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Thread: Boat Paddle Mandolin

  1. #1
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    Default Boat Paddle Mandolin

    Just purchased a new Boat Paddle mandolin. It's a handmade mandolin made by Boat Paddle Ukuleles located in New Haven, Missouri. It features a solid spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides. It's also strung with Aquila Nygut (nylon) strings. It's a very mellow sounding mandolin and very easy to play. I always wanted to learn how to play the mandolin but was turned off by the small nut width and high steel string setups. This thing is a dream to hear and play. An ideal beginners mandolin.

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  2. #2
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    delray, did you special order your mando to be built? Do not see a mando listed on their web site. An M-style Boat Paddle Uke is at the top of my instrument bucket list. And if they can make a mando in that style....Oooooh (Sounds of an angelic praise chorus)

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    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    I've never heard of these instruments. Where is the sound hole?

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    Registered User Tracy Tucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Hall View Post
    Where is the sound hole?
    Looks like it's up at the neck joint.

  5. #5
    He's back. :) Bill Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    Jon, did you click on the thumbnail photo? If you do you will notice that the top stops short of the top of the body to make the soundhole.Click image for larger version. 

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    Bill Snyder

  6. #6
    Fix-R-Up-R Jake Wildwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    That's what I'd call "economy of materials."



    Cool.

  7. #7
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    I got to play two Boat Paddle mandolins at Music Folk in St. Louis earlier this year. One was the style shown in the OP and the other was built like the "M-Style" uke on the Boat Paddle website, only with 8 strings. I found them both delightful. Really easy to play, with a delicate, clear, warm tone, unlike any mandolin I've ever played. Great fit and finish too. I was sorely tempted to buy one. It would be great for classical playing, solo playing or in duo with a nylon string guitar.

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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flynn View Post
    I got to play two Boat Paddle mandolins at Music Folk in St. Louis earlier this year. One was the style shown in the OP and the other was built like the "M-Style" uke on the Boat Paddle website, only with 8 strings. I found them both delightful. Really easy to play, with a delicate, clear, warm tone, unlike any mandolin I've ever played. Great fit and finish too. I was sorely tempted to buy one. It would be great for classical playing, solo playing or in duo with a nylon string guitar.
    I purchased the mandolin from Music Folk in St. Louis. It is one of which you played. I always wanted to learn the mandolin but was hesitant over the small fret board width and the rather taunt steel strings. When I spotted the Boat Paddles, all of my previous concerns vanished. The fret board is wider than standard and the nylon strings (Aquila M1 Mandolin Strings) certainly made playing easy and enjoyable. As referenced above, the mandolin does have a delicate, clear, warm tone. Since buying it this week, I can't put the thing down.

    I contacted Jerry Hoffmann, owner and maker of Boat Paddle Ukuleles. Jerry said the mandolin I purchased, along with the other still at the store, are prototypes that he built. I assume if someone is interested in buying one, Jerry would build to order. He also said the mandolin is built to handle the nylon strings. It was not built to play with traditional strings. It is perhaps one of the most unique mandolins that I have seen.

  9. #9
    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    Do you have a video or audio files?

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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    Sorry, I don't have a video or audio file.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Hall View Post
    Do you have a video or audio files?

  11. #11
    ArtDecoMandos Marty Jacobson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    It's almost impossible to make an unpleasant-sounding nylon-string "mandolin". They are really mellow and clean sounding, though more like a bandurria than a mandolin, really. I have made some for kids so they could get a feeling for a real instrument, and been surprised at how much fun they are to play... not just a musical toy, which is what I designed mine to be.
    martinjacobson.com - Dedicated to producing affordable instruments with great tone & playability

  12. #12
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    Guys Guys!!!!!!! UPS dropped the M-style mandolin off at my door yesterday!!!!!!!!![/ My wife called Music Folk and had it delivered to me for my Birthday!!!! Havin a hard time deciding who to kiss first!!!

  13. #13
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boat-P...type=1&theater

    The mando on Boat Paddle Ukelele's Facebook page... I'm not tech savvy enuff to just post the picture. Sorry

  14. #14
    He's back. :) Bill Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

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    This it Rodney?
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  16. #15
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    Yep. Wait till I can take pictures of the back. The flame has a 3-D look, it is sooooo deeeppp!!!

  17. #16
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    Couple of pics from my phone. Haven't got the ones my Granddaughter took yet.
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    There are a number of companies making 8 string ukuleles or taropatches as they used to be called. Depending on the scale they might be able to be tuned in 5ths.

  19. #18
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by ambrosepottie View Post
    There are a number of companies making 8 string ukuleles or taropatches as they used to be called. Depending on the scale they might be able to be tuned in 5ths.
    One issue that might happen with that is intonation. I tried converting a 4 string uke to mando tuning and the intonation was way off, especially on the 4th string. I had to have a luthier make a new bridge to correct it. Other people here have reported no problems with intonation in tuning a uke like a mando, so I guess it depends on the instrument. I would imagine that with 8 strings, the problem could be even worse. I'm sure the Boat Paddle builder takes that in to account in his construction.

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    Default Re: Boat Paddle Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flynn View Post
    One issue that might happen with that is intonation. I tried converting a 4 string uke to mando tuning and the intonation was way off, especially on the 4th string. I had to have a luthier make a new bridge to correct it. Other people here have reported no problems with intonation in tuning a uke like a mando, so I guess it depends on the instrument. I would imagine that with 8 strings, the problem could be even worse. I'm sure the Boat Paddle builder takes that in to account in his construction.
    I tune my baritone uke using the regular Aquila strings to 5ths in Bflat. It actually intonates better than it did when tuned DGBE. Most ukes have a straight saddle like a classical guitar and I've certainly heard some that play terribly out of tune. It may be that the longer scale of the baritone is more forgiving.

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