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A place to share YOUR boat building story

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

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In this issue

GLEN-L Update


Merry Christmas to our fellow boat builders.

John, Buck and Gayle

A Great Adventure

by Tina Drake

At the recent Gathering of Glen-L boat builders in Guntersville, Alabama, a lot of time was spent by the guys exchanging stories of the adventures, and misadventures, of their boat building experiences. There were some fun and interesting stories. Whether it was the one about the Squirt frame kit being laid out on the living room floor to evaluate it's size, or the tradeoff by one builder that resulted in the wife getting a new MiniCooper, all were fun to hear.

You suggested to the wives present, that it would be interesting to hear a wife's viewpoint of her husband's ordeals in the building of their boat. I've spent this past month thinking about just that and now, I would like to report in.

Tom and I have been married for thirty years. Boating and building things have been a big part of Tom's life. Our family photo album shows him with the boat that he and his dad built when he was twelve years old. During our marriage, I can't remember too many days when his workshop has been void of a project of some sort. During this period, I have developed a keen sense of awareness when a new project is about to be born. I must say though, that this was not the case in his boat building project.


Tubby Tug at West Marine

by Bill Perryman

First things first, thank you for a great selection of boat building plans for the novice and expert alike. Though I have built boats in the past, I have never followed any sort of plans so this was quite a first for me. Many years back, I purchased a set of plans for the 'Tubby Tug'. The plans followed me as I moved from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast and back to the West Coast before even starting this boat building project.

The time came and the boat has been started.

As a manager for West Marine Products in Fresno, California, I decided this was a great store to demonstrate every step in the boat building process and naturally the 'Tubby Tug' was the ideal platform. This boat proved to be not only an eye catcher but a wonderful tool to demonstrate a wide variety of products we sell such as West System, Gorilla Glue, 3M, Ancor, Blue Sea Systems, Raymarine Electronics, Dual Stereo equipment, Interlux, Afi/Marinco, Poly-Planar Speakers and Sikens Cetol - to name a few. Now many months later, we are applying the finishing touches before the paint gets laid - West Marine Blue of course! With customers ranging from the young of age (6) to the young at heart (60+) watching us build this over several months, the sense of pride and achievement for all was quite the same. The keen eye will note the upgrades including hand laid arch opening with teak inset on cabin top, the electronics box overhead, the teak floor/front deck and cabin adornments to name a few.

We all look forward to another boat project and many more free boat building classes to be held at our store in 2008. Perhaps a few photos will give others ideas and inspiration.


Gathering photos

I'd like to know who spread that rumor that John Bowen didn't really take any photos... Anyway, here's proof that John was not just posing with that camera.

John's Gathering Photos

Seen on the Net
Maritime Museums

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum of San Diego

Columbia River Maritime Museum

Los Angeles Maritime Museum

North Carolina Maritime Museum

The Houston Maritime Museum

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

Battleship USS Alabama

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

America's Maritime Museum

Wisconsin Maritime Museum

Forum wishes

The following seasoned greetings were posted in the Miscellaneous section of the Forum...

Debbie & I wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! Very Happy

PS: Let's get them out of the way so we can all get to a buildin'!!!!


Merry Christmas to you too. Building is going full swing here with the temps up into the mid 20's c up to 30c.

Happy Hanukkah!- Gut Yom Tov!


Mele Kalikimaka E- Houoli makahiki Hou

Mere Christmas & happy new year!

Gregg Grundon & Family

Merry Christmas & Joyeux Noël from da Great White North! eh!


Here's a big Mele Kalikimaka to all of you from me. I found this "Lost Video" from the Gathering that hasn't been posted yet. It was a special time that Leakcheck and Bill were having when they didn't know the video camera was on. I think it was something Steve came up with in order to impress Gayle. How could this not impress her?

Merry Christmas everyone


The Wife and The Boat Building Bills

A man should have a hobby
To keep him out of bars
Mine is building a boat
Other men work on cars

But it’s hard to explain
To the mother of my child
What I spent for that boat
Really wasn’t so “wild”

She insisted on a budget
To plan for what I spend
But I low-balled all the quotes
Now that’s a pain in my rear end

Last night I got a lecture
It’s really starting to pinch
She said that’s “College Money”
That I’m acting like a Grinch

Cards, checks or cash
Wherever there’s a glint
There’s not much she misses
My pockets hold only lint!

