July 2018 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

Getting Out of Line

Masts, centerboards, and rudders don’t all have to line up right down a boat’s middle. Putting them to one side or the other can get them out of the way without noticeably affecting sailing performance, and reclaiming the best real estate in the cockpit can make a boat a much more pleasant place for the people aboard.

Ski King

A fast inboard in plywood from Glen-L

Glen L. Witt, the founder of Glen-L, could have had any of the countless boats he designed for his company’s offerings of plans and kits, but it was the Ski King he chose to build for his own use. Among the first boats he designed, it is once again in the Glen-L catalog, 65 years later.


A camp-cruiser for oar, sail, and outboard

When one of Ross Lillistone’s regular customers asked for a fast camp cruiser for sail, oars, and motor, Ross drew up a 17’ lug-rigged cat ketch for glued-lap plywood. The Periwinkle hit the mark and is a great all-rounder.


Biography of a trailblazer

In 1979, Dave Getchell bought an aluminum skiff that he could use as a base for a climbing expedition to the Torngat Mountains at the northern tip of Labrador. He never reached the mountains, but the boat, christened TORNGAT, found its destiny along the Maine coast in the creation of the Maine Island Trail.

The tops of the extensions, squared off inside of the diagonal side panels, serve as steps for climbing aboard over the stern. The bright finished squares of decking are hatch covers.

Transom Extensions

Adding buoyancy and planing surface

Most small outboard skiffs carry a lot of weight in the stern—skipper, outboard, and fuel tank—and suffer the consequences. Homemade transom extensions add both buoyancy and planing surface that can improve trim and performance over a wide range of speeds.

The Blackbird XLC and the Thunderfly are a good match for a steep shoreline and a narrow beach.

Blackbird XLC and Thunderfly

A hammock system from Warbonnet

Hammocks provide minimum-impact shelter ashore and can be set up on wooded terrain that's too steep or uneven to accommodate a tent. We take a look at a system that includes a hammock, bug net, winter cover, and rain fly.

The 180 mm Knipex plier wrench is a good size for all of my boat and trailer applications.

Knipex Plier Wrench

Getting a grip

The Knipex plier wrench is a versatile and well-designed tool with extraordinary gripping power. It’s a worthy addition to an on-board tool kit.

James' daughter Kyrie was three when construction began. By the time she had turned four, she had taken an interest in helping build the boat.


A family-built Chester Yawl

Born to a family of Alabama river folk, James Fullton grew up around boats. His interest in them waned when his parents moved him and his sisters inland, but when he started a family of his own in New Haven, Connecticut, he felt the impulse to build a boat of his own.

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