Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedback

WebLetter 19

An Occasional Publication for the Home Boat Builder

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

In this issue

Glen-L Update
  • Have you checked out these pages?
    • Boatbuilding Methods. For a brief description of the various methods used to build our designs.
    • Wood & Plywood Information. Spec sheets from the American Plywood Association and Chapter 5 from our book Boatbuilding with Plywood.
    • Useful Information and Suppliers.
      • /Links: Other web sites..., Glen-L Projects - Great pages put up by builders of Glen-L designs.
      • /Misc Sources. Core material for one-off fiberglass designs, Sailboat spars, Airboat propellers, Boat insurance.
    • Several updates have been added to the photos already in the Customer Photos pages (like Bob Warner, below) as builders keep all of us up-to-date on their progress.
  • I would like to thank those who have sent the articles and letters used in this WebLetter. Particularly David Williams for Building the Glen-L 14, Part 1. What about you? The point of this WebLetter is to be a resource for boat builders... why not put in your two cents worth? How about "Shop Talk" about a particular procedure, special jigs you have made, or the right tool to use?
  • Pedal Boat Update: See the NEW/Now on the drawing board pages for the latest on the Pedal-it; a pedal-powered catamaran hull.

Barry Witt      

Great Lakes Small Craft Symposium 3

Saturday, August 19, 2000
9:00AM - 4:00PM
Location: Haithco Recreation Area Saginaw, Michigan

The purpose of this symposium is to foster a free exchange of ideas on all aspects of the design, construction, maintenance and use of small wooden boats of all types.

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  • Demonstrations in various different types of boat construction and restoration
  • Raffle for Completed Cajun Pirogue
  • West System Epoxy Seminar w/ Q&A session, 10:00AM & 1:00PM
  • Free Embroidered event hat to first 50 pre-registrations (they are very cool!)
  • Door prizes
  • Local maritime history
  • Unique award categories
  • The water's great! Be prepared to use your boat
  • Model wooden boat builders encouraged to attend

There is no admission for this event, although the park charges $5.00 per carload for entering the area. (Sorry no pets allowed) Haithco Recreation Area is a beautiful facility with a 40-acre lake, plenty of parking, picnic area w/ grills, restrooms, swimming areas, park concessions, green grass and sandy beaches. Plenty of sun, so bring protection. For list of Area Motels and Restaurants: 1-800-444-9979.

Information or registration: (517) 781-3546
Web site with registration:
Mail in registration: Tri-City Amateur Boatbuilders, 2510 Sierra Dr., Saginaw, MI 48609

Building the Glen-L 14 - Part 1

by David Williams

This is a log of my first boat building endeavor. I intend to describe each phase of the project in a fair amount of detail, indicating problems and solutions, discussions and emails with Glen-L, reviewing the products I use, and listing all costs as they are incurred. Plus, I am including photos of work in-progress.

The Idea

9-21-1992     Thought I might try to build a sailboat. Don't know where exactly I found out about Glen-L, but got their catalog, picked the Glen-L 14 sloop design, bought the plans. [Cost $46.55 Note: all amounts include CA tax]

Getting Started

5-24-2000     I've thought about it long enough. Time to build the boat. I have a two car garage, and after a garage sale planned for June, will have just enough room to work. The boat has to share the garage with my son's drum kit, several power tools on wheels, a workbench, a freezer, and miscellaneous space wasters. See Photo 1

Build a boat

Photo 1. My Humble Garage Shop

I checked out buying the fasteners at my local marine hardware store, West Marine. They price screws by the piece and it is pretty expensive to get them that way. If they sold them by the box, like lumber yards do, I might have bought them there, but they don't. Instead, I bought the Glen-L bronze fastener kit. [$96.06]

Glen-L was temporarily out of the boat nails, but said they would ship them to me soon. They were also out of the #8x3/4" screws, so substituted 7/8". (I later returned the 7/8' for the correct length, and picked up the nails on the same trip.) No hassle from Glen-L.


Feedback: Nostalgia L Dorado

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Subject: L.DORADO
Date: Sun, 28 May 2000
From: Jan&Rita
To: glen.l

Dear Mr, Miss,

Recently I discovered your website and like to tell you a little story.
Around 1958 (I'm now 64) I ordered the plans for the L.Dorado from you. I built this boat with a lot of pleasure. Attached you will find three pictures of the L.Dorado as I had built it then. In the picture with three persons you will see my two nephews sitting next to me. The middle one with the glasses built the Tuffy at a later age. Pictures of this boat are already on your website (Y.W. Kwakkel, Holland). I thought it would be nice for you to know and maybe I will see my L.Dorado on your site.

