Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedback         WebLetter 79 logo

A place to share YOUR boat building story

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

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In this issue

GLEN-L Update
  • Website:
    • The WebLetter is out a little later than planned, due to lack of content. Fortunately, we have a flurry of last-minute input. Great information and photos about the Console Skiff, Double Eagle and Bonanza (email). The Bonanza has always been one of the designer's favorites, but has not been as popular as the other "classic" designs. I expect this will change when readers get a look at Mr. Roest's Bonanza photos.
    • For those who have asked for an Allyn Perry update... Allyn is still at Glen-L, just waiting for his house to sell. In the meantime, Allyn has been making Frame Kits for stock. He is currently building Console Skiff Frame Kits. When these are done, he will be closing down the shop. Any Frame Kits that are not in the online store are no longer available. Various people have expressed dismay at the prospect of not being able to get a Frame Kit, however, Frame Kits have not been used by the majority of builders. In the long run, we expect the loss of Frame Kits to have little effect on plan sales.
    • Thanks to Gary Solmi, Gordon Groenevelt, Pierre C. Gadbois, ArtDeco, Roland Roest and the others who shared the boatbuilding stories with the Glen-L community.


Glen-L Teleseminar Follow-up

by Gayle Brantuk

We did it! On June 14, 2006, Allyn Perry & I held the first ever Glen-L Teleseminar. The subject of the phone seminar was about building your own frame kits. As you know, Allyn will be moving to Colorado soon (when his house sells) and we will be discontinuing our frame kit line. So, we had Allyn give instructions by phone for those who ordered the Teleseminar on how to build a frame kit. We were pleased with the results, though I did have somewhat of a challenge getting the MP3 link to the attendees afterward. I learned how to do it correctly and we have the recording available for purchase online in CD format or MP3:
Glen-L Teleseminar.

Here is some of the feedback that we received:

"Hi Gayle, enjoyed the tele-conference yesterday. It was rewarding to hear Allyn's comments as I can see his craftsmanship every day in the frame kit for my Zip. I wanted to participate as much for making some kind of connection to the other folks that are a part of my project as for what I might learn." -Joel Tanner

"As for the telecall the other day, I thought it was very good. Thought; keep the telecall to a discussion topic. Let's not get off that subject. I do know that we all have questions about what and where we are with our boats. This call could become too general of a topic with each call. Another thought, have an "Open Forum" for general questions and then have another call for more specific items/questions. A 30 minute telecall is all that is needed. As for the money... I'll pay the 27 bucks again for a call." -Burl Hanchett

Thanks to each of you who participated in the call and for your feedback-we are ever learning and improving! As to whether we will do this again in the future, that has not been determined. We are open to comments and suggestions.

People who work with their hands are laborers.
People who work with their hands and their heads are craftsman.   
People who work with their hands, their heads, and their hearts are artists.      
- St. Francis of Assisi

From the archives (click on photo)...

Looking in archives... People often assume that because we don't have picture of a boat, that it hasn't been built. The following cover story from "Pulitzer Community Newspapers, July 17, 1988, is about Ron D'Amore and his Reliant. At the time of his last phone call to us, the boat was essentially finished and he promised to send a photo. We never heard from him again. We can only assume that he and his wife are sailing somewhere in an ocean far away. ...brw

Building a Dream
Modern-day Noah constructs a boat to sail around the world

By BILL TORPY Staff Reporter

The hulking, overturned ark-shaped boat sits behind a small house on 75th Street in Bridgeview, a drawing card of the curious for the past three years.


Calendar of events

If anyone knows of other upcoming wooden boat events, let me know and I will post them in the next WebLetter. This calendar is in response to a reader request.

6 - 8 July Antique & Wooden Boat Show Moosehead Lake, Maine
12 - 16 July The Wooden Canoe Heritage Association - Annual Assembly Keuka College, Keuka Park, New York
5 August The Eggemoggin Reach Regatta Brooklin, Maine
4 - 6 August Risør Wooden Boat Festival Risør, Norway
18 & 19 August Port of Toledo Wooden Boat Show Toledo, Oregon
25 - 27 August Annual WoodenBoat Show Newport, Rhode Island

Grand Haven Tribune

Grand Haven, MI
Recent Headlines -

SL man's wooden creation to hit water today

By Marie Havenga

SPRING LAKE - Gordon Groenevelt plans to cruise across Spring Lake in his home-built wooden boat for the first time today.

