January 2018

From The Editor

A Man of Means by No Means

Arthur Dennan was not “King of the Road” as the song goes, but he was, at least by his own account, King of Lafayette Square in Savannah. His home in the Georgia marsh was an upturned aluminum johnboat, its bow propped up and walled in with weathered plywood. He owned little, but didn’t hesitate to share what he had with strangers.


There's a notch in the transom for those who have a knack for sculling, and, if motoring appeals, the plans included instructions for equipping the boat with a small outboard of 2 to 3 hp.

Penobscot 14

An Arch Davis Classic

The Penobscot 14 is a versatile sail, oar, and motor boat designed by Arch Davis in the early ’90s. His goal was to design a boat that was easy to build, had pleasing lines, and offered excellent sailing and rowing performance.


A well balanced sail-and-oar dinghy

François Vivier’s Minahouët has two maststeps, so it can be rigged either as a sloop with the mast set in the aft position, or cat-rigged with the mast in the forward position. Either way, the boat is lug-rigged and there’s no need for stays, so rigging is simple and fast.

We had to wait for the tide to rise for us to cross a shallow spot in Cramer Passage at Broughton Island, so Koen passed the time doing some solo sailing.

A Boat for the Summer

A quick-and-dirty build for a British Columbia cruise

A father and his son took the summer off, built a boat in a month by forgoing the fine finish work, and sailed north with a plan to do little planning, leaving their adventure to chance.

A half hitch in the tail end, pulled up tight against the last wrap, keeps the fender from getting looser with use and age.

Doughnut Fenders

Distinctive and easy to make

The basic principle of most rope fenders is to create a core and then wrap it prettily. The core of the doughnut fender is a coil and the wrap is a type of loop hitching. Using a darker line for the core has the pleasing effect of contrasting with a lighter-colored line on the outside.

Reader Built Boat


An Adirondack Guideboat

Gary Strombo of Everett, Washington, told his friend John Leyde that he wanted to build a boat. As often happens, the moment you speak of your wishes to someone else, the momentum to carry them out begins to build.


A full charge on the battery is rated for 6 hours with the light on high, 20 hours on low, 60 hours for the red light, and 48 hours for the SOS.

Mantus Headlamp

Submersible, rechargeable, durable

The Mantus Headlamp is built around a rugged, watertight aluminum-alloy case that houses a rechargeable and replaceable battery. The LED light mounted in the middle of the housing has a high output of 770 lumens, a low output of 150 lumens, an SOS signal, and a red light for preserving night vision.

The the drive shaft has a diameter of 1/2" where it joins the fitting on the drum, but is reduced to 3/8" to fit most drills.

Sleeveless Sanding Drums

Ordinary sandpaper, softer contours

Sleeveless sanding drums are built around a cylinder padded with a layer of 1/8” neoprene and hold strips of common sandpaper. The sheet sandpaper isn’t as durable as sanding sleeves and requires a lighter touch, but the flexibility of the paper and the cushioning behind it allow the sandpaper to mold to the contours of the workpiece and round edges without making unsightly, unwanted facets.

News and Curiosities

2018 Small Boats Annual on Newsstands

From 2017's articles here on the site, we've got the Coot dinghy on the cover, a nice selection of sail, motor, paddle, and oar articles, a guide to kits and boatbuilders, and an inspiring collection of Reader-Built Boats and their stories.

Watch: Building and Using Oselvar Boats

A few years ago, the Oselvar boat was named Norway’s national boat and the design serves as an icon of the country’s deeply rooted maritime traditions. Vidar has filmed an informative video about the boats and the workshop.

Drake Raceboat Plans and Kits Are Now Available

With winter coming on, it’s a good time to retreat to the shop for a boatbuilding project. By spring you could have a Drake Raceboat ready to row. You can now order plans or kits from Chase Small Craft.

Sights from the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival XXXIV

Our Fearless Editor, Chris Cunningham, has traveled to this gathering in the past, and we plan to re-establish our connection with this fantastic gathering in 2018. A workshop? A beer social? We're not sure yet, but get excited. Here are some photos from 2017 to get you ready for next year.

Canadian Winner of World’s Best Teacher Promotes Kayaking With $1M Prize

Maggie MacDonnell, a teacher in Salluit, Canada, who recently won a $1 million prize for her contributions to education, and, in particular, to the Inuit community there, is channeling that fortune into connecting the rest of the world with kayaking and other aspects of Inuit culture.

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