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

In this issue

GLEN-L Update
  • I can't fully express just how much I enjoyed this year's Gathering, at Lake Guntersville, Alabama. Boatbuilders are a FUN group of people. Good food, great people, just a wonderful time on and by the water. I especially enjoyed the rides that Duane Colton and Bob Maskel treated me to in their boats.
  • As you'll read below, photos taken by many of the participants are now beginning to flow into our office, and I am in the process of building an online photo album so that you all can share in the fun. As I write this the album is not yet online, but it will be very soon, so even though the link to it isn't yet active, keep checking back every day. We'll continue to update it as more photos come in, so once the link is active I encourage you to stop back in from time to time to see what's new.
  • Now, I need to get back to work on the 2009 Gathering Photo Album!

Until next month . . .      

2009 Glen-L Gathering of Boatbuilders

by Gayle Brantuk


The last weekend in October (23rd - 25th) marked three straight years of successful Glen-L Gatherings of Boatbuilders at Lake Guntersville, Alabama. Last year I wrote that the event "keeps getting better every year," and this year I heard that phrase echoed by many who attended this year's Gathering.

Boatbuilders came from throughout the US and Canada, many of them with boats in tow, whether completed or still in progress. The farthest came all the way from Oregon, towing his Glen-L 15' Ski King ski boat. About 30 boats and close to 100 people were present this year.

Most brought Glen-L boats, but many brought production boats or those of other designers. There were even two hovercrafts which were a novel addition (see "eMail of the Month" below). Many came for inspiration, ideas or just to make sure there are actually folks out there building boats. And indeed there are!

As always, this event is totally organized and carried out by the members of the Glen-L Boatbuilder Forum. This active community of builders and hope-to-be builders provide and cook all of the food and take care of everything else that is involved with the Gathering. All seemed to agree that this was the best Gathering ever.

The conception for the Gathering started several years ago because many of the Forum members were building Glen-L boats and wanted to get together to see each others' boats, swap ideas and of course, try out their creations. Two members, Dave Grason and Bill Edmundson, scouted out areas where to hold the event and decided on Lake Guntersville State Park.

The State Park has been a beautiful location for the past three years, but because of scheduling issues, next year's event may be held in a different location that is yet to be determined.

The boats this year were spectacular as always. There were several mahogany runabouts; two 10' Squirt runabouts, one converted to jet power; a Hot Rod (which definitely lived up to its name); a garvey-style open center console in which the builder had done extensive inlaid woodwork; a three-point hydro; a cabin and console skiff; a cabin cruiser; several sailboats, open fishing boats, more runabouts, rowboats and the hover crafts.

Dave Grason even brought his Zip runabout and somehow talked several into helping him paint it! Now that's one way to get a boat finished - teamwork!

Allyn Perry, retired Glen-L Shop Foreman, also attended the event and was on hand to answer questions. It was rewarding for him to see many boats that were created around frames which he built during his over 35 years working at Glen-L.

The highlight of this year's event was Saturday afternoon when about 10 of the boats were on the water at the same time, jumping wakes, running in formation and just having a great time. The awesome feeling that overcame me from seeing all of my father's designs and the wonderful people that built them was hard to put into words.

My father, Glen L. Witt, founded Glen-L Marine Designs back in 1953. Even though he is getting along in years, he still comes into work several days a week and writes articles and even recently finished writing another book and a new boat design. His love for boats and designing is still strong. He was thrilled to see the video of his boats in action.


The Glen-L Gathering of Boatbuilders continues to serve as an event for like-minded individuals to gather and share their love of building boats. This has to be one of the nicest groups of people I've ever met. Each year we gather with old friends and make new ones - boats and boat building are celebrated and life is good.


I hope you'll join us in person next year, but you don't have to wait to become part of this growing community of boatbuilders; join us on the Glen-L Boatbuilder Forum today!

Glen-L Boatbuilders of the Month

This month, the honor goes to …

EVERYONE who came to Lake Guntersville for the 2009 Gathering!

After seeing so many beautiful boats, getting acquainted (and re-acquainted) with such warm people, sharing sumptuous feasts, and discovering a wealth of individuals with truly eclectic senses of humor(!), as far as this writer is concerned trying to single out any one boatbuilder this month just doesn't seem right.

So to all of you with whom Gayle and Allyn and I had the absolute pleasure of enjoying a spectacular few days on magnificent Lake Guntersville, you are what make Glen-L not only a success, but a joy to be a part of.

