in Texas has made the news almost every day this month. On the good side its much cooler in South Texas than it is here, and I am off work for a week.

I am nervous and excited. Wish me luck.

Incremental Gains

Now that I had the big piece of plywood it was time to cut out some planks and make this frame into something that floats. As I said in an earlier post, I had used luan to make patterns for the planks. After that it was a simple matter to use my router to duplicate them on the big plank. Full size I can get four planks out of a 4′ x 20′ piece of ply.


This means I am out of wood and still have the top planks to go. Looks like another phone call to World Panel Products soon. In the meantime I had to learn how to cut gains.

Gains are the progressive rabbets that allow the planks to come together at the stem so there is no gap.

Fortunately these are pretty easy to cut if you have the right equipment. I used a copy of the Stanley 78 rabbet and fillister plane made by Kunz. After sharpening up the iron and learning how to adjust it, it made quick work of the gains.


To make the layout lines I temporarily installed the planks and marked where they overlapped. I chose 18″ as the length of the cut just because, and then screwed a batten for a guide and made the cut. It takes longer to describe than it does to do. The end result?


Three planks down!