February 2016

From The Editor

Make way

Ron Frenette of Canadian Canoes emailed me after he’d seen the Dragonfly rowing shell featured as the Reader Built Boat in our January issue. He elaborated on the reasons the Dragonfly wasn’t developed more for home builders: “At one time we thought this would be a great project for many, but I suspected the amount of space required would be a deterrent.”


Storm 23

A stylish and distinctive double-ender

Tacking off the timeless, craggy coast of Devon, the Storm 23 looked decidedly unconventional, even kooky, and yet there was something about her that inspired confidence: a purposeful air, a look of intent, almost of defiance.

The bottom has enough rocker to keep the transom from dragging in the water, even with a heavier load aboard.

Passagemaker Dinghy

A rich man's tender, a poor man's yacht?

What started out as a design for a motor-yacht tender finished up as a versatile pram that is as well suited for motoring, sailing, and rowing as it for gracing a pair of davits.

Raquette River, Adirondacks. Lining, like portaging and upstream hauling, became comfort measures. When paddling simply wasn’t working, I fell back on what would. Progress was slow, but anything that kept me moving was enough to boost my spirits.

Crossing the Northeast by Canoe

Paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail stitches together 740 miles of lakes, streams, rivers, and portages that lie along the boreal fringes of New York and New England. Donnie Mullen was the first to paddle the full length of the trail he and his wood-and-canvas canoe survived the trip, both a bit worse for the wear.

The curves of this cutter match two Dremel grinding bits. It took only a couple of minutes to repurpose this bit of hacksaw blade.

Profile Scrapers

Adding Accents to Edges

With a simple shop-made tool you can bring out the best of your boat’s curves with a decorative touch, a tradition that goes back a thousand years.

Reader Built Boat

The skiff's concave run is as effective as trim tabs in keeping the bow down at speed.

A Lapstrake Jericho Bay Lobster Skiff

Designed for Maine, Built for North Carolina

True to the shape of the original carvel-planked hull, this lapstrake version has an intentionally hogged bottom to get it up on plane quickly and keep the bow down.


Skwoosh Seat Pads

A Seat-of-the-Pants Assessment

Fluidized gel takes the takes the pressure off sitz bones.

The only quibble I had with the Milwaukee was the belt clip is too stiff and too tight against the drill body to slip over the edge of a belt.

Milwaukee M12 Drill/Driver

Compact and Capable

The M12 lithium-ion battery provides plenty of power without bulk.

News and Curiosities

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 this fashion.

Amazing Resource: Nick Schade’s How-To Videos

Nick Schade is producing beautiful videos that are helpful and chockablock full of information. Right now he's working on a strip-planed microBootlegger, but he's got other playlists and builds: A skin-on-frame microBootlegger Sport and a Petrel Play.

Natalie Warren’s Series About Great Places to Paddle

Warren shares both overnight and day trip possibilities with readers, and has all sorts of boaters in mind when she shares what she's found.

Wes Modes, Hazel the Dog, and Shanty Boat Living

Through video, photography, written stories, an art installation, and more he’s conveyed his experiences building the boat and living aboard it on a few different rivers over the past few years. In June 2018, they’ll be exploring and documenting the people and places of the Hudson River.

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.

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