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boatpaddle
10-18-2013, 11:56 AM
I know this has been a topic of discussion here because my customers have been telling me about it (I don't know where it's buried in the UU forums). Basically, they have been concerned that Boat Paddle ukulele necks are too fat.
Here's what I know. The standard thickness of BP necks is 3/4" at the first fret. They have been ordered in different thicknesses however. David Spangler (Flea Bitten Dawgs) plays a BP baritone with a neck thickness of more than 7/8" and likes it. He's a big guy with big hands. If you look at other instruments like guitars and mandolins, the thickness is close to 1". It doesn't make sense that because the instrument is smaller, the neck needs to be thinner. After all, your hand doesn't get smaller when you pick up a uke. Some ukuleles have necks that are less than 5/8" thick, and if you play one for an extended period of time, your hand will get sore, because there just isn't enough to grab on to. Here are some pictures of my chubby hands grabbing on to a standard size B.P. uke neck. http://www.boatpaddleukuleles.com/links/UU/grip1.jpg
http://www.boatpaddleukuleles.com/links/UU/grip2.jpg

boatpaddle
10-18-2013, 12:29 PM
I know this has been a topic of discussion here because my customers have been telling me about it (I don't know where it's buried in the UU forums). Basically, they have been concerned that Boat Paddle ukulele necks are too fat.
Here's what I know. The standard thickness of BP necks is 3/4" at the first fret. They have been ordered in different thicknesses however. David Spangler (Flea Bitten Dawgs) plays a BP baritone with a neck thickness of more than 7/8" and likes it. Maybe someone played his uke and thought they were all like that. If you look at other instruments like guitars and mandolins, the thickness is close to 1". It doesn't make sense that because the instrument is smaller, the neck needs to be thinner. After all, your hand doesn't get smaller when you pick up a uke. Some ukuleles have necks that are less than 5/8" thick, and if you play one for an extended period of time, your hand will get sore, because there just isn't enough to grip. Here are some pictures of my chubby hands grabbing on to a standard size B.P. uke. http://www.boatpaddleukuleles.com/liks/UU/grip1.jpg
http://www.boatpaddleukuleles.com/links/UU/grip2

seeso
10-21-2013, 11:53 AM
Thread approved, Jerry. Sorry for the delay, I was out all weekend.

misterpk
10-21-2013, 12:21 PM
Jerry, I was playing my dad's blinged out kayak that he just got from you (the quilted mahagonay one) and I don't think the neck is fat at all. It was a dream to play actually. :)

Doc_J
10-21-2013, 02:06 PM
I have had several Boat Paddle ukes, and would like to get another, soon. Great instruments. I might like a slightly flatter neck profile rather than the standard very round profile. I find a slightly flatter profile more comfortable than round. Or maybe another way to say it is that I prefer a "D"shaped profile to a "C"shaped profile. Thinner necks usually have a "D"shaped profile in my experience, but it doesn't need to be thinner.

dtikim1
10-21-2013, 06:10 PM
Hi everyone:
This is my testimonial for the Boat Paddle neck discussion. As of last week I took possession of Jerry's creation for me; "Quilted Mahogany", front, side & back Kayak Tenor ukulele. I did have a bit of concern as to how I would take to the neck especially after reading some of the threads discussing the so called Chunkiness of the Boat Paddle neck. Although I've spoken English as my mother language for 60 years, I just couldn't imagine what was meant by chunkiness. Honestly, prior to delivery I did have some anxiety; not having played a Boat Paddle ukulele before ordering my "bling instrument". I ordered it on blind faith: on the recommendation of my son misterpk and after my conversation with Jerry. I have been playing the ukulele for the greater part of 40+ years of my life; I am predominantly a strummer as opposed to being a picker. I have several "super premium" ukuleles: Compass Rose, Koolau T100, pre 1940 Martin 12 fret Tenor, and a Pepe Romero 12 fret Tenor. The Martin & the Pepe Romero have similar shaped necks. The Compass Rose probably has the D neck. The measurement at the nut of my Kayak is 1 1/2", you would expect it to be larger than the standard 1 3/8". I will post my review within the next few days, but suffice to say now that after about a week of serious play...strumming as well as picking, I haven't noticed the larger size of the fretboard and it is the most comfortable ukulele that is in my stable of ukuleles. The most comfortable that I have ever played in my 60 years of existence. My hands have not hurt or cramped because of the neck. Like I said, after taking possession of this ukulele, I don't know what or why people are saying that the Boat Paddle ukuleles have chunky necks. That is my 2 cents worth of comments and you can take that to the BANK....

hammer40
10-21-2013, 07:45 PM
While I don't have my BP uke just yet, I did visit Jerry and have had the opportunity to try a few of his ukes. I did not find the necks to be "chunky" at all. I hear others frequently describe Pono necks as chunky as well. I do have two of those, and agin, I don't find those necks to be chunky either. I wish people would use some other way to describe the neck, if they must. The term "chunky" carries a negative and sometimes dismissive connotation, whether they mean it that way or not.

Why not just describe the shape? A "C" shape vs a "D" shape, that is much more telling to me of how it will feel or fit in your hand. In the end, I guess it's all so subjective anyway.

equina
10-21-2013, 08:24 PM
Hello Jerry,

I guess it boils down to different people having different size hands and also different ways of holding the uke. I have small hands and I don't grip my uke the same way you do as in your photos. When I play or hold the uke before I play, my thumb always touches the neck and it never shoots past the top of the neck. Unless I'm playing barre chords, I only grip the neck + fretboard with the tips of my fingers. Hence I'm one of those players who feel more comfortable with a flatter D-shaped neck than a rounder C-shaped neck.


If you look at other instruments like guitars and mandolins, the thickness is close to 1". It doesn't make sense that because the instrument is smaller, the neck needs to be thinner. After all, your hand doesn't get smaller when you pick up a uke.

I cannot comment on guitar and mandolin players since I don't play these instruments, but some ukulele players I talked to refused to play the guitar because they found the guitar too bulky. The neck became a non-issue because the major complaints were of the big body size, too difficult to learn, strings causing pain, etc. Hence this group of uke players including me who cannot accept guitars gravitate to the uke and some of us happen to prefer thinner necks.