October 2017

From The Editor

Surviving Hurricane Harvey

On August 25, Port Aransas took a direct hit from Hurricane Harvey. The high winds and storm surge damaged many buildings including the workshop and storage sheds of the Farley Boat Works.


15′ Sailing Dinghy

An evolution in design

The 15’ Sailing Dinghy from Stirling & Son is the biggest boat in their range of lapstrake dinghies and the only one equipped with a deck to adapt it for coastal voyaging and adventure sailing.

Glen-L Zip

A twin-cockpit runabout

Glen-L’s Zip was designed in 1954 and can be built from fir plywood and painted as a utilitarian boat or dressed up with varnished mahogany to give it the look of a classic runabout.

A locker door is in the works in the foreground, with excess epoxy seeping through the holes in the perforated release film and darkening the bleeder fabric. The suction cup fitting at the end of the hose to the vacuum pump is at the back to the left and the pressure gauge is to the right.


Working under pressure

Vacuum bagging puts the weight of the atmosphere to work to press broad panels together for gluing and sqeeze irregular shapes to make strong, lightweight composite pieces that would be difficult to achieve in wood.

Mud Pattens

Firmer footing on soft ground

If there are mud flats lining your cruising grounds, a pair of mud pattens will allow you to walk around without sinking in over your boot tops. They’re easy to make and require just a few bits of wood, a handful of screws, and some rope.

Reader Built Boat

The Tread Lightly's mizzen was the feature that drew Steve to the design.


A customized Tread Lightly

John Welsford’s Scamp has created quite a following and his Tread Lightly is often overlooked. It’s 13” longer and has a mizzen and a cabin with enough room to sit and sleep comfortably. Reader Steve Judson made a few modifications to his homebuilt Tread Lightly to best suit the sailing he had in mind.

A Faering for New Zealand

The Craft of Ulf Mikalsen

Two New Zealand filmmakers travelled to Norway and made a short movie about Ulf Mikalsen, a builder of traditional Norwegian boats. Three years later they brought Mikalsen to New Zealand to build a faering for their coastal community.


At its full expansion of 36", the rivet spacing tool will mark twenty intervals of 1.8", an awkward number to work with if you're marking the intervals along a ruler.

Rivet Spacing Tool

Quick, accurate divisions

Do-it-yourselfers who build airplanes are necessarily fussy about their work. When it comes to marking an even spacing for rivets, they use a rivet fan spacer. It’s a tool boatbuilders will also find quite handy.

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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