Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedback

WebLetter 8

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:
    • E-mail... We've been getting a lot. We try our best to keep up but sometimes we don't quite succeed. Hints for e-mail: Ask definite questions. Be sure to get your e-mail return address right; no extra spaces and properly spelled. We get 3 or 4 e-mails a week returned because of bad addresses.
    • There have been many changes to our site, more Customer Photos, Project Registries. Also see MISC page, always adding something here.
  • We are happy to present the first in a new series of articles on performance outboards, featuring the Tunnel King by Matt Green.
  • Because of the demands of the holidays the second of Dick Koepp's articles, "The Virgin Boatbuilder", is not ready and will appear in the next WebLetter.

Barry Witt      

Builder Feedback: Topper


Dear Sir or Madame:

Enclosed are a couple of pictures of the TOPPER which I have just completed. The photos do Topper sailboat not show a hole for the mast, but that hole will be made soon.

Believe it or not I ordered the plans for the boat in March 1988.

Your instructions and plans worked well for me. It was the 1st boat that I have built. I thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

I have changed the sail rig to a lug sail instead of the Bermuda rig. I copied the dimensions of a rig designed for a shellback dinghy.

I did not make even one error during construction (I went slowly, I actually started construction Dec. 1997). All the joints are extremely tight. I used your bronze screws, mahogany plywood and mahogany frames. In my opinion it's a piece of art. It's gorgeous even if I say so myself.

So... I called your company when I ordered my screws and at that time I tried to bum a new catalog of designs. Your representative said that if I send pictures to you that then you would send me a new catalog free of charge. That is what I need. I'm going to build another boat and need to decide on a design. This time I think I want to build a sharpie of about 24' to 28' long.


Thanks again for preparing good products and service.

George Boehmiler

P.S. During the next two cold months I'll be stitching the sail together.

Building the TUNNEL KING, Part 1

Introduction to High-Performance Outboard Boats

by Matthew Green

How many of us home boat builders have dreamed of owning a potent speedboat, but cannot afford (or don't like) fiberglass models ? Glen-L offers plans for an outboard-powered air-entrapment speedboat that will satisfy even the most jaded speed freaks, and you can build it yourself! The TUNNEL KING is 16 feet long with a 7 1/2 foot beam, seats four people, and is suitable for 75-140+ horsepower motors.


On the drawing board: POWERYAK.... a 16' 10" Electric powered kayak

This design is currently on the drawing board and the test model is under construction. We hope to have the plans available by the end of March, but no promises.

Length overall: 16' 10"
Beam: 37"
Hull Draft at 500 lbs.: 3 1/2"
Midship hull depth: 14"
Hull weight (approx.): 100 lbs.
Cockpit size (approx.): 2' x 7' 6"
Average passengers: 1 or 2
Hull type: Hard chine vee bottom hull
developed for Stitch-N-Glue sheet plywood
Power: Electric trolling motor (ETM)
or paddle.

The POWERYAK will be powered by an electric trolling motor (ETM) integrated into the hull. The control head is separated from the motor, and shaft and motor slips up through a special "ETM MOUNT AND BRACKET" located under the aft hatch. The motor is underwater, out of sight. The boat is steered by rotating the motor in the mount, the controls are located forward. The POWERYAK can also be used as a conventional double or single paddle propelled kayak, either as auxillary or primary propulsion. error-file:TidyOut.log Plans and patterns for the ETM MOUNT AND BRACKET will be included in the POWERYAK plans package.

The POWERYAK runs on a battery powered, DC electric trolling motor, which costs a fraction of what a fuel burning outboard does.., and it's quiet. The POWERYAK will be more comfortable than the typical kayak. It will have real seats with adjustable locations; the forward seat allows the passenger to face forward or aft. Shifting the seat position also helps to distribute the weight for proper hull trim whether there are one or two passengers.

The hull has a little more beam and depth than most kayaks to provide better stability. A generous vee bottom and flare forward lets the POWERYAK slither through the chop or into the wind with comfort. Yet this kayak can be easily paddled; then when you want a rest, flick on the power, sit back and relax.

This design is built by the proven GLEN-L Stitch-n-Glue method, with only four sheets of standard size 4' x 8' (1/4" or 4mm) plywood.

We intend to offer a Stitch-N-Glue Kit and a Fiberglass Kit, in addition to the Plans and Patterns. Keep an eye on the NEW pages for availability.

Remember your boatbuilder on their birthday, with a Glen-L Gift Certificate


Invictus and the Pacific

A letter from Neiafu, Vavau,Tonga

Jan 11, 1999
Tonga Islands

Glen L Marine:

This will be a short letter to tell you about one of your "AMIGO" designs and how far she has sailed. If you look in your computer, you will see that I bought the plans in 1989 I think, and started construction in my backyard in North Hollywood, where I no longer live. Invictus, the name I gave the 22 foot AMIGO, has been my home since I launched her in 1994-took about 5 years to build her. I made a few changes-shortened the cabin, increased ballast weight, upped ballast bolts from 1/2" to 3/4" bronze threaded rod, put on a mast as is used on FLICKA from Pacific Seacraft, increased size of standing rigging, changed the deep well to a small well and flush aft deck, and some changes inside-but she is essentially your AMIGO and has done well. Right now I am in Tonga learning how to live on a very small Tonga stampincome from the California Teachers Retirement System-I took an early retirement-quit, left, resigned, pointed Invictus at the distant horizon and said, "let's do it". Well, my dream was to try to sail as far as Honolulu, and I didn't know if I could make it, and how I could sail back across the North Pacific to California, but I shouldn't have worried about Invictus or my determination and love of the sea. This is what Invictus has done since April, 1995:

  • Solo - California to Honolulu
  • Solo - Honolulu to Christmas Island
  • Solo - Christmas Island to Samoa
  • Solo - Samoa to Fiji
  • Fiji to New Zealand
  • New Zealand to Tahiti
  • Solo - Tahiti to Hilo, Hawaii
  • Solo - Hilo to California
  • California to Hilo
  • Hilo to Tonga
Jim DesRoches in Amigo

The most challenging sails were New Zealand to Tahiti (very hard, very large breaking seas, a bad knockdown). And Hilo to California, in November 1997, many gales, you know how the North Pacific is in winter-26' seas, and all that stuff.

