Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedbackWebletter 84 logo

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
  • For me the Christmas season is the family time of year. Here in southern California, we don't have snow and if we want a roaring fire, we have to open all of the windows. When my children were young we took a photo of them under a tangerine tree loaded with fruit, Christmas stockings in hand, in bright sunshine. But the traditional symbols of snowmen, sleigh bells and white Christmas are just as strong here as in colder parts of the country.

    My wife and I will be going to our son's house to have Christmas eve dinner with our grandchildren. Christmas eve and Christmas day, we will talk on the phone with our children in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. Christmas day we will go to Glen's house, where Gayle is in charge of Christmas dinner (her second of the day).

    Darla and her husband Jack will spend Christmas Eve at their daughter Denise's family, where they will have Christmas Eve dinner and open the annual Christmas pajama packages. Christmas morning Darla and Jack will have brunch at their daughter Jackie's house and open the rest of the presents with the entire family again.

    Alfredo and his immediate family will travel to Mexicali, to his grandparent's ranch where they will drink atole and champurrado, feast on a variety of tamales and steaks grilled by his uncles in the men's outdoor kitchen.

    Gayle will be making two Christmas dinners, first for her husband John's family and later with her family. Her mother-in-law will probably bring her special Russian desserts.

    The US has been referred to as a melting pot. Christmas is a time when we stir the pot and enjoy the traditional smells and flavors from around the world. We at Glen-L hope you all enjoy the season with family and friends and look we forward to hearing about your boat projects in the coming year.


State of the Gathering

I talked to Bill Edmundson who is one of the organizers of the Gathering. He said that there has been a lot of interest, and that he and Dave hope to pin things down after the holidays. This sounds like a great get-together, I hope everyone who can will consider attending. Although this is early, as you'll read below, some people have already made reservations. If you are interested, join the discussion; the more people who make actual commitments, the more others are encouraged to attend. If you do make the decision to attend, put an entry on the forum... "I'm coming".

Lake Guntersville State Park
Guntersville, Alabama
October 27 & 28, 2007

Dave, so at this EARLY stage in the planning, do you have a feel for HOW many are serious about attending. I know 10 have responded to the poll, but that doesn't mean that just 10 have interest, CORRECT?


Hey, if I trailer my jet Squirt from California do I get a prize for "came from farthest away"? Seriously considering it... might make me get off my butt and actually finish the boat!

Guntersville IS a really nice lake - we boated there when I lived in Huntsville in the early '90s. Do be careful about the local beer vendors, though...they most likely will not sell it to you on Sundays...

Peace ...terrymc

alrighty!.. got the trip planned! ... only 1077 miles!

