Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedbackWebletter 86 logo

A place to share YOUR boat building story

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

Vertical border In this issue

GLEN-L Update
  • Gathering update: Total coming re: Boatbuilder Connection. There have been several builders who have indicated in email that they are thinking of attending, but who have not yet committed in the forum. If you are interested and plan to attend, let your fellow boat builders know. Your commitment could convince others that it is worth the trip and enrich the experience for everyone.
  • Site update:
    Security: We all receive a lot of SPAM. One of the ways that spammers get email addresses is to send out "bot programs" that mine the Net for email addresses. Since one of the main uses of the Internet is to communicate, there are a lot of email addresses to mine... including on the Glen-L site. Well, we have found a "solution" that foils the spam bots. We have transferred the email addresses on our site into a JavaScript that cannot be read by the bots. Although if you look through the Project Registry, you will see lots of email addresses, they are not in the source html, which is the only place spam bots can see them. If you have hesitated to put your email address in the Project Registry in the past, be assured that they are now safely hidden from the "bad guys".
    Project Registry: In the process of encoding the email addresses in the Project Registry, I noted that a lot of builders have not updated their entry after the first listing. I also expect that there are some "bad" email addresses. The Project Registry is a resource for you and your fellow builders. The information posted helps others, your contact information allows you to share your experiences and help others solve problems. It is difficult for us to confirm that email addresses are current; we depend on your help. Update your entry, report bad links. Your community is depending on YOU.
  • Best web browser? 95% of people who roam the web use Internet Explorer because it comes with their computer, but is it the best?
  • New magazine: Classic Yacht Magazine. We received this link from the magazine. There does not seem to be a link on their site; don't know how long it will be up. It's really cool the way you can turn the pages. (Click and hold on the lower-right corner and pull across.
  • Putting the WebLetter together is a rather chaotic affair and I sometimes forget to thank all the people who contribute. We would like to thank Bret Bordner, Peter Stofmeel, Rick Heaney, Dick Charmley, our roving reporter Ken Schott and the rest of you who sent email or in other ways contributed to WebLetter 86. To everyone else... next issue could be your issue. Share what you know. You know how helpful some of these articles have been to you, why not give back to the community.


Feedback: Squirt

by Bret Bordner

Well I've finished my second Squirt, I guess that's called a sister ship. She was as much fun to build as the first. This one is for my second son Jack. I had thought that my two boys could share the first Squirt, but that didn't work out so I had an excuse to go back into my shop and build one more. I couldn't have planned it any better, another winter in my shop with the boys.

For the new Squirt we used our existing 9.9hp Evinrude and got a new Johnson 15hp for our first Squirt. With a 15 she really flies, it has plenty of power and speed. No need for any more HP than the 15. And the 9.9 is the perfect size engine for Jack to learn with. Both boys spent many hours out on the water this summer and have learned many more lessons in their boats.

One problem we did have was figuring out how we were going to transport the two boats from home to the water. It was solved when a friend found a trailer that was designed for hauling two Waveriders. As you can see in the photo they fit perfect and if I do say so myself I think they look much better than Waveriders.

With our Squirts in tow one day we were flagged down by a man in Eastern Washington that was getting ready to start building a Squirt. If you are reading this sir, I hope you have started and are enjoying building your Squirt as much as I did. I also hope your family has as much fun and learns as much about boating as my kids have from their Squirts.

Thanks again Glen-L. I know Jack will remember this boat for the rest of his life and learn to love boating as much as I do. As you can see from the photos Jack loves the freedom and fun of boating. We are looking forward to many great memories in Jack's new Squirt.


Feedback: Squirt

by Peter Stofmeel

I finished the Squirt sometime early in the new year of 2006. That old motor is still in pieces on the garage floor waiting to go back together.

I opted to buy a new motor, a Mercury 15HP which set me back a bit but is worth the extra dollars. The fuel economy is great and the power is capable of lifting it instantly onto plane with 2 adults, at full stick I have been told on three occasions now that it is travelling at 40kph (25mph), feels like it's doing three times that.

Did have trouble early in the piece without a skeg, couldn't get off a wake at slow speed and nearly hit another boat, that was enough to look into fitting a skeg. The sliding without it was great fun but ended up being too dangerous. I installed a 1-1/2" strip from base of stem to transom, which caused cavitation, therefore shortened it 2ft from the transom. It now turns on its nose from full throttle.

