October 2015


The long cockpit provides seating for up to eight adults.

The Caracal

Born by a beautiful bay

The customer's request was for a boat suitable for a crowd of kids, a cockpit with seating for eight, a cuddy with space for a portable toilet and room to take a nap, and inboard electric auxiliary power; a boat well suited to day-sailing, racing, and making the crossing to Martha’s Vineyard.

The SCAMPS's 100-sq-ft sail is set high for good visibility under the boom and is easily reefed.


A little camp cruiser for big dreams

It's an odd duck, both in appearance, and in its strange synthesis of big and small, but it’s plenty of boat no matter where your interests lie, whether it’s puttering around a lake in a breeze or taking on the challenges of the Inside Passage to Alaska.

Furling sail after riding the surf in on our first day out, I looked at the wind driven waves and wondered what conditions were to come. We had scheduled the voyage around our outside lives and responsibilities rather than weather patterns, but later locals all agreed that December was notoriously windy in the Sea of Cortez.

The Boat, the Boy, and Baja

Rowing and sailing the Sea of Cortez

Bands go on the road; mom/artist types with a kid in tow usually do not. Hannah Viano sorely needed to look at life from a different vantage point, and to reconnect with beau and babe in a not so 9-to-5 way. So they cut through all of the excuses not to, trailered their skiff 2,000 miles to Baja and went off adventuring on the Sea of Cortez.

Reaching in about 12 mph wind, with whitecaps beginning to form. It will soon be time to reef. The upper yard is suspended from a pair of ‘lifts’ that spread load on the spar and also raise the pivot point. The downhaul next to the mast can tension the lower spar as needed and transfers sail thrust to the hull, reducing strain on the pair of sheets attached to the lower corners.

Square Rigs for Small Boats

An update for an ancient rig

With a few subtle modifications the hallmark of tall ships can be put to good use on small boats. The evolution from square rig to lug rig inspired a sail that can make that transition.

Reader Built Boat

The 6mm Vendia planking has four of its five veneers running lengthwise; it easily twisted to meet the stems.


A Gartside rowing skiff made of an unusual wood

The laminated planking from Finland seemed like the future of lapstrake boatbuilding, but it may have been an idea whose time has not yet come.


As the rollers partially flatten under the weight of the boat they broaden their area in contact with the ground and glide over it, conforming to its contours rather than plowing into it.

Aeré Beach Rollers

Moving heavy loads over soft surfaces

Getting a cruise-laden boat out of the water and moved up the beach can be a drag in more ways than one. Aeré’s inflatable rollers will support up to a ton and ease the way ashore.

The smooth and slender shape of the blades allows them to slip in and out of the water cleanly, adding power to the stroke.

Oars by Grapeview Point Boat Works

Proper oars for pleasurable rowing

Grapeview Point's finely crafted oars use a minimum amount of wood to achieve their maximum efficiency.

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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