From (0), proceed W on Rosemund Cres 0.06 mi After 0.06 mi, turn right (N) on Aberfoyle Rd 0.13 mi After 0.06 mi, turn right (E) on John Counter Blvd 0.30 mi After 0.17 mi, turn left (N) on Sir John A Macdonald Blvd 1.04 mi After 0.74 mi, take Exit (HWY-401 W, toward Toronto) to HWY-401 (Macdonald-Cartier Fwy) 135.10 mi After 134.06 mi, take Exit (Express) to HWY-401 EXPRESS (Macdonald-Cartier Fwy) 169.69 mi After 34.59 mi, continue (SW) on HWY-401 (Macdonald-Cartier Fwy) 268.59 mi After 98.91 mi, take Exit (HWY-402 W, toward Sarnia) to HWY-402 332.79 mi After 64.19 mi, continue (SW) on I-69 (I-94/Blue Water Brg) 336.19 mi After 3.40 mi, continue (SW) on I-94 393.38 mi After 57.19 mi, take Exit 215A (M-10 S, toward Downtown) to John C Lodge Fwy (M-10) 395.14 mi After 1.76 mi, take Exit 2B (I-75 S/Fisher Fwy, toward Toledo/Trumbull Ave/Flint-Toledo) to I-75 (Fisher Fwy S) 675.45 mi After 280.32 mi, take Exit 173 (I-71 S, toward Louisville) to I-71 752.86 mi After 77.41 mi, take Exit (I-65 S, toward Nashville/Louisville) to I-65 924.97 mi After 172.11 mi, take Exit (I-24 E, toward Knoxville/Chattanooga/I-40 E) to I-24 927.75 mi After 2.79 mi, take Exit 50B (I-40 W, toward Memphis) to I-40 928.77 mi After 1.02 mi, take Exit (I-65 S, toward Huntsville) to I-65 1009.93 mi After 81.16 mi, take Exit 1 (toward Huntsville/Ardmore) then turn Left to US-31 (TN-7) 1010.41 mi After 0.48 mi, continue (SE) on TN-7 (Main St) 1014.20 mi After 3.79 mi, continue (SE) on AL-53 1035.15 mi After 20.95 mi, turn left (E) on University Dr Nw (US-72/AL-2) 1036.74 mi After 1.60 mi, turn right (S) on N Memorial Pky 1037.77 mi After 1.03 mi, continue (S) on S Memorial Pky (US-231/US-431/AL-1) 1038.23 mi After 0.46 mi, turn left (E) on Governors Dr Sw (US-431/AL-1/AL-53) 1042.10 mi After 3.87 mi, continue (SE) on US-431 (AL-1) 1075.69 mi After 33.59 mi, turn left (SE) on Lusk St (AL-227) 1075.88 mi After 0.19 mi, continue (SE) on AL-227 1076.32 mi Continue E on AL-227 for 0.44 mi until you reach (1)

hmm how much are those plane tickets? Compassionate fund anyone? LOL ...GregH

I just saw a reference to this poll in the Newsletter. For me Guntersvile State Park is just a 2 hour drive and then 340 river miles away - piece of cake! Count me in. I pass by the park at least once a year in my Cabin Skiff when making a run to Chattanooga. Yes, Lake Gunthersville is on the Tennessee River, which is my all time favorite river. Sounds like a fun get together! ...raymacke

You gotta hand it to Ray folks. He really knows how to make an entrance! ...Dave

Fall sounds great to me. I am building a Zip with a 1961 Merc 500. I will be flipping it this week and should be running by July. Do we have anyone building a boat in Columbia, South Carolina? ...chipper



This is starting to really shape up.

If you guy's don't look out, I'll end up having to bring the Lola's and half the musicians on the Gulf Coast.

Bill Edmundson

Camping is a go for me too. I will not only have my Zip there, but I plan on having the teardrop camper there as well. Wow, I've got my work cut out for me. And I'll bring the old guitar too.

You know, this is going to turn out to be the best gathering we've ever had.

Wait, it will be the ONLY gathering we've ever had. ...Dave Grason

OK Guys. I need a bit of help here. It looks like about a 780 mile trip from home (Waukesha, WI). Given the (mis) adventures pulling the boat the last 2 summers, my wife Teal, needs some encouragement. Yes, there will be articles about disintegrating wheel bearing in downtown Cleveland and rearranging the trailer axles in Kentucky. So how many are bringing boats vs flying / driving in? The only disadvantage to fall vs summer is the kids will be in school (they did help on the boat build a lot). ...Mark Bronkalla

I'm really glad you're thinking about this, Mark. There are very few people I'd rather see attend. I can say this that, come hell or high water, my both Zip and my teardrop will be there. ...Dave Grason

I am planning on bringing my sweet caroline ...Falcon

I called for reservations the same day you guys settled on the 27-28 Oct. '07. No problem with the cabins, I was the first reservation for fall of '07. Prices were as posted on their website.
The hotel is under renovation and is to be finished by then. There are also chalets up on the hill. I heard that Huntsville is a mere 25 minutes away. Also the floating condos in the webletter. Lots of options for accomodations here.