You all are our Boatbuilders of the Month!

See photos of the Boatbuilders of the Month
in the 2009 Gathering Photo Album (immediately below)

2009 Gathering Photo Album

We are currently accumulating photos from all those who attended this year for our Gathering Photo Album - as soon as the album is ready the link below will become active.

2009 Gathering Photo Album

We will continue to add photos to the album as we receive them, so check back often to share in even more of our fun!

Designer's Notebook: …a Solution to All Your Boatbuilding Problems?

Y ou have just proven that you are a block-headed idiot. You are dumb and stupid beyond belief. Absolutely no person on earth could pull such a dumb stunt. But there you are, it's done, and it ain't right; you goofed.

Fellow boatbuilder, you know the feeling. You have proudly entered the work area to view that last layer of the cold molded bottom you applied to your boat. Boy, it looks good…kinda proud of yourself? You should be; it was a lot of work. But, whoa up! There is the unused container of hardener that was supposed to be mixed with the epoxy adhesive you applied to bond the laminations together. There isn't a bond between the layers! That means removing all the strips and repeating the entire process… What to do?

Well, you could jump off a cliff, but if you live in a place like Kansas there might not be a decent jump-off site. You can take a hammer and pound your head with it, but that solid hunk of stuff would probably chip the hammer. Maybe you need a good kick in the ass, but that's a little difficult to do. But not all is lost; there is a solution.

Cuss the hell out of it. Not the namby-pamby sophisticated cuss words which are socially acceptable; use the lowdown dirty longshoreman, bartender, drunker than a skunk variety. And make the tirade loud; shout it out so your ears ring. Obviously this assumes the little lady and kids are out of earshot. Cuss out your brother-in-law, you never liked him anyway. Let it all hang out until you are pooped out.

Did you solve the problem? Heck no. But, you should feel better; perhaps adding a beer or two will soothe you further. So take heart; problems and stupid mistakes are common in boatbuilding.

Not to worry…you have the perfect solution…use those stored up expletives deleted; the wonder cure for boatbuilding mistakes!

The Cat and the Sailboat

There once was a cat named TJ
We thought that he should go
Upon our sailboat Cinnamon
While we sailed her to and fro

Now TJ did not like the ocean
He thought water should come in a bowl
On the boat he stayed down below
Where he could hide or he could prowl

But TJ was not alone on the boat
His female friend went right along
Little Sweetpea was her name
And she was just as cute as a song

Sweetpea liked the sailboat
Her place was on the deck
She wanted to see what went on
Water didn’t faze her, by heck!

One day we went to Catalina
And the sea was mighty rough
The boat was tossed and turned
It wasn’t long before TJ had enough

TJ upchucked up his dinner
Right on the navigation fix
I wondered if those were rocks ahead
Or some regurgitated Meow Mix.

But little Sweetpea held her ground
Right in the cockpit there with me
With whiskers pointed into the wind
She enjoyed being there, you see

Cats and sailing really don’t fit
You can take that advice from me
They are best left at home …
Unless yours is like little Sweetpea


Photos posted since the last WebLetter...

Harold the boatbuilder

You can't think your way into right actions, but
you can act your way into right thinking.

Shop Talk: Organizing

Sandpaper Organizer

Changing the sandpaper on your random orbital sander often seems to mean searching to find the correct disk. And when you find one, doesn't it always seem like it's bent or curled up? Maybe it's time to make a sandpaper organizer like the one shown here.

This organizer lets you store three different grits of sandpaper, keeping all the disks flat while taking up very little space.

To build the organizer, cut four round plates of ¾" MDF. Then use a hand saw to cut an alignment mark on the edge of each plate.

Next, drill 3/8" diameter holes in the top plate (see Top View below). You can then use it as a template for locating the ¼" diameter through holes in each plate that accept the alignment dowels. As you can see in the drawing, there are three in each plate. Finally, drill 3/8" diameter holes in the plates for each of the dowels to slide through.

To use the organizer, place sandpaper on the bottom plate. Next, line up the saw kerf on the edge of the second plate with the bottom plate and slide the second plate over the dowels. Then continue to add sandpaper and plates until it's filled.

Handsaw Rack

As time goes by you'll probably build a small but very useful collection of handsaws. The problem might be finding a handy and safe place to store them. The answer can be a simple wall storage rack that keeps the saws out of the way but still easily accessible, as you can see in the photo.

