June 2020 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

In our June issue we have two takes on the Bella from Devlin Designing Boat Builders: sea trials and analysis in a review of the Bella 10 and the story of a Bella 12 built by two brothers with the help of their grandfather. Our second boat profile focuses on the John Dory, Iain Oughtred’s adaptation of the Swampscott dory for lightweight plywood construction. In last year’s March issue, David Hudson took us along to row down the Upper Mississippi River as far as St. Louis. This time he takes to the river again and rows to the river’s delta. For our gear reviews we look at three types of pilot drills as well as a device for extracting stripped and broken screws with minimal damage to the surrounding wood. The ever busy and resourceful Ben Fuller shares the construction of a simple take-apart cart for small boats and rough terrain.


Our editor, having discovered the word “projectlessness” and the possible connection between anxiety and immersing one’s self in projects, wonders what drove him to build boats that he didn’t need.

John Dory

Swampscott style in plywood

The John Dory is Iain Oughtred’s adaptation of a classic dory form for glued-lap plywood constriction. At less than half the weight of a traditionally built Swampscott, the John Dory offers time-tested seaworthiness with easy handling at the ramp and the beach.

Bella 10

A breeze to build, a pleasure to row

Sam Devlin designed the Bella 10 to be built from a single 5x10 sheet of plywood, eliminating the need to scarf pieces together. The boat not only was well suited for the boatbuilding classes he was teaching, but also is an inexpensive project and an able rowing boat for the home boatbuilder.

Downriver, Part 2

From St. Louis to the Mississippi Delta

In our March 2019 issue, David Hudson shared with us his adventure on the Upper Mississippi River and now he’s back with his row down the Lower Mississippi to its delta on the Gulf of Mexico. The river is bigger and so are the ships, the rafts of barges, and the sand bars.

A DIY Cart

14-inch wheels for rough terrain

When Ben Fuller acquired a new ice boat, he needed a cart to get it from his car and across rough terrain to the frozen waterways he sails. The DIY cart, built with 14” wheels, works well for kayaks, canoes, and other small boats.

Screw Pilot Bits

Fuller, Bosch, and Carbide & Diamond

Driving wood screws is faster and easier when you use a pilot bit that simultaneously drills holes for the screw’s threads and shank and the countersink for the head. We test pilot drills from Fuller, Bosch, and Carbide & Diamond and take a look inside the holes they make.


Extracting broken screws

Boatbuilders tend to drive a lot of screws whether they’re using bronze wood screws for traditional construction, stainless-steel screws for contemporary projects, or drywall screws for temporary use with epoxy-glued joints. When screws break off inside the wood, the Unscrew-Um can come to the rescue.

Simply Grand

Two grandsons team up with their grandfather

Two young brothers in Northwest Washington are lucky to have John Leyde as their grandfather. John, a steamboat enthusiast and serial boatbuilder, enjoys helping friends and family get afloat, so he made space in the workshop he built for a Devlin Bella 12, and he and the boys went to work.

Past Issues

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