April 2016

From The Editor


I had to take the Forward-Facing Rowing System apart to make a change before I fit it to my Whitehall, and in the process of removing the 8 stainless-steel nuts and bolts, I found that seven of the nuts wouldn't budge, and the only way to remove them was to twist until the bolts sheared.


Abaco Dinghies

Built like little ships

Nobody knows for sure when the first Abaco dinghy was built, or who built it, but the type has been around as a small fishing boat since the late 1800s. During the middle decades of the 20th century Abaco boatbuilders on Man-O-War Cay and at Hope Town launched hundreds of dinghies for fishing, daysailing, and racing.

The long waterline, full-length keel strip, and skeg give the Duckling strong tracking; little effort is required to maintain course.

Duckling 17

Fast solo rowing

Although Sam Devlin envisioned the Duckling 17 as a performance rowing craft, not as a load-carrying boat, with a designed working displacement of 350 lbs, it has the capacity to carry gear for fast and light weekend touring.

Black Bar Rapid is a Class III and normally, only the top of this rock in the middle is exposed. At low water, it becomes a big obstacle that must be missed.

Rogue River

Low water, high risk

With water levels on the Oregon’s Rogue River at record lows, rapids were more dangerous than ever and rocks that are normally under several feet of water were poised to take their toll on a wooden drift boat.

Careful drilling of the pilot hole is required to recess the screw head. The gap in the collar assures that it can be drawn up tight.

Quick Collars, Simple Buttons

Easy alternatives to leather collars

A kitchen cutting-board produced a simple collar and bits of hardwood led to a quick-shifting 3-speed oar.

Reader Built Boat

“That boat is so damned beautiful, it’s making the rest of us look bad.”


A PT Skiff kit

After 8 months abuilding, a Port Townsend outboard skiff built from a kit as a post-retirement project handles all the conditions she has encountered like she’s been there before.


The plant-based ingredients make up over 50% of EcoPoxy content, far higher, according to the manufacturer, than other epoxies moving way from petroleum-based materials.


Putting plants into the mix

Epoxy is great stuff, but it can come at a cost to our health and the environment. EcoPoxy puts plant-based ingredients into the mix to make a safer product.

The carbon-fiber ferrule weighs just 9 3/4 ounces.

Carbon-Fiber Ferrules for Oars

Better by halving

If you carry oars aboard your boat, you may have struggled to find a place to put them where they don’t get in the way. With carbon-fiber ferrules from Duckworks you can cut your oars down to a more convenient size.

News and Curiosities

Video: The Pirogue Maker, 1949

This 14-minute piece of vintage film shows Cajun craftsman making a pirogue the "old way": Hewn of a cyprus log by hand; probably the last pirogue made this fashion.

Amazing Resource: Nick Schade’s How-To Videos

Nick Schade is producing beautiful videos that are helpful and chockablock full of information. Right now he's working on a strip-planed microBootlegger, but he's got other playlists and builds: A skin-on-frame microBootlegger Sport and a Petrel Play.

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.

View All

Upcoming Events