August 2017

From The Editor

Looking Back at What’s Ahead

A few years ago I adapted my W.P. Stevens-designed lapstrake decked canoe for sliding-seat rowing. The canoe has taken well to oars and outriggers and now makes better speed than with a pair of paddles, but it’s no longer so easy to see where I’m going. Out on open water I can look over my shoulder occasionally and not worry about running into something, but I prefer getting my exercise on the flat protected waters of Seattle’s ship canal where I have to keep an eye out for tugs, barges, pleasure craft, and racing shells, as well as often erratic rental kayaks and electric launches.


Tango 13

A twin-tailed transom

The Tango Skiff has interesting hull extensions that create an attention-grabbing geometry aft of the transom. The additional running surface and buoyancy of the extensions appealed because of previous experience in small outboard-powered boats. When operated solo, many of them with a conventional transom will squat under the weight of the motor and the skipper and set the bow pointing skyward.

Tenderly Dinghy

An able boat to row, tow, motor, and sail

When John Harris of Chesapeake Light Craft came to WoodenBoat School here in Brooklin to lead a six-day class in building his newly designed Tenderly Dinghy and brought two finished boats with him, there was an opportunity to see the progress on the student-built boats, and to take the finished ones for a spin in Great Harbor.

Drawn to the Islands

A voyage among the Southern Gulf Islands

Bruce Bateau, one of our regular contributors, usually cruises in the company of other small boats, but British Columbia’s Southern Gulf Islands inspired him to sail solo. “My travel would be limited only by the tides and winds and my goal was to shake myself free of electronic leashes, bolt from thoughts that tie my brain in knots, and find my freedom in the present moment.”

The author's red mizzen staysail was designed and made for WAXWING, his François Vivier-designed, lug-yawl rigged Ilur.

Mizzen Staysails Add Power

Lovely, Useful Things for Light Wind Sailing

A mizzen staysail is a beautiful, effective, and easily managed addition to a yawl or ketch rig’s quiver. It isn’t meant to be deployed in close quarters or when short tacking, but on a long reach in light air, it is a lovely, useful thing.

Reader Built Boat

While this is the scene Bruce has been hoping for, the boy is not a grandson, it's his office manager's son.


A boat, boredom, a book, and a baby

With a grandchild on the way, Bruce Holaday built a Joel White-designed Shellback Dinghy. When the boat was finished and launched he was reluctant to leave the project behind so he wrote a book about a boy named Jack whose grandfather built a boat for him.


The author was equipped to spray the truck-bed liner, and while that produced the desired results, she decided that rolling the coating on would be quicker and less expensive.

Truck-Bed Liner Paint as Interior Finish

A durable non-slip coating

Truck bed liner, when used as the interior finish of a small boat, won’t stop an errant, sharp knife point from puncturing it, but it will hold up to anchors and anchor chain, the bottoms of coolers transferred from a sandy beach, and gravel stuck on the bottom of rubber boots.

The stove takes some tending to keep it going, but small sticks are all that it requires.

Canned Heat with the Solo Stove

Solo Stove's Titan

People have been staring into the flickering flames since the dawn of humanity and even with all of the comforts we can now bring to our outdoor experiences, a campfire has a special soothing effect. Solo Stoves put campfires in a sophisticated can to prevent scarring the landscape, create heat for cooking from scraps of wood, and still provide a flame worth staring into.

News and Curiosities

ICYMI: Ashley Book of Knots in Public Domain

Someone digitized the whole darn thing, and you can now access it everywhere. Have you used the Ashley Book of Knots to complete projects aboard, add a Bristol touch to your boat, or to learn the basics?

The British Library’s Copyright Free Images

Behold: The British Library’s collection of Ships & Boats, copyright free on Flickr. Among the fully rigged ships you’ll find great examples of vernacular small boats in use, with snippets of text around them that give clues about the action in the scenes.

A New Balmain Bug

We here at Small Boats Monthly love small, but here’s another level of wee. The Balmain Bug is a traditional Australian workboat type that was eventually used as a one-design racer, then inspired modern one-design racing skiffs.

2017 Small Reach Regatta a Success

What a turnout and what a variety of boats this year at the Traditional Small Craft Association‘s Small Reach Regatta, held in Brooklin, Maine. They’ve been at it for 11 years now.

Rocking the Boat, Rocking Manhattan

Registration is open for rowing teams to support Rocking the Boat at their Rocking Manhattan event. The 30-mile circumnavigation, planned for Saturday, September 23, is a fundraiser, and their goal is to ultimately raise $300,000 for their programs.

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