Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedback

WebLetter 11

An Occasional Publication for the Home Boat Builder

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

In this issue

Glen-L Update

To receive notice of the next WebLetter, enter your name in our Guest Book. Don't forget to let us know if your email address changes.
  • Web site: We've moved, but hopefully you can't tell. Our address is the same, but we have a new ISP.
    • We have broken up the MISC section and moved much of the content to "Useful information and Sources".
    • Gayle has prepared a series of tables of metric to inch conversions and of other information that may help some of our builders in more civilized countries, where they use the metric system. See the "Useful information..." page.
    • I don't want to put any pressure on, but... we have two STARPATH 44 builders who are giving regular updates on their projects. We don't normally get this kind of updates from builders of the larger designs, hope they keep it up. See "Project Registry" and "Customer Photos".
    • Did you build your Glen-L boat... pre-web site? You can still send an entry for the Project Registry. Something like: Finished 1-96, boat performs..., cost $.... to build, or performs .... with a .. hp motor.
  • What do you like best about Letters from customers? The Project Registry? Customer Photos? Articles by other builders?
    These are the things we get the most comments on... read back over the list, all of this comes from you. Obviously, we are here to sell boat plans and supplies, but we offer this site to give you a chance to ask other builders how "they did it". A place to build a community. I will continue to write articles and add content that I hope you will find useful, but without your input, this site can only have limited value. I get email every day asking "how much will it cost" and "how long will it take"; without your input, we can only offer "guesstimates". Very, very few builders give us answers to these questions. If you are on the Project Registry, you don't have to stop the feedback when you launch. Other builders want to know about the finished project.
  • At the risk of being redundant, I need articles for the next WebLetter. The more input I get, the quicker the next one will be posted. I would like to put out a WebLetter each month, but I have a hard time generating enough material by myself.
    Can't write? How about "Hints", something that if you had known it, would have made the project easier. We will proof read and check spelling.
  • PowerYak: The PowerYak is part of a larger project, involving the Lo Voltage, the Amp Eater, and a video. Allyn has gotten back to work on the PowerYak, I am shooting video, and Glen is at the studio editing for an electric boat video. When will it all be done? Not too soon for Glen who has to juggle hours of video tape in his memory to put it all together. We'd be happy if it were all over in a week, but there is still a PowerYak to finish and a lot video left to shoot.

Barry Witt      

Plywood Boatbuilding for Virgin Builders

Part III
by Dick Koepp

(Part I appeared in WebLetter 7; Part II, in WebLetter 9)

"If you want to learn a lot about yourself, build a boat! If you want to learn a lot about your spouse, build a boat! If you want to learn a lot about your friends, build a boat!"

- Anonymous

Greetings fellow boat building fanatics!!

In the last installment of the Virgin Boat-builder I discussed the framing, and some tips regarding materials and tools. Now I will assume you are still interested in completing your project. For some strange reasons, I have seen a whole bunch of would be boats reach this stage and never go any further. So what's left to do?


True or False?

  • Marine plywood is more rot resistant than regular exterior plywood.
  • Cheap plywood can be made into marine grade by coating with epoxy.
  • Adding flotation to a boat increases bouyancy.
  • A pontoon boat will have less draft than a flat bottom boat of the same weight and length.
  • I can make my plywood boat stronger by adding fiberglass to the outside.

To find the answers click here.

Seen on AOL "" news group

Subject: Maiden Voyage of Tiny Titan
From: B Mosley Date: 6/6/99 10:19 AM

Launched my Tiny Titan yesterday!
Is it supposed to scare the crap out of a guy??? It goes like a raped ape!! What's going on when it starts rocking port/starboard?


Subject: Maiden Voyage of Tiny Titan
From: B Mosley
Date: 6/6/99 10:27 AM

My neighbor said I looked like Willie Coyote with the evinrude strapped to his butt on a pair of skis!!

Update on Mr. Pearsall's boat builders

Back in Web Letter 7 we posted a story about Mr. Pearsall's third grade class who where building the KidYak. Mr. Pearsall has informed us that their KidYak about ready to launch. The school has taken over maintenance of this page (MISC/Mr. Pearsall's class) and will be posting pictures of the launch when it occurrs. If you haven't visited this page we invite you to check out the drawings, reports and pictures of the next generation of boat builders in the MISC section.

What have you done, where have you gone in your Glen-L boat?

Have you taken you Rob Roy down the Yukon? Sailed across the Atlantic in your Glen-L James Cook? What kind of trips have you made, what have you seen. We would really love to get another story like Mr. Lee Freeman's in WebLetter 1.

