Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedback

WebLetter 4

An Occasional Publication for the Home Boat Builder

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

In this issue

Glen-L Update
  • Web site:
    • Since our last Web Letter there have been a lot of changes to the GLEN-L web site. If you are on our Guest Book list, you should have received notices of major updates, however, minor changes are made every week.
    • Many builders are using the Boatbuilder Connection and report getting useful feedback from other builders. If you are working on a GLEN-L boat and want to communicate with others building the same design, give the Connection a try.
    • There are new builder photos on the Customer Photos page; some with a letter attached. We appreciate the photos that are sent in, but would like to see lots more. Pictures that are fuzzy or have confusing backgrounds, or backgrounds that are the same color as the boat, don't scan well. Keep the backgrounds simple or scenic, and avoid shooting at high noon. If you have any pictures of GLEN-L boats you have built and would like to have them on the site, send them to the attention of the Web Master.
    • The plans are finished for the McDrift, an aluminum Drift boat in 14' and 16' lengths. See the NEW section, and Feature Boat in this Web Letter.
    • More study plans: Glen-L 19, Glen-L 21, Lucky Pierre, Monaco/Riviera, Gung Ho, Eureka and Tango.
    • The 13' AMP EATER test model has been held up because of larger than normal demand for frame kits that has put the AE on the back burner. Hope to have finished photos of this new electric boat by the end of June.
    • Lots of email... LOTS of email. Mondays... 1 1/2 to 2 hours to answer. We've been leaving out the "Dear Sirs", and giving bare bones answers in an effort to keep up.
    • More on the FIFE (discussed in Web Letter 2): We've been taking the Fife out in the evenings after work 'til dark, using a Minkota 35T (27 lbs. thrust) electric trolling motor. With one 12 volt battery and two adults, we've had her out for 60 to 75 minutes, with the motor still going strong when we came in. This summer we'll take her out and run until the battery dies and report on time run in an upcoming Web Letter.
  • Web Letter... we would really like to have your input, especially your experiences building your own GLEN-L. And what happened to the nice lady who was going to write about her husband's project from the wife's point of view? The article on designing a boat is in response to an email request... what would you like to read about?

Barry Witt      

Feedback: Cabin Skiff

The following email was received 15 Feb 1998:

user name = Scott Amos
citystate = Paget
comments = Great to see Glen L on the net!
I bought plans and built a slightly modified version of the stitch and glue Cabin Skiff. She was launched in Nov 93, christened 'Wasted Seaman' and is kept in Hungrey Bay and South Shore in Bermuda. I've used her for deepsea fishing for Wahoo and Tuna as well as for inshore fishing and lobster diving.

We haven't received any pictures from Scott yet, but we have received some from another Bermuda builder. Cabin Skiff Cabin Skiff as built by Al Seymour, Jr., Bermuda

I added about 2 feet of length to her and just continued the lines back to the new transom position to give myself a bit more cockpit space for fishing. I have been very happy with her performance as powered by a Yamaha Pro 50. Very economical and makes a top speed of about 30 mph.

I'll try to get a picture to send.

The plans and instructions were very easy to follow and made building my first boat a lot easier than I expected. Also I have to say that during construction your staff was very helpful in answering any questions I had.

Thanks for everything.

The following was posted on the Boatbuilder Connection:

Posted by Mike Thompson on March 18, 1998 at 10:08:20:

I was the first to build a Cabin Skiff into a center console boat, in 1990. I beefed up the frames and transom and built a front deck with a 40 gallon livewell under the deck. All wiring, hoses, and steering cables were routed under the deck. I used a 50 hp Johnson and upon moving to So. Cal. the boat had approx. 1200 hours on it. This was all offshore. The only thing I recommend is to use 1 1/2 inch aluminum angle to reinforce the joint between the hull and topsides. This practically eliminated the spray from the bow wave being blown back into the boat. .... I've used this boat HARD and I'm very pleased with the help offered by the Glen-L staff.      MIKEY


We've had several customers ask about a source for molded plexiglass windshields...

