Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedbackWebLetter 95 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
  • An event like the Gathering or Rendezvous take a lot of planning, but often an event dies when a key person drops out. Something to remember...
  • West Coast Rendezvous feedback on the Forum.
  • Before the strike, NCIS upcoming episode... Gibbs finishes the boat. They have the Amigo finished for an "in-the-driveway" shot, but are looking for a completed Amigo for "in-the-water" shots. We couldn't give them a line on a completed Amigo. Anybody know of one?
  • Thanks to all who contributed to this WebLetter. If anyone has comments or stories about either the Gathering or the West Coast Rendezvous, they are still welcome.


Successful Gathering of Boat Builders

by Gayle Brantuk

Take 20 home built boats, add to that about 50 people, toss in a ton of great food, drink and fun and you have the first annual Glen-L Gathering of boatbuilders.

My brother Barry and I, along with my husband John and Barry's wife Anke, were privileged to represent Glen-L at the Gathering. Many of us stayed at the cottages in the Lake Guntersville State Park as well as the campground. Accommodations were beautiful and the surrounding area was breathtaking.

It was a true honor to meet face-to-face so many folks who have built or are building our designs. We received the royal treatment and couldn't have had a better time. This Gathering was organized exclusively by members of our online Boatbuilder Forum. It was rewarding to see this online community of like-minded boat builders organize and carry out such a successful event.

Planning for the Gathering started about a year ago and was primarily done online through the Forum. Dave Grason, the Forum moderator, and Bill Edmundson, a Glen-L builder, were instrumental in getting the event started and scoping out the location. We all met at beautiful Guntersville Lake in Alabama during the weekend of October 26-28. The Gathering was such a success that a 2008 event is already in the works.


Boatbuilder Calendar

How would you like to keep the fires of your boat building dream stoked for an entire year? Now you can with the first ever 2008 Glen-L Calendar of customer-built boats.

Each month you'll keep the dream alive as you salivate over the awesome boats pictured in this calendar. Keep one in your shop and one in the house so the message is always in front of you: You too can build a boat just like these!

The 2008 Glen-L Calendar is available right now for pre-order with an expected shipping date of December 4 — just in time for Christmas.

For more details and to order, click here.

Gathering photo album

My intention was to fill this WebLetter with comments from those who attended the Gathering. Unfortunately, everyone seems to have "commented out" on the Forum. I do however, have a LOT of photos. Some were sent and some I picked up from the Internet. If you did not attend the Gathering, there are probably more than you want to look at (over 300). Even those of you who attended may be overwhelmed. There was no practical way to try to arrange the photos into a single timeline in the time I had available, so many of the photos show similar images, not in sequence. The photos are arranged in time blocks:
Friday morning, Friday at the lake, Friday evening; Saturday morning, Saturday at the Lake, Saturday evening; Sunday. Thanks to all those whose photos I have used.

If you weren't there, it is hard to convey the camaraderie at the Gathering. Bill Edmundson and Ken Schott were the contacts for the Gathering, but many more stepped up to take on tasks large and small, many of them anonymously. Dave Grason, Debbie, Andrew Schott and Gary McCusker all brought instruments and played impromptu concerts. From the talk I heard, there may be something less impromptu planned for the next Gathering. Special thanks to all those who brought their boats, especially those who brought them from far away: Bruce Dow, Ontario Canada; Bob Maskel, Minnesota; Ray Macke, Illinois. I'm sure one of the people that attendees will remember most will be Steve Sawtelle (Leakcheck) and his magic truck. In addition to kegs of beer and food, Steve produced a Squirt Frame Kit and gave it as a door prize (won by Narducci marine). ...And who made the birthday cake for Bill Edmundson and John Bowen? Special people, all.