Once I hid a big purchase
On another item’s bill
She missed it and I said nothing
Though it took an effort of will

But any bill I get away with
I can not show or flaunt it
I just know I’ll get caught
See, my wife is an accountant

I'm not going to say where I got this idea except that it is based on some personal history. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Photos sent in since the last WebLetter...

Bo-Jest Tiny Titan Glen-L 15 sailboat Whitehall Barrelback Super Spartan Imp

Building the Zip

by Mark and Donn Shipley

After delaying the start of construction for several years, we finally got this thing on its way. My dad built his first Zip in 1956 (in five weeks!), so he's been having a blast working on this one. Status is as follows:

  • August 11-12: Frames and transom, stem and breasthook fabricated. Mahogany was used for the framing and all plywood is A-A Royal Marine Douglas Fir. We spent the following weekend sanding and preparing everything for assembly.
  • Sept. 1-3: We built the assembly fixture and attached the aforementioned pieces per the plans, and laid the keel.
  • The next couple of weekends were spent laminating and installing the sheers and chine logs, which were ripped from Philippine mahogany. I highly recommend laminating these. We experienced no breakage and this allowed us to keep these members full thickness. We added T-sections to the keel and battens between the transom and Frame Two because my dad's first Zip experienced a lot of flexing in this area. This also made it much easier to keep the bottom perfectly flat through this area.
  • We spent several weekends fairing everything for planking. We did have to do some shimming of the chine logs aft of the stem to keep the chines positive. I can say that all the time spent fairing and checking everything was very well spent. Tool recommendation: The "David" razor plane. I've used these for years in my model airplane hobby and they work beautifully for fairing the chines and sheers. Lightweight yet extremely robust. Made in Holland, they are available from a number of sources on the internet for about $25.
  • We began installing planking on Thanksgiving Day while the turkey was on the barbecue. This brought back memories for my dad because he and my granddad began work on Zip Number One under the exact same circumstances in 1956. All planking was completed over the long weekend. We did have some concerns about plywood cracking due to the Santa Ana wind conditions that weekend, so we lightly misted the planking with a plant sprayer up forward and had no problems.
  • This past weekend, Dec. 1-2, we got the fiberglass on. Despite the cold weather, we were able to get the cloth wetted out. We put down a ply of six-ounce E-glass followed by a second ply of two-ounce to aid finishing. This will finish out extremely well. We'll be keeping the creature comforts to a minimum to keep the weight down.
  • We expect to have this boat on the water sometime this spring. Power will be a restored 1956 Mercury Mark 55E and I've already constructed the trailer using your plans as a guide, but TIG welded everything from two-by-three-inch steel tube rather than C-channel. Since this will be a fresh-water boat the tube will not present a problem. One problem with trailers for lightweight boats is finding springs having a low enough rate to allow the suspension to work. Because of this I intentionally built the trailer on the heavy side to obtain a gross weight of approximately 1,000 lbs., using 1,500 lb. springs.

We are also willing to share our experiences with other builders. Many thanks and have a Merry Christmas and a successful 2008.

See the Project Registry for contact information.


Recent email:

Subject: Thanks
Date: 20 December 2007

Hi Gayle and Barry,

Just want to wish all of you there a Merry Christmas. Hey, Wait! To be politically correct I think that should be Happy Holidays. Whatever??? You get the idea.

Also, want to thank you for the DVD of the Gathering. I have enjoyed watching it several times. Sure was a nice event and I was very pleased to finally get to meet both of you. I don't want to get too sappy here but I must say that building and using my Cabin Skiff has truly been a life changing experience for me. It is my pride, my joy and my refuge. It opened a world to me I did not know existed and offered stability in a turbulent time in my life. Some would say it is only a boat but to me it is much more. And the two of you were a big part in making this all happen. And for that I will always be grateful.

Once again - thanks for all you help and encouragement.


Ray Macke

Subject: For Gayle
Date: 8 December 2007

Hi Gayle,

Thanks so much for the DVD of the Gathering! I had just gotten home from working 12 hours in a snowstorm here when I found it in the mail. What a great way to forget about that snow and remember the fun just a few short weeks earlier!

Ray Macke and I went up the Tennessee to Chattanooga Monday and came back Tuesday after the Gathering. It was fun to be able to go with the master. I can't do the trip justice with a description. The attached photo pretty much says it all. We were running about 25 mph when I took the photo... check out that water! Ray is ahead on the left and the bow of the Sea Knight is in the foreground.

Thanks again for coming to the Gathering. It was really neat that you and your husband as well as Barry and his wife made it. Hope to see you again next year.

