2018 Concours d’Elegance Wooden Boat Show Award

A favorite JD customer of ours was recently awarded the 2018 Wooden Boat Show Concours de Elegance-Professionally Built- Human Powered– Best in Show award. We were at the show and found their boat to be ingenious, especially knowing it’s a human-powered boat, unlike any other we’ve seen. Have a look!  

Boat Name: Miss Behavin’ A Tandem Pedal Boat

Winner of 2018 WoodenBoat Show Concours de Elegance-Professionally Built- Human Powered- Best in Show

  • 18’ 1” overall in length
  • Weight of the hull is 140 lbs
  • Weight of the drive units is 60 lbs. each

Little Rock Boat Builder Supply was founded in 2017 by Greg Johnson. With over 40 years of cabinetry experience including both aircraft and boating, Mr. Johnson has built several boats along the way, but this was the new shop’s first effort, as well as the first to be labeled “Professionally built by Mr. Johnson.” With help from craftsman Keith Davis, Little Rock Boat Builders pushed forward to get the boat out in time for the show. This was no easy task as ongoing design changes and other work commitments delayed progress on more than one occasion.

Miss Behavin’ is a design from Laurie McGowan, a designer with years of experience. Laurie also writes a monthly article for Woodenboat Magazine called “Sketchbook” where anyone can send a letter describing an idea they have for a boat design and Laurie does a preliminary design. These are not completed designs but provide a great starting point as a lot of the particulars are worked through.  In the case of Miss Behavin’, Gary Bedard had come up with the idea of a tandem peddle craft and pursued it for several years but not quite getting the results he wanted when he contacted Laurie. The article and was published in the Dec 2015 issue.

Laurie and Greg began talking about putting some of Laurie’s boats into kit form in late 2016 and eventually decided Miss Behavin’ would be one of several to work on. As fate would have it Miss Behavin’ became the first up for prototyping and several scale models were built and the shape was perfected. You’ll notice there is a significant amount of tumblehome in the aft section and this didn’t come easy. The limits were pushed and a final shape decides early 2018.

The boat is powered by a very unique pedal system using flexible drive cables and belt drives. The boat was designed around these drives, not vice versa as many have done. The projected average speed for 2 peddlings at a comfortable “Beach Cruiser” pace is 4knots and top speed for short burst would be about 8 knots. As you can see the boat floats very nicely on a line that will allow the transom to just kiss the water when loaded, minimizing wetted surface for good efficiency.

We used TotalBoat 2:1 Epoxy for most of the build and are very happy with the results. It flows out just as good as any.

When it came time to paint we made the choice of TotalBoat Topside Primer in Gray and Blue-Glo White for the hull and Bristol Beige for the deck. This boat will not be stored in the water so no below waterline paints were needed.

The primer was rolled on with a smooth foam roller and went on well. The primer sanded easily but not too soft as to cut through without effort. The Wet Edge gave us a great finish, but we learned it would take a little more thinning than was noted on the label*. We use good quality 4 stage HVLP equipment for finishes and after getting the product thinned properly it went on very nice. With recoat times of 16 hours, we were sweating it out if we could get enough coats on in time to make the 21-hour trek to the show without the paint coming off on the way.

Well, we made it and the effort was well worth it.

Greg Johnson
Little Rock Boat Builder Supply
201 S Victory
Little Rock, AR 72201

*There are many variables that can affect paints and painting. Always thin and adjust the paint to your own preferences and your own climate and conditions. Thinning will vary for spraying (more thinner) from rolling and brushing. For product and project-specific advice, call our Tech Help at 800-423-0030. We recommend using TotalBoat Special Thinner 100 for all TotalBoat product thinning.

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