January 2022 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

Our Boat Profiles feature an easy-to-build Sand Dollar from Arch Davis and the versatile Port Aransas outboard skiff. We join Bill Hutton on a hard-luck but rewarding row to a Florida Panhandle barrier island. Ben Fuller explains how to make and use oarlock extensions for forward-facing, stand-up rowing. Foulweather gear from West Marine and a folding saw from Silky get put to the test. RIPPLE, a 9’ dory skiff, is our featured Reader Built Boat and our editor’s shift from artist to boatbuilder opens this issue.


After graduating from college, our editor had wanted to pursue a career as an artist, but after building a kayak and a dory skiff, his aspirations took a sudden and dramatic shift.

Sand Dollar

A skiff for oar, sail, and outboard from Arch Davis Design

Arch Davis designed the Sand Dollar as a boat that a novice woodworker could build. The flat-bottom skiff can be rowed, propelled with a small outboard, or equipped with one of the three sailing rigs detailed in the plans.

Port Aransas Skiff

A shallow-draft outboard

The Port Aransas Skiff was developed in a Texas Gulf Coast fishing town for fishing and duck hunting in the flats and shallows of the nearby barrier islands. Originally designed for sailing and rowing, the skiffs are now built for outboard power.


A solo row to Florida’s Dog Island

Something would be missing if every cruise went as expected and that’s the satisfaction in rising to meet the unexpected. A lot of things went wrong during Bill Hutton’s short cruise to one of Florida’s barrier islands, but the experience was more fulfilling than what he’d imagined.

Oarlock Extensions

DIY devices for forward-facing stand-up rowing

If you want to get a good look at where you’re going while you’re rowing, a pair of oarlock extensions is all you need. Ben Fuller explores the ways Maine watermen rowed standing up and facing forward.

Third Reef Foulies

A waterproof jacket and bibs from West Marine

The waterproof, breathable foulweather gear from West Marine has lots of features well suited for use aboard small boats. Kent and Audrey Lewis share their experience with their new affordable foulies.


A fine-toothed saw from Silky

Silky’s Woodboy folding saw with its fine, non-set teeth, is a tool for fine joinery. Folded, the handle protects the teeth from damage and keeps them sharp.


A good-natured dory skiff

Sean Russell is the author several novels about naval warfare in the days of sail, but RIPPLE, the dory skiff he designed as a tender to his sailboat, is meant to lead a more tranquil life.

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