July 2015


While the builder mans the helm and the sheet, the crew keeps his weight aft and is ready to respond to gusts.

The Mallard

A voyage from fantasy to reality

Inspired by SWALLOW, a boat that first gained fame in children’s fiction in the 1930s, Andrew Wolstenholme’s Mallard measures up to adventures in the real world. A “boat-shaped boat which will genuinely sail” it has “considerable visual appeal to inspire the builder in the first place and along the way.”

The light weight of the sailZO makes launching an retrieval easy, even when it can't be floated off and on the trailer.

The SailZO

A new kit boat from Bristol, Rhode Island

The sailZO is a 15′8″ double-chined skiff with a beam of 4′5″, designed to perform well under both oar and sail, carry three adults, and afford a couple or a small family the opportunity to explore coastlines and lakes, whether for an afternoon, or an overnight camp-cruise.

OBADIAH and SLIP JIG arrive at the canoe dock in Ewell.

American Venice

Chesapeake Bay's Smith Island

Five boats set sail for Smith Island: two Joel White Marsh Cats, an Iain Oughtred Sooty Tern, a Howard Haven 12 ½, and a John Welsford Navigator, all hand-made, mostly owner built. Heading due west, they follow smudges of the island that come and go and when in doubt, aim for buoys, lights, and day markers.

When made and installed properly, the fenders will protect the sheer and resist riding up out of place when boats jostle against one another.

Rope Fenders

A Norwegian Tradition

In Stavern, Norway, manila-rope fenders serve to adorn and protect the boats. During whale-hunting days, discarded towing lines were put aside by crewmen aboard the whalers and in their spare time, they used these spent lines to produce fenders.

Reader Built Boat

Designer Karl Stambaugh found the inspiration for his Redwing 18 design in the Camp Skiff designed by Howard Chapelle.


A Karl Stambaugh Redwing 18

Every time she goes out on the water, PILGRIM draws compliments, and equally often the builder's wife says to him, “This is the best thing you have ever built.”


any larger than the pot it's heating. The Emberlit keeps the fire small and contained, minimizing the impact on the wilderness.

The Emberlit Original

A wood stove that's compact, efficient, and versatile

The Emberit fires up with any burnable material at hand: small branches, sticks, and even dry leaves.

Lounging about in a dry suit is very much like resting on a waterbed. My bare hands chilled quickly and painfully cold, in sharp contrast to the comfort provided by the Matsu suit.

The Matsu Drysuit

Affordable cold-water protection from Mythic Gear

The Matsu doesn’t have all the details often found in more expensive drysuits, but the basics are all there and they do their jobs well.

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.

View All

Upcoming Events