Now to work out spray rails or something to keep dry.

The lettering here in NSW Australia has to be 150mm high, - c'mon the hulls less than 400mm high, "that's the regulation height sir"- The orange lettering is actually self adhesive, semi-transparent book covering for school books, it's been on for 12 months now and does not shows signs of falling off.

Thanks Glen-L for a great little boat.

Customer Photos

Stamps: Vintage Mahogany Speedboats
August 2007

When issued in August, the Vintage Mahogany Speedboats stamps will showcase the sleek lines, polished mahogany and gleaming chrome hardware of four of the nation's historic wooden motorboats.

The stamps feature recent photographs of a 1915 Hutchinson Brothers launch, a 1931 Gar Wood triple cockpit runabout, a 1939 Hacker-Craft, and a 1954 Chris-Craft Racing Runabout.

The craft on the selvage is a modern re-creation of a boat built in 1924.


From the archives

Mechanix Illustrated: Build Your Own Jet Boat!


Upcoming events featuring wooden boats.

International Steamboat Society Calendar of events 2007

Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club 2007 Antique and Classic Show Calendar

Started as a Crackerbox

by Rick Heaney

I have recently completed a boat which began as a Crackerbox that I started building with a friend but completed on my own.

After reaching the point where I had the initial ply layer almost complete (by myself at this stage), I decided to make wholesale changes to the design of the boat. I actually would have preferred to start out with the Riviera in the first place but...

I then set about stripping back a lot of the work that had been done and turned her into an 18ft, forward cabin, mid engine, deeper V, jet drive, 5 seat luxury mahogany cruiser with a raked and curved transom and teak swim platform. Many have said she looks like a little Riva Super Aquarama. I've attached a couple of images of the "almost" end result from her first test day and will send some more photos shortly.

The boat handles wonderfully. No porpoising at all, at any speed. She planes nicely and lifts well, not pointing the bow skyward as she lifts to the plane at all and sitting quite level.

Performance at this time is 35 knots or 40mph (GPS) as the impeller in the jet is limiting me to 3700 rpm. There is plenty of grunt to get there and she performs the same with one or four occupants so there is no problem with power, but the impeller is imposing a glass ceiling so to speak. The same computer mapping and engine will run up to 5000 rpm with a Hamilton Jet (being done regularly in New Zealand jet boats) but the 8.5" Doen Jet that I am using is not getting there yet.

The engine is a standard 4.0 litre, Quad Cam, Alloy, Toyota V8 and weighs in about 100kg (220lbs) lighter than a small block Chevy. Once the impeller is right and the computer mapping tuned somewhat, I should get another 1000 rpm or so making the jet far more efficient and hopefully hitting around 50 knots on a nice calm surface, though I don't really feel the need to use that speed, it will be interesting to see the end result.

I increased the deadrise to 9 degrees (lowering the keel line by 100mm) as the original hull line was far too shallow for the jet and was very careful to make it a constant deadrise which is required for the jet drive. I have three 25mm deep x 1000mm long (1" x 3'3") timber battens on each side extending forward from the transom to give her more straight line stability and better turning than a smooth hull would produce - not having a prop and rudder or keel skegs. I am about to add some small aluminium skegs (25mm deep and 200mm long) to the rear end of the battens just to give a little more bite on turning.

I also increased the arc of the stem to slice through the water more comfortably for the occupants as the cabin is now set forward. The dashboard is mounted to frame 5.

The original transom (frame "0") became the load bulkhead for mounting the jet unit with an aluminium plate intake and housing fabricated from 6mm (1/4") plate which mounts to that load bulkhead - extending forward for the jet intake and aft for the cavity housing to the new raked transom. The engine is in an extensive cradle - also of 6mm aluminium plate which is mounted to the stringers and frames 1 & 2 with the engine sitting between those two frames. The direct drive shaft is, of course, splined and has a universal at either end. The exhausts exit under the swim platform muffling the exhaust note at low speed.

The sheer and chine carry the same lines as the Crackerbox except where they extend to the transom.

The Brazilian Mahogany planks (8mm x 60mm) have been epoxy laid in the same fashion as they would be for a Riviera or Monte Carlo etc. with two layers of glass matting of course using the same epoxy as the rest of the boat.

