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

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GLEN-L Update
  • Gathering update: Total coming re. Boatbuilder Connection
  • Thanks to all those who contributed to this WebLetter.


An Invitation!

by Bill Edmundson

October 26, 27 & 28
Lake Guntersville State Park, Guntersville, Alabama, USA

Now that What, When and Where have been covered. There seem to be more questions. You can get a lot of answers by clicking on "the Gathering" above.

Now, some of the others:

  • Is this a sponsored event? No, we builders are making this up as we go! It's our event.
  • Who's invited? You are! We want to see other forum members. This includes past builders, current builders, wannabes, and just plain interested people. If you're restoring a wooden boat, or have a wooden boat, or would like to have a wooden boat. Come On Down! (Sorry, we have metal builders also. They're welcome too.)
  • Are wives invited? Well, that is between you and your wife. Mine plans to come.
  • Do I have to bring a boat? What if I'm not finished? No, you don't have to bring a boat. "Finished"? I didn't know a boat was ever finished. You just slow down working on it, put it in the water, and start using it. Bring it anyway. I've seen lots of "finished" boats. But, I can't see what is covered up. There may be more to learn from an un-finished boat.
  • What if I'm not building a Glen-L design? I'm not either. Well, I wasn't when we started this. I'm doing a Ken Hankinson design. We also had that question from Keith M, who is associated with Back Yard Yacht Builders ( I told them come on. Guntersville is a big lake, 69,000 acres. I think it will handle all comers.
  • Are the Glen-L people welcome? Well, YES! And, anyone else that supports this hobby is welcome. But, I don't think we want a bunch of local companies trying to make this a sales event.
  • Can I throw Leakcheck in the lake? Yes, it's first come, first throw!

There are probably more questions. Put them in the forum (The Gathering), show your interest, we'll try to answer, and then you come to "the Gathering"!

From the archives
Feedback: Biscayne 18

by John P. Maddox

11 April 1995

Everything on my Biscayne 18 is mahogany except for the frame gussets and the inside layer of the transom, which are Douglas-fir plywood. Assembly has been what I expected, easy in some areas, while others require some thought. The text and drawings are great and having done some reading about lofting, I am glad you furnish full scale drawings.

The frames and stringers were no problem. I made larger stringers for the bottom (1"x2"s) because I didn't feel comfortable with the 1" x 1"s when I set them on the frames. The most time consuming part of construction has been laminating the veneer layers. I work in the telephone industry and we use fiber tape to pull cable through conduit capable of supporting 1250 pounds. I used this tape to remove the staples once the epoxy cured. I would staple over the tape and through the veneer. Removal was a matter of pulling the tape, which would raise one leg of the staple and pliers would remove the other. This sped up the process incredibly, since the staples in the first layer were removed one at a time with a modified screwdriver, which gouged the wood... not to mention the blisters. After the second veneer layer, I used a hand-held power plane to remove some material along the keel and chines and fiberglassed the joints with bi-directional fiberglass tape in hopes of making the strongest joint possible. I have applied all of the final layers of veneer and am in the process of fairing the hull. I will take some time, since once the boat is fiberglassed, that's it.


Feedback: Pee Wee

by Oskar Carsloon

In the summer of 2005 I ordered and built the Pee Wee and I would like to share my story and some pictures.

The story of my boat building actually began over 17 years ago with a friend. We where both 14 years old at that time and we had made a couple of fishing trips with my 1966 Archeimedes Penta 3.9hp outboard motor and his little sailboat called Optimist in Sweden. We needed a better boat, and started to build a boat that we could cruise and fish the lake near our home.

We took over my parent's garage, so they had to move their cars out in the street... what wouldn't parents do for their kids! We made it to the point that we had all of the frames set up and were going to buy the plywood, but we ran out of money.

When I ordered the Pee Wee plans in 2005, I had 2 children that were going to get the boat when it was done, to be powered by the old Archimedes Penta 3.9 HP. Today I have three children, two boys and a girl. I wonder if the Pee Wee would look good in Pink?

I received the plans on 23 April 2005 and more or less started to build right away. Since I didn't have a space indoors, I had to build outside and that had some set backs... like rain. In the middle of the building process, I put up a tent so I could build when it was a little rainy.

I found the plans very easy to read and use. The only thing I found hard to do was to make the plywood fit in the joints, but I managed with a electric sander and a lot of hard work. It took me a little over 3 months to have it built and I liked every second of it.

