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

"Boats to Build"
Performed by Jimmy Buffet & Alan Jackson

In this issue

GLEN-L Update

  • Last month I promised that you all would soon be able to see photos from the 2008 Gathering of Glen-L Boatbuilders (held October 26 - 28, 2008 at scenic Lake Guntersville, Alabama). I am pleased to tell you that you can now view the Gathering 2008 Photo Album, as well as the Gathering 2008 VIDEO Page . Over the next few weeks we will be adding more photos and videos, as well as refining the album and videos page, so check back often!

Until next month . . .      

It Just Keeps Getting Better & Better

by Gayle Brantuk

The "Gathering" of Glen-L Boatbuilders Gets Better Every Year

The Glen-L Gathering of Boat Builders has become an annual event anxiously anticipated by all those on the Glen-L online Boatbuilder Forum. This year's event October 24-26 was once again a great success. The fun and frivolity took place at Lake Guntersville State Park in Alabama in an absolutely breathtaking background.

Before I go into all the wonderful happenings of the weekend, I have to give credit where it is due. We have the best group of folks in our online Boatbuilder Forum than anywhere on the internet. These boat builders not only give of themselves to help other builders online, but they all pitched in and planned this whole event from start to finish. From keeping the excitement going on the Forum and registering people to attend, organizing and preparing food, awards, boat info signs, clean-up and a whole lot more, these guys did it all!

There were over 100 participants at the
event and more than 20 home-built boats,
mostly Glen-L designs with Stevenson &
Chesapeake Light Craft also represented.
The event began at the Lakeside Cabin area
under the Pavilion where everyone pitched in
with food and drinks. Food was prepared to
share with fellow boat builders and boy, not
only do these guys build, but they cook too!
We had Low Country Boil, pulled-pork,
"secret" recipe chicken wings, Brunswick
Stew, salads, lots of sides and adult

Many stayed in the wonderful Lakeside cabins or camped out at the campground either roughing it or in fancy RV's. A few even stayed on their boats. After breakfast on Saturday morning, provided by our Canadian friends and many others who pitched in as usual, it was off to the marina with all the boats!

Each of these boats was a unique creation limited only by the skills and determination of the builder. There were several classic mahogany runabouts that were "ooohed" and "aaahed" over, a cabin cruiser, a couple of mini-tugs, fishing boats, runabouts, speed boats and more. Some brought finished boats, some partially-done, some brought just their dreams, but all brought a sense of joy and friendship.


Glen-L Boatbuilder of the Month

David Ainge - Union Jack


I started building Union Jack Easter 2002. I was still earning a living until the end of 2005 so building was restricted to evenings and weekends. Fortunately we live on acreage so I was able to build at home, which was a great time-saver. I could do an hour or two at a time, without wasting time travelling to a building site (or having to go back home to fetch something). After I retired at the end of 2005 I was able to work more or less full-time on the project for part of the year. From start to finish I spent about 4000 hours on the boat. Thirty years ago I took 3000 hours to build a 37ft plywood yacht, so I knew what I was in for this time.

Steel was a new challenge. I had basic downhand arc welding skills, but had never done anything serious in the other positions. I took a few lessons from a pro, then relied on learning on the job. When in doubt I practised on scrap steel until I felt competent to work on the boat. To this day I still find vertical corner welds the hardest. At the beginning I took some trouble to set up a strong and level steel support for the boat, and that was time and material very well spent. Contrary to the usual practice I built the hull the right way up. I live in tropical Australia and most of the year working in an upturned steel hull would be unbearable, and the discomfort and sweat in the eyes would wreck the concentration. I never had any trouble doing it right way up, and apart from the advantage of ventilation and light, it made handling the hull plates quite easy. Once the frames were set up and firmly in place I rigged a primitive hoist on top, and lifted the side hull plates into position. When doing this I was always inside the boat, so that if a plate fell I was safe. In this way I was able to manage large plates, and there are only three plates on each side between deck and chine. I used masonite (hardboard) for templates, and by taking trouble to get them right I managed to cut the plates very close, with only a little trimming needed here and there. I also used large plates on the bottom, because I didn't have to lift them very far, and if one fell there was no harm done, unlike a large piece of steel slipping off an upturned hull.


