February 2020

From The Editor

An Aleut Baidarka

During a visit to an anthropology museum in Berkeley, California, the frame of an Aleut-built baidarka collected in 1934 inspired our editor to build a usable copy of it to see what it could do on the water. He got a very fast kayak and a glimpse of the original’s sophisticated design and construction.


A Gaff Sloop

Paul Gartside's design No. 218

Paul Gartside’s 16’ Gaff Sloop has its roots in double-ended Scandinavian work boats. The New York-based designer created several different versions of the type and the final iteration kept the traditional construction but adopted a transom and, at a builder’s request, took on a bowsprit.

Lighthouse Tender Peapod

A Maine classic updated

The original Maine peapods were well adapted to fishing and hauling lobster traps, but their full, round bilges made them difficult to build. Designer John Harris took an interest in the type decades ago, and recently drew his 13’ 5” Lighthouse Tender Peapod; Chesapeake Light Craft now offers his peapod in an easy-to-build kit.

DIY Gantry Cranes

For lifting and rolling a heavy hull

When Earl Boissonou built his 18′ pocket cruiser, he had to figure out how to roll the hull over in the confines of his shop, and then lift the finished boat onto its trailer. He devised and built a pair of gantry cranes to do the work easily and safely.

Sunday Pass

A Texas winter getaway

Sunday Beach was a popular spot for sun-worshipping Texans until it was obliterated by Hurricane Harvey in the fall of 2017. Now known as Sunday Pass, the 1000’ gap in the land at Matagorda Island offers new cruising and beach camping opportunities for small boat. Roger Siebert takes us there for a weekend getaway aboard his 15’ Flint.

Reader Built Boat


A Dias Harrier, Venetian style

When Antonio Dias designed his 17’ camp-cruisier, the Harrier, he had accommodations for rowing in mind, but almost certainly didn’t expect that one builder, Detlef Arthur Dueker, would rig his Harrier for "voga alla Veneta"—rowing in the Venetian manner.


Colonial’s Marlinspike Knife

United States Navy issue

The U.S. Navy introduced the Marlinspike Knife in the First World War and it has been used by sailors ever since then. Its stainless-steel sheepsfoot blade and locking marlinspike are as useful now as they were a century ago.

Jackery Explorer 160

A portable power station

Electronic devices have become essential tools for our daily life and when our boats break us free from the grid, it’s handy to have a portable power station to recharge them. The Jackery 160 is a compact unit with lithium-ion batteries, several charging ports, and a built-in flashlight.

Follow 17-year-olds Finn Cameron-Turner and Tereza Deminova as they embark on a 3-month journey from Germany to Russia in a self-built boat, crossing Europe on inland waterways.

News and Curiosities

David W. Dillion Plans at Mystic Seaport’s Website

Thirty-seven drawings by David W. Dillion of 15 different designs have recently appeared on Mystic Seaport Museum's website.

VIDEO Small Boat Tour: ESCA, 15′ Christmas Wherry

Scott Williams brought ESCA, his impeccably built Christmas Wherry to exhibit among other small boats for "I Built It Myself." The sail-and-oar boat won Best in Show for owner-built boats in the Concours d'Elegance awards, and this video shows why.

Electric Fantail Launch DORA Available for Charter at The Center for Wooden Boats

CWB Charters aboard the fantail launch DORA is a new way to enjoy a picnic, take a tour, and explore Lake Union with up to six passengers with a licensed captain.

NOAA Releases New Version of Chart No. 1

The chart of charts has been updated. This article at NOAA's website details the revisions that appear in the new version.

Coast Guard Advises Labeling Paddlecraft, Free Labels Are Available

In the recent Atlantic Coastal Kayaker, they shared a couple of important advisories from the U.S. Coast Guard regarding free labels and what happens if they find a small boat unlabeled and unmanned.

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