A friend of mine who runs the interior design team at Ford here in Australia helped me design the interior which has turned out lovely. At the recent Melbourne International Boat Show the response was fantastic with many ladies likening the interior to a BMW or Mercedes.

As you can imagine, almost a complete redesign went into the changes and it probably would have been a lot easier and faster to scrap the whole lot and start again but I couldn't bring myself to do that.

One thing I didn't mention before is that whilst I have been in a suit for too long, now I am actually a shipwright by trade having served my apprenticeship in the Royal Australian Navy so it's been great to put the skills and knowledge to good use again.

Will I do it the same next boat? The next will have a deeper V again and a more pronounced stem curve to handle choppy waters better. There would be a few other changes, but I am very happy with the style of what I have designed/built and in essence, will stick with this format and style philosophy.

Actually the next boat might be a new design 22 footer and either jet or stern drive - haven't decided that yet.


Living Aboard

This afternoon I was sitting in my comfortable living room, with a fire in the fire place and watching it rain through the front window. My thoughts went back to a summer I spent living on a sailboat in San Diego bay. Though a good deal less comfortable than today, it was an exciting time and a learned a lot about life afloat.

There comes a time
When you build a boat
That you consider having
A nice home afloat

If you live near big water
The desire is common
Those feelings run deep
You don’t need a sermon

Many people have done this
In big boats or small
Both power and sail
With dogs, cats and what-all

The fresh air and sun
Make daytime a pleasure
Drinks in the cockpit
At sundown are a treasure

You feel the gentle rocking
Of the boat side to side
That lulls you to sleep
With the changing of the tide

You can watch boats around you
Some near and some far
You can wave to other sailors
Who are following a star

You can take off and travel
Whenever you want
In daytime or nighttime
You can cruise your old haunts

Fishing early in the morning
Dinner at the dock
Wake up to the seagulls
Who needs a clock?

But one thing’s against you
If you move off the land
Storage space is limited
You must have a plan

Closets are tiny
There is no garage
That huge open living room
Is just a mirage

As for me, I have tried it
I learned to live simple and lean
But I could never figure out
Where to put my espresso machine

If you think you might do it
Don’t ever say “never”
Even if it’s just for the summer
The memories last forever


Photos sent in since the last WebLetter...

Flying Saucer Lord Nelson Power Skiff 14 Eagle Monte Carlo Flying Saucer Sherwood Queen Bo Jest

Motor Torpedo Boat PT 728
Touring the East Coast

by Ken Schott
our roving reporter

As I am having my morning coffee and newspaper, I see an article on the PT 728 Touring the East Coast arrival of a PT in Savannah, Ga. It says 'open for tours and cruises.' I have known of a PT down in Florida Keys, privately owned, but to see it in the local newspaper, on a day I didn't have to work, was surreal. I wasted no time getting the camera ready and I was out the door. The owner has cruises for $50 to offset costs of maintenance and restoration. The crew was very informative, friendly, and professional. The handrails you see in the photos were a necessity of the USCG to get certified for carrying passengers, the original Military form had no handrails. Could you imagine going into harm's way on a boat without handrails, in a weather sea, at speed, munitions on deck, taking spray over the bow? Yeah right. The freeboard is only about 4 or 5 foot, so a moderate sea could easily awash the gunnels.


Seen on the Net

Minuet Plans review

From the Boatbuilder Forum, re. The Gathering


Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 839
Location: Marietta Georgia

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:10 pm Post subject:

Flogging? Better save that for the last day... I will probably be sinning up to the bitter end!! yuk yuk... Bill, they nailed me in the newsletter... Don't know if it was Gayle or Darla... but they got me for the comment I made to you... but I won't take it back... it's outa the bag!! I was going to comment on the beautiful letter that Gayle sent us. I was going to mention that Gayle was wicked HOT... But then I thought... what if Barry sees this... then I realized he is her brother, he probably knows she is HOT... (but in a sisterly kind of way)... then I thought that her husband might see this, but since he doesn't work there he probably won't... but he for sure would have to agree with me. Now, her dad... that is a whole different thing... he might come to the Gathering just to participate in the flogging!!!

_Steve (I mean Bob)

Oh, I'll be there, ...In disguise!!

Harold the boatbuilder
No comment...

