August 2016

From The Editor

A Little Big Horn

As I was working on our review of sound signaling devices in our August 2016 issue, I took a look on the web for homemade foghorns. I found quite a number of websites and videos that showed how to make foghorns and train horns out of common plastic pipe and fittings.


The plans call for a motor mount on the boomkin, at nearly right angles to the normal orientation. Most builders use a conventional bracket fastened to the transom.


A beach-cruising centerboard yawl

The Navigator started out as a sailing club’s racing trainer, but it became John Welsford's most popular design after he turned it into a long-range cruising dinghy.

Devlin writes that “duckboats are overloaded most of their lives, are used in inclement weather most of the time, are run in waters too shallow most of the time, and encounter sea conditions that would turn a normal boats hair white. They also have to maneuver well in tight conditions and have passengers constantly boarding and exiting the boat with lots of weight and gear.”


Eminently adaptable

Sam Devlin’s Honker can be pressed into service as an open boat for fishing, a floating blind for waterfowling, or a cold-weather coastal cruiser with a removable pilothouse and cabin.

After steam bending and scarf-jointing a full length chine log, Andy and I finished the precise compound angle end-cuts to fit it tightly into the hull.

Dories Down Under

From the Grand Canyon to the Whanganui River

When a New Zealand guide wanted to offer his clients better boats for rowing the revered Whanganui River, he had two American boatbuilders set up shop in a sheep shed and build a pair of Grand Canyon dories.

Dyneema rope, with spliced in stainless-steel thimbles and simple lashings, makes strong, do-it-yourself standing rigging.

Synthetic Fiber Rigging

Stronger than steel

If your boat has standing rigging, stainless-steel wire and the special tools it requires aren’t your only option. John Marples introduces us to high-strength Dyneema rope. It’s every bit as strong as steel and you can install all the fittings by yourself.

Reader Built Boat

Dave made paddles for the canoe and decorated them with the same insignia he put on the canoe. He and his friend Andy Look won the wooden canoe division of the 13.5-mile Abe's RIver Race on the Sangamon River in Illinois

Hope and Memories

A canoe to live for

An Illinois man given a second chance at life decided to recreate some of the best times of his youth by building a canoe. Working side-by-side with his 82-year-old father, he created a vessel for the future he almost lost.


Sounding Off

Signal horns for small boats

We take a look at five horns that you can use to make yourself heard.

The Small Hatchet is small enough to be tucked into a pants pocket.

Gränsfors Hatchets

Hand-forged Swedish steel

Hand-made Gränsfors Bruk hatchets are a pleasure to use and uncommonly beautiful.

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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