Tribune photo/Andy Loree
Gordon Groenevelt poses with the 23-foot power boat he built next to his Spring Lake home. The craft was built from plans from Glen-L boat designs, Bellflower, Calif. of bronze-fastened plywood with African mahogany trim, and powered by a 4-cylinder turbocharged Cummins Diesel engine. Groenevelt plans to name the boat "Russell G" in honor of his dad, with whom he built an 18-foot Oregon surf dory in 1968 when they needed a fishing boat. The boat's interior is still being finished.

Today is the planned sea-trial day for the Spring Lake man's 23-foot lobster boat, which will be featured in Saturday's third annual Spring Lake Heritage Festival Wooden Boat Show.

"It's going to be a full-blown test," said Groenevelt, who anticipates being on the water most of the day. "We ran the engine (on land) and it started right up. Everything seems to be in good shape."

Groenevelt, 65, spent almost four years constructing the craft, which he built from detailed plans furnished by Glen-L, a California-based boat design firm. The mahogany vessel has an eight-foot beam and four-cylinder 130-horsepower Cummins inboard motor.

Groenevelt admitted feeling a bit nervous Wednesday night as he anticipated today's launch from Petty's Bayou boat ramp off Fruitport Road.

"I'm starting to feel under the gun (with the boat show deadline)," said the retired Grand Haven Board of Light & Power production superintendent. "I've been working on it early in the morning until late at night. I'm real excited, but I'm a little tired, too. But you bet I'm looking forward to it. It's been a long haul."

Clarissa, Groenevelt's wife of 46 years, photo-documented the boat-building from start to finish. Groenevelt's brother, Dick; son, Tim; and a friend, Stan Johnson, were by his side to help piece mahogany panels together, mold scarf joints and keep the hull integrity smooth.

The captain is confident if today's sea trial parallels his home life and family support system, the boat will float.

"Clarissa has been so understanding and supportive," said Groenevelt, showing a thick photo album that documents the nearly four-year project. "She's kept a pretty good record. Almost our entire married life we've been involved in boating."

The couple founded and were part-owners of River's Edge Yacht Club off Mercury Drive in Grand Haven Township, and piloted a 32-foot Bayliner on all of the Great Lakes. The Groenevelts sold their River's Edge shares and Bayliner in 1997.

But the boating bug bit again.

"There was an empty spot in my heart after my retirement," said the father of two and grandfather of seven of his decision to build the wooden Russell G, named after his father. "I needed a project, I needed a challenge."

He also apparently needed to live out a legacy, born of blood.

"My father was a World War II Navy veteran," Groenevelt said, recalling nautical projects from as far back as when he was five years old. "Dad always had a great interest in boats. I think that's where I picked it up. My father was a carpenter. I suppose it's my father's influence that brought me here. Dad always had outboards and boats."

The Russell G will be on display at Saturday's show, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Marina Bay Condominium complex, just east of the Holiday Inn on the south side of Savidge Street. Visitors can park at the Holiday Inn parking lot or in a roped-off grass area at Marina Bay. Admission is free.


I believe anyone who goes through the entire process of building a boat ends up with far more than just a watercraft. The skills gained, the sense of accomplishment and the opportunity for artistic expression, all give the boat builder sensations he won't soon forget. For some of us, those feelings are ones we desire to experience over and over again. That is why I say I am....

Addicted To Boat Building

My life has been spent close to water
I built many types of boats
Some were big and some were small
I love anything that floats

Every boat I built was a perfect choice
At the time, it fit my needs
Yet, after awhile, I sought another
Is that boat building greed?

Today, a boat awaits in my garage
A second lurks in a shed
Three plans lay there upon my desk
Yet another is in my head

Which plan will be my next fixation
Which one will truly delight
Which one will fill my mind with visions
That put other dreams to flight

Building boats brings a gleeful thrill
There can hardly be a measure
It begins by challenging a builder’s skill
And ends with boating pleasure

Alas, I am addicted to this nautical activity
It’s an obsession with which I grapple
Like Newton’s quest for the laws of gravity
Or Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel

So keep on building boats, that’s my advice
To those with a similar affliction
There is only one good way to feed the need
Of a true boat building addiction


Photos sent in since the last WebLetter...

Crackerbox Monte Carlo Amp Eater Delta Q Malahini Eight Ball Zip
Acapulco camper

Console Skiff, construction comments

by Gary Solmi

The Glen-L Series 1000 trailer was welded with an old 225 amp Lincoln stick welder that I was given about 30 years ago. I had only tried it once on stainless steel about 10 years ago and had no idea what I was doing and the end result showed it. The piece I welded ended up in the trash. Needless to say, I was very reluctant to try it again. I had previous experience with gas welding and was very good at it. I built two bi-planes with gas welded frames made with 4130 tubing. I now have no gas equipment. Since I had this 225 amp relic sitting there defying me to use it I decided to give it one more try.

