December 2019 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

In the December issue we take a close look at two very different boats: a revival of a century-old Austrian lake-rowing boat and a modern take on a coastal cruising canoe yawl. Then Bruce Bateau takes us for a 350-mile solo sail-and-oar cruise along British Columbia’s Inside Passage. We put the Grayl Geopress water filter and the MaxxHaul trailer dolly to the test and our technique feature on Admiralty and West Country whippings offers secure and attractive ways to keep the ends of lines from unravelling—palm and needle not required. This issue’s Reader Built Boat is the first strip-built version of Chesapeake Light Craft’s Annapolis Wherry. With winter coming on, our editor looks back at some of his cold-weather boating experiences.

Breaking the Ice

When winter comes, is it time to haul out or head out? When cold weather doesn't entirely freeze the water, boating offers daunting challenges and memorable rewards.

Wolfgangsee skiff

A century-old Austrian design revived

A lapstrake rowing skiff that has been in a friend’s family in Austria for generations inspired a young boatbuilder to document it and build a new one at an English boatbuilding school. Rowed solo, tandem, with or without a passenger, the skiff has an enduring appeal.

Autumn Leaves

A canoe-yawl pocket cruiser

Chesapeake Light Craft’s designer, John Harris, set out to create a coastal cruiser in the spirit of designs by Phil Bolger and Albert Strange. The straight-sided hull simplifies and speeds construction; deftly curved lines give it eye appeal.

Southing in the Inside Passage

A sail-and-oar voyage

Bruce Bateau took the summer off, launched his boat near the north end of Vancouver Island, and headed south to a haul-out 350 miles away, with only two sails and two oars to get him there.

Quick Whippings

Admiralty and West Country

You don’t need a needle and sewing palm to apply secure whippings to the ends of your boat’s lines. The Admiralty whipping dresses up laid line and the West Country whipping holds braided line together.

Grayl’s Geopress Water-Treatment System

Water treatment made simple

Most wilderness water filters require a lot of pieces: one container for dirty water, another for clean water, a pump, a filter, and hoses to connect everything. Grayl turned the containers for dirty water and clean water into a pump for an ingenious and compact system.

MaxxHaul Trailer Dolly

Rolling a trailer with ease

The caster on a trailer jack provides some mobility for a trailer when it’s off the vehicle’s hitch, but it can be a nuisance on gravel or grass. This trailer dolly with a pair of 12” tires isn’t so easily mired.


A wherry to “Make Haste Slowly”

After Frank Ward retired, he enrolled in classes to learn how to build boats and how to row. When he decided to build a boat to row with his wife, he was drawn to the Annapolis wherry, but preferred cedar-strip construction to a stitch-and-glue plywood kit. The designer was willing and able to accommodate him.

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