With kind regards,
J. Kwakkel
6543 WL Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Model Building: L Capitan

Subject: L Capitain - Photos attached
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000


Barry, I talked to you a few months ago about building the L Capitain. Told you I would get back to you when the boat finished, well the L Capitain is done (in a model of course). My name is Dave Swall and asked about plans on your boats so I could loft off the prints to build my models. Included in this e mail are some pictures of the finished boat and the prints that I used from the Practical Handyman's Encyclopedia. Thank you for your interest in model building. I bought Glen-L's Boatbuilding with Plywood and it helped me a lot even if I only build models. My next boat that I am going to build is the Albert E.

"small" boat builder
Dave Swall


Rigging Small Sailboats

In response to inquiries about an out-of-print book published by Glen-L, we are starting a series in our WebLetters, reproducing Rigging Small Sailboats. This issue contains Chapter 6; to be continued in the next WebLetter.

Chapter 6

.....deck fittings


"Deck fittings" is a general classification for all hardware used with the running or standing rigging, as well as the spars, even though the fittings may not always be mounted to the deck. Deck fittings may be located on cabin tops, cockpit members, and centerboard trunks as well. There are endless numbers and styles of fittings available, and the number of new fittings and inventions, plus modifications to existing ones, is constantly increasing. We will attempt to describe those which are most generally used in the size sailboats under discussion.


A BLOCK is a wood, metal, or synthetic casing that contains one or more grooved pulleys called sheaves. Blocks are the primary pieces of equipment in the running rigging, and come in a wide variety of sizes and types. Besides adding mechanical advantage to the running rigging, blocks are used to change direction of the line passing through them. Conventional blocks must be attached to something in order to work, and the most common method used is by a shackle that is usually an integral part of the block. Three types of shackles are used; front, side, and swivel shackles. Fig. 6-1 shows the difference between front and side shackles, but the trend is to fit blocks with adjustable shackles which can be mounted either with a front or a side shackle using just one block or with a swivel shackle. A front or side shackle is used to keep the block in one position or plane of reference, whereas a swivel shackle allows the block to turn to any position.

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FIG. 6-1 - The anatomy of blocks. Not all blocks have all of the above parts. Some blocks have shackles that swivel or are adjustable to either side or front shackle locations. A block with one sheave is a single block; with two sheaves a double block; etc.


Feedback: Mummy Sue (Jack Tar)

8 May 2000

Dear Glen,

Re, Jack Tar Plywood Version

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Please find enclosed photographs of Jack Tar's progress, for your archives. She is beginning to look very nice and is admired by all in our village. As you can see, I have made a few personal changes to your design, but structurally, the hull, main cabins, and bulkheads are strictly to your plans. The teak decks on the Jack Tar look really good. At the moment I am fitting the fly bridge and teak decking that area.

Your plans are so good and easy to read, plus I thank you for your patience and help during construction. I am nearly there, a boat to be proud of...

Best wishes to all
Bob Warner

For additional photos and progress reports see "Customer Photos/Archives/Jack Tar".

Along with his letter and photos, Mr. Warner sent a "Welcome to Hunsdon" brochure. "The Parish of Hunsdon has just over 430 dwellings and a population of around 1100." Hunsdon is located in East Herts, England. Sounds like a nice place, you might want to visit if you have an interest in the Jack Tar and happen to be in the neighborhood.

Port Townsend 24th Annual Wooden Boat Festival
Sept. 8, 9, 10, 2000

Last year about this time we told you about the summer doings at Port Townsend, WA. Well, it's that time again. The programs are organized by the Maritime Education Alliance based in Port Townsend, Washington. In addition to the Festival, there are boatbuilding and sailing classes, tours, and more; from now through September 10. The following opens their description of summer 2000 programs...

About the Port Townsend Maritime Alliance

In our increasingly technical world, more and more of us are turning to traditional, time-honored crafts as a means of getting in touch with the simple activities that unite our head, hands and heart. The Northwest School of Boatbuilding and the Wooden Boat Foundation have been helping people like you discover the pure pleasures of building traditional craft and getting them out on the water. You may already be an experienced woodworker or boater; perhaps you are now making your first step toward these goals. We are here expressly to help you pursue your interests in wood, water and associated crafts.

The Pacific Northwest maritime region is blessed with a talented citizenry, many of whom make their living from the sea. We are proud to be among the organizations working to connect you with these special people.

Use the contacts below for more information.

  • Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding (Classes)
    360-385-4948 (Ask for a schedule of 2000 Programs)
  • Wooden Boat Foundation (Event tickets)
  • Maritime Education Alliance

Recent email:

Subject: New Glen-L Boating Store
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000
From: EL Anderson

Hey don't remove me... matter of fact put me on. Have just started the Dory and will give you updates. Just finished the Bull's Eye as a row boat. (Daughter decided she didn't want a sailboat after all). Hey the woman is 53 years old...think she'd know what she wanted.

I have all the plans and stuff needed for the Dory at least for now.

