April 2024 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

Two traditional sail-and-oar skiffs updated for modern construction—Iain Oughtred’s lapstrake Acorn 17 and the strip-built Wherry from Newfound Woodworks—are this month’s Boat Profiles. An ergonomic foam hand-sanding block from 3M and two car-door steps for roof-rack access are reviewed in our product pages while a simple method to bring a traditional appearance to modern cordage is the subject of our Technique feature. A man with a dream to sail across the Atlantic designs and builds a sailboat that will take him to sea—posthumously. A Wisconsin father designs and builds a simple sailing dinghy for his two young children. And our editor revisits the very first boat built to Iain Oughtred’s popular Caledonia Yawl design.


The First Caledonia Yawl

The prototype of Iain Oughtred’s classic double-ender

The editor recalls the first ever Caledonia Yawl, which he rowed 20 years ago, and finds his way back to the noteworthy boat and her current owner in northwest Washington State.


Acorn 17

Iain Oughtred’s Whitehall

Based on the Whitehalls of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Iain Oughtred’s Acorn 17 is the longest in a series of sail-and-oar lapstrake dinghies.


Newfound Wherry

A cedar-stripped rowboat updated for sail and oar

Newfound Woodworks drew inspiration for the strip-planked Newfound Wherry from New England working boats.


CROW’s Last Sail

Building a boat fit for a voyage into the unknown

A lifelong dream to sail the Atlantic will become real, posthumously, in a purpose-built, self-steering, square-rigged adaptation of the Bolger-designed Micro.


Coloring Cordage

Dying synthetic rope for a natural look

The look of a traditional boat can be spoiled by bright white synthetic rope for running rigging and painters, but an easy and inexpensive solution is to stain it to look like its manila predecessors.


3M Stikit Hand Block

An ergonomic sanding block for Stikit sandpaper

Sanding by hand can lead to aching fingers but the ergonomic foam hand blocks from 3M with made-to-measure self-adhesive paper relieve most of the aches and pains.


Car-Door Steps

A leg up to roof racks

Even the tallest among us can struggle when handling boats and gear on a car roof; a car-door step introduces some useful extra height to extend reach.



Building a sailboat with three sheets of plywood and some foam board

When his two children started learning to sail, Nathan Greenawalt designed and built a simple three-sheet plywood dinghy they could use by themselves.

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