Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedback

An Occasional Publication for the Home Boat Builder

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

In this issue

GLEN-L Update
  • In the last WebLetter I whined about my computer problems... well I "hadn't seen anything yet". We now have an uneasy truce with the computers in the office, things are not quite right, but we can work around the problems. So why do I bring this up again... the Dragonfly plans have not yet been proofread. Hope to have these ready after the first of the year. See the New pages for information about our next stitch and glue design.
  • A recent email: "It would be very helpful to provide an estimate (in man hours) of how long each project is. I know that the construction time is different for everyone because of how much time they devote to it each week and the skill of the builder. But it would be great to have a rough estimate in hours for the average amateur boatbuilder, to get the basic project done not including finishes."
    We appreciate those builders who have been including "hours to build" figures in their Project Registries, but could always use more.
  • We received new photos of the Riviera under construction in Australia. The Riviera truly has an international following with Customer photos from Estonia, Italy, Canada, Slovak Republic, New Zealand, and the US. See Customer Photos for the latest pictures. In addition there are builders in France and Greece listed in the Project Registry.
  • I wanted this issue of the WebLetter to be our Christmas card to our readers, but couldn't think of how to put the idea into words. Although this is not an original idea, we at Glen-L decided to share our holiday recipes. Each of us has included a recipe that reminds us of the season. I hope someone in your family finds inspiration.

Barry Witt      

Gayle's Recipe: Cheese Bean Dip

Well, I'd like to tell you that this recipe is a tradition at our house around the holidays and that we look forward to it every year, but that would not be true. However, I did bring this to a New Year's party last year and it was a huge hit. This is by far my favorite dip & I'm sure you'll love it too! I received this recipe from Sandy Lackie, a wonderful lady who passed away several years ago, but is warmly remembered each time I use one of her recipes-thanks Sandy.


10 ½ oz can Bean Dip (I use Frito-Lay)
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
¼ lb Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
¼ lb Cheddar Cheese, grated with Jack Cheese
½ cup green onions, chopped
Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, bean dip and green onions. Put half in an 8" x 8" casserole dish and top with half the cheeses, repeat layers. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Serves: 6-8

Darla's Recipe: Do ahead brunch casserole

Growing up in the Midwest, my family always had oyster stew for Christmas eve. However, my husband and daughters vetoed that idea quickly, so our tradition was to make a "breakfast/brunch casserole" on Christmas Eve, to be popped into the oven Christmas morning while we opened our presents.

I wish all of our customers and web "browsers" a very special Holiday Season, and a prosperous New Year.


8 squares frozen hash browns
1 ½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
8 oz lean ham slices, cut into strips
1 cup liquid egg substitute
2 ¾ cups milk, divided
¾ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp ground pepper
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
Begin preparing the night before by placing the frozen hash browns on the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick coating.
Top hash browns with 1 cup of shredded cheese and strips of ham.
Beat together egg substitute, 2 ¼ cups of milk, mustard & pepper and pour over ham and cheese. Cover with foil and refrigerate until morning.
In the morning: Preheat oven to 400° and remove pan from the refrigerator. Mix ½ cup milk with Cream of Mushroom soup and pour over casserole. Top with remaining ¼ cup of cheese and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
Let stand 10 minutes prior to serving.
Serves: 6-8

Designer's Notebook: ...of hydroplanes, cats, monohulls and such

There are many types of boat hull configurations and although this text deals with powerboats some of the nomenclature would also apply to sailboats. The following hull types have been selected since they represent the most common types: monohulls, hydroplanes, stepped hulls, three points, catamarans, tunnel hulls, and hydrofoils.


