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

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GLEN-L Update
  • Gathering update: A new page has been added to the Glen-L site, the Gathering. The page includes links to past WebLetter articles on the Gathering, information about the venue and a summary of builders who have committed to come. If you don't know what the Gathering is about... that's why we added the page.
  • Frame Kits in stock: We only have one left of each of the following: Class J, Glen-L 10, Glen-L 13, Hot Rod, Kona Kai (Phantom), Mai Tai (Shangri-La), Monsoon (Key West), Ski Bass, Cruisette (Nimrod), Pirogue, Rob Roy, Stiletto, Thunderbolt, TNT, and Wanderlust. After these are gone we will have no more.


The Rebel

From the Boatbuilder Connection: "I was wondering if there are any more pictures of the Rebel.
I have been looking at this site and the forum and found some, but I would like to have some more so I can decide if I want to build this boat...
Mattias in Sweden, Wants to build a Rebel..."

The Rebel was an evolutionary design. It was one of the first of our designs to incorporate an anti-trip chine. This feature makes the hull safer on a turn when encountering a wake at speed. The Rebel also has a "barrel-back" transom shape, which has recently become a sought after feature. The original had a painted hull and mahogany deck. Dominik Papa gave his a mahogany runabout look, which is also a look that has become very fashionable. After the Rebel, our runabout/ski boats morphed into the low profile SK-type. Like women's hem lines, what is old often becomes what's new. Perhaps this is the time to take another look at the Rebel.

Corvette or Jaguar of the water
Construction pictorial
Boatbuilder Connection: For Sale
Dear Steve: Feedback on the Rebel
Rebel photos from the archives
Rebel air boat
Dominik Papa's Rebel
Rebel design page

Subject: Boat Registry
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2006

I built a Rebel from scratch in 1970 while in 12th Grade of High School, which makes it 37 years old in 2007! The year before I had built a Glen L MiniMaxed. I started the rebel in Wood Shop class and finished it in the summer of 1970 and launched it in July of that year. I still have it with a 1972 50 HP Johnson on it. It stills runs great and pulls a skier or two without trouble. Calm water is best with the fairly flat hull design. It is a real conversation piece and has given us alot of fun over the years. I purchased the plans and galvanized fastener kit from Glen L. I believe the plans were $14.00 at that time! I used an electric teakettle with a funnel on top to steam bend the chines. If anyone is building a Rebel I can answer questions--I remember the process like it was yesterday. Attached are two pictures of it from 1970 with a Chrysler 50HP on it. I put the Johnson on it in 1974.

Brian H. Wilmers

Designer's Notebook:
Do you really want to go that fast?

This text may appear to be opposed to speed over the water. That's not true; we were weaned on three point hydros and fast runabouts. Speed on the water is thrilling, exhilarating and fun, particularly in a small boat. The wind whistling by, the slap of the water on the hull, and an occasional dash of spray magnify the feeling of speed. Sit smugly in your car at highway speeds, wrapped in a cocoon of metal and glass and the sensation of speed is virtually lost. Going 30 mph in a small boat feels more than double the sensation of being in an auto at 60 mph plus.

Yet, people tend to equate land speed to that over the water. Adding to the confusion, people exaggerate the speed their boat does. Many a 50 mph boat won't push a speedometer beyond 30. And, if old Joe's boat will do 50 yours must go faster. Perhaps it's our competitive nature, but few like to be left in the wake of their buddy's boat.

But, let's get realistic; speed costs money. Let's cover only one factor, fuel consumption. The magazine pages of an "ultra" fast boat test yield some interesting figures. A 46' oversize speedboat will top 100 mph and only (???) use 132 gallons per hour. Multiply 132 by the cost for a gallon of fuel in your area and you'll find what it will cost to run this beast at that speed for only one hour. Don't forget this is top premium grade fuel, not the regular gas most put in their cars. Drop down to 53 mph and the fuel consumption lowers to 52 gallons per hour in this instance. Reduce the speed by roughly 50% and only about 40% of the fuel required with full throttle will be used. Incidentally this boat can be had for just under half a million bucks. Line up in the line to my left?

