Wyn Menafee of Palmer, Alaska, and Roger Burleigh of Anchorage, Alaska, each built a Penobscot 17 from Arch Davis Designs. Though Wyn launched his boat (as yet unnamed) a few months before Roger's was finished, they sometimes sail in tandem on Big Lake, Alaska. Wyn writes that, “I have been using the boat for sailing, rowing, and motoring and have taken it in the ocean, as well was on lakes and rivers. It’s a great boat. Locally I sail at Big Lake, Kenai Lake, Trail Lake, and Resurrection Bay. I have also taken it up the Knik River to the Knik Glacier, out of Whittier in Prince William Sound. It has been a pleasure to use this boat to explore and take the family out to various areas of Alaska.”
Roger constructed his boat, WHIMBREL, from sapele plywood, with okoume bulkheads, deck of Alaskan yellow cedar, and a backbone of white oak. He made the mast and spars from aircraft-grade Sitka spruce, and bought his bronze hardware from Port Townsend Foundry and Bristol Bronze. He adds, “I have read WoodenBoat for 15 years, and, I’ll never forgot a quip I read in a column that I can only paraphrase now as: the dream of building one’s own boat starts out as a cloud on the horizon until it blots the entire sky until you can think of nothing else. As it was for me. In particular issue 192 provided the means to build spar planes which I used on all my spars and now on a set of oars.”
Roger’s boat is gaff-rigged, and Wyn’s has a gunter. Besides sailing, Wyn also powers his boat with an 8-hp Honda 4-stroke outboard.