March 2020 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

In our March 2020 issue, we take a close look at two gaff-rigged pocket yachts: the Weekender from Stevenson Projects and the PocketShip from Chesapeake Light Craft. Eric Hvalsoe takes us along with his friends to row and sail British Columbia’s Broughton Archipelago where tides set the pace and whales have the right of way. Our technique article is a sewing lesson that produces a full-length cagoule and our gear reviews examine a full-featured VHF/GPS and ½” belt sander for detail work. Two sisters who sent cameras to an altitude of 19 miles turn their talents to building a canoe. Our editor considers the looming global health crisis and how boating and working on boats will influence his approach to it.


With a new virus spreading across the globe, our editor looks to the rewards and risks of building and using small boats to temper his approach to the health crisis.


Echoes of a British pilot cutter

Chesapeake Light Craft’s PocketShip is under 15’ long and trailers docilely behind a compact car and yet offers comfortable sleeping quarters for two in the cabin or cockpit and carries a powerful sailing rig. Stitch-and-glue makes construction amateur friendly.


A Stevenson project

The Weekender from Stevenson Projects is a plywood pocket yacht that made its debut in Popular Science in 1981. Its gaff rig, cuddy cabin, trail boards, and ship’s wheel give the little 16-footer the look of the Friendship sloops that inspired its designer.

The Broughton Archipelago

Four for oar and sail

Eric Hvalsoe and his three cruising buddies headed to the north end of Vancouver Island, each with a sail-and-oar boat they’d built, and set out to wander among the islands of the Broughton Archipelago. Tides, currents and whales kept them on their toes.

A DIY Cagoule

Cocoon-like comfort

A full-length cagoule is a simple, inexpensive sewing project that provides a refuge from rain and cold. There’s room enough to retreat turtle-like from the hood and sleeves to enjoy the still air inside, often over 20 degrees warmer than it is outside.

A Full-Featured VHF/GPS

Standard Horizon's HX890

The HX890 is a full-featured waterproof VHF that includes GPS navigation, Digital Selective Calling, FM radio, a rechargeable 1800mAh Li-Ion battery with an alkaline back-up, group monitoring, and a water-activated light. And it floats.

Wen Band File

Detail work on wood and metal

We boatbuilders are by nature do-it-yourselfers, and when we finish a boat and it’s time to rig and outfit it, there are a lot of small parts we can make instead of buy. Wen’s compact ½” x 18” belt sander makes quick work of metal and wood fittings.

The Yeung Canoe

Sisters, science, and cedar

Strip-building a canoe was an easy project for two sisters in Seattle. As amateur scientists, they’d already designed and built a craft to send cameras to an altitude of 18 miles to record the sweep of the moon’s shadow across the earth during a solar eclipse.

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