October 2020 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

When the boat ramps were closed during a pandemic lockdown, our editor still managed a circumnavigation, a small one, of two ponds in his smallest boat. This issue’s Boat Profiles focus on a plywood update of a traditional faering and a sail-and-oar cruiser designed for the Race to Alaska. We join three friends for a tour of Swan’s Island off Maine’s Downeast coast and learn a new way to cedar-strip a kayak without using staples. Our gear reviews put to the test Sailrite’s walking-foot sewing machine and one of Kestrel’s wind gauges. Dan Newland, whose career covered work on both AMERICA’s Cup yachts and rocket ships, shows off the kayak he built with inlays of imaginary planets and moons.

Twin Ponds

During the pandemic lockdown, when boat ramps were closed, our editor longed to get afloat and took his smallest boat, a 4-1/2’ folding coracle, to circumnavigate a pair of ponds hidden in an urban forest.


Iain Oughtred's other faering

Iain Oughtred’s Elfyn is his adaptation of a traditional Norse hull for glued-lapstrake plywood construction with the same three wide strakes and all of the beauty of its precursors.

The Guider

A capable and comfortable camp-cruiser

John Guider cruised more than 6,000 miles in Chesapeake Light Craft’s Skerry Raid. But when he entered the Race to Alaska, he asked CLC to design a new bigger boat, The Guider, which would be better able to take on whatever the Inside Passage might dish out.

Swan’s Island

A Maine Coast Circumnavigation

Each summer, a group of five friends usually get together with their sail-and-oar camp-cruisers to enjoy the island-studded Maine coast. This year, the three who were free to travel during the pandemic circumnavigated Swan’s Island.

External Frames for Strip-Building

Quick and hole-free strips

Building a cedar-strip kayak without rows of staple-hole blemishes requires some way to hold the strips to the molds. Dan Newland created a technique that does the job well and greatly speeds planking.

Sailrite’s Ultrafeed LSZ-1

A walking-foot sewing machine

Sewing sails and outdoor gear requires a sewing machine that can handle everything from slippery lightweight nylon to multiple layers of thick canvas or sailcloth. Sailrite’s walking-foot sewing machine can handle it all.

Kestrel 2000

Measuring wind speed and temperature

If you sail, you need to pay close attention to the wind, and an anemometer takes the guesswork out of assessing wind speed. The Kestrel 2000 provides accurate readings of wind as well as air and water temperature.


Inlays out of this world

Dan Newland made his career working on boats and rockets, so when he designed and built his cedar-strip kayak, CELESTE, it was only natural that he would adorn the deck with inlays of celestial objects: planets, moons, and a comet.

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