I do understand the wants of folks to go skiing/wakeboarding/swimming and such. However, we did discuss it and posted a poll, resulting in the 27-28 Oct.

May I suggest that we all get together then, to discuss the second rendezvous, accomodating the water-sports. Although my own idea of water-sports is showers & hot tubs!!!!

Lets all make a success of the 1st gathering, and from there we can persue a gathering for water sports. I think it would be a kick pulling skiers with my Lobster Boat! ...kens

Is anyone planning on going to the antique and classic in the water show at Wheeler state Park? Its the 2nd or 3rd week of July.
I am going to bring my crackerbox, the wife and I are planning on going by water, its only 30 miles, and staying at the lodge. It should be a great show, I went a few years back and it was very nice. ...narduccimarine

Bill, I am planning on coming to Guntersville and maybe Wheeler also. I just would like to get something going here at Weiss with the Freedom Festival. There are a few classic and wood boats, but if anyone would like to join in is the reason for the post. ...John K

I talked with Barry, yesterday. He said he wants to set up some place on this site to list the people who are committing to come.

Great Idea

I think I can be committed.

Now! There is one thing I think we can ALL agree on.... COMMITTING Steve

Hmmm, you got me. I think I read that wrong, or wrote it wrong or something... I knew what I meant though. I am not a brain scientist when it comes to phraseology.

What I actually MEANT was... I think No.1 son is thinking August or Thanksgiving for dates, which means I might be able to commit to a date in October !!!


Designer's Notebook: Then and NOW

While sitting at a counter in a restaurant, sandwiched (pun intended) between two guys using cell phones, it hit me, how many changes have come to pass since this small company started back in 1953.

We were taught that our drawings had to be done in ink, and never on paper, only drafting linen. In the real world, we quickly discovered that simply wasn't true, good blueprints could be made with pencil drawings on vellum. Boy, did the drawing pens and ink bottles quickly get pushed to the back of the drawer.

When we started, all design calculations were done by slide rule, a now obsolete relic. If more accuracy was needed, logarithms were the answer; using voluminous tables, calculation that would be difficult by multiplication and division was simplified. We had adding machines that could do no more than add or subtract. The one we had was a manually operated sliding number affair actuated by a hand crank. Calculators eventually became available, but were very expensive at first and a far cry from the tiny ones we use today. The only computers were main-frames that were not available to the small business guy. As I say all of this, even I find it hard to believe what we were using back in 1953.

Instructions were laborious to produce. In the days before word processing, copy machines and printers were commonplace, making multi-sheet instructions was a chore. Sure we had the latest manual typewriters, but if a typo was made, we used an eraser or the trusty "white out" to make the correction. Making many professional copies of a page involved a print shop. The type was hand set with a practical minimum of 1000 copies on a letterpress. But the cost was astronomical for the time and who needed 1000 copies?

Mimeograph was the popular method of reproducing small runs of printed copy. The process required a special two-part paper that was inserted in the typewriter. The text was typed directly, but woe if a word was mis-spelled. The cover sheet had to be pulled back and a special correction fluid painted over the area; then re-align on the typewriter and type over the error. Copies were made by inserting the copy in a special machine; in our case hand cranked. It made fair copies, if you liked blue type.

The boat designs themselves evolved because of "new" building materials like plywood, fiberglass and lightweight powerful motors. The powerboat of yesteryear was narrow because it had to be pushed through the water; the motors were heavy and powerless compared to modern powerplants. Lightweight motors developing high horsepower enabled wider boats to plane and attain "pleasure" (if approaching 100 MPH is pleasure?) speeds that had been previously unthinkable for the home builder.

In the early years, plywood was unreliable and the glues used to bond the plies left much to be desired. But progress brought better plywood, and with experimentation, we learned how to use it for boat construction. The construction of original plywood boats paralleled that for planked boats and tended to be over-framed and heavy. The adhesives used were flexible and would not form a true bond. Today we have taken what we have learned into new methods like stitch and glue that takes full advantage of plywood as a sheet material and seam bonding with epoxies and fiberglass laminates to form a durable product.

