GYPSY SOUL brightens up a dreary winter landscape.

At the ramp, GYPSY SOUL slipped into the water for the first time. Scotty and Juilio hadn’t sailed a lug rig before, but hauled in the main sheet and took off. “We peeled off into a close-hauled beat, sailed across on a beat, and back on a run. Upwind she is a filly! On a reach you could pull a water-skier. What wonderful big-block power those sails gather. Downwind, stable, light on the tiller, a wonderful gurgle of chines underwater.” His mother, who had never seen a boat sail, said, “When the wind took that boat, the way it moved was like magic.”


While this is the scene Bruce has been hoping for, the boy is not a grandson, it's his office manager's son.

  ruce Holaday got an early start with boating. His father ordered a $50 pram from the Sears & Roebuck catalog and turned Bruce loose with the boat on a clear-water lake in Indiana. Bruce spent his boyhood summers in the company of ducks, turtles, muskrats, and fish. The experience of independence and of being . . .


The loose-footed sprit sail makes sailing about as simple as it gets. Light summer breezes make for unhurried passages between islands.

After moving ashore from living aboard a schooner, and acquiring a wife and a small son, Michael Colfer of Bellingham, Washington, needed a smaller boat. He built a Nutshell pram and a Good Little Skiff, but then wanted a boat capable of taking on some more challenging weather in the more exposed areas around the San Juan Islands.

A Bit of Venice on the Thames

Richard Nissen lives in a houseboat on the Thames, and naturally he has gathered a collection of small boats for taking advantage of the river that flows past his home. He has an 1890s lapstrake single racing shell that he restored, a double, and a catamaran single—all for sculling—a stitch-and-glue canoe that he and . . .

A Tenacious Tween

Hannah Dumser, at the age of 10, passed her Michigan boating license test on her first try. It was quite an achievement, as the state’s boater education course covers some 61 topics, ranging from tying knots to dealing with an onboard fire. Having earned her boating safety certificate for the waters near her family’s summer . . .

Boy Scout Boatbuilder

Thatcher has a powerful stroke with good torso rotation, not to mention the game face of a kid with no shortage of determination.

“My name is Thatcher Unfried. I have grown up in a family that thinks building boats is normal.” Thatcher is a 14-year-old eighth grader who lives in Redding, Connecticut, with his parents, brother, and sister. Even before the kids were born, his parents built a canoe in the living room, so they were all indoctrinated . . .


STILL THINKING is a Redwing 18, Barry Dusharm's first power boat.

arry Dusharm grew up with boats, logging a lot of hours paddling and rowing. The passion for being on the water never left him, and when the obligations of a career and family allowed, he built a 17′ stitch-and-glue light dory and made a circumnavigation of sorts of northern New York State. He rowed south . . .


The yawl rig has advantages beyond those for sailing. The two masts support a fly that can be set open for shade and a cooling breeze, or...

Alex Zimmerman lives in Victoria, British Columbia, just a half mile from the shores of Haro Strait, a channel that overlaps the border between Canada and the U.S. From the beach nearest his home the American San Juan Islands lie 7 miles to the west, the Canadian Gulf Islands 7 miles to the . . .


Although EMZARA didn't wind up with the concave bottom section that makes the Jericho Bay Lobster Skiff distinctive, she still gets up on a plane quickly. The hogged bottom is more of an advantage for a tiller-steered outboard where there is a lot of weight in the stern.

John Adamson visited the WoodenBoat campus in the fall of 2009 and was taken by two Jericho Bay Lobster Skiffs: the original plank-on-frame version built by Jimmy Steele in the early 1970s, sitting on a trailer parked in front of the WoodenBoat Store, and a strip-planked version built by Tom Hill, at anchor near the . .


The post at the stern supports two mirrors; the larger one at top provides a good view forward, and the wide-angle mirror below it takes in a broader view. Mirrors are common fixtures on rowing boats used in races in Finland.

Tim Murfitt of Norwich, England, has been puttering with small boats, mostly power boats, for more than 40 years and grew weary of their speed and noise. He thought taking to the water with a pair of oars would be a good change of direction for his boating, and although his only experience with . . .

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