Sad news today came over at the WoodenBoat Forum that Mac McCarthy passed away on the 27th of March. (That's Mac on the left in the picture)
Mac's little boats were a great influence to many as they seemed to be very "approachable" boats. With the publishing of his "Featherweight Boatbuilding" book, things became even more available. While I'd gotten started paddling in Old Town canoes and my father and I did our first build of a Redbird back in the 80's using Ted Moore's "Canoecraft", I really needed a small solo canoe for poking around the ponds and small streams around my home. I got started with Mac's Wee Lassie design. When I was finally asked to start teaching the subject, Mac was very generous with his advice and help by phone and email. When I went to teach at WoodenBoat, he was equally supportive, even though his health was not good at the time.
Rich Hillsinger the director at the WoodenBoat school gave me some other insights to Mac's personality that didn't come through on the phone. Mac's classes were fairly driven two week sessions where students built the boats, trimmed them out with hand-caned seats and built paddles in their "spare time".
I hope he found that crystal-clear river that he was always looking for to paddle on.
Here's a link to his obituary.