On April 20, 2017, Dick Wagner passed away at home at the age of 84. I first met Dick in 1976 or 1977 at The Old Boathouse, a small-boat livery he and his wife Colleen were running out of their floating home on northwest corner of Seattle’s Lake Union. In their watery “back yard” Dick had a handful of pulling boats; I rented a White Bear skiff a few times…
When I began writing this, there was a boat standing bolt-upright on its bow, held in place by a rope wrapped around its stern and pinched in a window sash on one of my upstairs bedrooms. The boat is an 18′ kayak that belongs to my friend Freya Hoffmeister, from Husum, Germany. She’s currently paddling . . .
When I was planning for my rowing trip down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers in the early 1980s, I read as many books as I could find on traveling those waterways in small boats. Four Months in a Sneak Box by Nathaniel Bishop was my main guide, as it was his trip that I was . . .
Sawing driftwood for my review of the Silky Bigboy in the February issue struck a chord that has resonated deeply through most of my life. My father used to take me to the beach near our home in Edmonds, Washington, to gather red cedar driftwood for a fence that would eventually surround our 1/3-acre lot. . . .
Like Ben Fuller, I have more boats than trailers to haul them, so when I read his article on the roller cart he built with Joe Liener, I was convinced that I needed one or two to shuffle my boats. Wooden Roller I didn’t have a section of an old mast to use for a . . .
I was pleased to have Barry Long write an article on topsails. I get impatient in light air and I, too, like having more sails, either custom-made or cobbled-together ones, as much to get the boat moving as to have more things to fiddle with. My 14′ Marblehead skiff started out with a sprit . . .
The 21′ Gokstad faering I built in 1987 wasn’t a boat I could bring myself to paint or slather with boat soup that would turn black with age. The straight-grained, knot-free Douglas fir I used for the planks and sculpted stems deserved to be seen, so I varnished the whole boat inside and out. That . . .
I started building boats in 1978, and only once was I able to collect enough crooks for a boat, a New York Whitehall. Its breasthook is apple, the six thwart knees and the bookmatched pair of quarter knees are cherry, and the transom knee is Alaskan yellow cedar. I think they’re easy on the eyes, . . .
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. When I was about their age, my father took me and my older sister backpacking every
As I was working on our review of sound signaling devices in our August 2016 issue, I took a look on the web for homemade foghorns. I found quite a number of websites and videos that showed how to make foghorns and train horns out of common plastic pipe and fittings. A trip to the hardware . . .