This time I did my homework and bought a video on stick welding, a good helmet, shirt and gloves. After buying several types of welding rod, I actually began to put some decent welds together. I checked my welds and when I was sure the penetration was correct, I started welding the trailer. I would not recommend this type of welder to the novice. Use a wire feed mig or tig welder.

Tools that were used to construct this boat and trailer.

  • Table saw
  • Band saw
  • Cutoff saw
  • Drill press
  • Planner
  • Router
  • Sander/polisher
  • Air compressor
  • Pin Nailer
  • Engine Lift
  • Lincoln 225amp welder
  • Electric hand planner
  • Steel cutoff blades for the saw and cutoff saw
  • Various hand tools

Some of the changes that I made.

  • I made the console 5" wider and a little higher to protect the occupants.
  • I used 3/8" plywood for the console and seats instead of 1/4".
  • I made the center console and seat bases removable by using 1/4" s/s machine bolts and screw-in nuts seated in epoxy.
  • I made removable lids for the anchor locker and the two floor compartments. (They are not hinged, my own design)

I really enjoyed building this boat and trailer. The plans were straight-forward and easy to understand. The personnel at Glen-L are top notch. This is my 2nd Glen-L boat.

If you want to build a boat, Go For It. Just be safety minded and do not work when you are tired. It took me 2 years to build this project.

Customer Photos

Recent email:

Subject: Charlie Bresette's Sea Knight
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006

Hello, I am Charlie Bresette's younger daughter Lisa. My father passed away unexpectedly two weeks ago, and much to my dismay we will have to sell his beautiful Sea Knight. We really wanted to keep it in the family, but if that's not possible, we would like to give you wonderful people on the Glen-L site a chance to enjoy his boat. That's where I need your help. Is it possible to post it on your site for sale? He has many photos and notes on the Boatbuilder's Forum which I believe would help to show how outstanding his creation is. My dad was pretty much an "eccentric genious", as someone at his funeral service said, and I know first hand that is true. He could look at almost anything and figure out a way to not only fix or make it, but to make it even better than it originally started out to be. That's the talent, heart and soul he put into his Sea Knight. He made it wider and deeper, along with many other customizations, but the one thing that stands out in my mind is his brilliant idea to have the floorboards covered with the same coating they use in truck beds. It is waterproof, non skid, and virtually indestructable--just like his pickup truck bed!

We do have a good idea of how much he cost he had in the boat, but can you suggest an asking price? He also has installed a top-of-the-line GPS system, the trailer you see in the photos, a 115 HP Mercury motor with hydraulic lift plate, dual fuel tanks under the seats, a dry sink, and a head that includes a camping-type porta-potty. It is fully equipped and Coast Guard compliant for taking it out on Lake Michigan. I would appreciate your help with this as soon as possible. The boating season is short here in Wisconsin, and unfortunately my mother is in need of the funds from his beautiful boat. I have read all the wonderful stories and comments about my father on the Boatbuilder's Forum under Miscellaneous (thank you Dale), and it truly warmed my heart. I will treasure them all, and will give copies to the rest of my family as well. It is comforting to know my dad touched so many people. He was a very special man and we miss him dearly. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Lisa McGraw

We were all sorry to hear about the death of your father. I suggest you put an entry in the "For Sale" section of the Boatbuilder Forum. ...brw

Subject: Charlie Bresette passed away
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2006

In case you have not heard our good friend Charlie passed away very early on the 4th. Charlie and I were very close friends, and will be missed by so many.
Thank You,
Dale L. Smith

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Thursday, June 22, 2006

firstname: larry
lastname: hinton

Comments: I have always been a fan of the Crackerbox. I recently went to check out a reported Crackerbox and found it to actually be a 12' Tiny Might with the Ford V8-60 engine installed. She's now sitting in my garage. I would like to hear from any other Tiny Might owners. Any help would be appreciated. I can email pics of my little boat if requested. (see Project Registry for contact info.)

Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2006

carl koski wrote:
Hi Gayle, I am building the Glen-L 12. It has been a lot of fun even in the middle of winter. The plans are very accurate. Enclosed is a photo to show my progress. Thanks for your interest. Carl

Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006
Subject: Re: You can build a boat!

