April 2017

From The Editor

Freya Hoffmeister, Circumnavigator

When I began writing this, there was a boat standing bolt-upright on its bow, held in place by a rope wrapped around its stern and pinched in a window sash on one of my upstairs bedrooms.


This spritsail boat isn't yet equipped with oarlocks. The original had rowing stations at the center and forward thwarts with oarlocks mounted on blocks fixed to the outside of the coaming

Woods Hole Spritsail Boat

From workboat to daysailer

The Woods Hole spritsail boats are similar to the iconic Cape Cod catboats, with a few distinct differences. They are sprit rigged, not gaff rigged, to make it easier to unstep the mast to pass underneath a stone bridge at the entrance their traditional harbor, narrower to allow them to be rowed by a lone fisherman, and have more freeboard for the notoriously rough waters of Vineyard Sound.

The Glen-L Utility

Classic 1950s style in a boat that's simple to build, a joy to use

The Utility, a small general-purpose outboard, was designed in 1953 and is among Glen-L’s earliest designs. For over six decades, it has endured as a standard offering in the Glen-L catalogue, and with good reason. It was specifically designed to be affordable and easy to build for the first-time amateur builder.

A Faering on the Inside Passage, Part 2


The second half of Editor Chris Cunningham’s story about rowing his replica of the Gokstad faering up the Inside Passage takes us into Alaskan waters for mud, icebergs, bears, and a railway portage.

Four blades on a single arbor increase accuracy and dramatically shorten working time.


Quicker preparation for strip-building and laminating

Strip-built boats built from scratch start with a long, tedious task—ripping scores of cedar strips. Setting up a tablesaw to make four cuts at once saves time and improves accuracy.

Reader Built Boat

Thatcher has a powerful stroke with good torso rotation, not to mention the game face of a kid with no shortage of determination.

Boy Scout Boatbuilder

A CLC Night Heron

This stitch-and-glue kayak is the handiwork of a 13-year-old Boy Scout in pursuit of a Merit Badge in woodworking. He could have fulfilled the requirements for the badge by building a box with a hinged lid; the 18’ stitch-and-glue kayak he built was above and beyond.


The 40-plus pounds of water that the 5-gallon Smart Bottle holds provides an effective weight for trimming a small boat.

Smart Bottles

Flexible, collapsible water containers

Flexible, collapsible containers for drinking water come in handy aboard a small boat. They will nestle into small, irregular spaces, serve as moveable ballast when full, and take up a minimal amount of space when empty.

Is there a product that might be useful for boatbuilding, cruising or shore-side camping that you’d like us to review? Please email your suggestions. Comments: We welcome your comments about this article. If you’d like to include a photo or a video with your comment, please email the file or link.

Fulton Fold-Away Hinge

Making trailers fit

If you need to lengthen a trailer tongue to fit a longer boat or shorten one to fit an undersized parking place, a Fulton Fold-Away Hinge may be the solution.

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.

View All

Upcoming Events