May 2016

From The Editor

The Mast and the Music Stand

When I made the spars for my Caledonia yawl in 2005, I decided to lighten the largest of them by making them hollow and give the bird’s-mouth method a try. It was a lot of work milling eight staves for the two masts and the yard and the boom for the lug main spar, but I was pleased with the results. They were quite light, most notably the mainmast, which I had to lift high to slip though the foredeck—it was a cinch to step.


Chaisson Dory

More than a tender

The Chaisson dory was designed a century ago as a tender, but it still has a lot to offer even if you don’t have a yacht to attach to the other end of its painter.

Arctic Tern

A modern yoal

Iain Oughtred’s Arctic Tern is in the middle of the range of his popular double-ended beach cruisers that were inspired by the workboats of the Shetland Islands.

The Isles of Finland

Solo cruising in a Herreshoff Coquina

The Finnish coast is speckled with small forested islands rimmed with glacier-worn granite. A modified Herreshoff Coquina is quite at home here, an ocean away from its native waters.

When Sean's friend Robert saw the lines for the little double ender, he said: "We have to build that!" And together they did.


An idea takes shape

Reader Sean Russel has been designing boats for a long time, at first drawing by hand and then using computer programs. Our Reader Built Boat is SWEET PEA, a peapod-like boat he designed and built to fit in his van.


For a spritsail with a boom, the brail slips under the boom.

Living with Sprit Sails

Brailing, Reefing, and Furling

The sprit rig’s simplicity works well for boats that are frequently launched and recovered.

Cutting Corners

Tools for rounding edges

Make quick work of rounding corners without the noise of a router and the dust of a sander.

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