Everglade Camper Build

by Barry Bowles

I started this project on April 7, 2007. On "Black Friday" November 28, 2008, instead of going shopping, my wife and I finally our new Everglade out to Death Valley for the weekend. A "shake down cruise," you might say. It's not 100% done, but other than a few minor things on the interior (the exterior also has some trim to be fitted) and once the storage cabinet on the rear is complete it will be done ("done" is a relative term; is it ever really "done"?).

The things I was after when I decided to build this camper were a larger bathroom/shower, a comfortable dinette, a functional kitchen and one good bed.

#1 - The bathroom (the "Command Center"): This area came out perfect. I modified the Everglade plans a bit here. I didn't include a sink as plans specified, but choose to get more counter space in the kitchen and I did extend the front wall out a couple of inches. There is a built-in epoxied drain pan in the floor for the shower with a pop-up drain stopper. I used a household shower valve and spray head. The bathroom is paneled in a bathroom paneling that I bought from Lowes. I built a custom door for the bathroom that had shelves and a towel racks built into it. This came out great! There are no windows here, but there is a fantastic fan in the ceiling for ventilation.

#2 - The dinette had to be comfortable because my wife and I will sit for hours and read or play cards here when we go out. We have no kids, so it didn't need to be made into a bed, and I made it a full-on dinette. I used a material called Staron (like corian, but made by Samsung) for my table with 1-1/2" rounded edges. It came out beautiful. I was able to make a large table top with a 3 compartment organizer at the end by the wall.


Designer's Notebook: Lumber Splices & Laminates

It is becoming more difficult for most builders to locate long lumber for boat longitudinals.

However, splicing shorter lengths is not that difficult and, properly done, is structurally sound.


A typical scarf joint will be in the range of a ratio of 1:8 to 1:12. Thus, typical lumber ¾" thick would have a scarf length of 8 x ¾" or 6".

Relatively narrow stock, standing on edge, can be cut with a miter box, table or radial arm saw. Wider members can be angled similarly to that shown in the "Boatbuilder's Notebook" under the heading "Plywood Scarf Joints".

Scarf joints are preferably glued with thickened epoxy with moderate pressure applied. The adhesive should not be entirely squeezed out of the junction. Glue at the proper temperature and allow to cure properly. Joints should preferably be in the flatter areas of the bend and between frames rather than on them.

Joints can also be made with butt blocks the same size as the joining members backing up the butt joining longitudinal. Such a joint should preferably be made at a midpoint between frames and where the member has little curvature. If the curvature is such that the butt block will not conform to the bend, an arc can be made on the butt block to match the contour. However, the blocking must be a firm fit. The butt block is fastened to the longitudinal being spliced with screws as long as practical without going through the joining members. The butt block should preferably extend a minimum of 6" either side of the butting longitudinals and be glued with epoxy or other hard setting marine adhesive.

Don't butt join longitudinals directly on a frame without a butt block. If there is any curvature to the member at all, an unfair curve will result and create a junction without structural integrity.

Laminated longitudinals can have butt joining members backed up by the following laminate. The joint should be between frames, not on them and at least a frame space apart. Again such joints are best made in flatter sections of the longitudinal's curvature.


Laminating wood or plywood saves material and can compensate for the lack of wide stock. The use of laminations to make curved members such as deck or cabin beams is excellent practice particularly if there is considerable curvature. Such a sawn beam would not only require wide stock, but a properly laminated one would be stronger.

The number of laminations depends on the thickness of the wood or plywood but seldom are less than three used for athwartship beams. Laminations do require a form to bend them to shape while the adhesive, preferably epoxy, cures. Laminating beams wider than their thickness and sawing them to width will save time, particularly if plywood is used. Laminate beams will have some spring-back. That is, the curvature of the laminated beam will be slightly less that that of the form.