L & L Marine in Anaheim, CA was recommended by one of our builders. They list stock patterns for a large number of production boats and will evidently make custom windshields to suit your needs.
L & L Marine
422 No. Smith Ave
Corona, CA
800-969-7278 (out of business as of 2008)

If you do business with them, we would appreciate your feedback.

What do I need to build a boat?

Glen-L Tuffy

We are frequently asked "what do I need to buy to build the 'boatname'?" Our answer is that material prices vary around the country, and apart from the kits we offer, we can send a bill of materials for the hull to price materials locally. To give an example of what's required we have given some of the costs relating to the "Tuffy", a 13' runabout. As of June 1998 the following prices would apply:

From GLEN-L:

  • Plans and patterns: $60.00
  • Frame Kit (which includes plans): $361.04
  • Fastening Kit (which includes all screws and nails listed in BOM):
    Bronze Kit: $127.78
  • Glue (POXY-GRIP, gallon): $74.75
  • Fiberglass Covering with POXY-SHIELD epoxy resin: $286.50
  • Steering (from GLEN-L supplies brochure, Item 06-290B): $397.28

From your local msources: lumber, plywood, outboard motor.
Click Bill of materials for a list of materials.

Note: In Long Beach, CA the price per sheet, 1/4"x4'x8' marine plywood=$39.95, exterior AB=$18.90. The price of Philippine mahogany=$4.40/bd. ft.

Now the real expense: the MOTOR. An outboard motor can easily cost as much as the boat, so consider a used motor if you're on a budget.

Another member of the Old Boat Club

Photo of MISSILE 1

This letter is dated May 95, but what it has to say is timeless.

Dear Executive,

We have had our boat "the Missile" since the late 50's. My dad bought a set of plans and frame kit from you - built it and put a flathead out of his '32 Roadster in it. In '64 he updated it with a 327 Chev, and in the 80's we put on a Weiand Tunnel Ram. We have even transported it down to Florida in the 90's, where we are living now.

Missile 2

Well, I just wanted to let you know that after 35 years we still enjoy our boat and to keep up the good work out there in California.

P.S. Engine: 327 cubic inch, 400+ horsepower, 70 mph.

Ted Palmer
Clearwater, FL

Just as we were finishing WebLetter 4, the following came in by mail:

Missile 16' ski boat

May 29, 1998


Enclosed are some photos taken last fall of a 16' Glen-L "Missile" I built as a naval officer in San Diego in 1964. The boat is trailered and garaged and is powered by a modified 1961, 401 cu. in. Buick with Nicson conversion equipment and Halibrand V-drive, with forward neutral, & reverse.

Missile 4

The boat gets as many compliments today as it did in 1964 due to it's great design. My children, ages 34, 29, & 27 all grew up with that boat and still consider it a "family member". For many years it was the fastest boat on Lake Hopatong, NJ. Thanks for a great product and years of great memories.

Nick Roccaforte

Missile 5 Note: The Missile is in the Inboard section of out Boat Design Catalog.

Boat Speak, Part 2 of 4

Terms we use to describe our designs.

The four parts of "Boat Speak" have been consolidated and transferred to Useful Information & Suppliers/Glossary

Amp Eater electric boat

Featured design: AMP EATER

Well, the test model is finished and we've taken her out... and I've got a new favorite boat. I like the size, plenty of room for 4 people, I like the quiet, and I like the looks. We had a lot of attention from on-lookers with "nice boat" comments shouted from the shore.

Usually I don't even get in the first test launch, since I'm the photographer, but with the Amp Eater I couldn't wait to get in. But, about half way through the first roll... the motor died. I got to walk back to the launch site and Allyn got to paddle her in. Well I guess that's what test runs are for. The problem turned out to be a defective solenoid.

I had planned to desribe the trip through the Naples canals in Long Beach... well, maybe next time. We've ordered a new solenoid, and plan to take the Amp Eater out again next week. Click HERE for more photos.

See the NEW section for futher information on Amp Eater, and the DESIGNS/Special Purpose for Lo Voltage.

