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

NOAA Releases New Version of Chart No. 1

The chart of charts has been updated. This article at NOAA's website details the revisions that appear in the new version.

Coast Guard Advises Labeling Paddlecraft, Free Labels Are Available

In the recent Atlantic Coastal Kayaker, they shared a couple of important advisories from the U.S. Coast Guard regarding free labels and what happens if they find a small boat unlabeled and unmanned.

The Only Commercial Ice Boat Builder in Maine

It's typical for an ice boater to build their own boat or to take careful care of a vintage one, but Buchholz has been responsible for making the sport more accessible to people who otherwise might have been daunted by building their own boat and rig.

Man Who Crossed Bering Strait in Dinghy Deported from Russia

This man planned to sail to China in his 8' dinghy, but ended up in Russia. He's now been deported about six months after his arrival.

Across the Bar: Dave Getchell, Sr., Founder of Maine Island Trail

David R. Getchell Sr., 89, author, editor and outdoorsman, died November 10, 2018. He was managing editor and editor of the Maine Coast Fisherman, National Fisherman, and founding editor of the Small Boat Journal and the Mariner's Catalog in Camden. Later, he co-founded the Maine Island Trail and created the Georges Highland Path, a 40-mile hiking trail system in the Midcoast, for Georges River Land Trust. In 1994, he edited and was lead author of The Outboard Boater's Handbook.

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