Shop Talk: Fairing jig

by Dick Charmley

I am building the Topper sailboat, which has "knuckles" or multiple longitudinals that allow the sheet plywood to be used to give a soft-chine hull.

When it came to fairing the knuckles between stations, I couldn't imagine doing it unaided and still keep the angles exact... so I built an extension to bolt to my hand plane.


Recent email:

Subject: How can you tell if your boat is too small?
Date: 7 February 2007

Hi Gayle,
"thought your readers might enjoy this!"

Subject: Re. Riviera
Date: 8 February 2007
From: Steve Yokubaitis

Hi Gayle,

I haven't talked with you for quite a long time, since I haven't ordered anything lately. I was glad to see you and your family's photos in the newsletter this past Christmas. It is nice to have a face, especially a lovely face, to put with the voice on the phone. I am expecting to finish my Riviera this Spring. I guess it has taken me quite a long time to build but I haven't really worried about that since I have enjoyed building it so much. I am now working on seats and floorboards. After that I will just have some wiring left to finish. I was planning to wait until the boat was finished before sending you photos. I am also having a 3800 series Glen-L trailer built for it by a local trailer manufacturer.

Yes, the Amarillo Globe-News is doing an article on my boat. As you might expect there are not too many boats built in the Texas Panhandle so when Cheryl heard about it, she thought that it would make a good personal interest story. I think that it will be a nice article and Glen-L will certainly play a part in the story. I will keep you informed as it all unfolds. Hopefully I will be able to get a digital version of the story that I can email you and yes, I will send some of my own pictures to you sometime.

Although my boat, like everyone's, has its own individuality, I have felt that most of the photos taken during the building phase all look pretty much the same. I might point out, however, that my version is very similar to how your father layed it out in his line drawings. I am putting in a split front seat rather than a single bench offset to the side, but that is about the only difference. Mine does have a curved windshield and finishing board just like his version. I felt that the sweeping lines of the boat called for the curved windshield and finishing board. I have resawn all of my own veneer and so was able to be very particular about where I placed and matched each piece. I have made each side, the deck in particular, a mirror image of the other or "book-matched" it down the centerline. I used ribbon grain mahogany on the main deck areas and flat grain on the finishing boards with a curved crotch figure ribbon grain on the foredeck to accentuate the lines of the boat. Anyway, I think that it is turning out pretty well. The shed that I am building it in has pretty tight quarters, so I am restricted somewhat as to photo angles. I will try to get something to you fairly soon, however.

All for now.


Date: February 07, 2007
Subject: Re: Glen-L Family Information


Thanks for the "family overview".

I built the Fancy Free sail boat some 20 years ago and it was a very fun project. I am happy your business is still helping those who enjoy boat building.

What impressed me the most about building one of your designs was how well the specifications/engineering became evident in the finished product. For example, I painted the waterline on the hull (black hull, white water line, red bottom) per the specifications, and on the day of the launch the craft drafted exactly to the white water line. That little detail made me look like a genius.

I hope you will continue to make others feel as smart is I did on that wonderful day some 20 years ago.

PS I'm near retirement and if I can, I will build another Glen-L (a no-brainer for smart people).

Rich Schofield

Subject: Re. Glen-L Newsletter
Date: January 31, 2007

So much more... I have purchased plans from Glen-L and am waiting for the right time/space to build a cruisette. I am a cabinetmaker by trade but a student atm so as you can imagine I am money tight. Your newsletters are keeping me motivated to work towards obtaining an environment that will see the completion of this little craft.

I believe your newsletter is a benefit to all your customers and as a student of online management am thoroughly impressed by your online communications.. to the person/s responsible for the newsletter (Whom is at this moment a phantom superhero to me) thank you! I suggest the next newsletter include some reference to this phantom superhero and your other wonderful staff.

Yours sincerely

It was difficult to get a our editor to come out of the shadows, but since it is for the WebLetter, I was able to convince Barry to hold still long enough to snap this photo. ...Gayle

On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 18:03:09 -0500, Tamas Kirchknopf wrote:

Hi Barry,

Thank you very much for your input.

As to your question regarding the newsletter at the far end of your mail, I believe my grandfather would feel himself very much honored if you added his story.

