Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedbackWebLetter 81 logo - John Hardy 59pt

A place to share YOUR boat building story

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

Graphic vertical border In this issue

GLEN-L Update
  • I had a recent inquiry from someone who wanted to post on the Boatbuilder Connection and didn't know how. I explained how it was done, but realized I should have referred him to the FAQ page. If you want to know more about the forum, this is the place to look.
  • Email: Darla has had a problem sending email to AOL subscribers... now, some I have sent have been returned. We have tried to resolve this with AOL, but haven't had much luck. If you have an AOL account and haven't received answers to you email, you might want to get a mailbox account with one of the free email providers as a backup. For those who have signed up for WebLetter notification, or who ask questions, make sure that your SPAM program will accept email from See below for more information.



With the tremendous amounts of spam email sent these days, major ISPs and Email Services such as Yahoo!, MSN Hotmail, AOL and others are protecting themselves by filtering mail in the attempt to thwart spammers' operations.

Unfortunately sometimes legitimate email (such as our notification of WebLetter posting or answers to your questions) may be blocked by mistake by these filters. Such mistakes are called "false-positives".

Normally this should not occur and you will receive our email without any problems. But in case there is a problem (such as our mail is not delivered to a proper mail folder, or worse yet doesn't get delivered at all), you can easily fix this yourself and it will only take a minute!

Here is what to do...
Major ISPs and Email Providers (such as Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo! etc.) enable you to manually allow ("whitelist") emails coming from the senders you trust.

Please take a moment to whitelist our email address to ensure that you can receive all of our email. This is very simple and will only take you a minute:
Please add our email address and to the address book/trusted senders/contact list/safe list of your Email Provider or ISP.

This should guarantee that you will receive all e-mail from us.

Upper Mississippi River
Clinton, IA to Minneapolis, MN

by Ray Macke

July 2006

I was cruising across Lake Pipin and thoroughly enjoying the sight of the steep bluffs and cotton ball clouds. Here the lake is about a mile wide and today a little choppy. For some reason I shift my attention from pleasant view of the distant shoreline and reached over to the GPS. Suddenly, in my peripheral vision, I saw something in the water just a few yards ahead and slightly starboard. It took a second to sink in but it was seagulls – about a dozen – not floating but STANDING! I simultaneously crank the wheel to the port and jerk the throttle. At the same time the depth sounder’s shallow water alarm starts screaming and I see the numbers flipping towards lower unit disaster. With an acute myocardial infraction looming Therapy gently comes to rest in 2’ of water...


Building the Alpha 2

by Robert Sanson

Some of you might have seen this boat on the Internet with the name of the boat (Peggy Babcock) as the builder.

Here are some pics of the GlenL Alpha2 sailboat that I finished in 2001. Build time was 6 months. Total cost was about $3,500.

I also built the wooden trailer from some old 1950's trailer plans (also from Glen-L) It works well and the odd thing is that it floats! which makes it a little wierd at the boat launch.

I also made the sails from a Sailrite kit.

I'm very pleased with all of it. The boat sails very nicely, it also rows nicely. The construction is holding up well after 6 years and I still get comments every time I sail it!

I highly recommend it! Go to and buy the plans!


Cruisette: Builders' Diary, Part 5

Ron & Devy Porter

The cabin

The hull has been turned and now we start on the top-side. The cabin isn't going to be particularly well appointed, but then it's not intended to be anything more than a way to get out of the weather and provide a bit more confidence in some of the heavier seas. There might be the occasional overnighter if Ron goes on a fishing trip with the 'boys' or if we get caught out in a storm or break down.


Feedback: TNT

by Richard Rutledge

The TNT is the 5th Glen L hull that I have built over the last 35 years; I'm 70-years old now and, as you can tell, this one's for my 12 grand kids. Ages 3 to 28.

It took me two months to build, working most every day because I was so consumed. As you can see, we added a small seat, not the most comfortable, but the kids don't have to kneel. It's made with Philippine-mahogany and completely fiberglassed; it is simply gorgeous.

The boat has a 25-horsepower Mercury two-stroke with single control steering. This, by the way, is way hard to find. Two 3-gallon fuel tanks are under the bow for weight. Each tank has its own fuel line, if one runs out... simply hook up the other one. I also added trim tabs on the transom to control bow position at its 34 MPH top speed. It's painted strawberry pearl coat with many coats of clear and black trim. The flames are black with bright yellow air-brushed edges, which are going to get a hand painted black outline. The silver stripe and name are in vinyl. The stripe is iridescent and changes color in the sun. The only thing I didn't do was upholster the seat.

Hope you enjoy the pictures and next winter, God willing, I will build another.


Feedback: Stripper

by John Ayearst

I have finally launched the Stripper that I began a year ago. I used mostly locally-grown Eastern cedar for the canoe (worked hard to find clear 16-foot boards), with mahogany accents and some Western red cedar for the sheers and stems.