Laminated longitudinals are often used. A sheer, in some instances, will require laminations to bend in place. Keels are often made in laminations to obtain the required thickness and still make the bend. Laminating plywood over a solid wood keel prevents splitting. Most laminations of this type are done directly on the boat; no form is used.

Proper gluing and clamping practices are especially important in any laminate. Be sure to laminate at practical temperatures and let it cure properly, particularly before removing curved beams from forms.

Wood is especially strong when thin layers can be glued together forming laminated members. Cutting lumber into thin layers also allows selective use of lumber so that ordinary defects such as knots, shakes, checks, and grain deviations can be minimized or eliminated. This results in stronger members or members of smaller size for similar strength compared to members taken from single pieces of wood.

In addition, laminating can be done for aesthetic effect. For example, beautiful laminated members can be made by alternating grain patterns and colors. Such versatility allows the builder to select lumber in more readily available sizes, instead of having to locate larger sizes of lumber that may not be available or available only at high cost.

The Boat Parade of Lights

The boat parade of lights
Is a really wonderful sight
They form it in the harbor
And parade with yuletide ardor

This year there is a contest
For best lighting in each context
The yacht club put up a trophy
And to enter there is no fee

So I put my name upon an entry
To become one of the gentry
Who parade and then relate
Stories of their yachts' gold-plate

Though my boat is very sturdy
She is a bit of a hurdy-gurdy
Compared to craft heaven sent
Which seem to dominate this event

"Jenny" is a sloop very small
With a mast that seems too tall
In a line of yachts we are between
A ketch and a yawl in position D-15

My rigging is full of lights
Strung from every fitting and bight
To power them, generators (a pair)
Which hum and fume the air

By competing in this public event
The yachting locals may well relent
They will have to take me serious
So I'm feeling happily delirious

But my lights are shorting out
Water in the wiring, no doubt
For this problem, I'm not suited
I think I'm being electrocuted

Then I make it past the stand
Where the judges are at hand
I'm very happy it's all over
I feel like rolling in the clover

I've done the parade of lights
Now I can brag about it, all right!
My boat may sit upon a trailer
But I'm not just a weekend sailor

In my joy, I fire off a flare
It rises up, up, up into the air
Without a plan or forethought
It falls on the Commodores yacht

Uh-oh ……


Photos sent in since the last WebLetter...

Scarf Joint Techniques

A scarf joint is a way to extend the length of a board by aligning long grain-to-long grain surfaces for a strong and almost invisible seam. The longer the seam, the stronger and less conspicuous the end result.

These are photos of a scarfing fixture/technique that Glen-L client Bill Yonescu of Smithtown, New York has used for years utilizing a power miter saw (he says he "hasn't seen one like it published but it could be that everyone knows of it and it's nothing new").

Bill states that "it's simple to make and use and one should not discard the wedges left from the cut. They are great to use as wedge clamps in many areas of construction."

William Fuller of Dewitt, New York has another take on this subject; a tablesaw jig for making scarf joints.

"Make a tablesaw jig from a scrap of 1/2-in. plywood, about 8 in. wide by 32 in. long. Attach a runner to the bottom of the jig to ride in the miter-gauge slot. Trim the edge of the jig with a pass through the sawblade. Now attach a 5/8-in.-high fence angled to the blade at 5° (a slope of 12:1). Install four or five hold-downs with machine bolts and wing nuts, as shown.

To use the jig, locate the piece to be scarfed tightly against the fence, and clamp with the hold-downs. Support the left side of the hold-downs with a piece of material the same thickness as the workpiece. With the sawblade set slightly deeper than the material to be cut, make a pass through the saw.

To keep the joint parts in registration during glue-up, drill a small hole through the splice, and drive in a small round dowel or bamboo skewer.