Finished the Row me and the Bull's Eye and donated them to the Edgewood Children's camp for underprivileged kids. Don't know what I'll do with the Dory. Don't like rowing (80 yrs old) so maybe plant flowers in it. Will be in touch.

Subject: Thanks!!
Date: Fri, 12 May 2000
From: Lavallet, Jack

I'm building the V-dory - my first "real" boat-building project. Yesterday, I had a question about the frame drawings. I called, and had the pleasure of being entertained by the "non-singing telephone answering person" (Darla) Whomever she is, she is a good "front" for your business. And yes, I got my question answered and was back on the saw in ten minutes. Good job, Glen-L.

Build a boat

Subject: Thank you for the pleasures of building and sailing your boats.
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2000
From: Gary Brickell

Your smallest boat the Pee Wee has provided me and my two sons many hours of enjoyment.
While my sons were quite young in 1984, I got your patterns and built ours. We call it "Little Zipper". Pushed by a reconditioned 1962 9hp West Bend it skims along at 20mph. We have even taken several long distance trips through the Kawartha lakes with two aboard. Thank you for many summers of fun in your Pee Wee runabout.

Gary Brickell
Newmarket Ontario

PS: This is my third Glen-L boat, my first was an XP-8 in 1969!

name: Art Thomas

Comments: Please add me to your Web Letter mailing list. Thank you.
About 30 years ago I built the Eight Ball and it was used in our family for a number of years. I would even take one child at a time and fish for Sockeye Salmon in Lake Washington. I would take one of my children out and catch our limit then come back to shore to take our other child so he or she could catch their limit too. The Eight Ball was eventually donated and sold at a Church fund raising yard sale about 8 years ago.
My son and I even drifted the south fork of the Coquille River in S.W. Oregon fishing and catching Steelhead. In fact my son caught his first Steelhead from that boat. That was one of many boats I have built since I was a young boy. Even experimented in ferro-cement in the early 70's and built a 40 foot ketch that I sold.

Subject: Guest Book entry
Date: Fri, 19 May 2000
name: Don Williams

Comments: I built your Tuffy design in 1986 and built your Carioca in 1991. Both are great boats.

Don Williams
Pittsburgh, PA

Subject: Re: Squirt question
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000
From: Chuck McMillan

Just for your information.
I called the Canadian Coast Guard and they are sending a form I need to fill out and submit, along with photos of the boat. They will then issue me a plate to be affixed to the boat which will give the rating (probably both load and power) - I have such a plate on my 17' runabout from which has the Canadian Government designation on it. In Canada it all comes under Federal jurisdiction.

Also, as a note for your information, Canada is currently phasing in Boat Operator Card requirements. There are minimum age requirements and age/HP allowable etc. For small boats cards are required by year 2002, for larger boats its not until 2009.

Subject: Epoxy
Date: Sat, 20 May 2000
From: Mike Etheridge


This is Michael Etheridge. I just ordered some of your epoxy, the poxy-grip. It works good. I build Radio/Controlled airplanes and always had a need for a little more epoxy than I could get at the store, or hobby shop. The cure speed is just right for wing spars to be set into the foam wing cores or attaching sheeting onto the cores. I just put epoxy in my search engine on the web and you guys popped up... good info, ease of order, and good product.
I am sure there are a lot more like me, so take a look at putting an ad in R/C Report P O Box 1706, Huntsville, AL 35807, or RCModeler magazine 144 W Sierra Madre Blvd , Sierra Madre , CA 91024. or the AMA Model Aviation Magazine at 5151 East Memorial Drive, Muncie IN 47302
A lot of us build 1/4 scale thats a lot of glue.
I will include your website in our club newsletter.


Build a boat

Subject: zip project, Doug Hodder
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000

Finished up the paintwork on 6/17/00. Most of the hardware is mounted and I'm ready to put it on the trailer.

(See more of Doug's Zip in Customer Photos/Photo Board 1.)

Subject: Stiletto
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000
From: Parker Mc Quown

Hello Barry, You asked if i would finish the time line on my boat. As best as i can figure i now have about 400 to 450 hrs. invested into the completion of my boat, and a lot more money than i expected to spend! but thats ok. The only thing i don`t have done are the seat covers. i will be sewing them myself, so when i finish them i can say that i have completely done everything myself (the building of the boat, the trailer, all of the paint work and now the interior). My 90 hp Johnson turned out to be a real screamer. The only modifications that i have done are installing two turn fins and i built some S/S trim tabs to keep the boat flatter when it comes out of the water. The boat turned out to be a lot lighter than i expected but thats just fine! She sure is a pretty boat and people at the launch ramp have a hard time believing i built the boat myself. Thank you for your company's support and please write if you have any questions.
Your friend and fellow boat builder Parker McQuown

(See Parker McQuown's Stiletto in Customer Photos/Archives.)

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