The design of the rack is shown in the drawing below. Basically, it consists of a couple of pieces of hardboard that sandwich a series of beveled blocks. The spaces between the blocks hold loose sections of ¾" diameter dowel. And a kerf cut through the outer face allows entrance of the saw blade.

The rack works by pinching the saw blade between the loose section of dowel and the fixed block. To hang up a saw, you simply slip it into the kerf from below and then let the saw drop until the dowel grabs it. To remove a saw, you push it up and out of the kerf.

Recent email:

Subject: Labor of Love

My husband, Chuck, has made an absolutely beautiful boat from your plans, your Sherwood Queen.

Thank you for allowing this wonderful project to be a part of our lives, actually the whole community, and bringing us so much about a labor of love!

-- Jean Bennion Hughes
San Diego, California

Subject: Our Next Glen-L Boat

We are on our second Glen L boat. The first one was built about 1965 - a Thunderbolt. Since then I have been active buying hulls and installing engines and running gear. Then I went sailing for 20 years!

I am 79 years old and just wanted to build an old-timey hot boat again, so I'll check with other builders on the Monaco 19'. I put the transom together today, so I am finally getting started after weeks of reading and studying.

-- Don Crosby
San Diego, California

Subject: Wooden Foamee

My Dad, Vladimir Holis from Westchester, Illinois, made this Foamee boat in 1980. Took him about 6 months to make by himself and about $200.00 in hardware. It is completely made of scrap wood that he found. He cold molded the Foamee with heavy duty staples and glue.

This was made as a dingy for a 25' Kirby, however, he does not have that boat anymore. Fortunately, the Foamee (I nicknamed "Woody") he still has. It has been in my father's garage for the past 20 years and in 2006 it was shipped to my brother's house in Florida. My brother lives near a lake which is seen in the pictures that I included. We took it down to the lake in 2007 and I took these pictures. It has not sailed since then. My father is looking to purchase a trailer for the boat due to it getting harder to transport it to the lake on the roof of his van. He made a custom cradle that he would transport it on. Hopefully, she will sail again!

-- Lisa Holis (Vladimir Holis' Daughter)
Romeoville, Illinois

Subject: "Build Your Dream Boat"

Hello dear Gayle, on this pleasant Sunday in Monkstown Creek.

Everything you write is Super Wonderful - I know it all too well - I don't have enough words to describe my feelings or enthusiasm since becoming a part of the Glen-L "family" since 1967. Every single thing I know about Glen-L is indeed, in one word, "SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS!"

Fondest regards and appreciation, your friend FOREVER,

-- George Hegarty
Monkstown Creek, County Cork, Ireland

Subject: Looks...

Hi. My two sons and I built the Pee Wee two winters ago and my 8-year old still goes on your website to look at the "next" boat we are going to build.

You would not believe the looks we get from the grown-up kids when they see it on the bay or being trailered. It was a project that I will always cherish.


-- Mark, Mason & Cole Cooper
Markham, Ontario, Canada

Subject: Really Pleased...

While I’ve posted pictures of my Squirt on the Boatbuilder Forum, I just realized that I’ve never emailed you any to post in the photos section of your website.

I’m really pleased with the boat. It came out looking better than I’d ever imagined and the ride is sensational for a boat this small. I built the 11 foot stretched version. The decking is African Mahogany with Maple providing the contrasting stripes. I started the project in August 2007 and finished in May 2009.

I’m only including a few of the finished pictures for the Glen-L Photo Page, but for other Squirt builder’s who’d like to see construction photos, I’ve posted loads of them on my website at jeffshomemadeboat.

Thanks for the plans,

-- Jeff Cobb
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

eMail of the Month

Subject: To the "Glen-L Lady" at Lake Guntersville Gathering
Date: 2 November 2009

Greetings from Snellville, Georgia. I apologize for not remembering your name. I simply want to thank you for the nice lunch you had catered at the Gathering at Lake Guntersville State Park, October 24th.

It was quite interesting seeing the various boats built from Glen-L plans. I know it must be very satisfying to your dad when he thinks about the many boats scattered around the world that he has designed. Perhaps one is in my future after having built a Gyrocopter, three hot air balloons and a hovercraft.

It was a pleasure meeting you and thanks for flying across the country for the Gathering.

Blessings to you and the Glen-L crew,

-- H. Harold Carter
Snellville, Georgia

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