September 2023 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

This issue’s Boat Profiles feature two of the smaller small boats: the Portage Pram and the Summer Breeze skiff. Our narrative offers a view into the life of Jim Schroer, an extraordinary waterman who built innumerable boats, sailed across two oceans, and canoed countless rivers and streams. One of Jim’s canoe paddles earns well-deserved admiration from our editor. A Silva compass and two leak-patching tapes get a close look in our reviews and a trailer light bar is this month’s DIY project. This issue’s Reader Built Boat is a 24′ lapstrake sloop designed and built by retired sailmaker John Greiner of Toledo, Ohio.

Brother Jim’s Paddle

A featherweight beauty

When Jim Schroer passed away, his wife was left with his life’s work and more boats than she could keep. The canoe paddle our editor bought from her is a fine example of Jim’s extraordinary work.

Summer Breeze

The most boat from the least materials

An award-winning 11′ 8″ flatiron skiff designed by David Beede makes the most of three sheets of plywood for the hull and a poly tarp for the sail.

Portage Pram

A towing tender for two adults and their gear

The Portage Pram is just 6′ 8″ long, weighs 35 lbs, is cartoppable, tows well, and can carry two adults and their gear.

Jim Schroer

An inexhaustible spirit

The late Jim Schroer took the road less traveled and gathered a wealth of skills and experiences that far exceeded what most would even dream possible.

A DIY Light Bar

Keeping trailer lights out of the water and in the line of sight

The electrical system is arguably the most vulnerable part of any boat trailer. A removable light bar raises the lights to increase their visibility, keeps them out of the water, and can be used on more than one boat and trailer.

A Universal Marine Compass

A steering compass that also serves for hand-held bearings

Silva’s 70UN can be mounted on a bracket for steering a course or hand-held as a bearing compass.

Flex Tape vs. Densyl Tape

Finding the right tape for emergency repairs

Tapes for on-the-go temporary repairs to hulls should adhere to wet, curved surfaces, but not all tapes are created equal.

John Greiner, His Way

Fulfilling a dream on the Great Lakes

When approaching his mid 80s, John Greiner decided it was time to graduate from racing to cruising, so he designed and built his dream sailboat for exploring the Great Lakes.

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