Photo credits: When I started this article, I only had John Brantuk's photos, so if there is no attribution, John took the photos. Subsequently, I have added photos by Jeff Cobb (JC), Lamar Sumerlin (Lamar), Bill Edmundson (Edmundson), Keith McLean (McLean), and Andrew Schott (aschott). I was particularly glad to receive Andrew's (Krugwaffle) two disks of photos, as they were so nicely framed and seemed to document people, boats and events missed by others. In addition to the Glen-L designs at the Gathering, there were designs from Stevenson Projects and Phil Bolger. I did not gather names of builders or designs, so some of them are not captioned in the photos that follow. If you want to fill in the blanks, email a caption with page number and photo.


Gathering trivia

Vivienne of the Lolas
awarded trophies.

*Highly Recommended*

A Custom Boat Trailer to Perfectly Cradle
Your Boat Is Worth The Time

Your trailer needs to protect your boat from bouncing around on the road during transport. To ensure a proper fit, make your own to match your boat and protect your investment. If you can weld, or know someone who can, you can save a lot of money by building your own. Glen-L boat trailer plans were designed by Ken Hankinson and include an illustrated manual that details all aspects of the project for quick and easy assembly. Click here for more information.

Yes, We Have No 12mm!

This poem comes from a recent trip to one of the more popular suppliers of marine plywood in northern CA. I wanted 12mm (1/2 inch) mahogany marine plywood for some boat modifications I planned to do this winter. To my surprise, there was none to be had. They said the reason was a smaller supply than normal and a greater than expected demand. This is supposedly true of all dealers around here. I did buy some mahogany ply in both thicker and thinner sizes but I’ll have to re-think my plans or wait until spring.

My plywood dealer
Was very polite
But about marine ply
He was not contrite

I wanted 12mm
But to my surprise
There was none to buy
I just had to realize

It’s all been sold
He said to me
The mills have shutdown
Try next February

No Okoume he said
No Meranti to call
No Hydrotek, no Joubert
No mahogany at all

No ply in that size
To build with or play
All dealers are sold out
There’s no ½ inch today

It’s a popular size
I find in retrospect
I waited too long
Due to ordering neglect

I should have bought sooner
What I needed in those sizes
Now my boat work must wait
Until winter’s curtain rises


Photos sent in since the last WebLetter...

Riviera Double Eagle Bandido Glen-L 6.9 TNT Flying Saucer Lodestar Bo-Jest Zip Gentry Glen-L 19 Monte Carlo Stiletto Glen-L 14 Super Spartan Sissy Do Play Pen Gentry Glen-L 14 Cascade camper Console Skiff Power Skiif 14 modified Thunderbolt Everglade Glen-L 14

Gathering trivia

Bill Edmundson was fashion coordinater at
the first ever Gathering of Boatbuilders

Seen on the web

Pre-WWII Chris-Craft barrelbacks

2008 Mt. Dora Boat Show

Antique Boat Museum, Clayton, NY

Antique & Classic Boat Society

”I never know what I think about something until I hear myself say it.” —Bennett Cerf

Chicken Man

*Highly Recommended*

"I Can Just Imagine The Feeling Of Pride
Out On The Water In A
Classic Mahogany Boat I Build Myself"

We received this message from a recent caller. He had just received the plans and patterns he purchased for a classic mahogany runabout. Just imagining himself out on the water in a boat that turned heads every time he drove by was fueling his dream. So is building a boat like this within your capabilities? Click here to find out.

Shop Talk: Offset rudder


I built my Double Eagle with my own ideas, and guidance from your books. One of the results is that this is the ONLY boat I've ever had that has a neutral helm. That is, it will run on course, hands off. From the pic I sent you, you are seeing the photo taken from the front of the boat while running. I was all by myself, I took the photo.

What do you think of a article in 'designers notebook' to tell folks just how to build a neutral helm boat?

I obviously got it, but I dont know EXACTLY how I got it. I did offset the rudder from centerline of shaft; but how much is the correct amount of offset? I guess I was lucky, but how would another builder know for his project?

