September 2020 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

Our editor recalls Frank Prothero, a legendary Seattle boatbuiler who passed away in 1996 at the age of 91.  We take a close look at the 1938 Midget Flyer, a 10’ outboard runabout, and the 12’ Ultra-Light Solo Packboat, a Kevlar descendant of traditional Adirondack guide boats. Bruce Bateau takes us cruising on Washington’s South Salish Sea and Ben Fuller shows us some homemade tiller extensions. Our reviews focus on WEST System’s Special Clear Hardener and Mudders overboots for soft and sticky intertidal mud. And Joe Lanni, in spite of the lack of a shop and tools, built our Reader Built Boat, a 9’ sectional for oar and sail.


Frank Prothero's GLORY OF THE SEAS, a 65’ schooner, is not a small boat, and Frank was a man who loomed larger than life, but his devotion to boatbuilding could leave a deep impression on anyone.

Midget Flyer

A smart little runabout from 1938 designed by Bruce N. Crandall 

The 10’ Midget Flyer made its debut in the January issue of Motor Boating in 1938 and might have quietly slipped into obscurity if not for Mark Kaufmann’s desire to have an exciting boat he could power with an antique outboard motor he had restored.

Ultra-Light Solo Packboat

A versatile Kevlar rowing boat

The 12’ Ultra-Light Solo Packboat weighs just 34 lbs, about as light as a boat designed for rowing can be. With a Kevlar composite hull and cherry trim, it is both tough and comely.

Solace of the South Salish

A sojourn by sail and oar

Looking for a place to breathe freely in the midst of the pandemic, Bruce Bateau set sail on Washington’s narrow waterways at the southern extremity of the Salish Sea. He spent four restorative nights at anchor in coves too small and too shallow for most boats.

Tiller Extensions

An important element of boat trim

To get the best boat trim in a small sailing skiff, you shouldn’t be planted in the stern next to the tiller. Ben Fuller offers some easily made extensions that let you get your weight forward.

WEST Special Clear Hardener

A 105 epoxy mix for finish work

If you’ve used WEST System epoxy, you may be familiar with the slow and fast hardeners, but might not have heard of the 207 Special Clear Hardener. It doesn’t blush, has a UV inhibitor mixed in, and can make a durable bright finish.

Mudder Boots

Flexible wings for a big footprint

Some intertidal zones have deep, sticky mud that will pull your boots off if you try walking through it. Mudders, strapped to your boots, have wings that fan out to keep you from sinking and then fold back in so you can walk normally.


A true novice's first boat

Joe Lanni had dreamed of building a boat, but he had a few hand tools for simple projects around the house, no boatbuilding experience and only a deck for a work space. He forged ahead and in two months had a boat that he could row and sail.

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