WebLetter 33

POXY-SHIELD: Filleting


Once you've done filleting, you will find any number of applications for the technique, but the procedure is used most extensively in Stitch-N-Glue construction. A fillet is a radiused bead of resin putty at the inside corner of wood junctions. Fillets are commonly applied where plywood parts join, such as planking junctions, where bulkheads mate to the hull, where cockpit soles mate to bulkheads, and also for aethetic reasons. Parts can be bonded with fillets on one or both sides. Structural fillets are almost always reinforced with fiberglass.

Sheathing material will tend to pull away from 90o corners as the cloth is worked, causing air entrapment. Should the fiberglass surface be broken, water could travel along this void and create a potential for dry rot. A fillet also increases the bonding area at the joint and strengthens it. The fillet material is a mixture of activated "POXY-SHIELD" and one or more of our filler materials, such as Microspheres, and/or Silica. Fiber Filler tends to be harder to work but can be used. We use a combination of Silica for its thixotophic (non-sagging) characteristics, and Microspheres for its ease of sanding.


How big are fillets? This will depend on the angle of the junction. On a typical Stitch-N-Glue boat, the planking chine junction may vary from close to 90o to almost a straight line. In this instance the 90o fillet will usually be thicker; and the flatter angle, a larger radius, but thinner. Since structural fillets depend on the combination of the fillet and the cloth, the fillet contour should be large enough to eliminate voids in the corner, but narrow enough to allow the cloth to lap onto the wood and not just the fillet. With a lightweight fiberglass cloth, a 3/4" radius fillet would be enough for the typical 6 oz. to 7 1/2 oz. weight to conform to. If the fillet is not primarily used for structural purposes, the radius is strictly what is required to work.

What consistancy should the fillet mixture be? Basically, thick enough to do the job, but a consistency that will hang on your mixing stick is probably about right. The exact proportions of fillers used can vary with temperature (warmer temperature = "runnier" mixture), type of filler materials added and application. We have found that a ratio of 2 to 2 1/2 parts of filler mixture to 1 part of resin/hardener mix is about right. If you use cellulose or cotton fibers, start with a smaller proportion of filler (1 to 1 1/2 filler to 1 part resin/hardener) and add additional filler until desired consistency obtained. Do not add so much filler that the mixture becomes "dry"; this will make the fillet weak. When mixing, resin and hardener should be mixed first, then the fillers added. When you find the combination of fillers that best suit your needs we suggest that the filler combination be pre-mixed so it can be more easily measured and added to the epoxy.

Start filleting in small increments until you get a feel for the process. Some practice is necessary to make nice, smooth fillets, and much depends on the "right" consistency of the mix. All surfaces of joining pieces must be coated first with activated "POXY-SHIELD" or the resin in the fillet mix will be drawn into the wood. If pre-coating was done and allowed to cure, make sure the surfaces are lightly sanded before applying the fillet.

To apply fillets you will need various radii applicators that you can make yourself. Any round object can be used to form fillets, including tongue depressors, plastic lids, spoons, etc., but cutting your own from wood or flexible squeegees allows you to adapt the tool to the work rather than vice versa. Applications such as Stitch-N-Glue construction will require several different radii depending on the joining angles. Test tools prior to error-file:TidyOut.logfilleting by sliding them along joints to see that they give the radius you need at various junctions. To apply fillets, "glop" the filleting mixture in place then use your filleting tool to gradually spread the material and to pick up excess or add additional material.

Save yourself a lot of sanding by doing a good clean-up after applying fillets. Use a putty knife or comparable tool to remove ridges and other spots of excess fillet mixture. Once cured, the fillet can be sanded smooth. Un-reinforced fillets should be covered with at least one coat of "POXY-SHIELD".

The First Annual Great Lakes Small Craft Symposium

Organized by the Tri-City Amateur Boatbuilders of Saginaw, Michigan, this event will take place in Haithco Recreation Park in Saginaw, on Saturday, August 22, 1998. For more information, contact: Tri-City Amateur Boatbuilders, 2510 Sierra Dr., Saginaw, MI 48609. Email:

See our new Fasteners page for the best price on silicon bronze boat nails.

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