By the way, the above is a pleasure boat test. One hundred miles per hour over an uneven water surface is fun? More like, grit your teeth, hang on, and "What am I doing here?"

Getting more realistic, let's look at the figures for a 19' deluxe runabout. It tops out at 49 mph and uses 22 gallons of fuel per hour. Drop the speed to 33 mph and this craft will use 12 gallons of gas per hour. Still, the cost makes you think, doesn't it? Obviously many factors enter the speed of a boat. Weight being a major consideration. Also in a magazine test a 17' boat with fewer frills and less weight topped out at 40 mph while consuming 9 miles per gallon. When speed was decreased to 30 mph fuel consumption went down to 5 gallons per hour.

Fuel consumption at various rpm and thus horsepower is available from engine manufacturers. In our archives (source and accuracy unknown) there is a note that "a four cycle gasoline motor will use about one gallon of fuel for every 13 HP it produces". (Motor horsepower used divided by 13 = gallons of fuel required) Thus the fuel consumption for the powerboat you contemplate and the cost can be roughly estimated. Maybe a few extra mphs isn't worth it?

If cost is of primary importance and you will settle for 5-6 mph, consider an electric powered boat. Our 14' "Amp Eater" prototype would run about 7 hours on its batteries. Recharging the batteries takes about 6 hours; the cost in electricity, pennies.

So to you speed nuts (most power boaters), enjoy the sweetness of pushing the throttle open... it's costing you, but isn't the fun priceless?

From the archives

The flood of '65
Glenn L. Johnson's Pee Wees

Stormy Seas

A little boating excursion last week (in the rain) got me thinking about other times when my boat and the weather were not in harmony. Oh, and if you find this poem goes well with the tune of the theme from Gilligan's Island, it's just a co-incidence I assure you.

I set out upon the cold dark blue
My sailboat trimmed for travel
I planned a nice little journey
But soon watched my plan unravel

Gentle breeze became a howling wind
It nearly tipped me over
White clouds darkened into black
I longed for, but found no cover

Halyards thrummed and beat the mast
The hull was pitched and tossed
I began to fear for the boat and crew
It seemed we might be lost

Rain beat down and blocked my sight
The hull was filling with water
I believed that it would be my fate
To marry Davey Jones’ daughter

Just then, the wind began to lessen
The storm was just a squall
The ship steadied up and gave me hope
I might just make it after all

Through the clouds, a sunray beams
I’m going to make it home
I see the land; I will survive
My throbbing heart slows down

A lesson I did learn that day
The sea nearly got my goat
If I ever want to leave that marina
I’m going to need a bigger boat


Photos sent in since the last WebLetter...

Sculling Skiff Amigo Modified Tiny Might Bonanza Jimbo Ski King Sherwood Queen Console Skiff BoJest

Glen-L Family Email Exceeds Expectations

by Gayle Brantuk

I was overwhelmed at the response to one of my emails sent to Glen-L Newsletter subscribers. I can't describe how rewarding it is when you all respond so positively.

If you subscribe to this Newsletter (if not you can sign up here), then you are on my list to receive an email each time it is posted. In addition, I also send out emails highlighting customer projects, how-to information, directions on where to find important stuff on our huge website and lots of other Glen-L information.

The goal is to make the emails informative and interesting. One of the emails that I send out includes photos of myself and family and gives a little information about who I am (Glen's daughter), and a little history plus photo of Dad, Barry and I.

Many of you responded with such kind comments and included information about yourselves, your family and many even sent photos!

It's interesting, because it seems that many companies these days have become so impersonal it has left us starved for some type of personal interaction. That must be why I received more response to this email than any of the others. Here are just a few of your comments:

Thanks for the news letter. I read each one with interest. It's good to meet and see the people behind your company. If I do build a boat in the future, it will be with one of your plans. Thanks again. Glenn Hoy Wilmington, DE

Gayle, your letter explaining who you are, the history of Glen-L, your family, all of that was VERY well received. Thanks for sharing that with everyone out here in the wide world. Cheers for now, Jeff Lane

Nice Gayle, good to "meet" the family at last!
Have a great Xmas and New Year to all of you.

