October 2019

From The Editor

Getting Beneath the Surface

Small boats provide a close connection with the water, but we can’t often clearly see what’s below us. There are number of ways to bring that fascinating world into view and the simplest is a bathyscope.



A plywood faering from Iain Oughtred

Traditional Norwegian faerings are elegant boats that require exceptional boatbuilding skills. Iain Oughtred’s Elf captures the form and function beautifully in plywood and makes the ancient type accessible to contemporary amateur builders.

Song Wren

A Devlin gaff-rigged cutter

The Song Wren from Devlin Designing Boat Builders is a handsome gaff-rigged cutter with a comfortable cockpit and cabin. For easy trailering it has a tabernacle mast and can be built with a swing keel. The full-keel option opens up space in the cabin.

Cleating the Main

Two quick-release options

When you’re sailing solo, you’ll often have one hand on the tiller and the other on the sheet. Ben Fuller has two ways of secure the sheet if the wind is steady and moderate and both can be released quickly if a gust hits.

Barron Canyon

Canoeing the Algonquin

Phil Boyer and two of his good friends paddled three of Phil’s canoes along the Barron River in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park, and portaged to nearby lakes where they contended with boulders by day and bullfrogs by night.

Reader Built Boat

A George Putz Walrus

An experimental skin on an old-school frame

Serial boatbuilder Richard Nissen, who already has a lot of ways to get out on his stretch of the River Thames, added another boat to his fleet. With the book, Wood and Canvas Kayak Building, in hand, Richard followed the instructions for the 17’ wooden frame, but struck out on his own when it came to using canvas for the skin.


Circular-Saw-Blade Sharpener

Diamonds aren't always a blade's best friend

Carbide-tipped circular saw blades can have a long life, but they do eventually get dull. Sending one out to be sharpened can cost almost as much as a new blade, so we tried an affordable sharpening device with a diamond wheel to do the job at home. Un fortunately, it did more harm than good.

Grappling Hooks

Salvaging and scavenging

When valuable gear finds its way over the side and sinks, you might have a chance of getting it back if the water’s not too deep. We take a look at two compact grappling hooks to see if they can retrieve sunken trash and treasures.

Follow 17-year-olds Finn Cameron-Turner and Tereza Deminova as they embark on a 3-month journey from Germany to Russia in a self-built boat, crossing Europe on inland waterways.

News and Curiosities

David W. Dillion Plans at Mystic Seaport’s Website

Thirty-seven drawings by David W. Dillion of 15 different designs have recently appeared on Mystic Seaport Museum's website.

VIDEO Small Boat Tour: ESCA, 15′ Christmas Wherry

Scott Williams brought ESCA, his impeccably built Christmas Wherry to exhibit among other small boats for "I Built It Myself." The sail-and-oar boat won Best in Show for owner-built boats in the Concours d'Elegance awards, and this video shows why.

Electric Fantail Launch DORA Available for Charter at The Center for Wooden Boats

CWB Charters aboard the fantail launch DORA is a new way to enjoy a picnic, take a tour, and explore Lake Union with up to six passengers with a licensed captain.

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.

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