June 2019

From The Editor

Bishop’s Wake

Following a 19th-century adventurer

A decade after the Civil War, Nathaniel Holmes Bishop gained fame for two small-boat voyages that spanned the North and the South. His books—Voyage of the Paper Canoe and Four Months in a Sneak Box—written well over a century ago, haven’t lost their ability to inspire.


Salt Bay Skiff

Easy to build, impressively functional

Described by its designer as “a quick-and-dirty boat in swan’s clothing,” Chris Franklin’s Salt Bay Skiff is well suited to first-time boatbuilders and families looking to introduce kids to building, sailing, and rowing a small boat.

Ed Monk Skiff

A working tender from 1943

Edwin Monk, a Seattle-based naval architect renowned for designing handsome motor-yachts for cruising, applied his talents to a number of handy small boats. His 13’6” flat-bottom skiff, drawn in 1943, is a no-nonsense workboat for oars and outboard.

Maintaining Trailer Bearings

Greasing the wheel before it squeaks

Trailer bearings have a difficult job to do. The weight of the trailer, the boat, and everything in it bears on handful of steel rollers and races that have to endure dunkings at the ramp and high speeds on the road. We take a look at bearing care and replacement.

Lessons from Penobscot Bay

In pursuit of thrills

Arch Davis, the New Zealand-born, Maine-based designer of small boats, set out in a brisk northwesterly wind, hoping for an exciting sail on Penobscot Bay. He got more than he bargained for and the memories and the lessons from that day have stayed with him for 30 years.

Reader Built Boat


A memory to hang on to

As a teenager, James Shamis worked for a boatwright who happened to have an old Wee Lassie canoe, and the joy of paddling that diminutive vessel stuck with him for decades. The memories even helped him pull through a bout with cancer. Two days after his last treatment, he started building Gentry’s skin-on-frame version of that classic.


WS-3000 Tool Sharpener

Turning sharpening upside down

Work Sharp’s WS-3000 tool sharpener uses see-through sanding disks, tempered-glass wheels, and an air-cooled guide to make quick, accurate work of sharpening chisels, plane irons, and other edge tools.

16” Wandel Bandsaw

An economical DIY project

Matthias Wandel, a Canadian engineer, woodworker, and YouTuber makes many of his shop tools out of wood and offers remarkably detailed plans for his creations. His 16” bandsaw is a rewarding project for frugal do-it-yourselfers.

News and Curiosities

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.

The Only Commercial Ice Boat Builder in Maine

It's typical for an ice boater to build their own boat or to take careful care of a vintage one, but Buchholz has been responsible for making the sport more accessible to people who otherwise might have been daunted by building their own boat and rig.

Man Who Crossed Bering Strait in Dinghy Deported from Russia

This man planned to sail to China in his 8' dinghy, but ended up in Russia. He's now been deported about six months after his arrival.

Across the Bar: Dave Getchell, Sr., Founder of Maine Island Trail

David R. Getchell Sr., 89, author, editor and outdoorsman, died November 10, 2018. He was managing editor and editor of the Maine Coast Fisherman, National Fisherman, and founding editor of the Small Boat Journal and the Mariner's Catalog in Camden. Later, he co-founded the Maine Island Trail and created the Georges Highland Path, a 40-mile hiking trail system in the Midcoast, for Georges River Land Trust. In 1994, he edited and was lead author of The Outboard Boater's Handbook.

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