I changed the look of the boat a little, adding a wooden windshield. I haven't yet tried the boat with a motor, since the carburetor broke down. I tried to use a carburetor from a lawnmower. It worked like a charm at the test bench, but in water it was a different story. At least I have put the boat in the water and it floats.

I look forward to building one of your boats again, but haven't yet decided which one.


Designer's Notebook: Notches for longitudinals

This discussion refers to sheet plywood boats built by typical plywood on frame methods using athwartship frames at frequent intervals. For clarification, our definition of the term chine and sheer follows.

The chine is the longitudinal wood member backing up the junction of the bottom and side. The sheer is the longitudinal at the top of the side planking and backs up the junction with the deck, if used.

Again, to further narrow this discussion, we're assuming the boat is a flat or vee bottom with flare to the sides; the sheer line is outside the chine as seen in plan view.

Frame notches can be precut before mounting the frames on the building form or after they are set up. Most builders prefer to pre-notch but it makes little difference; hand beveling while on the building form will usually be required. The patterns may show the cut outs in the frames that are required but don't automatically assume these are the exact size. Check the width and thickness of the stock actually being used and alter the notches to match. In most cases the precut notches will need to be angled while on the building form so it's usually preferable when you are precutting notches to make them undersize and trim as required when fitting the chine in place.

We usually notch for battens after the chine and keel have been faired to receive the bottom planking. Then notch the frame the precise thickness of the stock being used. Very little if any fairing of the batten will then be required. We use a portable circular saw set to the required depth to notch frames for the battens, a router also works well. Since frame notches for battens may require and angle a swipe or two with a wood rasp may still be required.

Select the lumber with care, particularly that for the chine and sheer, good vertical grain stock properly dried and free from knots or other defects is imperative. Sized to the plan specifications, the chine and sheer longitudinals should be at least a foot or so longer for trimming to fit.


Spring the chine member around the boat lapping over the stem and transom. It's nice to have the chine fit against each frame securely, but it seldom happens. Typically the chine lands securely against the frames in the aft section. In the forward section the chine must twist, a bar clamp tightened on the chine will provides a "handle" to give leverage. The side of the chine may not land securely against the side of the frame, it will probably protrude. However, the chine must solidly fit into the frame notch. The portion that protrudes must be removed during fairing. Consider carefully; the side planking must have a solid landing on the chine side and the bottom must also firmly contact the chine. Notch the frame as required so the chine protrudes so this can occur.

Cut 4" or so off the end of the chine for use as a guide. Hold this block against the chine with end butting to the frame, then mark the contour for the notch required and do the same on the opposite side of the frame. Saw the frame notch and recheck with the sample block. If the fit is not precise, use a file or wood rasp to clean up the notch. Take care that the side frame does not project past the chine as this will tend to create a hard spot and mirror through the plywood planking.


Frame notches for the sheer are marked with a portion of the sheer member as described for the chine. Again adequate landing must be provided on the sheer for the side planking and deck (if used). Boats that have considerable flare to the sides and a sheer profile of an arc may need to have considerable material removed in fairing. In some instances, the faired sheer in the forward section may be almost triangle in shape.

Notches in frames for longitudinals is not difficult if you think in advance. We'll repeat it again. The mating planking must land securely on the logitudinals.

Feedback: TNT

by Kevin and Kaitlyn Sharpe

I was looking for a project that I could work on with my daughter, but I wanted something that would keep me interested as well as her. As a kid at the cottage, I had a three point sea-flea, which gave me great enjoyment and freedom on the water... So for Christmas of 2005, we gave her the plans for the TNT.

Kaitlyn and I started the project in Jan of 2006. The goal was to have it ready to launch by our summer vacation in July of 2006. We made it, but some of the paint was still drying the night before the launch.

Both of us enjoyed the process and spent many happy hours together in the garage working on it. This project gave me an opportunity to be with my daughter and teach her how to use tools safely. Also, that hard work, patience and planning can produce wonderful results.

The TNT has been named Freedom and after a summer of running with an 1962 18hp we are looking for a 25hp, as the boat does not go fast enough for my daughter. Also, there are two other TNT boats on our lake. It is wonderful to see three of these boat out together having fun.

Here are some pictures form our completed TNT... Photos

Terms of Endearment

(Things you can say about your boat but not your wife)

The shape of her lines
Fill my mind with desire
Her rounded bottom
Sets my heart on fire

The curve of her sheer
The jutting of her prow
That tight little stern
Makes me want her now

I love to fondle her cleats
And rub them with care
When I look down her deck
What dreams do I dare?

