September 2014


Sam Crocker’s Small Outboard Skiff

Sam Crocker’s Small Outboard Skiff

A 1950s design still relevant today

Here’s a boat type one doesn’t see too often these days. It’s a modest-sized outboard designed not as a center-console but instead with a small cabin that will accommodate the adventurous camp-cruiser. For the less ambitious, it’s a boat that offers a place to have a nap, use the head in privacy, or take friends and family to a favorite beach, island, or fishing spot. Given its varnished cabin sides and shapely hull, it’s just the sort of craft that stops dock strollers in their tracks as they say: “Now what is that!”

The Outrigger Junior is a modern adaptation of a Pacific canoe

Outrigger Junior

A modern form of an old idea

Long before Europeans ventured to the new world, sailing dugout canoes fitted with outriggers sailed the waters in Southeast Asia and were used for migration throughout the Pacific region. The obvious seaworthiness of these boats was demonstrated by their ability to undertake remarkable voyages. Their twin-hulled form gave them stability, and the slender hulls gave them speed and seakeeping qualities that the western world could only dream of. Today, the recreational market offers many two- and three-hulled vessels for voyaging or daysailing. The Outrigger Junior is a modern adaptation of these early outriggers designed for beach sailing and fast spins around the bay.

Anchoring the Caledonia yawl

The Mining Ruins of Juneau, Alaska

A family adventure under sail and oar

There are so many things to see and explore in Southeast Alaska that can only be accessed by a small boat. In 2008, my wife, Leni, and I wanted to make sure that our girls—Gracie, then three, and Isabel, then one—didn't miss out on those things for lack of a way to get to them. That’s when we decided to build SPARROW, a Caledonia Yawl, which we launched in 2009. None of us really were sailors back then, but, lucky for us, the Caledonia yawl is a very forgiving boat.

The Cummings family of Shelbyville, Kentucky, built GENERATIONS, a Bevins skiff, as a means of celebrating three generations.


A family-built Bevins skiff

The Bevins skiff GENERATIONS was built as a symbol of the passing down of life lessons from generation to generation using the practical application of wooden boatbuilding.


Bushnell’s Rubicon T300L HD flashlight

A High-Intensity LED Flashlight

I’ve been impressed by Bushnell’s Rubicon T300L HD flashlight. It’s just shy of a pound and is powered by four common and inexpensive AA batteries.

Anchor Buddy, small boat anchoring

Anchor Buddy

The Anchor Buddy is a length of 3/8” natural latex tubing sheathed in a hollow braided polypropylene line

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.

Natalie Warren’s Series About Great Places to Paddle

Warren shares both overnight and day trip possibilities with readers, and has all sorts of boaters in mind when she shares what she's found.

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.

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