May 2017

From The Editor

Dick Wagner

On April 20, 2017, Dick Wagner passed away at home at the age of 84. I first met Dick in 1976 or 1977 at The Old Boathouse, a small-boat livery he and his wife Colleen were running out of their floating home on northwest corner of Seattle’s Lake Union. In their watery “back yard” Dick had a handful of pulling boats; I rented a White Bear skiff a few times to take a girlfriend out rowing on the lake. 


The Coot Dinghy

A proper little boat

Andrew Wolstenholme’s Coot is a proper little boat. With respect on your part it will look after you, take you on mini adventures on rivers, lakes, and estuaries, and be greatly admired wherever it goes.


Pygmy's SUP board

The All-Rounder SUP is Pygmy Boats’ newest kit. The 11’ stand-up paddleboard has plenty of stability for beginners and volume enough to take a youngster along for a ride.

Lake Tanganyika

Rowing Africa's Great Lake in a leaky boat

An adventurer in Africa traded his bicycle for a sad-looking wooden boat and set out to explore Lake Tanganyika. With gaps between planks big enough to slip a pencil through, a map bereft of detail, and a remote and unforgiving coast ahead of him, what could possibly go wrong?

Trim and Ballast

Movable weight for easier rowing and sailing

Dory stones were once common fixtures in working boats; a bag of buckshot or a soft-sided water container serves as well without doing any damage. Ben Fuller walks us through the benefits of movable ballast aboard small rowing and sailing boats.

Reader Built Boat

A Tenacious Tween

Building a Jericho Bay Lobster Skiff

A girl who had her heart set on having her own outboard skiff had enough determination to see a three-year project of building a Jericho Bay skiff through to the end. In our Reader Built Boat feature you’ll meet Hannah Dumser, a remarkable youngster who was thrilled to get epoxy for her birthday.


Waterproof Duffels

Storage for cruising and camping gear

Large waterproof duffel bags can provide a neat way of stowing cruising gear where the weight won’t make a boat sluggish in a seaway and speed setting up camp. Tom Pamperin puts five duffels to the test.

Topside Marine Paint

George Kirby Jr. Paint Company

For more than 170 years, the George Kirby Jr. Paint Company has been making marine paints with noteworthy quality and colors.

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.

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