A monohull has one supporting surface and is common to most powerboats. The single planing area may be completely flat, vee'd, arced, or round in cross section. In addition, a hull can be classed as one with a soft or round chine (junction of the bottom and sides), or as a hard chine where the bottom/side join in an abrupt corner. As viewed in profile the hull lines may be severely arced or relatively straight, particularly aft. Straight running lines aft, parallel, or almost so to the waterline, are intended for planing speeds. A planing hull skims over the water with the hull more or less above the water surface. A hull that goes through the water is classed as displacement... it pushes through the water, rather than on it as with the planing hull. Obviously there are categories in-between such as semi displacement, semi planing, etc. A flat bottom boat (with no vee in section, at the transom) is faster but the ride is rough, to put it mildly. Deep vee bottoms, usually considered to have about a 20 degree vee or more, came into popularity a few years back but do require more power. In smaller boats they also have a tendency to tilt severely to one side; called chine walking. In addition the small deep vee boat at slow speeds or at rest tends to list from side to side as the passengers move about. Boat bottoms are compromises that veer toward one performance characteristic or another, through an infinite range from a flat bottom to deep vee.


A boat that planes or skims on top of the water surface is classed as a hydroplane and may be a monohull, or multi-planed such as three point and stepped hulls. Some designers include catamarans and tunnel hulls in this category. A hydroplane is intended for speed and does not work well at displacement speeds. Since speed is a function of weight, best performance will be obtained with lightweight hull construction and minimal passenger loading. When powerboats were in their infancy, planning the hulls was virtually out of the question as the available engines were extremely heavy and produced low horsepower. Thus the boats were long and narrow to go thru the water easily. When lightweight and more powerful motors became available the hulls were widened and shortened to take advantage of the ability to plane.


In common usage, the word "hydroplane" usually refers to a three-point. A three point hydroplane has two planing surfaces forward and one aft. The forward points (sponsons) are lower than, and are outboard, of the main hull. The third point is the aft end of the boat bottom and is generally flat. However, at high speed the third point is virtually free of the water, the boat is riding on the prop. Three points have been built with one point forward and two aft but have not been successful to the best of our knowledge. The common three point was as we know it was developed or perhaps better described as popularized about sixty years ago. Today they hold most major speed records for straightaway and circle racing. They have also become increasingly dangerous as they are pushed to higher and higher speeds. The hulls are almost free from the water and the air rushing between thru the forward sponsons creates considerable unstable lift. These hulls are not intended for offshore or rough water conditions they are primarily racing craft. However, GLEN-L has several smaller three points for the young at heart. Again, as with all hydros, weight is important. Heavily loaded, so that the aft end cannot lift out of the water, they are not that fast. It is possible to compensate for heavier driver weights in small outboard models by adding a hydofoil to the motor.


Steps are transverse breaks in the bottom plane, straight or fan shaped. They create a clean break in the planing surface for reduced skin friction. Like a transom, a step ends a planing surface and the theory is to cause the water to miss contact with forward portion of the following plane. Substantial reduction in wetted surface under relatively smooth water conditions can thus be achieved. There must be a clean break of the water as it leaves the step; with air behind it. If not the step will create drag and even suction. Various numbers of steps have been used over the years but their current use is not common. Stepped hulls in general, have a poor reputation in rough water. Stepped hulls generally run very flat but many, particularly with a single step tend to porpoise, although a mild porpoise usually increases speed.


The word catamaran itself is unusual, as every other letter is an "a". The word is derived from the Polynesian words "kattu" (to tie) and "maran" (tree). The earliest form was a logical evolution from available materials to provide a stable platform.

The modern catamaran, mostly referred to as a "cat", has twin hulls for planing, side by side, separated by a tunnel or open area. The original Polynesian hulls were symmetrical, in section and were not power boats. Modern power cats have become assymetrical in most cases. A cat powerboat is a wide stable platform at rest or underway. It turns well, but flat, as opposed to the bank common to vee bottom craft. They are very soft riding in a chop, however, in conditions where the seas can strike the flat area of the tunnel, pounding will occur. Cats are preferably powered with twin motors, one on each hull. Various pods, third hulls, and other appendages have been developed to make single motors more efficient, but they still work better with twin motors. Like deep vees, cats have more draft than flat bottom hulls.


