Small Boats Annual 2021 Archives - Small Boats Magazine

Small Boats Annual 2021

Editor’s Page: Coasting in the Land of Nod
Small boats are capable of great voyages. The limit to how far they can take us is often imposed only by the time constraints of the ties and obligations of daily life. In the gap between my education and my career and family life, I had few ties and took the opportunity to make long cruises, staying out as long as I liked. My first was 800 miles along the Inside Passage … Continued on Page 4 of PDF version.

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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.

A Solar Solo

Cruising the Rideau Canal

Phil Boyer takes a look back at his first fully solar-powered cruise. In SOL CANADA, a boat he built with a canopy covered with solar cells, he traveled 125 miles from Kingston, Ontario, to Ottawa, along a canal system that has been carrying boat traffic since 1832.

Carolinian Carolina Dory

An outboard skiff from Spira

Boats built to plans from Spira International are designed for readily available lumber and plywood and modest woodworking skills. The Carolinian design is no exception and produces an easily driven and versatile outboard skiff.

A Red-Lantern Journey

Ontario's Lake of the Woods

Tom Pamperin had Ontario’s Lake of the Woods in his sights for years. When he finally got underway at a launch ramp on the lake’s eastern shore, he was eager to venture into the maze of islets ahead of him and in no hurry to get back.

GasOne’s Mini

A dual-fuel camp stove

Stoves that use gas cannisters are convenient to use and well suited to meals that require careful cooking. The GasOne Mini is a good deal more compact than the standard stove of its type and takes both butane and propane cannisters.


Echoes of a British pilot cutter

Chesapeake Light Craft’s PocketShip is under 15’ long and trailers docilely behind a compact car and yet offers comfortable sleeping quarters for two in the cabin or cockpit and carries a powerful sailing rig. Stitch-and-glue makes construction amateur friendly.


A Stevenson project

The Weekender from Stevenson Projects is a plywood pocket yacht that made its debut in Popular Science in 1981. Its gaff rig, cuddy cabin, trail boards, and ship’s wheel give the little 16-footer the look of the Friendship sloops that inspired its designer.

A DIY Cagoule

Cocoon-like comfort

A full-length cagoule is a simple, inexpensive sewing project that provides a refuge from rain and cold. There’s room enough to retreat turtle-like from the hood and sleeves to enjoy the still air inside, often over 20 degrees warmer than it is outside.

The Yeung Canoe

Sisters, science, and cedar

Strip-building a canoe was an easy project for two sisters in Seattle. As amateur scientists, they’d already designed and built a craft to send cameras to an altitude of 18 miles to record the sweep of the moon’s shadow across the earth during a solar eclipse.

A Gaff Sloop

Paul Gartside's design No. 218

Paul Gartside’s 16’ Gaff Sloop has its roots in double-ended Scandinavian work boats. The New York-based designer created several different versions of the type and the final iteration kept the traditional construction but adopted a transom and, at a builder’s request, took on a bowsprit.

Sunday Pass

A Texas winter getaway

Sunday Beach was a popular spot for sun-worshipping Texans until it was obliterated by Hurricane Harvey in the fall of 2017. Now known as Sunday Pass, the 1000’ gap in the land at Matagorda Island offers new cruising and beach camping opportunities for small boat. Roger Siebert takes us there for a weekend getaway aboard his 15’ Flint.

Jackery Explorer 160

A portable power station

Electronic devices have become essential tools for our daily life and when our boats break us free from the grid, it’s handy to have a portable power station to recharge them. The Jackery 160 is a compact unit with lithium-ion batteries, several charging ports, and a built-in flashlight.


A Dias Harrier, Venetian style

When Antonio Dias designed his 17’ camp-cruisier, the Harrier, he had accommodations for rowing in mind, but almost certainly didn’t expect that one builder, Detlef Arthur Dueker, would rig his Harrier for

Jimmy Skiff II

Redesign adds outboard to sail and oar

Chesapeake Light Craft’s Jimmy Skiff has been popular for two decades, but the design’s success didn’t mean it couldn’t benefit from a thorough makeover. The latest version, the Jimmy Skiff II, has flotation-tank side benches and a transom that can take a small outboard.

Wolfgangsee skiff

A century-old Austrian design revived

A lapstrake rowing skiff that has been in a friend’s family in Austria for generations inspired a young boatbuilder to document it and build a new one at an English boatbuilding school. Rowed solo, tandem, with or without a passenger, the skiff has an enduring appeal.

Grayl’s Geopress Water-Treatment System

Water treatment made simple

Most wilderness water filters require a lot of pieces: one container for dirty water, another for clean water, a pump, a filter, and hoses to connect everything. Grayl turned the containers for dirty water and clean water into a pump for an ingenious and compact system.

Glen-L Bo-Jest

An accommodating 18-footer

Glen-L’s power pocket cruiser, the Bo-Jest, manages to pack comfortable and roomy accommodations into its 18’ x 8’ footprint. There’s standing headroom in the wheelhouse, a 7’-long V-berth in the trunk cabin, and seating for four in the cockpit.

Alf’s Trap Skiff

60 years in the works

Raised in an island village that has been his family’s home for seven generations, Newfoundlander Alf Manuel was a habitué of the boat shops in his neighborhood and from an early age he was destined to become a skilled boatbuilder. Now 80, he shares with us his trap skiff, an homage to the working boats of his youth.

Song Wren

A Devlin gaff-rigged cutter

The Song Wren from Devlin Designing Boat Builders is a handsome gaff-rigged cutter with a comfortable cockpit and cabin. For easy trailering it has a tabernacle mast and can be built with a swing keel. The full-keel option opens up space in the cabin.


A plywood faering from Iain Oughtred

Traditional Norwegian faerings are elegant boats that require exceptional boatbuilding skills. Iain Oughtred’s Elf captures the form and function beautifully in plywood and makes the ancient type accessible to contemporary amateur builders.

Super Sailfish

A wild and wet ride

The Alcort company in Waterbury, Connecticut, designed the 11’7” Sailfish in 1947. The boat gained popularity after an article in LIFE magazine in 1949 and inspired the creation of a big sister, the Super Sailfish.

Shenandoah Whitehall

Light enough to carry solo

Gentry’s Shenandoah Whitehall is a modern boat with traditional lines that’s large enough to take an adult and a kid camping, relatively seaworthy, efficient under oars, and light enough to toss on the roof of the car. For a few hundred dollars and a few dozen hours, it can provide a novice with both a manageable entry into boatbuilding and rowing adventures.

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