She lights up my life
Turns my thoughts to a blur
I want to take off my clothes
And rub up against her

The subject of this poem
Is the secret love of my life
Though definitely a “she”
I do not refer to my wife

It is the boat of my dreams
That makes my heart flutter
Though made of wood and glue
She turns my insides to butter

We men who love boats
And are married as well
Need to express ourselves carefully
To keep peace where we dwell

There is a phrase a sailor does fear
And a married man ought-er
The dreaded cry about boat or wife
...She’s taking on water!


Photos sent in since the last WebLetter...

Ski King Squirt with jet BoJest Squirt Flying Saucer Lodestar BulletWild ThingSherwood Queen Malahini Squirt Glen-L 14 sailboat CS-20 Bandido Hunky Dory Sherwood Queen

Spider tracks

found in the web

Rick Blevins building Monte Carlo

Voyage of Captain John Smith

Dover bronze age boat
          ...more of the same

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge by boat

Delmarva Odyssey

Encyclopedia of Life... Ultimately, the Encyclopedia will serve as an online reference source and database for every one of the 1.8 million species that are named and known on this planet, as well as all those later discovered and described. Encyclopedia of Life will be used as both a teaching and a learning tool, helping scientists, educators, students, and the community at large gain a better understanding of this planet and all who inhabit it.

Feedback: Zip

by Nathan A. Miller

Well, the last WebLletter finally got me to put together some pictures of my Glen-L Zip design, "Nine Lives". She went in the water July of 2006 and I'm just getting her ready to go for this year.


Nathan A. Miller
Fredericksburg VA



June 2-3, 2007
Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce Antique & Classic Wooden Boat Show, Lake Arrowhead, California. "Please join the The Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce in the 23rd Annual Antique and Classic Wooden Boat Show."

June 29-July 1 2007
16th Annual Wooden Boat Show, Mystic Seaport, Connecticut

July 7-14, 2007
The Sixth Annual Raid Finland. Turku Archipelago Raid Finland is a yearly, week-long distance adventure race for 14-25 ft, traditional and classic open craft, powered by sail and oar.

Dragon Boat races in June

First Day Last Day Location Event Name Organizer Contact
10 10 Boston Hong Kong DB Fest. of Boston -
10 10 Princeton, NJ Paddle for Pink Princeton Women BCS DB Team
03 03 Norwalk,CT Norwalk Harbor Splash South Norwalk Business Assoc
02 02 Lake Parsippany, NJ NJ DB Club's Friendship DB Race NJ DB Club
08 10 Saint Charles,IL St Charles Pride Fox Riverfest St. Charles Chamber of Commerc
09 10 Portland,OR P-K Sister City Assoc DB Race Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City
09 09 Philadelphia, PA Independence DB Regatta --

Shop Talk: Small Boat Electrical System

by Terry McIntyre

Forty-something years ago when I built my first small boat, there was no need for an electrical system. My 1960 40-horse Johnson outboard didn't even need a battery - when you wanted it to start, you pulled (about 3 times) on the rope, and away you went. We called it an "Armstrong Starter".

Things have changed. Today, even the smallest boat needs at least a rudimentary 12-volt "house" electrical system to run things like lights, bilge bumps (and the stereo). There have been a lot of questions on the Forum recently about electrical systems, so I thought some folks might be interested in what I did with my Jet Squirt. Perhaps I should add that when I started this boat I made a personal commitment that when and if I ever sold it I would be able to look the buyer in the eyes and say, "This boat may be home-made, but it meets all US Coast Guard (USCG) and American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) requirements, just as if it were built by a big boat company". I did some homework, and found an excellent reference book, "Boat Owners' Mechanical and Electrical Manual", by Nigel Caulder (about $40 at Amazon). I recommend this book highly. While what I've done here is specific to my boat, the process is pretty generic - with more electrical devices you just need more circuits and perhaps size the wire differently.


