April 2023 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

We profile Selway Fisher’s canoe-yawl Lillie and Gig Harbor Boat Works’ 14’ Whitehall. Phil Boyer traverses Ontario’s Trent-Severn Waterway, in both directions, with his solar-powered catamaran. A worm-drive winch at the heart of a DIY garage lift system for a canoe provides an exceptional measure of ease and safety. For our gear reviews we put an underwater video system and a heated seat cushion to the test. Our editor recalls racing aboard an 1882 Chesapeake log canoe and our Reader Built Boat is an outboard skiff for a Puget Sound family.


A chance encounter leads to an exciting sail

A canoe outing in 1988 near St. Michaels, Maryland, led to chance meeting with Judge John C. North and an invitation to sail aboard ISLAND BIRD, a Chesapeake log canoe built by North’s grandfather in 1882.


Updating a classic design for modern construction

Designed for both strip-plank and stitch-and-glue plywood construction, Selway Fisher Design’s Lillie is a modern interpretation of the canoe yawls of late 19th-century England.

14′ Whitehall

A composite version of a 19th-century classic

The Gig Harbor Boat Works Whitehall offers the good looks and versatility a traditional Whitehall in a light durable composite boat with rowing positions for tandem rowing, room for a passenger or two, and a sliding seat for those looking for powerful rowing and great exercise.

An Overhead Winch Lift

Lifting a boat with a winch and a cordless drill

Tired of struggling to lift his canoe into and out of a pick-up truck, George Whitehead devised an inexpensive system to load the boat and to raise it up to the garage ceiling safely, easily, and singlehandedly.


A heated seat for outdoors

Born out of a desire to stay warm while dining outside during the pandemic, the Hüga cushion is equally suited to bringing warmth and comfort to those with a taste for colder-weather boating.

Eyoyo Underwater Video

Exploring the depths without getting wet

While small boats can provide a close connection with the water, there’s a whole world beneath the surface that almost always goes unseen. An underwater video system offers a window into that world.


A plywood skiff built for drift-fishing and family boating

Geordie Pickard designed and built an outboard skiff to take his family out on Puget Sound, plane easily at low speed, have a large, open, uncluttered cockpit, and be comfortable while drift-fishing.

Sunlight’s Wake

An inland cruise aboard SOUL CAT, a solar-powered catamaran

Phil Boyer takes us along on his west-to-east return journey on Ontario’s Trent-Severn Waterway, becoming the first to do the out-and-back trip, solo, in an all-solar-powered boat.

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