January 2021 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

From our “Things Forgotten” files: our editor’s briefly airborne mahogany kayak was a not-so-funny thing that happened on the way to the ramp, the parts of a pram cut out in 1945 get put together during this summer’s pandemic, and a lapstrake catboat comes to light after a century-long absence. That catboat, the Droleen, is joined by the Bolger/Payson double-ender Sweet Pea in our Boat Profiles. Roger Siebert takes us on a cruise of the central Texas coast and we take a look at a dual-fuel griddle and a water-based marine varnish.

Lost in Thought

After a slight deviation in a routine repeated hundreds of times, our editor drove off to go paddling without tying his delicate mahogany kayak to the roof racks. He examines the damage to the boat and to his psyche.

Sweet Pea

An Instant Boat for oar and sail, with a removable keel

Phil Bolger and Dynamite Payson put their heads together to create an easily built plywood boat that would be at home on the waters of the Maine coast. Crossing elements of a peapod with a light dory led to their 15’ double-ender, Sweet Pea.


Long lost, finally found

The Droleen was designed in Ireland in 1896 and enjoyed a few decades as a racing-class boat, but was entirely forgotten in the aftermath of WW I. The plans resurfaced in 1996 and the 12’ lapstrake catboat was given new life.

The Texas Coastal Bend

An escape to barrier islands

Roger Siebert takes us on another sail-and-oar adventure, this time to the barrier islands of the Texas Coastal Bend. The protected bays, mild November weather, and company of boater friends and dolphins made a memorable getaway.


DIY projects to make yourself heard

There are times when you need to make yourself heard over the noise of wind and waves or across distance. Cupping your hands around your mouth helps, but old-school megaphones are easy to make and surprisingly effective.

Halcyon Rugged Varnish

Water-based bright finish

Halcyon Rugged Varnish is not just a water-based alternative to traditional spar varnish, but a step up in ease of application, lack of sagging, recoating without sanding, and durability when cured.

A Convenient Camping Grill

A dual-fuel camp grill from Gas One

Food cooked on a grill has a special flavor, but a charcoal grill is inconvenient and messy. Gas One’s portable camping grill, fueled by propane and butane, opens quick, appealing options for camp cruising fare. Burgers, pizza, and toast anyone?


A pram started in 1945 and launched in 2020

Ritchie With’s father started building a plywood pram in 1945, but the plywood parts he cut out gathered dust for 75 years. Only when Ritchie’s daughter-in-law needed a pandemic project to keep his grandkids occupied did the pieces get put together.

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