Bateau V12


Bateau V12
by Dave Hahn

This.....addiction started innocently enough. My wife, two teenaged daughters, my son and I took a float trip (only about 10 miles) in our little 12 foot aluminum boat. Under oar power all went well as we went through the many twists and turns of our local river (Sevier River, near Delta Utah). But we had parked the truck down at the dam and it was spring and the reservoir was full, so there was several miles of flat water to go, many small islands and even worse many small peninsulas that seemed to be islands until you got really close and had to back track made it a really long day. It was some time during that afternoon that I began to think that I needed some help in the power department.

I like things to be quiet, so I didn't want a gasoline motor, and an electric with batteries would have sunk us. (We were pretty overloaded.) It seemed that a sail would be a welcome addition. Of course it is never that simple. As I studied, it became apparent that I could convert that little boat, but there was a pretty good chance that I would take a tight little boat and change it into a chronic leaker with no resale value. So I sold her to a friend and bought plywood, epoxy and plans from for their little V12.

click to enlarge Learning to tape and glue didn't seem that hard, and was a lot of fun, but I made a lot of mistakes and had to redo several areas. I was anticipating that I would finish in 40 hours, but with my inexperience it took a lot longer - so long in fact that we decided that we might try the Free Canoe and built one and took it camping before we were done with the V12.

All of this waiting was actually a good thing as I came to the conclusion that I didn't really like the way the seats were arranged and wanted some water tight storage areas. I hadn't really read much on Jim Michalak's website yet and I guess I was re-inventing the wheel, as the water tight boxes that I ended up with look a little like Michalak's Vector with storage/flotation like Piccup.... sort of. Anyway

She rows well. She has good capacity (700 lbs of people was an overload, but the water was calm and we got away with it.) We finally got her splashed with the sail and had a wild ride in Lake Powell on a windy day... where we didn't capsize or sink (30" waves breaking over the bow - glad for the bow deck that day) and got back to shore and camp on our own power (oar) and only took on a couple of gallons of water. I wish I had some pictures from Lake Powell, but the digital camera took on some water and all of them were lost. Hope you like these. I have plans for Musicbox3 and Picara and am leaning towards starting Picara sometime this spring.

More later. Great projects, great website


Dave Hahn