A tunnel hull could be designated as a cat, but there is a notable difference. A tunnel hull is similar to a single hull split down the longitudinal centerline and spread apart by a tunnel. The hulls are asymmetrical; the inside surfaces of the tunnels are straight longitudinally and typically vertical. These are primarily fast boats and are commonly used for offshore racing with a rather high tunnel so the rougher seas make less contact with water. These hulls are best for twin motors but have been developed to work well with a single motor with adjustable prop height. The water/air mixture rushing thru the tunnel creates considerable lift and higher speeds in windy conditions can be dangerous. Again although thought of as race boats GLEN-l has developed small tunnel hulls for fast, safe, enjoyment on protected waters. The turns are flat as opposed to banking but relatively sharp with the hulls seemingly glued to the water. Fun boats!
Note: There is another type of hull that is often called a tunnel hull. These are usually slower hulls, more properly called "tunnel stern" hulls. These hulls have a fore/aft depression or "scoop" in the bottom for the prop. These may be in various configurations, and are meant to allow the hull to run in shallow water.


The inverted vee bottomed Sea Sled was developed and patented by Albert Hickman more than 50 years ago. The forward section of the hull looks much like a "W" with the center vee section going to a flat plane at the transom. High claims were made for these boats and though many were justified, it was considered a poor sea boat. The boat's appearance was unusual and combined with the closely held patent, the number built was minimal. The comments made are primarily for historical information as few have been built in recent years.


Hydrofoils are external appendages that support the hull (type may vary) above the water. As with a three-point, the idea is to decrease wetted surface and in theory should be capable of the fastest speeds. The struts, located fore and aft, have fins attached to lift the hull clear of the water as speed increases. The fins are similar to an airplane foil section but modified for water, parallel or slightly canted to the longitudinal waterline. The hull lifts free of the water as speed is increased, and settles into the water as speed is decreased to operate like a conventional boat. These are novelty boats, there have been some that operate successfully, but the moving parts, the vulnerability of the appendages, critical foil shape and angularity, make them impractical for the average builder or boater.

So what's the next advancement in hull design? Sorry, but we don't have a crystal ball. However, be assured it probably won't really be new. Over the generations boatbuilders and designers have added many different appendages to their hull designs. With advertising copy that described their "new" hull as "revolutionary", "a breakthrough", "exclusive design pat pending", "the superior boat of all times has finally arrived". Eureka it's here? Probably not, more likely a revision or modification of an old idea taken out of mothballs, often incorporated more with an eye to marketing than performance. And the advertising copy for this revolutionary innovation... it was most likely written by someone who didn't know his port from his starboard.

Allyn's recipe: Potato and Egg Casserole

This is a hearty recipe for those who prefer not to eat meat for the holidays. It can be served as either a main course or side dish. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do.

Best wishes to all... and spare the turkey


6 Potatoes
8 eggs
seasoning salt to taste
1 cup margarine
1 (16 oz) container of sour cream
Hungarian paprika and chopped parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and slice.
Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and slice.
In a 9" x 13" casserole dish place a layer of potato slices, then eggs, sprinkling each layer of eggs with seasoning salt, ending with potatoes.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt margarine with sour cream. Pour over potatoes and sprinkle lightly with seasoning salt.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Dust with paprika, garnish with parsley and serve.
Serves: 10

Alfredo's Recipe: Pork Tamal filling

My favorite memory of Christmas is Christmas eve. Each year my aunts gather at the house of one of the family members and make tamales. There make many different types and each of my aunts has her own way of making them. Someone brings the masa and corn husks, purchased from a local store and the tamale making would begin. I asked my mother for her recipe for pork tamales. She didn't really have it written down, but said that the following would be a good basic recipe, with each of my aunts adding their own "special" ingredients.

Feliz Navidad!