Recent email:

Subject: Re: Glen-L Subscription Confirmation
Date: 17 May 2007

Hi Gayle,
I have the plans and the beginnings of one of your boats. Never having built a boat bigger than a child's toy, my friend and I will attempt and succeed at building the Tahoe with a few variations; approx 2 feet longer, 2 seating areas forward, none aft; longer deck and around windshield, and last but surely not least, power it with a 12 cylinder Jaguar motor that will be converted for ocean/lake use. Wish me luck and a steady course. The last owner and person who began the boat is not with us any longer and was a personal friend. His dream was to build this boat and we will see it through for him. This may take a while due to dollars but not for heart, for we accept the challenge. Enough drama; he wouldn't have liked that!
Sparkie Patterson

Subject: Squirt finished project
Date: 12 May 2007

Dear Sir or Madam,
I'm writing to inform you that I have just finished building a Squirt, from your designs. I was given the plans as a Christmas present five years ago by my parents, when I was fifteen, and soon after I started building. It took an awfully long time, as my time was occupied with many other things: exams, university, boarding school, to name but a few, and so inevitably the boat was often put to one side. It is the first boat I have ever built and consequently there were many occasions where I had to undo my efforts thus slowing progress further, yet I continued. And now, finally, she is finished! Though she is not of a professional build quality, she is sturdy enough, and I am a proud and pleased man.
A few particulars: I have modified the design slightly to allow a large dog to be able to sit in the rear comfortably (sounds strange I know, but our Labrador loves the sea). She has a ten horsepower two stroke engine and is able to reach speed of approximately 20 knots with two people on board. The runners underneath her are very shallow, just enough to grip the water. This means that cornering is slippery yet exhilarating, and certainly gives one a huge burst of adrenaline. Though she doesn't like waves, she is remarkably stable, and surprisingly comfortable.
I would like to congratulate and thank you for a successful and (by the appearance of your website) a very popular design.
Once again, thanks from a very satisfied customer.

Blair Dunlop.
Southern England

Customer Photos

Subject: Re: new email address
Date: 5 May 2007

Have actually started the 'Ski Tow'. It's been 44 years since I built the 'Missile', and this is what I've been hankering to do ever since. Business life and mechanical interests took over in the intervening years, restoring cars & building race karts, but nothing quite compares with building one of your boats. The 'Biscayne' plans arrived also & all the timbers to build it have come too, so have plenty to think about, and intend to get totally immersed.
The Furniture Joinery owner who organised the Hoop Pine for the structure is a business friend, & asked what the timber was for. When I said it was for a wooden boat, he said his lifelong dream has been to build a Mahogany boat, so guess what we did for the next hour or so? Logged on to the Glen-L site. He is enthused!
It has been interesting to see you all when you published photos of yourselves, thanks. Til later,

Subject: Project registry update
Date: 1 May 2007

MONACO / Rich Coey / Modesto, California
Launched the boat on April 28th. It worked perfectly, gets on plane almost instantly with almost no bow rise. A very smooth dry ride even through choppy water. It ran 55 mph with four people and a full tank of gas according to speedometer on board and friend in bass boat along side. Should do even better with a lighter load. Carbureted 350 chevy, 1:1 velvet drive, 13 x 16 prop at 5000 rpm. Total build time was 934 hours. Could not be more pleased with the looks and performance of this boat. Thank you for a great set of plans.


Subject: Re: Glen-L Order
Date: 25 April 2007

Dear Darla,

I want to thank you for your emails concerning my recent boat-plan order. I appreciate knowing when it was shipped and how to track it. I also enjoyed reading your news letter. It's always a pleasure buying from someone who is organized and has genuine interest for their customers. I look forward to "shopping" with you again!

Paul Allen

Subject: RE: Barrelback?
Date 24 April 2007

Thanks Gayle,
Make no mistake, I scrutinize the plans, the photos, and the newsletters every month. The latest newsletter was a knock-out. These boats are beautiful. I will probably build one. But I love small, fast and beautiful. Nothing beats a 16' racer. I went so far as to buy Naval Architecture books to design my own, thinking "I'm an Engineer, how hard can it be?"
Jeez! Rocket science doesn't bother me but... ya gotta have style for boats.

Looks like the Biscayne 18 for me. What the heck, a couple of friends along for the ride won't hurt. I used to build engines for road race teams, a turbocharged, inter-cooled 400 small block ought to get it done.

Thanks for getting back to me so quick.


Subject: Re: Glen-L Newsletter Date: 20 April 2007

Ken Shott’s article on the Missouri was outstanding---Please let him know that I enjoyed reading it and seeing the pictures immensely. You all do a great job. Matthew J. FitzGibbon

Subject: Website
Date: 18 April 2007

I love your website, find it very easy to navigate. I wish all websites were like yours.

Kevin Campbell, Orlando

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