Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedback

WebLetter 10

An Occasional Publication for the Home Boat Builder

Glen-L Marine Designs - 9152 Rosecrans Ave. - Bellflower, CA 90706

In this issue

Glen-L Update

If you have entered your name in our Guest Book in the past, but did not receive an email notice about this WebLetter, please make another entry. Some email addresses have been lost in one of the two computer crashes we have had.

  • Web site: The biggest thing that has happened to our site since the last WebLetter is that we ran out of space. We upgraded our site from 104MB to 140MB, so we should have space for more boat building WebLetters, customer photos and other resources for current and future builders.
    • In the NEW pages we have added additional photos of our latest project, the PowerYak.
    • If you would like to communicate with others building the same design you are, keep an eye on the PROJECT REGISTRY, we add several new entries each week.
    • We have posted new Boat Design Catalog pages for our Canoes and Kayaks. We are looking into the possibility of adding a database to our site which may necessitate further changes to the design pages, so for the time being, further changes to this section are on hold.
  • One morning we opened our HTML to a great surprise, an unexpected article by Mark Dietel on building the Thunderbolt, see below.
  • Would you like to become Internet famous? We are looking for articles, boat building hints, and photos for future WebLetters. The point of this WebLetter is to be a resource for boat builders... why not put in your two cents worth?
  • Work on the PowerYak test model is on hold because of the large demand for frame kits. We hope to be able to get back to it in a month.... but, who knows.

Barry Witt      

Port Townsend 23rd Annual Wooden Boat Festival

Boat building Classes

I received a mailing from the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding, a non-profit organization based in Port Townsend, Washington. Their list of 1999 programs sounds like a good reason to make a trip to this beautiful part of the country.

The '99 summer program includes waterfront tours on historic sailing ships, sailing classes and regattas, and boatbuilding classes for all types of boats using contemporary and traditional building methods. You can learn how to carve the name board for your Glen-L Fancy Free and even how to make your own wooden blocks. Make a half hull model, learn sail making, splicing, blacksmithing, and much more. All of this and the 23rd Annual Wooden Boat Festival, Sept. 10, 11, 12.

Use the contacts below to learn more.

Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding (Classes)
251 Otto St., Port Townsend, WA 98368
360-385-4948 (Ask for a schedule of 1999 Programs)

Wooden Boat Foundation (Event tickets)

Port Townsend Visitors Center (List of accommodations)

Building the Thunderbolt

by Mark Dietel

After much thought and contemplation, I decided to build the Thunderbolt. Being a first time builder, I had the usual anxieties -- can I do it? Having no experience with woodworking other than a small bird house or two and very few tools, it took some courage to plunge into a project such as this. It has been one year since I started building. Currently the hull is completed and the bottom is being prepared for fiberglassing. As a full time electrical engineer and a new father, work is limited to about one night a week and part of a day on weekends.

My choice of the Thunderbolt was determined by several factors. First, I wanted an inboard type with enough power for serious water skiing. The boat had to be small enough to be built in half of a two car garage and light enough to be pulled behind my 4-cyl ford Ranger. The Thunderbolt fit the bill perfectly and has a unique sleek appearance.


Ready-made sliding seat assembly

For those customers who have asked for a source for ready-made sliding rowing seats:

Latanzo Recreational and racing boat parts
PO Box 21042
Philadelphia, PA 19114

They do not currently have a brochure, but sent these drawings.

Poxy-Shield: When to encapsulate

If you intend to encapsulate your boat with epoxy, when should you encapsulate? It is most often recommended that you encapsulate frames before planking so that the bottoms and edges can be coated while they are still accessible. Because interrupting the building process to coat slows momentum and seems more time consuming, many builders coat the rest of the inside of the hull after planking, and the hull is right-side up. This may, however, not be as time saving or as easy as it seems.

Any epoxy coated surfaces that will be exposed to sunlight must be painted or varnished. In order to paint, you must first clean off the amine blush and then sand thoroughly. This can be a knuckle busting experience when you have to sand around frames and longitudinals.

A better way is to coat frames with two or three coats of epoxy and sand on a table or other flat surface prior to putting them on the building form. After the planking is fitted, but before it is installed, coat with two to three coats and sand on a flat surface. Sanding is quicker and easier than sanding after assembly. Epoxy sticks well to epoxy as long as the amine blush is removed and the surface is sanded.

As stated elsewhere on this site, encapsulation is an optional procedure and is not required. Encapsulation is done primarily to protect the wood. Any holes made in the epoxy surface should be sealed to prevent access by water.

