April 2019 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

This month we go 100 miles in a 12’ skiff, teach knots that work with bungee cord, look at PFDs as cargo vests, and review a caulking gun because, it turns out, there’s a better way.

What’s in your PFD pockets?

Does your PFD keep you afloat? That’s a start, but there’s more it can do for you. A PFD with pockets can carry all the tools you might need to get yourself and others out of a bind.


A Tolman Alaskan Skiff for cruising

Renn Tolman designed three skiffs that have become quite popular in Alaskan waters. The largest of them, the Jumbo, offers economical motoring and comfortable cruising almost anywhere.

The Cosine Wherry

A strip-built pulling boat

The Cosine Wherry was designed on a computer by an engineer using a trigonometric curve as a starting point. The result is a strip-built pulling boat that is as easy on the eyes as it is at the oars.

Roll on Columbia

100 miles upriver by oar and sail

A 12’ skiff is a small boat for a river as big as the Columbia. Torin Lee launched his Salt Bay Skiff near Astoria, Oregon, and worked his way 100 miles upriver, dodging ships, dragging his boat across the marsh, and finishing on the Willamette River in Portland.

The Angler's Loop (both horizontal) and the Zeppelin Bend (vertical) will hold in bungee cord without coming undone or jamming.

Knots and Toggles for Bungee Cord

The Zeppelin Bend and the Angler's Loop

Bungee cord is useful stuff but it doesn’t take kindly to the most commonly used knots. We take a look a couple of very old knots that do work, one anglers tied when fishing line was made of gut and the other used for mooring Zeppelins.

A High-Thrust Caulk Gun

The Newborn 250

If you’ve squeezed hard on the grip of a caulking gun and couldn’t get a bead of thick caulk or adhesive flowing from the tip of a cartridge, it’s not you, it’s the gun. The Newborn 250 puts the mechanical advantage in your favor.

The LivWild saw has teeth on every link and highly visible straps.

Pocket Chainsaws

Making the cut without the motor

Where there’s shoreline, there’s usually driftwood that can be useful around camp or worth taking home for woodworking projects. When it’s too big to move or carry, a pocket chainsaw can cut it down to size.

In profile, CHIPS bears a strong resemblance to a Herreshoff 12 1/2, one of the boats that inspired Carl's Block Island 19 design


Carl Kaufmann’s Block Island 19

Carl Kaufmann’s CHIPS is a Block Island 19, a handsome daysailer that he designed and built on Rhode Island’s Block Island. Carl makes guitars and other stringed instruments and brings that level of craftsmanship to his boatbuilding.

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