Graham in Shepperton, England

Thank you for sharing with us a part of your personal lives and for putting real faces behind the names we correspond with…

Luis V. Torres
Manila, Philippines

Hello Gayle,

I have just received one of the most enjoyable e-mails of Glen-L Marine Designs. I thank you for this.
Juan-Jorge Hermosillo

Gayle, ....and that's why you're the marketing director!!! Excellent introduction and a welcome set of faces to put with names we associate with Glen-L. Thanks for introducing yourself and family... a very nice gesture. Dan Crummett, Stillwater, OK

Nice letter Gayle
Was lovely to see you, Barry and Glen's faces.
Nice to see your father is still in good shape.
Happy life for you


Dear Gayle: I appreciate so much your letter about Glen L Family Info. It was the first time to see Mr Glen (in a picture of course).
Regards, Enrique, Bogota, Colombia


I've spoken to you a few times on the phone in the past couple years. The e-mail that you put together was wonderful. The personal touch and the family feel is one of the great ingredients that makes me feel so good about building a Glen-L design (Zip). Greg

That's it… I just wanted to express my appreciation to each of you for your kind comments and for taking the time to share a bit about yourselves as well. I still think that Glen-L customers are some of the greatest folks around!

PS Sign up for our Newsletter today to find out what all the buzz is about!

Seen on the Net

This is about a "Gathering" of boatbuilders in the UK. They are in the process of planning the 2007 events.
UK Home Built Boat Rally

From the Boatbuilder Forum, re. Australian boatbuilding lumber:


Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 3

Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 5:53 pm Post subject: Australian Woods

I live in the Sydney area and have found a great resource for Australian woods at: They have a downloadable pdf file with all timbers listed and if they are suitable for boat building, etc. here:

I'm currently building the Rebel and am using hoop pine for the structural bits and the imported maple marine ply. The hoop pine is quite light in colour compared to the maple, but no matter to me because I'll be painting her after encapsulation.

Hoop pine is the cheapest recognised boat building material in AU. Oak, Mahogany and Spruce are available here, but be prepared to leave your arm for payment!


On the Boatbuilder Forum...

leakcheck confesses, "Bill, I love you so, I always will..."

Harold the boatbuilder
Hey leakcheck... maybe you should say that kinda thing in a PM

Shop Talk: Outboard motor control

by Charles A. Matuk

Note: The following was discovered when looking for photos of the Rebel. We no longer have a contact for Mr. Matuk. If you have any hints that you think would help your fellow builders, we would be happy to include them in Shop Talk.

I am enclosing a set of photographs of a mechanism that I developed to make it easier to utilize an outboard motor on my Glen-L "Tango" Sailboat. The need for this design came about because with the motor in the lowered drive position, the tiller on the motor cannot be put in a horizontal position when I need to use it for steering rather than the primary rudder and tiller. This is a difficult position for the tiller to be in when you want to use the motor for quick steering control. In addition, the speed control is difficult to use for fast speed changes. This design also allows for the quick change from a straight forward drive for the motor to a steering option with the new horizontal tiller.

This design has proven to overcome the above problems in the testing that I have done so far. The only change that I would like to make is to raise the Forward/Reverse direction control on the motor to a more convenient location. I am sending you this information with the hope that it may be of help to other boat builders who are experiencing a similar problem and are looking for a simple solution. This design was developed for a 6 HP Johnson long shaft motor.

More photos

Youth: practice for old age...

Feedback: Little Hunk

by Humberto Porrata MD

In January 2004, I asked my lovely wife her opinion. Should I continue Piano Lessons or get a boat? She had no idea I was thinking of building it.