Is everything better today? Of course not. But many of us look back with selective memories at those "good old days". My grandchildren can't understand how anyone could exist without TV, computers, and... cell phones. How will the next generation look at today's devices and techniques? Will the computer and cell phone look like the slide rule or hand-cranked adding machine look today? Time marches on.

I hope that with the changes to come that we won't lose the desire to build something with our hands... maybe that's just me, but I think it would be a great loss...
          is that your cell phone or mine?


Tasmanian Wooden Boat Festival To be held February 9 - 12th 2007. Australia's biggest wooden boat festival. Tasmania has a strong boat building tradition and the boats on display are fantastic.

Mt Dora Antique and Classic Boat Festival - Mar 22 - Mar 25, Mt Dora, FL
The Mt. Dora Antique Boat Festival is the largest show of its kind in the USA and is attended by more spectators over the four day period of the event than any other show. More than 300 boats are displayed in the water and on land. Watch for more information here, including a registration form. Terry Fiest is Show Chairman and can be contacted at Over 150 antique, classic and historic boats are on display at the southeast's largest event of this type. Location: Lake Dora Waterfront/ Gilbert Park

Rwanda basket

He handed me a paddle
And said “Now get on in”
I was dubious of the outcome
But, after all, he was my kin

That canoe that he had built
Was sitting in the stream
Gleaming in the morning sun
It surely looked a dream

My grandpa was a craftsman
And a canoe-er of some note
But I had no such notions
I was afraid of that little boat

It looked so dog-gone narrow
And it didn’t have a seat
You knelt there in the bottom
And sat upon your feet

I wondered how to balance it
To keep it right side up
Grandpa said, “Don’t worry.
You’ll learn it soon enough”

Now grandpa had a lot of faith
In his skill and in mine
But what we needed on that day
Was a little help Divine

In the middle of the stream
As a ripple crossed our path
To my horror I tipped us over
And we both took a bath

The canoe went on down the creek
It took an hour in the finding
All the while that we were looking
I noticed that his teeth were grinding

Grandpa never said a word to me
About that day’s event
But he never again asked me to canoe
It was the only time I ever went


Photos sent in since the last WebLetter...

Squirt Monaco TNT Modified Tiny Might Sculling Skiff Sculling Skiff Tiny Titan Jolly Roger Malahini

               (   Why am I here?    )
               ( What is my purpose? )
               (   Am I worthy?      )
                       O   ^__^
                        o  (oo)\_______
                           (__)\       )\/\
                               ||----w |
                               ||     ||

Feedback: Modified Squirt

December 4, 2006

We may have set a record for boat building elapsed time. This Squirt has been in the works more than four years and is still not finished.

You folks probably hate it when somebody changes one of your beautiful boats. Well, here is another modified one. We stretched it 15 inches by adding 5 inches to each bay, including the stem. Then we learned that lengthening the stem is a bad idea from a lofting standpoint. But the lines flow ok, so maybe we lucked out.

After stretching it, the frames looked kind of far apart so we made the longitudinals a little heavier. The transom is beefed up, and there is a small motorwell to keep water out. The hull and deck plywood is stained with Lockwood water soluble dye and has 4 oz. glass cloth. The modified dashboard is sort of the old time race boat look. Not sure how appropriate that is for an outboard, though. Varnishing was one of the more difficult parts of the whole thing. This boat really needs a vintage Merc, but we may settle for a late model 25 hp.

We undertook this Squirt as a learning project and it certainly has been that. One thing we learned is a new definition of the term "small boat". We used to think our 18 footer was small. Now it is the "big one". We will try to finish the Squirt before five years have elapsed and send a picture of it in the water.