Hello Gayle, I just wanted to let you know I did build a Glen-L boat about 17 years ago and I still think of it as one the best things I ever did. I live near the south Texas coast where tunnel hull scooter boats got started in the fifties with Dargel Marine in Donna, TX. I built the 16ft tunnel hull scooter from your plans which is very similar to Dargel's early boats. I used marine plywood and mahogany, encapsulated it, put on a 90 hp, and used it for years on the skinny water of the lower Laguna Madre. I sold it years ago and I guess somebody is still using it today. I saw it over on South Padre Island not long ago. I have a big modern tunnel hull boat now but many times wish I still had my scooter. I have a good picture if it sitting in about 8 inches on the back waters of South Bay near Port Isabel. Will try to find it and send it to you.
Payton Stack

Subject: River Rat, Bill Zubko
Date: Mon, 26 Jun

This is my 2nd season for my River Rat, and what a cool little boat. My wife and I fish or clam and are on the boat for 4 or 5 hours on Indian River Bay in Delaware, and I am amazed how economical this boat is to run. I've used all the local park ramps; even at low tide it's not a problem. If you're thinking about building this boat... don't hesitate... Bill Zubko.

Sent: Friday, June 16, 2006
Subject: RE: Glen-L Order Dear Darla or Gayle,
I received the FG plans for the Yukon and I am in the preparation to start building the boat. However, for safety considerations, I am planning to install 2 engines. Is there any modification to the Skeg or the Hull? Please send me a schematic outlining the modifications, if any, and the positions of the shafts and the distance between.
Thanking you in advance, I remain Ernest Yammine

ANS: We do not advise twin engines and have no details available for such an installation. One solution to satisfy your desire for a backup is to use one shaft and have the generator in such a position that you can use it to turn the prop should the motor go south.

On Tue, 20 Jun 2006, maurice yammine wrote:

Dear Barry,
Thank you for answering my request. Is there a device to link between the generator and the shaft? Could you explain how it works and/or suggest the company who makes such device?
Could you refer me to some literature about it?
Thanking you in advance, I remain
Ernest Yammine

ANS: The generator will have a short shaft (jack shaft) with a pulley on it. The generator will be aligned so that the pulley aligns with a pulley on the prop shaft or on the coupler. There is more than one way to do this; the one Glen showed me is to add a third idler pulley that can be adjusted to put tension on the belt. When not in use, the tension on the idler pulley is released and the belt is upset from the shaft pulley and will ride on the shaft. When driving from the generator, the belt is put on the prop shaft pulley and the idler pulley tightened. The catch: Some transmissions do not recommend running in neutral, so the coupler would have to be un-bolted and you would need a flange bearing to support the shaft.

On Mon, 26 Jun 2006 13:07:11 -0400, Hocken, Lary wrote:


I purchased the Dyno jet kit (this is my first kit), and I want to make sure I understand what you are saying regarding the dimensional lumber...

When the size says 1" x 3" x 5'6", do I buy 1 x 4 lumber and cut the width so that it is 3" wide actual width? Then I would have a board that is 3/4" x 3" in actual dimensions?

ANS: Yes. Actually, we would normally buy wider boards and rip to width (less waste). When we order lumber for the shop, it is '8" or better'. This means widths from 8" to 12", wider and we would have to pay a premium from our supplier.

Also, if I plan to fiberglass the boat, is mahogany necessary, or is the Sitka spruce sufficient?

ANS: Sitka spruce has an advantage over mahogany... weight. Sitka spruce is commonly used in amateur aircraft construction (Spruce Goose). However, it is not easy to find in all parts of the country and may be more expensive than mahogany. If you were building a small race boat or a boat you had to carry up the side of a mountain, it would be worth seeking out Sitka spruce. Either wood is fine for the DynoJet.

Thanks for your help!
Lary Hocken

Subject: Eight Ball fun
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006

Dear Sir,
Just a quick note to let you know I am enjoying the eight ball I built this past winter. It was a great way to pass the time and a very rewarding project. My wife, our dog and myself use the boat to get to our sail boat which is on a mooring. The boat rows easily and also goes nicely with a 3 h.p. outboard motor. I modified the boat by adding corner braces and removable floors to keep your feet dry.
Thanks again,
Bill Dieffenbach
Long Island, NY

Subject: ZIP project..
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006

Hello Glen-L people,

I have just purchased and received my second set of plans from you guys, and it occurred to me that I had never sent a picture of the first Glen-L boat that I built last year. Well, here it is. Five hundred hours of work over a six month period. And the boat handles perfectly.

Keep up the good work..!

Pierre C. Gadbois
Westbank, BC, Canada

firstname: Jungwook
lastname: Kim

Comments: Building up a boat myself is one of my dreams !!

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Monday, May 29, 2006

firstname: Wayne
lastname: Brekke

Comments: I started a 23' Raven back in 1998 when I was a shop teacher with a local high school. My goal is to get back to it this year as all I have is a fiberglassed hull on a trailer in storage at this time. Put me on your news letter please, thank you.

