March 2020

From The Editor


With a new virus spreading across the globe, our editor looks to the rewards and risks of building and using small boats to temper his approach to the health crisis.



A Stevenson project

The Weekender from Stevenson Projects is a plywood pocket yacht that made its debut in Popular Science in 1981. Its gaff rig, cuddy cabin, trail boards, and ship’s wheel give the little 16-footer the look of the Friendship sloops that inspired its designer.


Echoes of a British pilot cutter

Chesapeake Light Craft’s PocketShip is under 15’ long and trailers docilely behind a compact car and yet offers comfortable sleeping quarters for two in the cabin or cockpit and carries a powerful sailing rig. Stitch-and-glue makes construction amateur friendly.

A DIY Cagoule

Cocoon-like comfort

A full-length cagoule is a simple, inexpensive sewing project that provides a refuge from rain and cold. There’s room enough to retreat turtle-like from the hood and sleeves to enjoy the still air inside, often over 20 degrees warmer than it is outside.

The Broughton Archipelago

Four for oar and sail

Eric Hvalsoe and his three cruising buddies headed to the north end of Vancouver Island, each with a sail-and-oar boat they’d built, and set out to wander among the islands of the Broughton Archipelago. Tides, currents and whales kept them on their toes.

Reader Built Boat

The Yeung Canoe

Sisters, science, and cedar

Strip-building a canoe was an easy project for two sisters in Seattle. As amateur scientists, they’d already designed and built a craft to send cameras to an altitude of 18 miles to record the sweep of the moon’s shadow across the earth during a solar eclipse.


Wen Band File

Detail work on wood and metal

We boatbuilders are by nature do-it-yourselfers, and when we finish a boat and it’s time to rig and outfit it, there are a lot of small parts we can make instead of buy. Wen’s compact ½” x 18” belt sander makes quick work of metal and wood fittings.

A Full-Featured VHF/GPS

Standard Horizon's HX890

The HX890 is a full-featured waterproof VHF that includes GPS navigation, Digital Selective Calling, FM radio, a rechargeable 1800mAh Li-Ion battery with an alkaline back-up, group monitoring, and a water-activated light. And it floats.

Follow 17-year-olds Finn Cameron-Turner and Tereza Deminova as they embark on a 3-month journey from Germany to Russia in a self-built boat, crossing Europe on inland waterways.

News and Curiosities

David W. Dillion Plans at Mystic Seaport’s Website

Thirty-seven drawings by David W. Dillion of 15 different designs have recently appeared on Mystic Seaport Museum's website.

VIDEO Small Boat Tour: ESCA, 15′ Christmas Wherry

Scott Williams brought ESCA, his impeccably built Christmas Wherry to exhibit among other small boats for "I Built It Myself." The sail-and-oar boat won Best in Show for owner-built boats in the Concours d'Elegance awards, and this video shows why.

Electric Fantail Launch DORA Available for Charter at The Center for Wooden Boats

CWB Charters aboard the fantail launch DORA is a new way to enjoy a picnic, take a tour, and explore Lake Union with up to six passengers with a licensed captain.

NOAA Releases New Version of Chart No. 1

The chart of charts has been updated. This article at NOAA's website details the revisions that appear in the new version.

Coast Guard Advises Labeling Paddlecraft, Free Labels Are Available

In the recent Atlantic Coastal Kayaker, they shared a couple of important advisories from the U.S. Coast Guard regarding free labels and what happens if they find a small boat unlabeled and unmanned.

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