Small Boats Annual 2020 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

Small Boats Annual 2020

Editor’s Page: The Insights of Ratty and Mole
Even if you haven’t read Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, you may well have heard the oft-repeated declaration Water Rat made to Mole while they were out for a row: “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing-absolutely nothing— half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats” … Continued on Page 4 of PDF version.

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The Kingfisher Elective

A class in boatbuilding

Glenn Joyner was ready to retire after a 43-year-long career as an educator, but the school was reluctant to let him go. Glenn floated an idea: “Build me a boatshop on campus and let me teach boatbuilding instead of English.” The school agreed to his terms and now students have an elective in boatbuilding. Glen-L’s Kingfisher 18 is the latest boat to emerge from the shop.

O’Day Day Sailer

A proven performer for 61 years

Famed designers Uffa Fox and George O’Day teamed up in 1956 to create the O’Day Day Sailer. The first Day Sailer was sold in 1958 and immediately became popular in the recreational and racing markets, with over 10,000 boats hitting the waterways. It is a very versatile boat, easy to rig, sail, transport, and store.

Ed Monk Skiff

A working tender from 1943

Edwin Monk, a Seattle-based naval architect renowned for designing handsome motor-yachts for cruising, applied his talents to a number of handy small boats. His 13’6” flat-bottom skiff, drawn in 1943, is a no-nonsense workboat for oars and outboard.

What’s in your PFD pockets?

Does your PFD keep you afloat? That’s a start, but there’s more it can do for you. A PFD with pockets can carry all the tools you might need to get yourself and others out of a bind.


A Tolman Alaskan Skiff for cruising

Renn Tolman designed three skiffs that have become quite popular in Alaskan waters. The largest of them, the Jumbo, offers economical motoring and comfortable cruising almost anywhere.

The Cosine Wherry

A strip-built pulling boat

The Cosine Wherry was designed on a computer by an engineer using a trigonometric curve as a starting point. The result is a strip-built pulling boat that is as easy on the eyes as it is at the oars.

In profile, CHIPS bears a strong resemblance to a Herreshoff 12 1/2, one of the boats that inspired Carl's Block Island 19 design


Carl Kaufmann’s Block Island 19

Carl Kaufmann’s CHIPS is a Block Island 19, a handsome daysailer that he designed and built on Rhode Island’s Block Island. Carl makes guitars and other stringed instruments and brings that level of craftsmanship to his boatbuilding.

Belle Daysailer

A 16' daysailer

BELLE, a 16’ daysailer, was drawn up by Daniel Gonneau for his own use, but the lightweight glued-plywood lapstrake hull, combined with classic steam-bent coamings and gaff rig, commanded the interest of small-boat aficionados, and there will no longer be one BELLE but many.

Parker Dinghy

A shapely mid-century workboat

In the 1940s, Lindon Parker designed and built a carvel-planked boat for tending the herring weirs around Deer Island, New Brunswick. The design would have been lost if the last of the shapely carvel dinghies had not caught the eye of Harry Bryan, who cleaned it up and took its lines.

A Superior Circumnavigation

Two women, two kayaks, 1,200 miles

Uma Blanchard and Sophie Goeks, two college students with their final exams recently completed, launched kayaks from Little Sand Bay on Wisconsin’s Lake Superior shore and headed west. When they returned to the launch site 86 days later, they approached it from the east, having paddled the entire 1,200 mile perimeter of the greatest of the Great Lakes.

Fillet Brazing for Custom Boat Hardware

DIY custom fittings

Mark Kaufman wanted deck fittings that were a good match for the runabout he’d built to plans published in 1938. There were no suitable fittings he could buy and casting them was not in the cards. He shows us how he made his own with brass, bronze, and brazing alloy.

HERON kept busy with family and friends on a vacation stay on the shores of an Arkansas lake.

Flat-Bottomed Skiff HERON

A new Blake-built boat

Nick Blake, a popular SBM contributor, designed and built an outboard skiff with the help of his father, Daniel. As they have done with the other boats they’ve built, they started with logs from trees grown on the family woodlands and slabbed with a mill only yards from their shop.

Classic 17

A snug outboard from

The Classic 17, a design for homebuilders from, is a compact outboard cruiser with a 1950s vibe and contemporary stitch-and-glue plywood construction.

Morbic 11

A new Vivier design

Gary Brown asked François Vivier if his Morbic 12 could be built strip-planked rather than lapstrake plywood, and he replied: “Yes, with some modification.” The simple question inspired a thorough redesign and the creation of the Morbic 11.

St. Ives Punt

Local boat, wide appeal

The tenders serving the fishing fleet of St. Ives, on the north coast of Cornwall, had a rough life. When the seas were breaking in the harbor, the tenders at anchor would get battered by breaking waves at the water’s edge with each turn of the tide. Jonny Nance designed his St. Ives sailing punt to be stout enough to survive.

Stickleback Canoe

An Oughtred canoe

If it’s true that smaller boats get used more frequently, Iain Oughtred’s wee Stickleback will rarely sit idle for long. It’s a featherweight canoe that’s easy to carry and well suited to backwaters few other boats can explore.

Rushton 109

A lapstrake pulling boat

The Rushton pulling boat, model 109, is a double-ender with nearly plumb stems, a lapstrake hull, and sweeping sheer. It has the good looks of an old-fashioned guideboat and rows easily whether going solo or bringing a passenger along for company.


A Wolstenholme gunter-rigged dayboat

Andrew Wolstenholme's Swallow is a timeless design that offers an ideal compromise of lightness, speed, and roominess. It is very responsive under sail and light on the helm. The hull offers a good turn of speed, reassuring stability, and a dry ride in choppy conditions.

Ruth Wherry

Quick to build, fast to row

It’s hard to beat skin-on-frame construction for light weight and ease of construction. Dave Gentry’s Ruth is well suited for rowers eager to get on the water with an easily driven wherry.

Winter Wren II

A pocket yacht for two

The great joy of the Winter Wren II, Sam Devlin’s trailerable mini cruiser, is its responsiveness. Every nuance of change in air or water conditions translates into some sensation transmitted directly through the tiller, sail controls, or seat of pants.

BUTTERFLY, all dressed up, now gets admiring looks, which had never come her way in her previous life.


A makeover for a metal boat

Beneath her warm, bright-finished cedar decks, BUTTERFLY is, at her core, an old boat with a heart of…aluminum. If Patrick MacQueen hadn’t saved her, she might have been recycled into cans, pots, and pans.

Taal SUP

A board for touring

Most stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) look a lot like outsized surfboards, but most of the people paddling them are not surfing. Michael Storer designed the Taal SUP with a hull more like a boat, making it better suited for paddling pursuits.

Albion Pacific Power Dory

A power dory from Spira

Jeff Spira’s Albion is a 19’ outboard skiff designed along the lines of the surf-launched fishing dories of the Pacific Northwest. While capable of taking on rough water, the Albion is a comfortably stable and roomy platform for more relaxing outings.

With open sections for the cockpit and stern, the nesting configuration allowed an overall assembled length of 12'.

Nesting Boats

Tom Hepp's take-aparts for travel

Tom Hepp had had boats growing up, served in the Navy, and chose a career as a merchant mariner, so it’s not surprising that he wanted to take a boat with him when he drove across the country on his vacations. He didn’t want to haul a boat on a trailer or a roof rack, so he decided to make a sectional boat he could pack inside his van.

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