I cut the strips myself and routed the strips with bead and cove canoe bits from Lee Valley. Otherwise, I pretty much stuck to your plans with some modifications to the bulkheads (I filled them with foam) and the seats are made with traditional babiche. That's moose hide that is soaked in water overnight before weaving through the seat frames. It dries even tighter and looks great varnished, like the webbing on snowshoes.

To continue the side accent stripping design in the canoe's bottom, I used the "football" method. I built the centre accent section on the forms and then removed it, bringing the strips up past the point where the "football" would be inset. Then I set the completed centre section atop the strips, traced its outline and cut the strips to accept the inset. I'm not sure I'd inset such a large section next time, though. It was a challenge to fit and I ended up using reverse clamps pushing down from the workshop ceiling. I opted for a keel and added brass stem bands.

The worst part of the project? I didn't build it for myself! It was for a friend living across the bay who liked the earlier restoration work I did on his classic cedar strip dinghy.


From the Boatbuilder Connection


Joined: 06 Jun 2006
Posts: 39
Location: New Orleans

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:52 am       Post subject: Out of the woodwork

I have finally started to build! Well, at least the building form, but I have a monument to remind me that I have to keep going.

Over the weekend I noticed a re-occuring incident, and I find it very amusing. For the most part, when telling the neighbors and others that I was going to build a boat, the top 2 reactions were:

1. Just kind of standing there and looking at me like I was totally insane

2. "Why don't you just buy a boat?"

The first one I think is a little more accurate, but that's not the point.

About 2 hours into building the form, the first neighbor comes up and begins to input his 2 cents, then 3, and thirty minutes later I'm about ten dollars richer. All of a sudden everyone in the neighborhood is an expert on boat building, drawing from their vast experience (none) to tell me what I'm doing wrong, what I'm doing right, and what I should do. I need to record these conversations because some are just great. I don't know if its harder to fight the heat and mosquitos, or to hold in the laughter.

There really isn't a point to this, just one of my first boat building experiences.

The complete thread

The Classic Mahogany Runabout

The classic boats of yesteryear
They make my heart beat fast
With fine old names like Hankinson
Gar Wood and of course Chris Craft

These names evoke times long past
Of boating by ladies and gents
Such boats were the envy of many
And the choice of the affluents

A classic mahogany runabout
Is a dream and a half of mine
A boat that puts others to rout
By it’s gleaming wooden shine

The flaring concave sides
Curve smoothly into tumblehome
Which creates those flowing lines
And draws attention when it’s shown

The rumble of a big inboard
With open and tuned exhausts
Puts shivers up and down my spine
Those old feelings I’ve not lost

I long to build one of these craft
To relive those days of old
When grandpa let me drive his boat
It made me feel real bold

So I ponder which design to get
From that fine designer, Glen-L
Of Monaco, Rivera or Monte Carlo
Which of these I cannot tell

One will be on my Christmas list
A choice to bring anyone joy
For a chance to build such a classic craft
Is enough to please me, man or boy


Photos sent in since the last WebLetter...

Cracker Box Malahini Riviera Bandido Zip Squirt Marauder Monaco Bo-Jest Power Skiff 14 Tubby Tug

ON the Net

Gary Baker's Monte Carlo

Feedback: Tango sailboat

by Richard Follette

I have completed construction of the Tango and launched on April 26, 2006. I selected the Tango for several reasons, it was the largest boat that I could build in my garage, it is easy to trailer and it appeared to have the largest cabin for the size of the boat. It is docked at the Village Marina in Watkins Glen, NY, located at the south end of Seneca Lake.

Construction took 400 hours that I did over 2 ½ years. I had originally planned on having it completed a year earlier but I wanted to pay for it as I went and a couple of weddings for my kids slowed me down. Total cost of construction was about $ 6,000 not including a motor, which I already had, and trailer which I also built.

I purchased the full-size frame plans and started construction with the purchase of the steel plate for the centerboard. I then built the centerboard trunk, stem, frames and transom. Once I had all those parts assembled I erected the building form and mounted the frames. After the hull was sheeted, I mounted the building form on wheels and rolled the hull outside, turned the hull over and set it on a cradle with wheels.

Next I built the decks and coated them with epoxy and cloth, lapping 6 inches onto the hull. I then turned the boat over again and coated the hull with epoxy and cloth. The hull was painted, then righted back onto the cradle to build the cockpit and cabin. Once the cockpit and cabin were built I covered them with epoxy and cloth also. In all, the whole exterior of the boat has a minimum of 1/32 of an inch of epoxy and cloth; all the corners have a double layer of cloth and the stem and keel have 3 – 4 layers. I eased all the edges with a ¾ inch radius and filleted all the inside corners with a ¾ inch fillet. This made applying the epoxy and cloth much easier and gives the boat a cleaner line.

I used white oak for the rub rails, grab rails and hatch. They were put on after the exterior was coated with epoxy. The rub rails and hatch frames were set in epoxy, coated with epoxy with a UV protection and finally varnished with a high UV varnish. I also coated the interior below the hard chine with two coats of epoxy. Instead of a bow sprit I made an 18 inch wide bow platform built out of white oak slats and rounded at the front, still attaching the bob stay but I eliminated the whisker stays. In looking for portholes and realizing that ones that open are not cheap, I made my own by building a wooden prototype, then made silicone molds of all the parts and cast the parts out of plastic. (I’ll send a separate e-mail sometime with pictures and a better description of how I made them.)

