February 2019

From The Editor

Testing One’s Metal

If you’ve set yourself up for a building a boat and invested in woodworking tools, but opt to purchase the metal parts a boat requires, you may be missing out on some very satisfying projects. Our editor recounts his serendipitous drift into metalsmithing.


Parker Dinghy

A shapely mid-century workboat

In the 1940s, Lindon Parker designed and built a carvel-planked boat for tending the herring weirs around Deer Island, New Brunswick. The design would have been lost if the last of the shapely carvel dinghies had not caught the eye of Harry Bryan, who cleaned it up and took its lines.

Belle Daysailer

A 16' daysailer

BELLE, a 16’ daysailer, was drawn up by Daniel Gonneau for his own use, but the lightweight glued-plywood lapstrake hull, combined with classic steam-bent coamings and gaff rig, commanded the interest of small-boat aficionados, and there will no longer be one BELLE but many.

Fillet Brazing for Custom Boat Hardware

DIY custom fittings

Mark Kaufman wanted deck fittings that were a good match for the runabout he’d built to plans published in 1938. There were no suitable fittings he could buy and casting them was not in the cards. He shows us how he made his own with brass, bronze, and brazing alloy.

A Superior Circumnavigation

Two women, two kayaks, 1,200 miles

Uma Blanchard and Sophie Goeks, two college students with their final exams recently completed, launched kayaks from Little Sand Bay on Wisconsin’s Lake Superior shore and headed west. When they returned to the launch site 86 days later, they approached it from the east, having paddled the entire 1,200 mile perimeter of the greatest of the Great Lakes.

Reader Built Boat

HERON kept busy with family and friends on a vacation stay on the shores of an Arkansas lake.

Flat-Bottomed Skiff HERON

A new Blake-built boat

Nick Blake, a popular SBM contributor, designed and built an outboard skiff with the help of his father, Daniel. As they have done with the other boats they’ve built, they started with logs from trees grown on the family woodlands and slabbed with a mill only yards from their shop.


The yellow trigger turns the gas on and ignites it. The trigger can be locked in the off position by turning it clockwise and locked in the on position be depressing the silver-colored button above it. The black knob on the opposite side controls the flow rate of the fuel.

Bernzomatic’s TS 8000

Serious heat made simple

The ordinary propane torch is a useful tool but somewhat limited in what it can do by the amount of heat it can create. The Bernzomatic TS 8000, with its larger flame, faster fuel consumption, and the ability to use both propane and hotter-burning MAP-Pro gas increases the range of possibilities.

The DeWalt multi-tool has a quick-release device for a tool-less change of blades and a variable speed trigger switch.

Oscillating Multi-tools

DeWalt’s DWE315

The first oscillating cutting tools were created for cutting plaster casts off the limbs of patients who had broken bones. That was in 1967. Today they’re known as multi-tools and they can take on jobs that are impossible for other power tools or painfully tedious to do by hand.

News and Curiosities

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.

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."

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