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Tuesday, May 23, 2006

firstname: Royal
lastname: Sand

Comments: I used to receive your catalogs for wooden boat kits 40 years ago, but couldn't afford to build one on a teacher's pay. Now I am retired and have the time and money to build a boat.

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Tuesday, May 23, 2006

firstname: murray
lastname: langley

Comments: Built a Thunderbolt in New Zealand about 1965 for water skiing, and was invited to exhibit in the Auckland Boat Show.

The following was in response to email that was forwarded to Mr. Roest. Another builder asked to see additional photos of Mr. Roest's Bonanza. The following and attached photos were the reply. ...brw

Subject: Re: Glen-L Boat Plans, Kits & Supplies Feedback
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2006

Hello Barry,

I started building the Bonanza in 1997, in the carport of my wife's dad. I only spent time building when the weather was fine and if there was enough time to get something done. At the moment the boat is standing in the garage.

I changed the outside of the transom as you can see in the pictures, the bottom has a skeg and is fibreglassed. I made the decking of two layers: first layer ocumé and the second layer solid mahogany with white French oak in-between. The holes in the decking are for the pop-up cleats and lights. I have to do some fairing: bumper rail, transom and sheer. When this is finished, the inside will be painted with epoxy and protecting paint. The outside will be varnished and sprayed, after this the motor can be built in. I think it will take some years before it is completely finished.

Roland Roest

Construction Pictorial

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Friday, May 19, 2006

firstname: Ray
lastname: Cooper

Comments: My Brother and I built the Missile in 1960. We enjoyed the speed and performance of it. Forty years passed and I saw an article in a magazine about the Glen L Missile and I built an r/c 1/6 scale Missile that performs like the real thing. I'm 74 years old now and I build r/c sailboats. I like to build models from plans of real boats.
The Missile out performs anything else in r/c models that I have seen. The name "Glen L" is famous in my books so I just searched for "Glen L"

Another Old Guy Building Boats...

May 4, 2006

Hi Glen-L Marine,
Just a note to say thanks for the service over the years. To date I have built the Vera Cruise, Wanderlust, and two Lucky Pierre, St Pierre-type dories.

I commercial fished in Coos Bay, Oregon with Lucky Pierre #1. I named her "Allecat" and she was a wonderful hunter. Both Lucky Pierres were extended to 30 ft. Lucky Pierre #2 fished out of Moss Landing, California, 9-13-88.

I built the 8 Ball in 2001. I have the plans for the Drifter now - starting the 14 ft. What is the bottom width of the rowing Dory?

Johnny Orr

P.S. My birthday is 3-25-27
Last March 25 - 79 yrs young
Love to build boats

From WebLetter 78, re. our customer survey...

The majority of you (so far) are between the ages of 41-50-as I suspected, the baby boomers! Another interesting fact - we have a LOT of Canadian clients! Obviously, most are from the US, but of all of the other countries, Canada has the most with Australia coming in a close second... kewl.

The majority of our clients are retired - that makes sense! The most popular occupation is Engineer. The most popular hobby? Woodworking (shock), with boatbuilding a close second! Surprise, surprise. Fishing was a close third!

Subject: Questionaire results?
Date: Sat, 27 May 2006

Reading the latest newsletter, and Gayle's piece on the results of the recent questionaire, I have a question.
First she says that the majority of Glen-L customers are aged 41-50, but then goes on to say that the majority are also retired, just who are all these guys that are able to retire at such a young age and how do they do it?
I need their names and email addresses so I can write and find out their secret, I just turned 45 myself and have a pretty well paid job, but I still expect to work at least another 20 years before I can afford to retire!

I also noted that the most common profession is engineer, and I don't know very many rich engineers.

Graham in Shepperton, England
51° 23'33" N    0° 25'19" W


Glad to hear someone reads the WebLetter! You caught me--I have contradicted myself! I guess I should have clarified that the majority "occupation" is retired, but as far as working occupations, that would be Engineer. You can read and re-read and still miss things. Thanks for pointing it out Graham. ...Gayle

Subject: Bonanza
Date: Tue, 23 May 2006

My name is Shane Robinson and I wanted to share some pictures of my boat. This is the 17 ft Bonanza. It was built in 1962-1963 by my grandpa and my dad. It has a 1959 Chevy 283 with powerpack heads, 1965 Corvette intake and carb and Corvette valve covers. I put an ISKY cam and mallory dual point distributor in it. I was clocked going 42 MPH with the stock cam and distributor. Now it will outrun a new Ski Sanger with a 350.

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