April 2018

From The Editor

Stretcher Steering

I’ve been rowing my Whitehall a lot, leaving the sailing rig and the rudder at home, but I decided that I could put the rudder to good use by making it possible to steer with my feet. Now I can devote my stroke to power instead of holding a course.


The cockpit's removable side benches can be moved to the center to serve as a sleeping platform; an extra pair would make a broader surface. The main sheet has taken up residence in the motor well.

First Mate

A Lillistone beach cruiser for sail, oars, and outboard

The Phoenix III is Ross Lillistone’s most popular design, but its glued-lapstrake construction, with its bevels and gains, was not the easiest method for novices to take on. His First Mate is a stitch-and-glue equivalent of the Phoenix III with the same hull, rigs, and cockpit layout. It provides an easier path to the launching and the same performance afloat.

With a 25-hp outboard providing power, the RB 14 can reach a speed of 30 mph.

Runabout 14

A plywood speedster from Bateau.com

If the Runabout 14 looks like a classic, its designer, Jacques Mertens-Goossens, the founder of Bateau.com, has hit his mark. The boat’s appearance was inspired by a 1950s design, but its structure is a contemporary blend of plywood, fiberglass and epoxy.

My reproduction of the stands used by the Eton Boathouse oar maker turned out to be remarkable quick and effective once I gleaned all of the important details from the newsreel.

Eton Oar Stands

Quick work without clamps

A 1950s newsreel offered a glimpse of English craftsmen making racing shells and oars in the Eton Boathouse on the River Thames. The system they used to hold the oars while working on them did away with clamps and was fast and efficient.

From Father to Son

Five generations of boatbuilders

Nick Blake is a boatbuilder living on a plot of Mississippi land that has been in the family since the 1830s. Nick built a modified version of a Chapelle Whitehall with the help of his father, tools passed down from his grandfather, traditions established by his great-grandfather, and lumber milled from trees grown on his great-great-grandfather’s land.

Reader Built Boat

South of Dubuque, Iowa, a couple new friends accepted an invitation to paddle along for a day, and provided rare photos of both Barb and Gene in the kayak together.


A kayak with a purpose

Barb Geiger’s father had dreamed of building a stitch-and-glue kayak but when a stroke restricted him to a wheelchair, he thought his dream was out of reach. Barb didn’t agree. They ordered a kit and got started on the project. Sadly, he didn’t live long enough to see the boat finished and launched. He would have had good reason to be proud of the kayak—it carried Barb and her husband safely on a 2,000-mile journey across America.


The seats are supplied without pads. Those are left to the rower to select to suit individual preferences.

Poseidon Sliding Seats

Power without outriggers

Most sliding-seat rigs come with outriggers that require long, racing-style sculls. The Poseidon sliding seat provides power without changing the nature of the boat. It’s meant to be used with gunwale-mounted oarlocks and the same kind of oars used for fixed-seat rowing.

The lanterns all provide a board area of diffused white light.

Luci and LuminAID Lanterns

Inflatable solar-charged lighting

Camp-cruising requires lighting, and these three solar-charged, waterproof, and inflatable lanterns illuminate tents, boat canopies, and camp kitchens with a bright diffuse light at night, can charge your phone, and recharge themselves during the day.

News and Curiosities

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.

Teaching With Small Boats Association Wants YOU

The TWSBA Steering Committee has reached out to say that there are regional meetings coming up, and they're looking for a few things. Get involved with this great organization by taking part.

Glen-L’s Moving: We’d All Like to Go to Their Warehouse Sale

Heard through the grapevine thanks to editor Christopher Cunningham, Glen-L has announced an Office and Warehouse sale. Masts! Tools! Model boats! No prices, they're asking only for reasonable offers. Chris says, "If I were in the area I'd sure get there early."

Video: Popular Norwegian Video of John A. Andersen Now with English Subtitles

An inside look at boatbuilder John A. Andersen's pram-building class, and a portion of what KYSTEN is all about. New main titles in English serve to narrate unspoken portions where captioning helps the viewer understand the action, and of course there are new English subtitles for the various speakers.

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 in this fashion.

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