September 2022 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

In our Boat Profiles, the Shellback and Oonagh, both sail-and-oar dinghies, get a close look. Tom Conlogue and Delaney Brown shoot a tidal rapid in their dory, push it over a beaver dam, and try dragging it to an ancient portage. A Patagonia jacket and the mesh bags and sling bag that Ben Fuller uses to tote and access gear are our featured bits of kit; making a sling bag is this issue’s DIY project. An English sailor builds an Irish curragh for a tender and our editor and his daughter pick blackberries from his Whitehall.

Blackberries for Ali

Under power for picking

When our editor’s daughter came home to celebrate her August birthday, the blackberries were ripe and the best way to pick them was by boat.


An easily built all-around skiff

The Shellback is a 11′ 2″ lapstrake plywood dinghy designed by Joel White for sailing, sculling, and rowing. A precut kit can pave the way for a novice boatbuilder.


A lapstrake plywood pram for oar and sail

The Oonagh was designed by Doug Hylan “to combine some of the best qualities of inflatables with the advantages of a traditional dinghy and put it into a package that is a little less hostile to the planet.”

A Portage Too Far

A tidal rapid, a beaver dam, and an impossible haul

Tom Conlogue and Delaney Brown took a shot at circumnavigating Maine’s Blue Hill Peninsula by rowing a dory along the coast, down the gullet of a tidal rapid, and across a salt pond to a portage used centuries ago.

Torrentshell 3L

A breathable rain jacket

The Torrentshell 3L from Patagonia is a trim, waterproof, and breathable jacket. It fits neatly under a PFD and when not in use stuffs into a zippered pocket.

Totes for Boats

Management for the miscellaneous

Even a short outing for sailing or rowing can involve a lot of gear, and Ben Fuller uses a sling bag or mesh scuba bag to get it all to the boat hands-free and keep it handy onboard.

A DIY Sling Tote

A handy carryall for small-boat gear

A sling bag is a project suitable for a home sewing machine and saves time and effort when loading miscellaneous gear aboard a boat at the beach or launch ramp.


A tarred-canvas curragh

When James Baker of England decided he needed a second tender for the 42′ wooden gaffer he built, a paddling curragh native to County Donegal in Ireland was his inspiration.

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