1 lb pork butt roast
2 ½ cups water
1/2 onion
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
8 black pepper corns
1 dried red chili pepper
Trim fat from pork butt. Cut into chunks and place in a large saucepan. Add water, onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt, peppercorns and chile pepper. Bring to a boil; skim foam from surface. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Drain broth, let meat cool and shred with a fork. Refrigerate overnight if desired.
Serves: 16

Inboard Hardware: More about Shaft & Rudder Stuffing Boxes

We gave a brief description of shaft logs and stuffing boxes in WebLetter 40. We have had several questions since then asking about stuffing boxes... which one, why? The following is not an attempt to explain all the different types of stuffing boxes that are available, but rather, to provide enough information to make an informed selection from those we offer in our Inboard Hardware section.

Which one?
For the rudder: We would choose the packing-type for the rudder. It can be tightened so that it doesn't leak, and since the shaft doesn't turn much, lasts virtually forever. It is easy to replace, in an area that frequently has little room to work.

For prop shaft: Up to 3000 rpm: Use all types of stuffing boxes. We would use Packing because it is easier to replace, not requiring the shaft to be disconnected. The life of the packing material will be significantly shortened if the shaft rotation is above 3000 rpm.
Over 3000 rpm: Use the seal-type as it has less contact surface, reducing friction.

Packing: This stuffing box should seep when used on a prop shaft, not necessary on the rudder shaft. The nut should not be tighter than hand-tight. If the nut on the shaft stuffing box is tightened beyond this, the packing will tend to "glaze", reducing its efficiency and eventually seeping more water. Because tournament ski boats have relatively low shaft rpm, packing type glands are most often used. To replace the packing gland, the nut is backed off and new packing wound into place. If you are out in the woods and don't have replacement packing, an old T-shirt or other material can be used in an emergency.
Not all packing is equal. The most common type, and the one we sell, is a waxed flax packing. Packing material designed for auto or industrial use are not usually designed for use on shaft turning at the speeds typical in planing boats. Automotive packing, frequently contains graphite which can glaze and abraid shafts when subjected to the friction that results at high speed and are electrolitically reactive in salt water. Marine Teflon packing is a superior material, but again, industrial/automotive Teflon packing may contain undesirable components.
Seal: The seal-type stuffing box doesn't leak. However, in order to replace the seal, the shaft must be disconnected from the motor, the old seal slid to the end of the shaft for removal and a new seal slid in its place. There is no "jury-rig" substitute for the seal.
Double seal: Also doesn't leak, with an extra amount of protection. Water must be run water between the seals or the seals will burn at high rpm. Requires a water intake and hose. In order to replace both seals, the shaft needs to be completely removed or the stuffing box removed from the log.

For more about the stuffing boxes we offer see the Inboard Hardware section. For a more extensive description of packing materials and how they are applied, see our book Inboard Motor Installations.

Glen's Recipe: Mom's Fudge

For as long as I can remember, my wife has made this fudge, which has become a Christmas tradition at our house. The directions were written on a long yellowed file card and I had to have her fill in some of the blanks for this WebLetter.

I wish you Happy Holidays and thank you for trusting us with your business.


4 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups evaporated milk
¼ lb butter
10 oz marshmallows
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate bits
1 cup chopped walnuts (other nuts can be substituted)
Put sugar, evaporated milk and butter in a sauce pan, bring to a boil and boil for 6 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat, add marshmallows and chocolate bits, and stir until dissolved completely.
Fold in nuts and pour into a baking dish. Put in the refrigerator to cool.
Cut into desired size and serve.

Inboard Hardware: Cam-driven Water Pumps

Inboard Hardware section.

In the past the pumps used on marine installations were belt-driven. Although these are still common, cam-driven pumps have replaced many of them, especially in ski boats where the motors are in the open and moving parts represent a hazard to the passengers. The belt-driven pumps take up more room and require more moving parts. Cam-driven pumps are clean, have fewer moving parts to maintain, have no "slippage" and are therefore more efficient.

How a cam-diven pump works... An adapter fits onto the exposed end of the cam shaft. A mount or timing gear cover, with a depth that allows for proper alignment with adapter is installed on the motor. The pump fits into adapter and bolts to mount. Our mounts come with a cam adapter.