By the time she made up her mind, I had received the blueprints for "The Little Hunk". My St. Valentines gift was a band saw. We started building February 18, 2004. The hull was completed in 4 months with the help of my cousin Pedro Namerow and our dear friend "Tio Kiko" who started helping us 1 month later. The details would take 8 months, 2 hurricanes, dozens of trips to Home Depot and multiple bags of ICE for the beer and drinks.

We agreed to extend the hull 18", make it a center console with a transom mount/swim platform and the engine should be 50 HP and closed tramsom. We added a full solid floor, made to fit. Notice the floor engaging the frames/gussets. We also added a center console and a 26 Gallon fuel tank in front of the console.

The patterns were extremely easy and helpful. The transom was made of 3/4" marine plywood, so was the stem and breasthook. The frame members are DF select. The gussets are Merante plywood, epoxy glued and screwed. The Chine Logs and outboard sheer clamps are made of Southern Yellow Pine and DF Select. The hull battens and stringers are made with Douglas-fir Select and the planking was made with Merante Marine Plywood from World Panel in Riviera Beach Florida. The sides are 3/8" and 1/2" in the bottom. We used a 5' by10' panel to limit the number of joints in the bottom to one. The 5' panel went across the whole bottom.

We used doubled 6 oz fiberglass cloth with System 3 epoxy. Multiple layers of epoxy. Two coats of primer and polyurethane red car paint, sprayed.

The flooring inside was crafted carefully by Tio Kiko, notice how the flooring board enters into the gussets/frame.

The transom mount/platform was made by A&J Custom Welders in Miami Fl. The Rocket Launcher is a narrower version with 3 rod holders made by Birdsall Marine in West Palm Beach FL. The Canvas was ordered through the internet and assembled. Most of the hardware including silicone bronze screws were obtained from and the hydraulic steering system was obtained through EBay.

Tio Kiko provided most of the tools needed for finishing, a lot of precious time and jokes, and the trailer.

By now we have logged in over 500 miles on the boat. It has been twice to the Florida Keys, once to Ft Myers and many times to Peanut Island in Palm Beach. It is admired every time it gets out of the garage. It has been often called "floating expensive furniture".

We bought a used 2000 Mercury. At fist we were told it was a 50 when we received it it was a 90 HP. The boat is FAST at 32 mph on a flat bottom. It navigates excellent in rough seas going 45 degree to the waves. We have fished 6 foot seas. It is very bouncy going against the waves, but the hull takes it well. It is excellent going down seas.

My wife, my son, tio Kiko and I are very grateful for the help from Glen-L and for allowing us to have such an awesome experience of building floating furniture. I highly recommend a boat building project to anyone with kids over 7 years old. Unfortunately my son is now 4. He loves the boat and I will have to build another one when he turns 7.

This boat now is the tender to TIME OUT in Miami. It sleeps in the garage and the cars are outside... we love this boat.


Recent email:

Subject: Re. Console Skiff Customer Photos
Date: 15 January 2007

Hi Barry:

Fast work getting the skiff on the board. I got alot of inspiration viewing what others have done with their Glen-L projects on the Web Site. It is somewhat of a sense of accomplishment to see mine among them.

I will send in more in the Spring when I launch.

I'm not sure about the Gathering. I will give it some consideration. Sounds like a good time.


From: Marc E. Bourassa
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Subject: RE: Glen-L Family Information

Hi Gayle,

What a great article. You have a terrific family, a terrific business and a terrific job! Continued success to you and the Glen-L family.

I just ordered yet another copy of the Kidyak plans, as I am building one (in PINK!) for my 6 yr. old niece.

The boys are having a ball with their Kidyaks; they made me frame a copy of the ads from Wooden Boat with their pictures in them. I'm building a sailboat now as well as the kidyak and also writing a book on the subject, to be published some time mid-2008. Keep your eye out!

Again, very best to all,
Marc E Bourassa

Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2006
Subject: Dear Gayle

Dear Gayle,

My name is Ralph Hastings and I, like your father Glen, am an Architect.