Unfortunately I can't really add to much information myself. All I know is that in the huge factory where my grandma was working, the "management" decided to destroy all "imperialistic" (western, remember at that time Hungary had a communist regime) printed materials in the library. My grandma saw those issues of Popular Mechanics, picked them out, translated it and grandfather started to draw the frames in the living room. This happened at the end of the 70's. They later moved abroad for 10 yrs, so no one has done anything since the early 80's.

The boat has never seen water yet and was kept locked in the garage - as you can see it is still in its original pomp.

I hope to be able to send you pictures where the boat is ready by the end of this summer...

Best regards

Subject: RE: FW: Sea Knight
Date: 27 January 2007

Hi Barry,

My Sea Knight has received a facelift last year - I will send you some pictures via mailbigfile - please do feel free to share those images with your online community.



Subject: Eagle
Date: 19 January 2007

My professional log has pics of the Eagle that we're building and comments...

Capn Scott

Subject: Glen-L Subscription
Sent: Monday, January 22, 2007

8:34 AM

Hello Gayle, Barry, Glen and good folks.
It has been many years since the good days with my Glen-L Missle with a 409 Chevy and v-drive (1965 to be exact). Since that time my brother and I have built over 17 boats (all fiberglass) and then eventually got out of it. I would tell you that there has been no greater pleasure than building a boat and floating it for the first time. It is truly freedom at its best, a whole new world in itself. You need no experience at all to build your first and that’s the fun part of it!! It's the greatest stress reliever of them all.
Anyway, recently I was driving the country roads near Lodi to see a friend and I noticed a yard with an old inboard boat on a trailer with a flat tire. The cover was torn and I could see it was a wood boat. I drove in and asked a man there about it and he said that it belonged to his wife and her kids, that her husband who had built it had passed away some years back. I said, "Roy, if you don’t do something with that cover, you will have a worthless dry-rotted boat". He said his wife was ill and the kids didn’t want it.
"Why don’t you make her an offer and you can fix it up, they had put a new engine in it before they stopped using it."
I pulled the cover back and lo and behold it was a Glen-L Mist Miss with a 327 Chevy in running condition. I made them a modest offer as the boat had about 6-plus inches of water in it, and his wife said fine. We pulled it out with his tractor, hooked it to my truck and homeward we went. I had to go by my brother's house to show off my find and he said let's try to start it. We put water to it and a little gas to prime it and turned it over. Big Surprise, the engine came to life and ran like a champ. We smiled so big there were no wrinkles in our faces (we are old now). It was like two little kids with a brand new store-bought toy! I have to tell you that the newsletters from you is the most enjoyable thing I have on my computer. I will send you a photo of the boat on the trailer (also Glen-L I think) soon.
Thank you,
The Horning family
Ted Sue and kids and grand kids


Subject: Pirated Tubby Tug
Date: 22 January 2007

After seeing your plans for the Tubby Tug, I knew I wanted to build one for my granddaughter. Since she is only 3-years old, I thought I would have to wait until she was older. Not wanting to wait several years, I decided to build one for my 8-year old nephew.

Given my nephew's fondness for playing "Pirate", I decided to modify the plans a little. The cabin was left off, but blocks were installed for future addition. The center seat was built to hold a simulated mast and a bowsprint was attached to the bow. Ropes were used to simulate the outline of sails. Power is from an electric trolling motor. I told my nephew that we can finish the conversion to a tug boat when he outgrows being a pirate.

I thoroughly enjoyed building the boat and plan on building another Tubby Tug when by granddaughter gets a little bit older.

Todd Deaver
Newalla, OK


Subject: Boat registry
Date: 18 January 2007


The boat I am building is the IMP.
Tom Schultz
Deep River, CT

Project Status: My wife bought the plans for this boat and gave them to me for my birthday. I have studied them from top to bottom, and I feel very confident that this will be a great project. I have not made my first cut, but I have all the lumber on order and it should be arriving mid next week. I also purchased the fastener kit, and Poxy-Grip from Glen-L. I can't wait to get started.

I have never built a boat before, but I look forward to this project as a trial. If things go well, I will attempt something bigger. I've had my eyes on the Stilleto or maybe Gentry.

My cousin built a Tuffy about 20 years ago, and we had a great time with that boat. I've been wanting to build one of your boats since then.

Thanks Again,
Tom Schultz

Build more boats
GLEN-L boats, of course

WebLetter Index
Glen-L Home Page