Thanks again,
Bob Maskel

Subject: Re: Confirmation for Order
Date: 4 December 2007

I am an architect and a woodworker, so I think your plans are excellent. Many years ago I built an 18' daysailer from your plans and later the TNT. Two years ago, we built the TNT again, since we liked it so much. This boat is in your picture gallery. Since we now have moved to a waterfront house on the Chesapeake Bay, we plan to build the Outrage 16' ski boat and sell the TNT. The TNT with a new new 25hp Merc will do almost 35mph, but it does not like the chop on the bay. We are hoping that the deep-vee on the Outrage will give us a better ride. We still believe your plans are the BEST!
John C. Wilmot

Subject: For Gayle Brantuk
Date: 4 December 2007

Rich Fisher, writing about an AquaCat in Webletter 95, asked "P.S. Is it bad luck to rename a boat?"

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

There's an interesting article at by Capt. Pat titled "Ceremony for Renaming Your Boat." Here's a quote from the second paragraph: "Renaming a boat is, of course, not something to be done lightly. Since the beginning of time, sailors have sworn that there are unlucky ships and the unluckiest ships of all are those who have defied the gods and changed their names. So, is there a way to change a name and not incur the wrath of those deities that rule the elements? "Yes, Virginia, there is." Of course, all of this requires the invocation of Poseidon (or Neptune), Boreas, Zephyrus, Eurus, and Notus (while facing in the proper directions) using the proper phrases (and proper libations), etc., but if Rich is at all concerned, this article might be a good start.

Capt. Pat also notes that "Of course, any champagne remaining will be the beginnings of a suitable celebration in honor of the occasion." And, although he doesn't mention it, I think the addition of a slightly burnt offering in the form of hamburgers/hotdogs/ribs on the sacred barbecue altar couldn't hurt!

Dan Clark
Tallahassee, FL

Subject: RE: Glen-L Newsletter
Date: 3 December 2007

Hi Folks,

Thanks for the wonderful articles and interesting info we get from the newsletters and that’s all due to the high level of interest and professionalism you Glen-l folks all display.

I’m one of those extremely lucky people who are building a Glen-l wooden boat (Whitehall) and there has not been a day since I decided to travel this journey, that has not been filled with satisfaction.

Truly the last twelve months (they include all the Internet research on every aspect of building a wooden boat), have made getting out of bed every day, a day brimming with enthusiasm and expectation and problem solving.

In the Ozzie vernacular, "Bloody wonderful" makes the words "thank you" completely inadequate.

You Glen-l folks have all made the past year one of my best. That is saying a lot , I’ve been married to a wonderful girl (who this year has survived a triple by-pass) for 45 years, have two happy and healthy and talented kids, two beautiful grand children, travelled the world, worked in careers that have been a joy, seen all the nieces and nephews become well educated and doing well in their chosen fields.

I think I could burst.

Merry Xmas to all at Glen-l and fellow boating enthusiasts, I wish you all the best that can come your way in 2008.

Thanks and see you next year, God willing.

Brian McGowan, Melbourne. Australia.

Subject: Re: Pics
Date: 30 November 2007

Thanks Barry for posting the photos.

They look great (as far as old scanned junk camera photos can!)

It was great meeting you, Gayle, & your very supportive spouses at the Gathering.

I want to thank you also for all the support at the Gathering & for all the joy you bring to us builders.

Your products open up a world of creative family fun that helps tie families together (in most cases) & gets them away from TV & video games & working on a family project as life should be.

This role should not be overlooked.

Have a great holiday & maybe see you next year.

Warren (UPSPIRATE) & Debbie

Subject: Gathering photo disks/WebLetter 95
Date: 30 November 2007
From: Andrew Schott (Krugwaffle)

Oh good, you got the disks. With all the beautiful boats around, it was hard to take a bad picture. I wanted to share them with all the participants but I didn't want to mail out copies to everybody so I knew you guys would get the job done.

As it stands right now, we'll be at the next Gathering and with so much to show for the first one, the next one should be really great. This should give those who have been slowly going at it some incentive to turn-to and finish their Glen-L boat for the show. Only 11 months of building time left so it's time now to get ready for 2008!

Oh yeah, I got a brand new fiddle... Beauty!


Subject: Chapple's Airboat
Date: 30 November 2007

Dear Barry,

I am still working on my Zip boat. I have completed all the wiring and I am ready to install the deck. I thought you might be interested in seeing the bicycle powered airboat we built in one of my high school Technology classes. The pontoons were made of cardboard over a pine frame and covered with a skin of fiberglass.


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