I am 56 years old and had the wonderful childhood experience of watching and helping my late Father, Ralph Sr. & My late Uncle, Bill Mulligan build 3 of your wonderful Glen L boats.

The first boat built was the Zip-p-p-p, powered by a 35 horsepower Evinrude & built in 1957. The boat was 2 tone Green and had leatherette upholstery fashioned by my Mom. The trailer was home made: welded & painted by my Father.

The next endeavor was the El Dorado. The keel was laid in early 1959. Again, same construction crew & construction credits.

The final boat was the Sea Knight, finished in 1961. This was to be my Father's boat and he followed your Father's plans to the inth degree. She was powered by twin 35 horse Evinrude Lark outboards with electric starters (a real big deal back then). We spent many an hour deep sea fishing in Baja Mexico from her tiny deck, and she saw service with our family until the late 60's.

I can remember accompanying my Dad to your family shop on Rosecrans in the early 60's. We had trailered the Sea Knight over to have your Dad inspect a small transom crack that had developed. I can still see your Dad, pipe in mouth, talking with my Dad and offering him advice on adding a few more transom knees. When the conversation ended, Your Dad told mine "Ralph, this is one of the finest examples of the Sea Knight that I have seen". My father "Beamed with pride" all the way home. My father's idol, the great Glen L Witt, Marine Architect, had paid my Father his ultimate complement.

Your family business has provided so many memories for my brother & me. I am glad to see your Dad is still involved with the business and physically well. Glen L Boats will always be a big part of my childhood.

God bless your family,

Ralph L. Hastings AIA
Architect, Newport Beach, California

From: Mike Grace
Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2006
Subject: RE: Glen-L Family Information

Thank you Gayle for the insight into your company and family. I've taken on a boat building project mainly for my grandkids Hannah and Charles (wink I tell myself), but your company's plans of the Tiny Titan reminded me of my youth! I hope to complete two of them before spring. If I'm successful with this project, I hope to take on something more challenging. Your company has some very interesting boat plans.

Please keep the information and emails coming.

Sincerely Mike Grace

From: DP Smith
Sent: Thursday, December 23, 2006
Subject: RE: Glen-L Family Information

The Bandido I am building is the second of your designs I have tackled. I built a Bonanza back in the 60's and used it in the lakes in Washington state when I was stationed there after my first tour in RVN.

Powered it with a Chevy 327 v8 and a Berkeley jet pump. Great little boat. I'm powering the Bandido with two 20B Rotary engines and two Berkeleys. I'll try to send you some pictures if I ever figure out this computer stuff! Thanks for the note.
DP Smith

From: M.Ahmet Gokcen
Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2006
Subject: RE: Glen-L Family Information

Thank you for this most beautiful description of your family. I am a customer of Glen-L since 1985 and still going on. I have first built your Kodiak; two of them (one for myself and the other for my best friend). Then my son Murat Danis decided to build a boat for himself and with my advise he built your Kingfisher with some cutomizing work on it. The first Kodiak was named YALIKIZI meaning the maiden of the rocks or the Turkish version of the Sirens of the Argonauts. She had bad ending when a passenger ferry run on her while she was moored in front of our house at the Bosphorus. Now I still have a chance to sail in one of my son's boats once in a while.

Good to meet the people who have helped me to make life so enjoyable and helped my family to take the most pleasures of the sea.

Thank you again and may Allah bless you and provide you with better businesses, and life.