Harold the boatbuilder

If you can't excel with talent,
triumph with effort!

Shop Talk: The Perfect Sandwich

Well, now that the Thanksgiving holiday has passed and Christmas is nearing in the States, I suspect that in addition to leftover nails, screws, bits and pieces of wood lying around your shops/garages/tents/miscellaneous work areas, many of you now have (or soon will have) some leftover turkey in the fridge, too.

So for this month's Shop Talk I think I'll encourage you all to relax a little, enjoy a soft drink or adult beverage, and try out one of these incredible turkey sandwiches. Then after you've rested up and your extended families have cleared out, you'll be ready and able to get back to work on your Glen-L boatbuilding project with renewed enthusiasm, a full (and happy!) tummy and a big smile on your face . . .

Monte Cristo Sandwich
Serves 2

Although this sandwich can be quartered and deep-fried, many of the earliest recipes, like this one adapted from The Brown Derby Cookbook (Doubleday, 1949), call for frying it in a skillet, like French toast.

2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tbsp. butter, softened
6 pieces thinly sliced white bread
4 thin slices cooked turkey
4 thin slices cooked ham
4 thin slices Swiss cheese
Confectioners' sugar
Red currant jelly

1. Lightly beat eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. For each sandwich, lightly butter 3 slices of bread on both sides. Place 2 slices of turkey and 2 of ham between 2 slices of bread. Top with 2 slices of cheese and add last slice of bread. Trim crusts, secure with toothpicks, and cut in half on the diagonal.

3. Melt 2 tbsp. of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Dip sandwich halves, top and bottom, in batter. When butter foams, place sandwiches in skillet and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 2 tbsp. butter to skillet, turn sandwiches, and fry for 2 minutes more. Transfer to plates, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, and serve with jelly.

Salvadoran Turkey Sandwich
Serves 6

Turkeys were "thoroughly domesticated by the Aztecs and other Mexican and Central American races long before the arrival of Europeans", according to A. Hyatt Verrill in Foods America Gave the World (L. C. Page, 1937). Proof positive: this gently spiced turkey sandwich, ubiquitous in El Salvador.

1 1/2 cups light beer
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. black peppercorns
2 tsp. sesame seeds
2 tsp. pepitas (dried pumpkin seeds; optional)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. annatto seeds
5 cloves garlic
2 dried bay leaves
2 large turkey drumsticks (about 4 lbs.)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 small yellow onions, 1 chopped, 1 thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
6 6" crusty Italian bread loaves, ends trimmed, split in half lengthwise
1 bunch watercress

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Purée beer, oil, peppercorns, sesame seeds, pepitas, oregano, annatto, garlic, bay leaves, and 1 cup water in a blender. Combine purée and turkey in a Dutch oven; season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil on the stove, cover, and bake until turkey is very tender, about 2 hours.

2. Purée tomatoes, chopped onions, peppers, and 1 cup water in blender. Transfer turkey to a plate (leave sauce in pot); let cool. Add purée to pot; boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Discard skin and bones from turkey; tear meat into thick pieces. Stir turkey into sauce, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide stew between loaves; garnish with sliced onions and watercress.

Recent email:

Subject: F.Y.I.
Date: 30 November 2008


Just wanted to share a quick story. My wife and I went to Julian, California today. While we were there we went to an old used book store. I was looking through the nautical section of books (not much selection in a used book store in the mountains) and there it was; a second edition "Boat Building With Plywood", by authors Glen L. Witt and Ken Hankinson, 1978 copyright.

The book is in great shape, classic older pictures. The original owner has highlights and notes in the book. I thought that was cool!!

Anyway, thought I would share that with you.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!!

-- Steve Barnes
San Diego, California

Subject: The "Boatbuilder's Notebook"
Date: 1 December 2008

Dear Darla,

Love the "Boatbuilder's Notebook" I got from you helpful...will help me on my next build.

Very useful info in the notebook...good quality binding....thanks'll make a boat builder out of me yet....Aye aye!