I talked to the guys at the Gathering, and the common practice is to drill the rudder port on-center, because it just "looks right". However, looking under MY boat, the rudder looks GOOFY because it is offset from the centerline, it just looks crooked damnit. BUT, it works.

How much offset is correct? Lots of the plans you sell are for the "Hot boats", thus a common 1" shaft. My build was a 4-banger motor and deep gear ratio, 1 1/4" shaft, wayyyy different from the Hot boats. But mine works. I offset mine just enough to pull the shaft past the rudder.

I even drove another Double Eagle with full deadwood keel per the plans, with center rudder, and it displayed torque steer, even with its barn-door rudder & deadwood. I am convinced that rudder offset is the key; but how do we builders know the correct amount?


As you found out, offsetting the rudder can give a balanced helm. How much offset? We have never seen any precise figure. It is possible that the pitch of the prop could have an effect on the offset. Understandably, builders are not anxious to drill a series of holes in the bottom of their boat to test different offsets. We used a 1" offset on a fast speedboat and although it worked, would more or less be better? We just don't know.


Recent email:

Subject: scarfing info
Date: Saturday, November 24, 2007

Any chance of getting some written instructions from Ken Schott to accompany the photos for his Scarfing router sled in #91 ? Looks like a winner I'm sure a lot of folks would be interested. Thanks.
Ed A

We forwarded this message to Ken and he sent captions which have been added to the page. brw

Subject: BoJest
Date: 21 November 2007

Dear Glen-L
I just had my Bojest surveyed and it was valued at $60,000.00. I didn't expect that. All my materials including trailer and engine cost about $19,000.00

Rick Klemm

Subject: RE: Don, Here are the Articles you Requested Date: November 13, 2007

Thank you Gayle
All of the comments I have read on your company mention the excellent customer service. So far I totally agree. I look forward to working with you in the future and hope I don't wear out my welcome. As of now, as soon as I get feedback on my grandson's choice of boat, I will be ordering. It looks like the Stiletto.

Thanks again
Don Sanderson

Subject: Re: Ron, Build your Dream Boat #8
Date: November 18, 2007

Dear Gayle,
I am a fairly new member of your company's following.
I have been enjoying your email newsletters and info grams.
I have also picked up on the fact that you seem to be totally committed to your job and admire the effectiveness of your personal marketing. I now understand a little more about why that is: you are the daughter of the owner, something I didn't know at first and your dedication gave you away. Please keep up the good work and know that you are appreciated.
Ron Wolff
New Orleans
Future boat builder

Subject: Re: Glen-L Subscription
Date: November 11, 2007

Hi Gayle,

This is just a quick note to let you know how much I enjoy your e-mails and the links to more information that they contain. I'm glad I stumbled onto your website a couple of months ago. Somewhere, stashed along with other boatbuilding books and things, I still have a couple of your printed catalogs from the late sixties and early seventies. Although back then, I was never able to get beyond study plans. It's really ironic that I lived my whole life in Lakewood, California, drove past your store in Bellflower hundreds of times, yet now that I've semi-retired and moved to the Portland, Oregon area I'm finally getting serious about building one of your boats (most likely a mahogany runabout). I'm currently in the process of designing a workshop that will be built on the back of my property this coming spring. I've already used information from your website to help determine the size and shape of my new workshop. Once I'm up and running I'll be in touch. Thanks for now.

Steve Nicholson

Ken Schott was one of those at the Gathering who brought his boat, Double Eagle. The hull was unfinished, but it had a motor and two outboard motor gas tanks.

Subject: 3-gal tanks
Date: 18 November 2007

I ran the boat today to see just how far I could go on 3 gallons of gas. Remember, I got those little outboard tanks that I run on? Here is what I found out.


