October 2021 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

Our profiles feature the Rhodes 19, a daysailer that gained popularity only after George O’Day made the change from traditional to composite construction, and the Alamitos, a 15′ dory skiff from Spira International designed to take an outboard up to 75 hp. Bruce Bateau and some new friends explore the lower reaches of the Columbia river and Reuel Parker resurrects an aging fabric-covered kayak by giving it a new skin of plywood. For our gear reviews, we take a look at a packraft as a tender, a chef’s knife for the galley, and sunglasses that float. A tarp sewn by our editor more than pulled its own weight on his longest small-boat cruises and our Reader Built Boat feature is the story of a couple’s differing point of view and the hybrid hulls it led to.

A Light-Blue Tarp

From dumpster to camp-cruiser

A simple homemade tarp sewn of lightweight nylon pulled out of dumpster pulled more than its own weight and provided shelter for a variety of cruises that covered thousands of miles.


An outboard V-bottom skiff from Spira International

The Alamitos is a 15’ V-bottom dory designed by Jeff Spira for quick and affordable construction. Its ample 7’ beam provides plenty of stability for fishing and taking on a bit of offshore chop.

The Rhodes 19

An uncommonly enduring one-design

The Rhodes 19 didn’t catch on when the design was introduced as a wooden boat in the late ‘40s, but when it was reproduced in fiberglass in the ‘50s by George O’Day, the daysailer gave rise to a popular and enduring one-design class.

A Quiet Time in a Big Estuary

A Columbia River cruise

Bruce Bateau takes a California couple cruising on his home waters, the tidal reaches of the Columbia River that form the border between Oregon and Washington.

New Life for a Vintage Kayak

Replacing fabric with plywood

Reuel Parker offers a way to transform an old fabric-covered kayak by giving the frame a new skin of plywood.

The Hornet-Lite

A packraft from Kokopelli

For small camp-cruisers that are better left at anchor instead of beached, a tender can come in handy, but most would take up too much space. An inflatable packraft can serve the purpose and yet be easily stowed.

Chef’s Knife and Floating Sunglasses

Offerings from MSR and Rheos

Floating sunglasses from Rheos reduce the risk of loss and a camper’s chef knife from MSR is a capable addition to the galley.

Meeting in the Middle

A strip-lapstrake hybrid

Paul and Sharon LaBrie have been enjoying boating together for their 40-plus years of marriage; a difference of opinion between the two led to a novel hybrid hull that combines two different types of construction.

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