Thanks again,

-- Peter Rancourt
Hermon, Maine

Subject: New Boatbuilder
Date: 11 November 2008

Hi, I am in the process of building the Tahoe 23 after ordering the plans a few months ago. I have the frames assembled, transom and stemhook all installed on the motor stringers. I finished installing the keel yesterday. I am close to the point in the instructions where they recommend drilling the drive shaft. They mention to contact you if unfamiliar with building boats.

Being my first boat, I have been following the instructions and asking for (and receiving) assistance.

So far I am very pleased with the outcome and have been referencing the Boatbuilder Forum, looking at the works of others.
With their inspiration and my perspiration, I know that I can do this.

Thanks much,

-- Dave Macco
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Subject: Hankinson Interview DVD
Date: 18 November 2008


I enjoyed the video interview you did with Ken Hankinson. I am currently building one of his Barrelback 19 runabouts and it was interesting to learn about his background and to hear his discussion with you on boat design. His plans are well done and very accurate.

-- Gary Schoenfeldt
Olympia, Washington

Subject: Glen-L WebLetter
Date: 15 November 2008

Thank you for your recent email regarding the Glen-L WebLetter. I have been recieving it and enjoy it very much.

I am a professional boat builder and over the years I have built at least 20 boats of your designs. I have found that the plans supplied by your company are much more carefully prepared and checked for errors than plans from other designers that I have used.

Thanks for all your good work,

-- Dale Johnston

Subject: Bullet Boat 7
Date: 2 November 2008

Hello, my name is Will Hopkins. My friend, Ryan Flake, and I built the Bullet that you have seen pictures of. Both of us had a lot of fun building this boat and learned more that we could ever think of from it.

We are both seniors in high school now and started this when we were juniors. It took us almost a full year to build. We grew up together building things, none of which have come close to the difficulty of this project. We definitely under estimated how hard it would be but we definitely had fun throughout the project.

The plans left us with enough freedom to build it to our liking; we added a wind kicker on the front, which only serves the purpose of a dash to install the gauges and came up with a really fun and different paint job.

We learned many skills from this project like certain skills in woodworking, how to work with fiberglass, how to paint with a gun, wiring of electronics, welding on the trailer, pin striping with a brush, working with epoxy and others I cannot think of right now.

We are definitely proud of the boat that we built and are very happy with how everything worked out. It went about as flawless as it could.

-- Will Hopkins
North Augusta, South Carolina

Bob and Dave's Excellent Adventure

by Dave Grason


Wow, what a Gathering it was!! I really did enjoy it this year but when I first headed for Guntersville, I had no idea that things were going to end up the way that they did. To cut to the chase, I had heard that some of the Boatbuilder Forum members had made their way up river from Guntersville to Chattanooga via the river after the 2007 Gathering and I thought that that would have been a really excellent way to end the weekend. But for whatever reason, I'd forgotten about all that this year with so many other things going on in my mind, I guess.

Anyway, I had been pulling some all nighters trying to get my Zip and my Glen-L trailer completed at least to a more respectable stopping point. Originally, I had wanted to arrive on Friday but as of Saturday morning at 1:30am, I still didn't have my trailer rolling, much less having it painted or ready to carry the Zip. Finally, I threw in the towel, ran home to grab a couple of hours of sleep and about 7am I got up and headed for the Gathering.

By Saturday evening, I was wiped out. I went to the cabin, took a shower and watched a little football on the tube. I stayed with the Murphys from the Atlanta area and was very appreciative that they made their extra cabin room available. I hit the rack about 9:30pm and the next thing I knew it as 10am Sunday. Wow, that's 12 and half hours…… I really WAS tired! I got the left over crumbs from breakfast and headed down to the water where I caught up with Bob Maskel and Dwayne the Skiii Kiiiing Colton. They were talking about another trip to Chattanooga and I remembered: "Hey, Ya'll did that last year! Didn't you?"


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