Yous truly,
M.Ahmet Gokcen
Istanbul Turkey

From: Sheldon Shastid
Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2006
Subject: RE: Glen-L Family Information

Thank you Miss Gayle for the heart warming e-mail about the family history of the business. I have enjoyed many hours of dreaming over your catalogs and online website about the beautiful boats in your line. Truly there is a vessel for any ones need and desire. You guys make those dreams possible for novices like me. I am currently building Pee Wee for my best friends children. At first I was hesitant but as I near completion of this beautiful little boat I know now that I can build the boat of my dreams. Best Holiday Wishes to the Glen -L family.
Sheldon Shastid aka Bubba

From: Tom Raidna
Sent: Friday, December 22, 2006
Subject: Newsletters and Plan review on website

I really enjoy the Glen-L news letters you have been sending out. I can only imagine the challenges of running a family business.
I host one of the longest running website for home boat builders (fomerly It is not a commercial site, and I started it in 1994 because it was hard to find info for home boat builders. I keep it going because I just love boatbuilding and boating. Each month I post a spotlight project and a plan review from a designer. In the past some of the designers for the projects that I have posted have sent me copies of the plans to review on my site as well (some include, Selway-Fisher San Fransico Pelican, PocketCat,and Gator boats). If you will be willing to pass along a set of plans, I'd be more than happy to post a review on my website...

Thanks and Happy Holidays,

Tom Raidna
The Home Boat Builders Page

Note: Tom will be posting a review of the Minuet on his site in February. We'll keep you informed. ...GB

From: Juan Jorge Hermosillo
Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Subject: Re: Glen-L Family Information

Hello Gayle,

I have just received one of the most enjoyable e-mails from Glen-L Marine Designs. I thank you for this.

I am Juan-Jorge Hermosillo, from Guadalajara, Mexico. About 20 years ago we (my father and brothers) launched our sailboat "Mizar", a Glen-L 21 CB that we began building 11 years before. We worked on it only on vacations but never full time. This sailboat was a very important family project. We, as a family, learned a lot of things about life, projects, family relationships and many other things with this project. Seeing it in perspective, the sailboat was important and we enjoyed it (and still do), but the other lessons were much more important to me. Mizar was presented in some editions of your catalog some years ago.

Some years before we finished Mizar (and at the same time) I built "Alcor", an 8-Ball, as a dighy for her.

(Perhaps you know Alcor and Mizar form a double star in the Big Dipper)

Some day I will send you the best photos avaliable of those two sailboats. I am sorry those photos are not digital and I need some time to find and digitize them.

My brother Pablo, who sits at the center of Alcor in the image on your website, also built with other friends a Glen-L 10 and a Topper. For sure, my father and Mizar had effects not only on our family, but on some of our friends also.

My other brother, Luis, who sits at the bow in Alcor in the same photo, also lives with his Creator (as you say about Ryan). He found Him in San Elias Mt. in Alaska some years ago. He loved every outdoor sport including sailing and paddling. I hope they are now enjoying something great.

I thank you, your father, and all the Glen-L team for the many many hours of dreams we have had studying your catalogs. Changing Bacon´s words I would say "of boatbuilding there is no satiety". Unfortunately there is not enough time...

I am sorry for this long e-mail. Yours (and the holidays) caused it.

Have a good year end and a better 2007.

Juan-Jorge Hermosillo


From: Larry Evensen
Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2006
Subject: RE: Glen-L Family Information


Thank you for your enlightening email! I have enjoyed your website for the last couple of years, and have read your father's great book on boat building with plywood.

My uncle, Ron Salvino, built a Glen-L Zip in 1958 (the year I was born), and I remember riding in it as a child on Lake Sammamish in Washington state.
I've attached the only photo I have of it if you'd like to include it on your web site. I recently ordered plans and a fastening kit to begin building one of my own.

I enjoy all of your emails... please keep them coming!

Larry Evensen
Fall City, WA

Subject: Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Date: Friday, December 08, 2006

Starting my Nimrod soon and in early spring I am going to order a set of Pot Luck Plans to start working on my retirement boat. Still many years to retirement but it will keep me out of doghouse and something to do. I really look forward to all the info you all put out and the pictures of other's projects. Keep up the good work! And remember, Just because another year has past, you're only as old as you feel. Fair winds and following seas, Dana Crook

Subject: Happy Holidays
Date: Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hello my good friends!
Just a quick note to say Happy Holidays!!
And look what Allison has done with Tubby Tug! I still have to decide how I`m going to paint it, though.
All the best!!!! John Little

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