The cabin I fitted up with only the two berths that go back under the cockpit seats and a seating area opposite the center board. Did not add the galley area or the front berth but instead made shelves to hold supplies and a spot for a couple of ice chests and a portable potty. This allows two people to sleep quite comfortably for a weekend. I added a 12 volt electrical system for navigation lights as well as cabin lights. Originally planning on having a slip with shore power, I installed a 120v battery charger. Unfortunately the slips with power were taken so I added a solar charger which works well to keep the battery charged. (Something Glen –L may want to include is information on boat electrical systems.)

The boat sails great. In winds 10 knots or less, once the sails are trimmed, it’s pretty much hands off. In 10 – 20 knots you’ll need to keep your hand on the tiller but it handles great. I’ve been out when the winds were over 20 knots and it still performs well but you have to keep the sails full and not sail too high.

From construction to launch and sailing it has been a good experience. Although it is not the first boat I have built, it is the biggest. The plans were good and easy to follow and if I had the room I would probably build a bigger one in a couple of years.

Customer Photos

Calendar: October 2006

October 7, 2006
8th Annual Fall Boat Show and River Cruise. Wrightsville, PA. Contact: Chip Paradis (610) 544-0528 or Brian Gagnon (856) 727-9264.

October 20-22
24th Annual Austin Wooden Boat Show, Lake LBJ Horseshoe Bay Resort Marina, Horseshoe Bay, TX. Classics of Horseshoe Bay Cruise, cocktail party and barbeque on 20th; classic boat show & awards dinner on 21st, breakfast & cruise on 22nd.

October 21 & 22
Madisonville Wooden Boat Festival, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum, Madisonville, LA. Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22. A celebration of antique and classic boats from the Gulf Coast region & the entire United States.

October 21 & 22
Lake Mirror Classic Auto & Boat Festival, Lakeland, FL. Always a fun social event with vintage boats, hot rods, classic cars & antique motorcycles. Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22

Recent email:

Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006
Subject: RE: Glen-L Order

Thank you so much. My Dad and I built this same boat (Ski Tow) together about 40 years ago. He recently passed away and I ran across pictures of that boat. It reminded me of how much fun we had building it and then using it for many years. We sold it and I lost track of it but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s still cruising somewhere.

I looked on the internet and was pleased to see that you are still there and that the Ski Tow is still available.

I decided to attempt to build one myself as a tribute to my Dad. Since I can’t call on him to consult with on the construction, I might have to pick someone’s brain there from time to time.

Mike Aronson

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Friday, September 8, 2006

firstname: wendell
lastname: samuel

Comments: hi, I live in Tobago, a small but very beautiful island in the Caribbean. I'm a fishing fanatic so obviously one day I'll want my own boat. Thanks to you all I think I'll own one sooner than I'd imagined and just the thought of building it in my own home is like the perfect topping on my ice-cream.

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Saturday, September 9, 2006

firstname: fred
lastname: mcdearmid

Comments: I made an XP8 powered with a Merc 25 hp. Yes, it will handle the motor but you better know what you are doing. The XP8 corners like it is on a rail. I got 28 mph on my gps. It may seem a little slow but I weigh 203 lbs., the motor 80 lbs and the battery 15 lbs (electric start). I need a bigger boat... you think? The XP8 was fun to build and I can't wait to build the Class CD raceboat. I must tell you your web site is as easy to navigate as your boat plans. Keep up the good work. Fred

September 01, 2006

Plans arrived today. Thanks for quick service, i thought they would take longer to get here.

16 August 2006

My 13-year old and I finished our "cussin'/discussin'" last night on whether we were going to build the Glen-L 14 or the Minuet 15'. My wife (a.k.a. the construction super from home improvement projects) has almost given her "blessing", but I am sure that it will come. We are going to build a Glen-L 14. I have the book "Boatbuilding with Plywood", and am about half way through it. I am "stoked" about starting the build this fall. Will be ordering plans in the next couple of weeks.

Thank you again! I have already learned bunches from reading the forum.

Steve Henry

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

firstname: Ted
lastname: Horning

Comments: I and a friend built a Glen-L Missle in 1965 with a mahogany deck and fiberglassed the boat. Painted it, then put a 409 chevy car engine in it also had a champion v-drive. Sold it in 1970 and have regretted ever since. Are there still plans and photos of these any more??? Ted Horning thanks.

Yes the Missile Plans and Patterns are still available. ...Gayle

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

firstname: Daryl
lastname: Castner

Comments: I love your website. Have been to it many times the last few years. I plan a project soon and will decide on exactly what I want after a little more research. I like the cracker box inboard and have wanted to build one for many years. I also like the idea of an inboard ski boat. I was sad to see you have stopped the frame kits.
Thanks for a great site
Daryl Castner

Build more boats
GLEN-L boats, of course

WebLetter Index
Glen-L Home Page