Sorry about the format. Without a way to e-mail the pictures, we'll just send the whole thing this way. We are still living in the last century; the middle of it. But hey, that's why we like Glen-L boats.

Bill and Linda Whitney
NE Bothell, WA


Link button

Recent email:

Subject: builders forum
Sent: Sunday, December 03, 2006

I am building a Super Huck 8x24. I built the frames 3 years ago & I have been waiting for a break so I would have the time to build it. But it hasn't happened & I decided that at 73, I'd just better do it while I can enjoy it. I have the frames set up & am installing the keel in the first pontoon. I built a Glen-l 14' runabout about 40 years ago & really enjoyed that boat so I thought I'd try it again.      John Ingle, Phelan, Ca.

Subject: Order information
Date: 30 November 2006

Hi, I am sending a couple of pictures of the Tiny Titan I had from 1972 -1978. I started off with a 4 H.P Evinrude and ended up with a KG 7 Merc, which really flew. That boat is long gone but I am going to build a new one for my son with a '48 KE 4 Merc to start with and a deadman's throttle. The Hydro was a real hoot for many years and I raced it on the lake against other friends ...thankfully Dad had a 200 gallon gas tank at the cottage so I was never short on go-juice. Anyway I am glad to have found this site and great to see plans for these great boats are still available.
Chris Merkley
North Bay, Canada

“Serendipity is looking in a haystack for a needle and discovering a farmer’s daughter.”
—Julius Comroe, Jr. (1911-1984)
33rd president of the American Physiological Society

Subject: Re: Glen-L Order
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2006

---Thank you Darla.
My husband built the Glen-L Missle in 1961-1963 when we were just a young couple with two small kids and one on the way. They grew up with that boat and have very fond memories, including taking naps in the bow of the boat. They all learned to water ski behind it, the youngest at age four. We used it in the San Francisco Bay Estuaries, Clear Lake California, The San Joaquin River, and finally at Lake Shasta and Whiskeytown when we moved to Redding. Whenever we took it out, people gathered to look it over. We actually still have the boat although it's seen better days even though he has reskinned it a couple of times, no one in the family can bear to part with it. It has been left in neglect and somehow along the way the plans disappeared. The main reason I want the plans is to encourage one or some of my children or eight grandsons to build another one.

I wish you could sell a hull of the Glen-L Missle. We would snatch it up in a minute. Thanks for your nice memo.

Sally Mayr
Redding, CA

Subject: Pictures of my Stiletto
Date: 23 November 2006


Attached are photos of the Stiletto I built in 1995/96. I started the project in July and finished it the following June. Our family has enjoyed the boat ever since. It tops out at around 55 mph, and really accelerates out of the hole. It is a really fine boat, and draws lots of attention every time we take it out. It is finished with epoxy fiberglass, followed by Interlux Brightside Polyurethane. The boat was a real pleasure to build, and your products were outstanding.

Tom Wolf
Goleta, CA

Re: Allen, here's your Newsletter
Saturday, November 18, 2006

Hi Gayle, Allen Reeps here... Your thanksgiving WebLetter was great. In fact I so enjoyed the entire letter and you hit the nail on the head with "my wife won't let me build another boat". In the past years I built a "Malahini 14 ft" and just got finished with a Two Plus extended to 20 ft. This boat was difficult for me (I'm 75), so my son had to help me with the work. The bond between me and my son is now tighter than a 2-part epoxy.
The Malahini was made for my youngest son, which he paid for. The Two Plus was made for my oldest son (he paid), and he loves it.
There is such satisfaction when people come over and remark about the beauty of these classic wooden boats.
I am calling Glen-L on Monday (11/20/06, and ordering plans and a frame kit for a small boat possibly a "Squirt" for my middle son's 11 year old boy.
Lastly I will build one for myself. Thanks for your great news letter.
Allen Reeps, Nassau county New York

Build more boats
GLEN-L boats, of course

WebLetter Index
Glen-L Home Page