Micro-Expedition, Session 3

float test

Jack and Willey did a float test of their matching, 1/4 scale hull models

I feel lucky to have such a congenial and productive crew for my Atelier class this semester. The students presented their 1/4 scale models the morning of our third session and have clearly divided into four teams, each collaboratively pursuing a different hull type appropriate to the scope of the Expedition.

folding dinghy modelstitching pattern

Dean made a beautiful study model of his team’s folding dinghy concept

Janette, Dean and Sean are developing a folding dinghy concept. Dean made a laser-cut, scale prototype from polypropylene, and invented his own ‘figure eight’ style of stitching in fine monofilament to allow for easy folding.

peter's models

Peter is combining a classic ‘fishtail’ surfboard shape with lines from traditional wooden skiffs

SUP model1

Sarah’s SUP shapes up with a squared off bow and stern and hard chine rails

Sarah, Nicolas and Peter are each making their own stand-up paddleboards (SUP’s), which will vary in shape but share the same hollow surfboard construction, hybridizing plank-on-frame plywood with bead-and cove strip planking.

jack's boat

Jack’s surfboat sports stowage hatches and a fold-down mast

willey's boats

Willey’s experiments have led to an aft cockpit, appropriate to carrying cargo forward

Jack and Willey are making similar hulls, but one will function more like a sailing surfboat combined with an SUP, and the other will function more like a kayak, with an aft cockpit for seated paddling. The two are considering designing their hulls to join together as a catamaran, and they’re experimenting with fold-down sailing rigs.

bamboo fibre test

Susan and Lukas attached double stick tape along the deck seams of their model to tack stetchy, bamboo fabric to use as an alternative to fiberglass.

bamboo fibre test1

Susan and Lucas (my TA) are working together to make lightweight, multi-chine, ‘stitch-and-glue’ kayaks based upon the traditional forms from Greenland. Their construction will largely eliminate internal framing, relying upon the multi-chine seams and longitudinal panels for structure.


Jack, our resident Boy Scout, rigged up this harness, which is how we will hang the craft from the ceiling of the benchroom when we shift to full scale.

I’ve been encouraging the students to block out a tentative production schedule over the coming weeks so they can check their progress with desired, projected outcomes. I’ve learned that time management is an over-looked skill set, and think the group will benefit from a program that requires rigorous functionality with the shared goal of making an expedition together as inspiration.

To read more about Micro-Expedition, the ‘Atelier Studio’ I am teaching this semester at CCA, please click here and scroll down.