January 2016

From The Editor

The Wagner Education Center

[I] met Dick Wagner in 1976. I was fresh out of college, living in Seattle, and boatless; Dick and his wife Colleen ran a boat livery out of their home on Lake Union. Their home is indeed on Lake Union: It’s a white clapboard-sided houseboat afloat on a raft of western red cedar logs.


Guideboat builder Justin Martin takes Erin, his bride to be, out or summer row. She has her backrest up for comfort; Justin has his down for rowing.

The Adirondack Guideboat

Strip-built in cedar, spruce, and pine

The original Adirondack guideboats were designed in the middle of the 19th century to take paying customers hunting and fishing the interconnected lakes, ponds, and streams of Upstate New York. The elegant strip-built version of this swift rowing boat makes rowing for its own sake a profitable venture.

The Cackler banks into turns, keeping it's pace underneath its occupants.

The Cackler

A 14' hunting skiff

The Cackler from Devlin Designing Boat Builders is a contemporary outboard hunting skiff that can carry a heavy load, manage rough water and get hunters, dogs, and decoys out and back at a good clip. Its uncluttered cockpit make it a versatile utility skiff.

At home, Merry's no fan of cooking; but in camp and near the water, he's happy to oblige. Isobutane canister stoves nicely balance convenience and safety on shorter trips.

Handing Over the Helm

A father and son take to the South Salish Sea

Bruce Bateau takes his teenage son on a weekend sail among the islands in Washington’s South Puget Sound and watches his love of boats and water take hold in the next generation.

Author Dale McKinnon, in her sliding-seat equipped light dory, makes her way into a headwind and waves,

Rowing Rough Water

When the going gets tough, relax

Hard-won lessons from an experienced long-distance rower may come in handy when you’re struggling to reach a safe haven.

Reader Built Boat

A Dragonfly Rowing Shell

Speed with a dash of stability

This Steve Killing-designed shell was built by an Arkansas retiree with an interest in learning to row and the patience to plane rolling bevels on every 23’-long strip.


To have this NavAid read in magnetic bearings, this NavAid has been marked with a line through the angle of the magnetic deviation for the area covered by the chart.

The Small Craft Nav-Aid

Going analog for a quick fix

With a chart and a little low-tech device called a Nav-Aid you can set a course faster than you can plug in a waypoint.

The iBall monitor has a gooseneck mount that plugs into a cigarette=lighter socket.

The iBall Wireless Trailer-Hitch Camera

Getting hitched hassle-free

If you have to back your vehicle up to the trailer, the iBall wireless trailer hitch camera will get you on target in no time.

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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