Plywood & Lumber Suppliers

One of our most FAQ's concerns finding sources for lumber and plywood. WE NEED YOUR HELP. In the "Useful information and Sources" pages we have a "List of Lumber Suppliers" which contains suppliers, listed by state. Many of these entries are more than 10 years old; I suspect that some are no longer valid, or that the phone numbers have changed. If you notice any mistakes or have a local supplier who is not on the list, I would appreciate your input. To my knowledge there is no similar list anywhere else on the web. Help other builders and future builders by submitting to this boatbuilding resource.

Send: Company Name, Address, phone number, and type of product (L=boatbuilding lumber, PW=marine and AB exterior plywood, Okoume=4 or 5mm marine plywood, V=cold molding veneers, not decorative veneers). Send any corrections or new sources here.

Feedback: Sea Kayak

Dear Sir:

We bought your plans and built the 17' ocean going kayak. I'm sending you a few pictures of our project. For your information, we never built any type of marine craft before, we never used fiberglass or epoxy, and certainly never heard of the "stitch and glue" process. Your plans were easy to follow and made this project lots of family fun. I've numbered the pictures and offer the following very brief notes.


(1) Transferring layout to plywood


As you can see, we slightly modified the finish to suit our purposes. She is used to teach young boys how to paddle and is not used for cruising. She is very fast but a little difficult to turn because of her length.

Best Regards,
David O'Connor, Trinidad, W.I.

Fuel Consumption

The following may be helpful in determining the fuel consumption and range for your boat.

Outboard: 1 gal per hour for each 10 hp produced at cruising speeds.
Inboard diesel: 1 gal per hour for each 20 hp produced.
Inboard gasoline: 1 gal per hour for each 13 hp produced.
Range depends on speed traveled and fuel carried.

Book review: Boatowner's Illustrated Handbook of Wiring

One of the more popular books we have sold was Your Boat's Electrical System, which is unfortunately out of print. In answer to builder inquiries we have added another book on this subject to our site. Boatowner's Illustrated Handbook of Wiring by Charlie Wing is a user friendly, roll-up-your-sleeves manual that helps you understand the sometimes confusing world of boat AC and DC electrical systems. See our "Books" pages for more information on this excellent book.

Recent email:

Subject: Project Registry
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 09:21:47 -0800
From: James Acheson

Sissy Do - Jim Acheson, Sacramento I started cutting out parts 3-26-99, and I have completed making the ribs, stem, stem cap, and milling the chine logs and sheers. This project requires a good table saw with a sharp blade. Coating the table saw and blade with paste wax really helps keep the blade from loading up with pitch and makes for clean cuts. All parts have been epoxied and screwed with silicon-bronze fasteners. If I was not interrupted by the weather, this would be a one week project for one man. The plans are adequate, but careful reading of the instructions and plans are necessary to make sure all the bevel cuts are done correctly. I am awaiting warmer weather for final assembly so the epoxy will have a good cure under the skin. Hopefully that will be next week. I hope so, because the stripers are running like crazy in the Sacramento River!

Subject: guestbook entry
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 13:06:57 -0800 (PST)
username = E. Russell

Dear Glen-L,
comments = I love the web page. I have been designing, restoring and building wood boats for many years now. Your company name always comes up at the boat shows. I just wanted to let you guys know that. I send all of my customers to you when they want to build a wood boat, and they won't pay me to do it.

Subject: guestbook entry
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 15:05:55 -0800 (PST)

Dear Glen-L,
comments = I am Very excited about this web site. I have wanted a hobby for quite a while and by happenstance I surfed the web to you folks. I am interested in the 17' Glen L. My brother has done a lot of sailing and I wanted to have some fun. I will be buying the plans and patterns in two weeks as well as your books on plywood boat building and fiberglassing. I love to look at the beautiful boats that others have built. You have a great web page with lots of info and I have read everything in it .....Twice. Look forward to getting my plans to study. Can't wait. I feel like a 37 year old kid. OH, by the way this boat is a retirement gift from my wife.
I am retiring from the USAF,....I guess I should have joined the Navy.

Sincerely, Chris smith

Subject: Key West
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 16:11:36 -0400
From: Carl Kok

Almost have SALLY II completed, Can't say enough good about the plans. The boat is all painted with Epifanes Paint systems and looks really good. The Mahogany deck is done and all caulked, That was a real experience! Eight coats of Epifanes varnish have really done a nice job of build-up and all that's left to do is buff the finish. As soon as it's done I'll be sure to send pictures. Thanks so much, I'm sure our family will have a ball.

Subject: Sailboats
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999

Last summer I started looking for plans to build either a fishing or sail boat. I've decided to go for the sail boat. Your "Book of Plans" was the first of several I purchased and I might add, the best. You are the only plan supplier that listed prices for and provides all the hardware (sail, spar, rigging, etc) for making your sailboats. (Your web site is also the only one to show finished boats made by your customers) I will be sending for a couple of study plans in the near future.
Thank you,
Grant Barlow.

Build more boats
Glen-L boats, of course

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