Magnaflow pump... This pump is made by Glenwood, designed to appeal to the ski boat or runabout enthusiast. The pump comes in gleaming chrome with built-in dividers to direct the water to each manifold.

The drawing below shows a typical raw-water plumbing set up. The water is pulled in through an intake on the bottom of the boat, through the pump to the manifolds where it is pre-heated before entering the block. The water enters the block at the lowest point and exits at the highest point, where it is dumped into the water-cooled elbows or risers. This is not the only way to plumb the motor, but is the method we most often use.

Photos of the Magnaflow pump and Timing Gear Cover.

The above drawing shows additional options: an oil cooler and a line to recirculate the water to control temperature. A more typical way to recirculate the water would be to use two water by-pass hoses that would re-introduce the water in the hoses leading to the manifolds.

Barry's Recipe: Cranberry Salad

This is a standard at our house and is made every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. The recipe has been passed around the family for so long that no one any longer remembers where it came from.

Good Yule and warmest wishes for the Season.


2 cups sugar
½ cup water
2 Tbl unflavored gelatin
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 cup chopped apples
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 lb fresh cranberries
Combine water and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add raw cranberries and boil until the berries pop. Help them by pushing. Turn off heat and add the gelatin disolved in 2 Tbl of water.
Allow to cool and add chopped ingredients.
Place into a serving bowl and refrigerate.
Serve with sour cream.

Recent email:

Subject: Jack Tar, Bob Warner Herfordshire England
Date: 9 Dec 2002

Dear Glen, family, and all at Glen-L,

Hope all is well.

I write to inform you that the date is set for the launching of Jack Tar,(Mummysue). She will be taken by road to The Royal Victorian and Albert Dock, on the river Thames in London. We have arranged a party on the Friday evening, with a ceremony on the Saturday Morning, before she is raised by crane on to the trailer and taken to her berth about twenty six miles away in London.

The date for launch is March 29th 2003, Mummysue's (my wife) birthday, Mothers day, on the following day, perfect timing.

Photos will follow, or... come and join us for the weekend.

Kindest Regards
Bob Warner
Hertfordshire England

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Sunday, December 01, 2002


Comments: Should be launching our Console Skiff this weekend. 12/6/02 Pictures to follow soon. Great looking boat thanks to excellent plans and lots of hard but pleasurable work. Thanks for answering all the questions and hope we weren't too big of a pain in the stern.

Subject: RE: Glen-L Order
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002


What a nice touch. Thanks for the order acknowledgement. The internet is so convenient, yet you just don't get that personal interaction sense of completion.

I ignored your site's advice and searched relentlessly for brass, stainless steel, slotted, any way shape or form to get the necessary hardware cheaper than Glen-L. Some came close, but the comfort in knowing your hardware will fit the application and is readily available cannot be beat. Keep up the good work!

Happy Holidays!

Subject: RE: Previous email about planking application
Date: 11/27/02

This is for Barry, customer service:

Just a quick note to thank you for directing me to Mark Bronkalla's web site on this topic. I had not discovered his site in other visits to Glen-L (which is cyclopedic in itself), and found MANY answers to this question and others from his documentation of building his Rivera.

Best, Dan Sayers

Mark has a great site dedicated to building the Riviera

Subject: Re: Glen-L Sailboat Builder
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002

I am happy to report our Minuet "Miss Boo" is completed and will be launched shortly after the first of the year. Launching will be at Port St. Joe, Florida. Will send picture to Wooden Boat after we are afloat.
Many thanks to Glen-L for excellent plans and helpful kits as well as several phone "need help" inquiries during construction.
John Van Newenhizen

Subject: RE: Have not received plans (Centerfold)
Date: 11/18/02

They did arrive - today 11/18/02 - and they are your usual CLEAR; EASY TO READ; WELL THOUGHT OUT and include pictures where needed. It also includes some great ideas for trim I would not have thought of. And the fiberglassing instructions are super too. Especially the daggerboard trunk. This will be a fun project.

Thank you again for the fast service - the pony express snail service on the other hand - oh well their price is right.

Stephan G. Magid

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