September 2016

From The Editor

Gimme Shelter

In 2004, my kids, then 14 and 11, and I decided a Caledonia yawl was the boat we needed for cruising. While I was building the hull I revised the plans to make the interior as comfortable as possible for them.


Compass Skiff

A lightweight, nimble, outboard skiff

The Compass outboard skiff, designed by Clint Chase to build during a weekend festival, is a good boat for a family to build together and for introducing children to the pleasures and responsibilities of boating.


An Iain Oughtred sail-and-oar skiff

Iain Oughtred is best known for his modern glued-lapstrake adaptations of traditional hull forms, but his Guillemot skiff looks especially handsome when done with larch planking riveted to bent chestnut frames.

Building on Tradition

An American geitbåt

Jay Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and English but realized the life of a man of letters was not his calling. He left North Dakota and moved to Norway, the land of his ancestors, and apprenticed himself to a master boatbuilder.

Lowering the centerboard and "tacking" can make rowing to weather easier than fighting the wind head on.

Tacking for Rowing

An unusual use for a centerboard

Ready about? Centerboards and tacking aren’t just for sailing. If you’re rowing against a strong wind, dropping the board and taking a ziz-zag course may be easier than fighting your way straight upwind.

Reader Built Boat

Nate was used to sailing a sloop and found that the trimming of the sails on the schooner had more impact on steering than speed.


A Boat on a Budget

Nate Morrison’s Shell Schooner 18, christened BOB for Boat On a Budget, proves that limited skills, limited tools, and unlimited dreams can get you afloat even where water is scarce.


The IceMule cooler is a dry bag within a dry bag with insulation in between the two.

IceMule Cooler

A dry bag that keeps its cool

We take a look at an insulated dry bag that can serve as a cooler, padded dry storage, and flotation.

The Mantus anchor has a sharp tip to cut through seaweed.

Mantus Dinghy Anchor

Digs deep, stows flat

The dinghy anchor from Mantus digs deep and fast and comes in a stainless-steel version that can be disassembled for compact storage.

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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