August 2019 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

In our August issue we follow a canoeist who takes on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail the hard way, upstream, and see how rowers fare on the Inside Passage when they anchor in the wrong place at the wrong time. Our gear reviews include image-stabilized binoculars and safer switches for shop machinery. We take a close look at the versatile Oxford Wherry from Angus Rowboats and the venerable Sailfish, designed by the Alcort company 72 years ago. Our how-to feature offers ways to keep from losing an anchor that won’t release its grip on the bottom. A serial boatbuilder in Ontario shares with us four of the canoes he has built, one of them a lovely shade of robin’s-egg blue, the color of the insulating foam he used for her unusual strip-built construction.

Anchored in Jeopardy

Dropping anchor in the dark, in a narrow channel near Prince Rupert, British Columbia, was the first of several mistakes that could have brought a rowing adventure up the Inside Passage to an untimely end.

Oxford Wherry

Simplicity and speed

The Oxford Wherry from Angus Rowboats is a fast, lightweight cruiser and a sliding-seat rowing trainer. Its stitch-and-glue construction is straightforward enough for a first-time boatbuilder.

Super Sailfish

A wild and wet ride

The Alcort company in Waterbury, Connecticut, designed the 11’7” Sailfish in 1947. The boat gained popularity after an article in LIFE magazine in 1949 and inspired the creation of a big sister, the Super Sailfish.

An Uphill Battle

Northern Forest Canoe Trail, the wrong way

In 2013, Peter Macfarlane paddled the 750 miles of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail from west to east, taking advantage of the net 1,300’ drop in elevation. Five years later, he paddled the trail again, but from east to west, the hard way. We tag along for the long uphill journey.

Anchors Astray

Unsticking stuck anchors

Anchors are meant to dig into the bottom and hold tight until it’s time to get under way, but they’ll occasionally hook something and won’t let go no matter how hard you pull. Fortunately, you can rig your anchor so you can get it back.

Pedal and Paddle Switches

Safer switches for workshop tools

Bandsaws and table saws demand our full attention, so they should be easy to turn off. Alternative switches allow us to keep our eyes on the blades.

Image-Stabilized Binoculars

The Canon IS II 10x30

The usefulness and pleasures of binoculars are often lost because it’s nearly impossible to hold them still. We take a look at an offering from Canon that’s equipped with image stabilization.


Variations on a classic

Phil Boyer has built four modified Wee Lassie canoes: one in cedar strips, one with a foam hull, and two skin-on-frame, and all named WEE BONNIE after his late sister.

Past Issues

From The Archives

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