February 2018

From The Editor

I’ve got a not-so-peaceful, uneasy feelin’

Motivated by the thought of spending two tranquil nights under a starlit sky, our editor invested a lot of time, expense, and effort in shopping, packing, and getting the boat ready for a long weekend cruise, but after spending less than an hour on the water, something wasn't right; he turned around and went home.


Drascombe Lugger

In production for 50 years

The Drascombe Lugger turned 50 years old last year. John Watkinson designed it for his own use and built the first in plywood. The design caught on and in 1968, Luggers went into production in fiberglass and have since done everything from afternoon outings to ocean crossings.

Nova Scotian

A Grand Banks dory from Spira Boats

Kevin Power's grandfather was born in Nova Scotia and grew up using locally-built dories. The affection for the Banks-style dories was passed down to Kevin's father and to Kevin, so when he decided to build a boat it was fitting that he ordered plans for Jeff Spira's Nova Scotian.

At low tide BONZO came to rest on the sand close to the line of shipwrecks. I didn't get to do as much exploring as I'd hoped—the mud surrounding the sand bars was far too sticky.

Uncertain Ground

Tide flats and sloughs

When you have a canal boat but no canals, sloughs will have to do. Our editor spent three days cruising the tidal waterways that surround Everett, Washington, and took his chances anchoring at night on falling tides in unfamiliar places.

Angle grinders are designed for working metal; equipped with flap sanders and blades designed for wood they have plenty of power to do quick work.

Power Carving

Working wood with an angle grinder

Angle grinders are standard tools for working metal, but they can be equipped with special wheels designed for working wood, and spinning at over 10,000 rpm, they can move wood very quickly.

Reader Built Boat

On it's inaugural outing LIBBY B lived up to her builder's expectations.

Jericho Bay Lobster Skiff LIZZIE B

A Jericho Bay Lobster Skiff

Bob Burns was finishing the final year of a career in data management and his forward-thinking wife bought Jericho skiff plans for him for Christmas, expecting the project would keep Bob from growing idle in retirement. When he retired, the boatbuilding project did keep him busy, but not for long. In six months the skiff was ready to launch.


Four tennis balls slit to fit over the chair's feet keep them from sinking into sand.

Helinox Chair One

Compact, comfortable seating

We all grow up with chairs and take them for granted until we have to do without. Helinox chairs bring to campsites the comfort and back support we've become accustomed to.

The Men's Edgewater II is rated for use in temperatures from below freezing to 65 degrees and has a deeply contoured sole for good traction.

Muck Boots

Warm and dry feet

You can buy a pair of rubber boots for $15, and they may keep your feet dry but be far from comfortable. We take a look at two pairs of Muck Boots—one for men and one for women—that will keep feet dry, warm, and happy.

News and Curiosities

Natalie Warren’s Series About Great Places to Paddle

Warren shares both overnight and day trip possibilities with readers, and has all sorts of boaters in mind when she shares what she's found.

Wes Modes, Hazel the Dog, and Shanty Boat Living

Through video, photography, written stories, an art installation, and more he’s conveyed his experiences building the boat and living aboard it on a few different rivers over the past few years. In June 2018, they’ll be exploring and documenting the people and places of the Hudson River.

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.

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