A local newspaper posts pictures of readers holding up their newspaper in front of exotic locals. Let's see where you took your boat on vacation. We'll post it here. Have the family stand in front of, or in the boat; tell us where you are, and give us the names of the people in the picture.

Glen-L test models


As part of the developement of new designs, Glen-L frequently makes scale models or full-size test boats. We do this to test new construction methods, or simply to take pictures or videos of a particular design. Currently we have been working on a series of electric boats which will eventually become part of an electric boat video.

When the test models are finished they usually sit around the warehouse until we need the room, then sold through the front office. Last year we sold the Console Skiff, Sea Kayak, and Dinky test models. We currently have the Eight Ball-SG, Bingo, Wild Thing, and Bull's Eye for sale. More will be added as testing is finished and photos and videos are taken. We do not have any way to ship these boats, but if you are in the area and are interested or would just like to see them, stop in Monday through Friday, 9:00 am through 4:30 pm.

For more information see MISC pages.

Book review: 3 books

This past month we received a shipment from one of our publishers which included a book sent in error. Yacht Design Explained looked interesting, so I put it on Glen's desk. The next day he came out of his office holding the book. "This is a pretty good book. It has the best explanation of speed/length ratio that I have seen."

Tince we frequently get inquiries about books on boat design, I added it to the site (#12-445, $49.95). It occurred to me that there might be other books available that answer some of those questions for which I don't have a good answer. So.... the following are also added to our Books pages:

  • The Chinese Sailing Rig, for those who would like to adapt this traditional rig to their sailboat. (#12-451, $15.95)
  • The Wood Canvas Canoe. Many former Boy Scouts remember these boats from their scouting days, when they were frequently built as a troop project. "Where can I get plans?" Now I have an answer. (#12-452, $19.95)

For more information about these books, see our "Boatbuilding Books" pages.

Recent email:

Subject: Re: one of your boats
Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 16:44:29 -0700
Organization: Glen-L designs

shelby deane aaron wrote:
To Mr. Glen L. Witt;       I purchased your 22 ft. hunky dory plans for aluminum in 1991 to build a rugged, simple, dependable boat. I now have a computer to see your site, the world turns does it not. Anyway, I believe I have a humdinger of a testimony about how idiot proof your craft are. I built the craft with the intention of making a sensible fishing craft. I welded it up with a 3/16" complete hull and center console. Along the way, somehow I ended up with a 150 h.p. Mercury v-6 on it. Looking at that motor, I said, well let's see if we can tear up this man's design. I'm here to tell you that your craft is immune to crazy people. I have made by accident, this 22 ft boat fly like a bird, to say it is extremely fast is putting it mildly. We have even driven it accidently upon black parked barges at nite that just appeared, that was not me, but a buddy who did not have the halogen lites on, go figure. I know a sound judgement man like yourself and your fellow professional designers would not do this but, we have not had the first leak in the hull. If you want a picture of what you may not believe, I have some pictures I took in 91 before the initial launch.
P.S. The boat was just sitting idle in the driveway, and one day a tug captian, that hurt his back and become disabled, wanted to know what I was going to do with the boat. I said why and he said he could haul groceries to the areas tugs on the fly and support his family, so I sold it to him 6 yrs ago, with the 150 on it. It is working 7 days a week around the clock, still to this date. By the way it was the tug boat captain, who when trying the boat out upon purchase, with me in it after i said do not turn this boat at wide open throttle, did so. Ha, you ought to see how a 70 mph boat stops in less than 1/2 a boat length after it comes down from being airborne.
Boston whalers i doubt can stand up to this punishment. I just thought you would enjoy my note about one of your vessels. It is all verbatim and true, as I have said. shelby aaron

Subject: A compliment and a couple of questions
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 06:32:45 -0500
From: Kurt Ayres


I'm building the Console Skiff, and folded and stitched my hull on Saturday morning. I had trouble believing that stitch-n-glue would be as easy as you and my fellow Console Skiff builders said that it would be, and as easy as your construction video made it appear, but I'm sure a believer now! It went incredibly well, and incredibly quickly! Thank you for a great design, and great plans and other materials.
Kurt Ayres

Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 21:09:26 EDT
From: email

I built your Duck Boat Too about 20 years ago. It's getting a little worn out from all the years of hard service while duck hunting. I was thinking of ordering some new plans to build a new boat. Thought I would check to see if you had any new duck hunting boat designs out now or coming out in the future. Thanks

Build more boats
Glen-L boats, of course

WebLetter Index
Glen-L Home Page