August 2021 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

In the summer of 1972, three teenage friends designed and built a sailing hydrofoil. Our boat profiles feature the Oughtred Penny Fee and the Bedard Sponge Docks Skiff.  Cord-wrapping oarlocks is an easy DIY project that provides economical protection for oars. Xtratuf boots and Cen-Tec’s vacuum accessories get a close look in our gear reviews. Our editor muses about the connections between building boats and making models of them, and a jet ski with a mahogany makeover is our extraordinary Reader Built Boat.

Inches to Feet and Feet to Inches

Building boats and making models

Making models and building boats have had a practical connection for centuries. While technology has changed the nature of models used to develop designs, a handmade model will always have roles closer to the heart.

Sponge Docks Skiff 13

An easily built outboard garvey

J.F. Bedard’s Sponge Docks Skiff is a 13′ outboard-powered garvey designed for first-time boatbuilders. It will accommodate a crew of three, take a motor up to 29 hp, and, with a 15-hp motor, zip along at about 20 mph.

Penny Fee

A glued-lap plywood dinghy for oar and sail

The largest of Iain Oughtred’s half-dozen dinghies, Penny Fee was designed for efficient rowing and sailing with one of four rigs ranging from a simple lug rig to a gaff yawl.

A Wright Brothers Moment

1972, three friends, and a homebuilt hydrofoil sailboat

Mike Jacker, along with his friends Louis and Marty, had just graduated from high school and would have spent the summer of ‘72 sailing Lake Michigan at a local club, but a book on hydrofoils set them on a quest to design and build their own sailing foiler.

Cord-Wrapped Oarlocks

Quick and simple protection for oars

Wooden oars usually get protected from metal oarlocks by sewn-on leathers or slip-on rubber sleeves. Wrapping the oarlock with cord adds a protective surface that is inexpensive and easy to apply.

Xtratuf Legacy Boots

XtraTuf traces its roots to rubber boots designed and built for commercial fishermen in 1950. The durable slip-resistant soles and flexible neoprene-lined uppers make today’s models well suited to small-boat cruising.

Cen-Tec’s Quick Click

Dust collection for small power tools

Cen-Tec’s vacuum hose and adapters provide an effective means for collecting dust generated by small power tools and help create a cleaner, safer workshop.


The elevation of a jet ski

Dale Brevik is a dedicated amateur woodworker who enjoys a project that will challenge and add to his formidable repertoire of skills. His latest was to give a 2002 jet ski a mahogany makeover with all the elegance of a classic runabout.

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