April 2015


The Candlefish 13

Three Men in a Boat (to say Nothing of the Moose)

Sam Devlin drew up plans to a customer’s specs and in the process imagined how he might adapt the design the boat for his own use: “a couple of weeks of moose hunting on a far northern lake with my friends Sven and Ollie.” To that end, the Candlefish 13 he’d build for himself would be able to carry three successful hunters and a half ton of moose meat, and still have about a foot of freeboard.

On a cold frosty morning an Escargot can have everything you needed to be quite comfortable. On the upper reaches of the tide on the Snohomish BONZO has enough water to get under way.

The Escargot canal cruiser

As a wooden boat, the Escargot is an unlikely charmer. It has a hull like a shoebox, only one curve to speak of, and is entirely bereft of brightwork and brass. Nonetheless, it has an ineluctable appeal inside and out. The cabin with its arched roof and stovepipe has the look of a gypsy wagon and the lure of running away from it all, in comfort. My father said of it: “The moment I step aboard, I’ve arrived.”

With the wind blowing out of the east, the sheetless two-meter sail provided little help. For Wally, still sporting his Los Humungos attire, and Rod lightweight canoe paddles are the best choice for the long haul in the kayak.

The 2015 Everglades Challenge

A race that wasn't

After rescuing a dozen WaterTribers in distress, the Coast Guard canceled the race and requested that racers proceed to Cape Haze Marina and make arrangements to be picked up. I felt bad for him. He’d paid the entry fee, took time off from work, and traveled to Florida, only to have the race canceled. We pulled into Cape Haze Marina about 8:30 p.m. and over dinner decided to continue to Key Largo.

The varnish is wiped on in "panels." Here Don is applying varnish to the planks bordered by the thwart frame and the transom and stern seat compartment.

Wiping Varnish

Final coats fast and close to flawless

I had just finished again sanding out the wiggly, wavy, saggy results of my latest brushed varnish attempt on my wherry interior. I’d bought yet another quart of expensive marine spar varnish and was discouraged that I could expect most of it to wind up in the shop vacuum. In the dusty reaches of my memory I recalled an article by a furniture maker describing his efficient wipe-on varnishing technique.

Reader Built Boat

During sea trials in strong wind the bowsprit bowed under the strain, an issue later fixed by adding whisker stays.

MA CHERIE, a François Vivier Ebihen 16

Plywood, epoxy, and life lessons

Wind & Oar Boat School is a Portland, Oregon, nonprofit that teaches boatbuilding not only for its own sake, but also to give meaning to math, science, design, and practical problem solving. As part of a workplace readiness program in the summer of 2013, students were tasked with building François Vivier’s Ebihen 16.


This ShowerCoil system is fantastic! With a fully stoked fire and a bit of practice

BoundaryTEC’s ShowerCoil

Campfire Water Heater and Shower

Roughing it has its merits, but do yourself a favor and take a hot shower.

The Premium RailLight comes with a variety of attachment options.

SolLight’s RailLights

Solar-charged lighting for camp and cockpit

Solar charged lights that come in handy in underway, at anchor, and in camp

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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