September 2017

From The Editor

A Leeboard for a Motorboat

In the wind, our canal boat, BONZO, wanders like an off-leash dog. I thought a leeboard, something you don’t often see on powerboats, might help. A little more lateral resistance would both keep BONZO on course in the wind and provide a pivot point for turning. I got some confirmation of the notion of improving steering just a few days before I started the project when I saw a Boston Whaler equipped with two large leeboards.


Milford 20

A New Zealand Sharpie

The Milford 20 design appeals as a very elegant, classic craft for home building, and gives a great sailing experience for both experienced and inexperienced sailors. It also would be a suitable craft for a couple or family of four; a delight to sail and appealing to those who want a safe boat for leisure and pleasure.

Drake Raceboat

Easy speed under oars

The Raceboat is designed “for the greater speeds in race conditions,” but you don’t have to compete to appreciate the boat. It will give you an exhilarating workout and reward improvements in your stamina and technique.

These peanut butter-chocolate rolls were baked using a pot-in-pot method. Three rocks in the larger put elevate the smaller pot to keep boiling water under the smaller pot. Not shown is the pot lid. The rolls aren't browned, but they're fully cooked.

Back-Country Baking

Let them eat cake

Fresh baked goods are a treat no matter where you find them, but especially appreciated at camp. We take a look at three ways to bake breads, rolls, and cookies with campfires and camp stoves.

The bungee doesn't need to be removed to use the tiller. Just push it or pull it and it will hold the new rudder angle.

A Simple Tiller Tender

Hands-off sailing

It’s cheap, simple, and utterly reliable. It doesn’t need adjustment and there’s nothing to engage or disengage; you can steer the boat normally with the system in place, and whenever you need to let go of the tiller, it stays exactly where you positioned it.

Reader Built Boat

GYPSY SOUL brightens up a dreary winter landscape.


A Tennessee cruiser

Scotty Pugh of Sardis, Tennessee, grew up riding dirt bikes and later indulged his passion for motorcycles as he collected vintage Harley-Davidsons. But a ride gone wrong landed him a hospital trauma ward for a week and he was forced to consider something else to focus his interest upon. “Wooden boats,” he thought, “will keep me entertained.”

The Texas 200

A trial by water

A heavy lump had settled in my gut, and I wondered then if I might have misjudged myself and my boat. I tried to reassure myself that the forecast for the week was favorable, only fair and following winds at 10 to 15 knots. The lump wasn’t going anywhere, though, and I wondered if I should pull the boat out and drive home.


Closed up against rain or cold, the tent is cozy without feeling cramped. The attached flap of PVC vinyl provide a place to take off shoes before entering to keep dirt out of the tent.

Pioneer Swag Tent

Back in the 1890 itinerant laborers in Australia carried their shelters and bedding in a roll called a swag. The Pioneer Swag Tent from Outback Swags is a modern version that combines a one-person canvas tent and a comfortable foam mattress.

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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