Subject: Double Eagle plans
Date: 7 November 2007

Barry, Gayle, and Glen L:
I want to say thanks for the great plans and support.
I was able to launch my Double Eagle project at the Gathering, and it was a delight to see it finally run. From a modest sea trial, I can clearly see that it will perform above and beyond my expectations. Getting 28mph right off the trailer was a surprise, I thought I would be fortunate to get 30 after all the tweeking & prop selection was done. As it was, I was grossly over-propped getting the 28 figure, so 30+ will be easy. The weight/balance with several people onboard confirmed the stability and trim.

THANKS for your support of really good plans.
Ken Schott
Richmond Hill, Ga.

Subject: RE: Glen-L Family Information
Date: 4 November 2007

Just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to Gayle for sharing. How refreshing it is to be acquainted with the person who sends out these emails instead of dealing with just a faceless entity in cyber space. You do an excellent job on these newsletters and, while I don't have the room yet to build one of your designs, I look forward to the day within 5 years, when I will be able to. Keep up the good work!

John Pfaff, IV.

Subject: My Aqua Cat
Date: 1 November 2007

Hello Gayle,

I have an interesting story for you. Several months ago I became interested in wooden boats. I had an opportunity to aquire a Nordic Folkboat. However, I didn't have a place to put it or a place to sail it. So I decided to let it go. Since then I have begun looking around at other designs. I found your web site and decided to get some plans for a boat with the intention of starting to build one in a couple of years. I decided to get the plans for the Aqua Cat because it seemed to fit my requirements. I wanted a boat I could take out on Lake Oahe in South Dakota for a couple of days at a time. Lake Oahe is a reservoir that extends from the capitol of South Dakota to the capitol of North Dakota.

I also wanted a boat that I could float down the Missouri River below the dam at Pierre, SD. So I decided on the Aqua Cat because it appears to have a low draft. When I got the plans I was impressed by its potential. The only drawback was that it required twin outboards. So occasionally I cruised the Internet for used twin outboards. Imagine my suprise when I found a pair just down the street from where I work. Even more suprising was the fact that the outboards were attached to an Aqua Cat built from your design back in the late sixties. I didn't intend to start the project for a couple of years but I couldn't resist this twist of fate.

I now have the boat and I'm starting to look at restoring it. From what I can see the boat overall is in pretty decent shape. What I would like to do is strip the hardware off and then take off the top of the boat. Then I would like to start refinishing the bottom. I was wondering if I could strip the paint off and then laminate strips of mahogany onto the hull. I would then put a clear fiber glass coat over that. Is that possible? I haven't seen any information for this type of restoration out on the web.

Can you help?

Rich Fisher

P.S. Is it bad luck to rename a boat?


Thanks for sharing your story--that is crazy that you found twin motors on an Aqua Cat! What are the odds?

As for the mahogany veneers, that would be fine but will add some weight to the boat, but 1/8" veneer should be okay. Make sure and remove the paint to the bare wood and there should not be an adhesion problem. Use a thickened epoxy (such as Poxy-Shield plus #1 Silica) as the adhesive.

I've heard it is bad luck to rename a boat, if you believe in "luck".

Thanks again.
Gayle Brantuk

Subject: Glen-L Newsletter
Date: 3 November 2007

Dear Gayle. Is a pleasure to read your letters with the treats. The boats and nautics matters are very interesting but your native English is really important for my regular and standard ( Colombian ) English. Is a fine lesson of American´s way of speak or write. What you say a "heck of a good read".
Rgds, Enrique

Subject: Order Confirmation
Date: 5 November 2007

Dear Gayle:
I didn't want to mix business and pleasure in my last e-mail. Your latest newsletter was great. I really enjoyed the article about "The Gathering". The photos were great! The article made me sorry that I had to miss the event here in Alabama. Keep up the good work.


Lawrence Wilson
Building the JIMBO

Gathering trivia

Ken Schott did not have the floorboards of his Double Eagle
fastened down... he donated three to roadside clutter on the trip from Georgia.

link button

Build more boats
GLEN-L boats, of course

WebLetter Index
Glen-L Home Page