all the bells and whistles on!
Roger Kane bought some Houdini
plans a little over four years ago, and I recall a phone
conversation that suggested something special was in store,
I’d met Roger as a member of the Hamilton ( New Zealand)
Traditional Small Craft Society , both he and father Tom
are very capable craftsmen with an inventive streak and
anything that either one does is likely to have innovative
and original built in.
Rogers Houdini in the pivoting mountings that made
fitting out her interior so much easier.
A view from above
with the cabin sides and centrecase in, the wee cabin
is small but has good sitting headroom and with the
cocklit tented there is plenty of room to lay out
a pair of sleeping bags.
From this angle you cans ee that although not a
big boat Houdinis beam and freebaord means lots
of room inside.
(click images to
In this case the first
hint was When I attended a TSCS meeting at Roger's home
where we spent the evening in his workshop marvelling at
the near complete hull in it's pivoting mountings . She
was suspended by stem and stern so she could be rotated
around her long axis to give access while doing the tricky
interior, and it was then that Roger told me that he was
going to put a cabin on this 13 and a bit foot boat.
Although only short, Houdini
is quite a big boat and I have been wondering if a cabin
would work, I think that I prefer an open boat at this length
, a boat where with the tent up I have the full length of
the boat as a cabin, or when sailing I have a roomy boat
so (Please note) won't be drawing one for Houdini. However,
I received an envelope full of photographs from Roger, and
a letter explaining where he is at, and a little about her.
You will note that there are a number of changes.
She will have a sloop rig that with the jib out on that
bowsprit will move the centre of effort forward to suit
the very forward daggerboard that has replaced the swinging
centreboard. There is a tiny motor hidden in the sternsheets,
in this case it WAS (note past tense) an outboard motor
but has had the leg shortened, the exhaust modified and
the controls moved to a fixed position on the bulkhead ahead
and is permanently bonded into the bottom of the boat in
the same way that a saildrive is. It’s a real work
of art and deserves a separate article sometime (watch this
All painted and finished with lots of lovely rich
natural wood! The toys will be her crew for a little
while yet until she hits the water. This view shows
something of the conversion from outboard motor to
miniature saildrive, tidy and compact, a real credit
to the builder
So perfectly proportioned
that its hard to see just what size she really is,
this tiny cruiser is a real work of art.
Although broad in the beam she is pretty slick
underwater, its going to be interesting to see how
(click images to
The workmanship on this
little boat is superb! Note the attention to detail and
the thought that has gone into the layout, there is even
a hatch at the forward end of the cabin so that the crew
will not have to go forward to attend to the sails, lots
of locker space for cruising provisions and sleeping bags.
She’s a treasure, and is going into the water on Tuesday
May good luck be with this little ship, and
all who sail in her.