February 2020 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

In the February issue we join Roger Siebert for a quiet weekend getaway on the Texas Gulf coast, making camp where Hurricane Harvey tore right through a Matagorda Island beach. Our boat profiles focus on Chesapeake Light Craft’s Lighthouse Tender Peapod, a double-ender with an interesting combination of edge-joined and lapped strakes, and the Gaff Sloop from Gartside Boats, a jaunty, traditionally built daysailer with a topsail and bowsprit. Earl Boissonou shares the details of wooden gantry cranes a home boatbuilder can easily knock together to lift and roll a heavy hull. Kent Lewis reviews a marlinspike knife that the U.S. Navy has issued to sailors for over a century, and editor Christopher Cunningham puts Jackery’s Explorer 160 portable power station through its paces. Our Reader Built Boat comes to us from Austria and is a unique combination of an American camp cruiser and Venetian oars and oarlocks. And our editor offers a look at his reproduction of a traditional Aleut baidarka, which was collected in 1934; it turned out to be an exceptionally fast and seaworthy kayak, even among contemporary sea kayaks.

An Aleut Baidarka

During a visit to an anthropology museum in Berkeley, California, the frame of an Aleut-built baidarka collected in 1934 inspired our editor to build a usable copy of it to see what it could do on the water. He got a very fast kayak and a glimpse of the original’s sophisticated design and construction.

A Gaff Sloop

Paul Gartside's design No. 218

Paul Gartside’s 16’ Gaff Sloop has its roots in double-ended Scandinavian work boats. The New York-based designer created several different versions of the type and the final iteration kept the traditional construction but adopted a transom and, at a builder’s request, took on a bowsprit.

Lighthouse Tender Peapod

A Maine classic updated

The original Maine peapods were well adapted to fishing and hauling lobster traps, but their full, round bilges made them difficult to build. Designer John Harris took an interest in the type decades ago, and recently drew his 13’ 5” Lighthouse Tender Peapod; Chesapeake Light Craft now offers his peapod in an easy-to-build kit.

Sunday Pass

A Texas winter getaway

Sunday Beach was a popular spot for sun-worshipping Texans until it was obliterated by Hurricane Harvey in the fall of 2017. Now known as Sunday Pass, the 1000’ gap in the land at Matagorda Island offers new cruising and beach camping opportunities for small boat. Roger Siebert takes us there for a weekend getaway aboard his 15’ Flint.

DIY Gantry Cranes

For lifting and rolling a heavy hull

When Earl Boissonou built his 18′ pocket cruiser, he had to figure out how to roll the hull over in the confines of his shop, and then lift the finished boat onto its trailer. He devised and built a pair of gantry cranes to do the work easily and safely.

Colonial’s Marlinspike Knife

United States Navy issue

The U.S. Navy introduced the Marlinspike Knife in the First World War and it has been used by sailors ever since then. Its stainless-steel sheepsfoot blade and locking marlinspike are as useful now as they were a century ago.

Jackery Explorer 160

A portable power station

Electronic devices have become essential tools for our daily life and when our boats break us free from the grid, it’s handy to have a portable power station to recharge them. The Jackery 160 is a compact unit with lithium-ion batteries, several charging ports, and a built-in flashlight.


A Dias Harrier, Venetian style

When Antonio Dias designed his 17’ camp-cruisier, the Harrier, he had accommodations for rowing in mind, but almost certainly didn’t expect that one builder, Detlef Arthur Dueker, would rig his Harrier for

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