Invictus will leave Tonga at the end of March and head for Tahiti, then probably return to Tonga after 6 months. Someday maybe I can write about the voyages and make a few dollars doing it. Too bad I didn't win the California lottery before leaving.

Write soon. I'll be glad to know you received this-mail takes 3 weeks plus to get here. I sent you pictures in 1994 or 1995. Can you send a catalog? If you can, ok. Lots of people I have told about Glen-L Marine, I can show the catalog.

Jim DesRoches
Yacht Invictus
Tonga Islands

Note: Photos sent in 94-95, taken from Glen-L files.

Dreaming of building a live-aboard? See Building the Yukon by Wayne Milner. This is a re-print of an article that appeared in "Boatbuilder" magazine.


For those wishing to build their own inboard boat and do the motor installation themselves.... where do you start? How do you determine the staft angle? What's a vee drive? How do you drill the shaft hole? How do you convert an auto engine to marine use... determine location and angle of strut... propeller size... etc.

Well if it weren't for our book Inboard Motor Installations I don't know where you'd find these answers except from another builder. Even if you've done an inboard installation before this book probably contains a lot of new information. For additional information see our Books page.

For a brief summary of the parts used in a typical runabout installation see our Inboard Hardware Catalog.

POXY-SHIELD: The boatbuilder epoxy

"Get it, because it's really good."- Gayle

Feedback: Kid-Row

29 Jan, 1999

Last winter about this time I started building your KID-ROW. I have to tell you how much fun and rewarding that project was. The stitch and glue process is really geared toward amateur boat building. As you can see from the enclosed error-file:TidyOut.logpictures the whole family was involved from the very beginning. We all thoroughly enjoyed every step of the boat building process and it was very satisfying to see it through to completion in a few weeks.

We have a pond on our property and the children have had great fun with the KID-ROW. It is the perfect size for them and their self-confidence has been boosted by learning to row and handle a small boat.

This winter we are starting on the BULL'S-EYE and by summer I hope to have the children learning to handle power and sail.

Thanks again Glen-L.

The Sprague Family
Kevin, Ann, Sarah, Katie and Allie

Recent e-mail:

Date: Fri, 08 Jan 1999

Dear Glen-L,
username = Tom Laloo
citystate = 9000 Gent, Belgium

comments = A very nice site, prices are extremely reasonable in comparison to other designers on the net. Nice designs, although i would like to know why your prices are so cheap in comparison with lets-say, a Roberts design or A CSD. If I would order a design, what would the plan package include, and what does your plans have different to the other designers? do the others offer more detail in their plans, is the advice for the building process different or does your company have a lower profit margin to make it more attractive?

ANS: Yes, our plans are less expensive than others! When we began business 40+ years ago, the idea was to make boatbuilding accessible to the regular guy by making it affordable and the plans complete and detailed. These are still some of our goals. We probably go into much more detail in our plans than most; we believe that most people building boats do not have an engineering background and we attempt to make the plans understandable for most everyone. Our plans include full size patterns, no lofting required, most other designers don't. We have detailed instructions, numerous books and videos available as reference, plus phone assistance along the way if you have questions. All of our designs are done in-house so we know our designs and can provide the assistance you need and since we don't broker plans, we don't have to hike up the prices to make a profit. Yes, our plans are inexpensive--are we crazy; maybe! However, we have multiple generations of boatbuilders using our plans and kits because we offer value and unmatched customer service--we feel that's well worth it!

Try us out, we're sure you won't be disappointed.
Gayle Brantuk
Customer Service

Subject: Re: Glen-L Order
Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999
From: D. L

Thank you sooo much. That was our first web purchase and we weren't sure what to expect, especially since there were no pictures of the product. We were very pleased with the quality of the book and the speed of the delivery. We'll be checking back with you in the future.

Subject: guestbook entry
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999

Dear Glen-L,
username = Clark Curry
citystate = Dallas, Texas
comments = I just received my plan kit for the Importer camper. I could not be more pleased. I can not tell you how long I have searched for a plan like this. My congratulations to the person or people that designed it. It is well engineered and was way ahead of its time. If I could offer a suggestion it would be to place a link on the Glen-L home page to your campers and travel trailers so that other people might have an easier time finding those plans. Also, thank you for shipping my plans priority mail at no extra charge!
keywords =

Here's a link to our camper and travel trailer plans: Be sure to book mark this page, there is no link from this site.

Subject: SISSY-DO
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999
From: J.B.

Completed and launched on Easter Sunday,1998. Painted forest green w/oak railings, red luan frames and battens, homemade butcher block seats, 15hp Evenrude, inside finished in clear spar poly (so much easier than traditional varnish... you must refinish more often but it takes so much less time in prep and drying I think it's worth it).I now have 5 trips to the Colorado River. I managed to find all my oak from a local furniture manufacturer in the area, who gave me free access to his scrap bin(he said if he gave alot away he wouldn't have to pay to have it dumped as often). You might check around and see if you can locate someone who will give you access to their scrap bin and save you hundreds of dollars. This boat ended up costing $359 (that includes fittings finish etc....). Another problem was insurance... the boat had to be surveyed by a yacht appraiser before any insurance company would write a policy on it. Have fun sanding and good luck.....J.B.

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