2,300 miles on a paddleboard
I secured my gear on deck. With my quick-dry pants rolled up and water shoes tied tight, I set a foot on the board, planted my paddle on deck for balance, and pulled my other foot out of the icy water and splashed it down on the deck pad. The water ahead was streaked with white. When a cowboy lingering outside the motel the night before said, “You know there are rapids on that river?” I’d brushed him off. Now I was fighting the urge to kneel on the board for balance.
Clearing Clutter from the Cockpit
Oars, masts, and spars get you where you want to go in a small boat built for rowing and sailing, but those long sticks are awkward to stow when they’re not in use. I saw one interesting solution to the problem when I was kayaking the coast of Croatia. In the island village harbors there were lots of small fishing boats equipped with natural crooks set in the gunwales. Some crooks had more than one branch, providing two places to set spars or oars.
Reader Built Boat
Tom Santoro and has wife Carol had a cottage on Blind Lake, one of seven lakes on a chain of lakes in Michigan’s 11,000-acre Pinckney Recreation area, 60 miles west of Detroit. After Tom retired, they rebuilt the cottage as their year-round home. Tom had always enjoyed working with wood, and carved decoys, built wooden model ships and planes, and did simple furniture projects. In 2006, his daughter Amy gave him a copy of Kayaks You Can Build: An Illustrated Guide to Plywood Construction, by Ted Moores and Greg Rössel. It piqued his interest in building something on a larger scale and that he could paddle on Blind Lake.
Paratech's Boat Brakes
If you want to hold a position comfortably in deep water, that’s what a sea anchor is for. It can also be really useful when reefing.
Goal Zero's Sherpa 50
When you're anchored out on a beautiful creek and your camera battery is weak and your phone is about to die, you’re out of luck. My solution is to bring power along in the form of a solar panel and a storage battery.
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.
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.