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

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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