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

NOAA Releases New Version of Chart No. 1

The chart of charts has been updated. This article at NOAA's website details the revisions that appear in the new version.

Coast Guard Advises Labeling Paddlecraft, Free Labels Are Available

In the recent Atlantic Coastal Kayaker, they shared a couple of important advisories from the U.S. Coast Guard regarding free labels and what happens if they find a small boat unlabeled and unmanned.

The Only Commercial Ice Boat Builder in Maine

It's typical for an ice boater to build their own boat or to take careful care of a vintage one, but Buchholz has been responsible for making the sport more accessible to people who otherwise might have been daunted by building their own boat and rig.

Man Who Crossed Bering Strait in Dinghy Deported from Russia

This man planned to sail to China in his 8' dinghy, but ended up in Russia. He's now been deported about six months after his arrival.

Across the Bar: Dave Getchell, Sr., Founder of Maine Island Trail

David R. Getchell Sr., 89, author, editor and outdoorsman, died November 10, 2018. He was managing editor and editor of the Maine Coast Fisherman, National Fisherman, and founding editor of the Small Boat Journal and the Mariner's Catalog in Camden. Later, he co-founded the Maine Island Trail and created the Georges Highland Path, a 40-mile hiking trail system in the Midcoast, for Georges River Land Trust. In 1994, he edited and was lead author of The Outboard Boater's Handbook.

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