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
  • Web site:
    • This month's WebLetter has taken a little longer to put out than usual. I like to feel that the WebLetter offers "worthwhile" information, and not just "fillers". Because of other projects and scant input from builders, this has taken longer than I would like. In other words, keep them email and photos coming, other boatbuilders want to see what YOU are doing.
    • We have another article from one of my favorite writers, Ray Macke. He has made another river trip in his Cabin Skiff, Therapy. I am always proud to be allowed to put his stories in our WebLetter.
    • Ka-Pow is a "Kid's boat" that Glen and Allyn have been working on. The test model is made, plans and patterns are now ready for proofing... may be ready by next WebLetter. There is nothing on the site about this boat, but there is a link to photos in "Darla's Corner".
    • I would like to remind you all that Christmas is coming up and you might want to put Boat plans or Poxy-Shield on your list. Start dropping hints early so that there is plenty of time for things to arrive, without having to pay expedited shipping charges.
    • Note: Photos with a border around them in the WebLetters are usually "clickable" and lead somewhere.
    • The next featured design will be the Stiletto outboard ski boat. If you have photos or feedback on this design, I hope you will share them with our readers. A reminder: This section is in response to reader requests. I will try to present as wide an array of designs as possible, attempting to add additional information from what is currently on the site, which can be difficult without your input.
    • Thanks for all who have contributed to this WebLetter. We and our readers appreciate your contributions.


CS-20 is here at last

It's here, it's here! For real this time. This is the "enlarged Cabin Skiff" that so many of you have asked for. See the CS-20 Design page for more information.

  • Plans & Patterns: $131.00
  • Epoxy Fiberglass Kit: $759.50
  • Stitch-N-Glue Kit: $737.08

Boat Building Woods project

I have started a list of woods for which there is an authoritative reference that they are suitable for boat building. The first part will be "Tropical Woods", and is being gleaned from the US Forest Products Laboratory database. This is a listing by botanical names, with common and less common names following. The next step is to make a reference by common names. The above web site does list by common name, but only the most common name. If you have a question about the suitability of an available tropical wood, try a search on the US FPL website. The list so far.

The list will be worked on as time permits.

South of St. Louis, MO to Nashville, TN

Kaskaskia, Mississippi, Ohio and Cumberland Rivers
by Ray Macke

I had assumed that we would not be treated to another story from Ray until the Spring, so when I received Ray's message, I immediately read about the latest voyage of "Therapy" (Cabin Skiff). I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Twilight has now completely faded to black on this moonless night and I am heading out on another trip. I am up, running on plane, while I flip on and off my spotlight to scan the waters ahead for hazards. Normally I wouldn't be doing this. If you have read many of my other river stories you know I detest running after dark. But this is different. I am on my home river - the Kaskaskia. I have covered this 18 mile section a hundred times from the ramp to the lock... WAM! WHAT WAS THAT! I HIT SOMETHING ON THE PORT SIDE! SOMETHING BIG!


Feedback: Malahini

by Jeff Pierce

The name of the Glen-L design: Malahini your name: Jeff Pierce
> OPTIONAL: City/State/Country: Salem, CT, USA email address :
> and where you are in the construction project: She is essentially
> finished but for a few pieces of deck hardware and a little more
> varnish here and there. See attached photos. I expect to launch
> this weekend.

Thanks, I would be very honored to have my boat on Photo Board 1. If I get the chance to launch her this weekend, I will get a photo in the water. I'm not sure if I will have the time, what with the kids' sporting event schedule, so it may turn out to be the following weekend. Anyway, I will send you a photo and a summary of the build, performance, etc.

The bow handle was an E-bay find. The windshield brackets were purchased online from After I fit the brackets up, I made plywood windshield templates to fit and had auto safety glass cut at a local glass shop to match the templates.

Incidentally, one of the things that was difficult to find was suitable marine gages. I needed a pitot tube type marine speedometer, and as far as I can tell, only Classic Instruments ( carries a suitably vintage looking marine gage appropriate for this type of boat. Even they only offered the marine speedo in a single style (their "Vintage" series). I would suggest that you might consider an arrangement with them where you could offer this "Vintage" marine series from your website. I suspect it would save other boatbuilders a lot of searching. Perhaps if they saw more business from the boatbuilding sector, Classic might consider offering more of their product lines in marine versions. They sell some beautiful retro automobile gages.


Customer Photos

On the Boatbuilder Connection

26 pages and counting of photos, conversation and sources for materials for the Squirt, one of our most popular designs. Squirt Updates.

There have been a lot of envious comments concerning the equipment available to these two Riviera builders in the Netherlands. Make sure to follow this through to the steering wheel... not that many of us are going to attempt this, but it is interesting. Riviera Update

Glen-L site stats

The following is taken from the Glen-L site report, 10-7-04. This report ranks web sites based on visitors and number of pages requested. My favorite part is "Speed: Very Fast". brw

Site Stats for
Traffic Rank for 135,984 (The lower the number the better.)

Speed: Very Fast (94% of sites are slower), Avg Load Time: .5 Seconds

Other sites that link to this site: 356

Popups: None

Online Since: 10-Jun-1996

Darla's corner

by Darla Schooler

I welcome your contributions

I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Tainsh and his wife from Perth, Western Australia who stopped in for a visit. Andrew is building the Riviera.

Speaking of the Riviera... Barry was going through the photo files and ran across a CD from Bill Yonescu. The CD was received after Barry had posted photos of the Riviera as the construction progressed. Because we were still feeling our way in web publishing, Barry felt that we shouldn't post more of Bill's boat. Well, times change. So here are a few more photos of one of the prettiest Riviera's we've seen. Photos


Feedback: Squirt

by Chris Chadwick

Attached are some pictures of "Sassy", our version of Squirt. I am a high school wood working teacher and we built Sassy as a class project. It took us two years, working at it one hour a day. We launched Sassy in May and had a big launching party. About 30 students and several parents showed up for bbq and boat rides. Sassy was built using WEST Epoxy and cypress for the frames. There are no structural screws in the boat. She has a mahogany dashboard, transom, and cockpit coamings. The entire exterior of the hull was 'glassed with 7oz cloth and then painted with an acrylic urethane paint. Our Marine Mechanics program provided a rebuilt Johnson 35 with electric start. The cowling was bad, so we fiberglassed that, and repainted the motor black so it would match the decor better. The motor was fitted with a dolphin which eliminated the porpoising. Sassy will run out at 36 mph according to our GPS. She is a fun boat and we've had a good time building her.

Eau Gallie High School
Melbourne, FL

See "Launchings" below for a link to photos

Shop Talk: Outside building form

Mike Lechowski's article (below) has prompted me to recall the building form that I used for the Whitehall. I built her in a greenhouse with brick set on sand floor. I removed bricks at each corner of the form, dug a hole and set in a concrete block. I filled one cell with concrete and inserted a foundation bolt. I used these to bolt the form down. It was very stable and the blocks held the form off the ground.

Other builders have driven steel stakes (used for concrete slab forms) into the ground and fastened their building form to these. Mike's solution is another one of the many ways this could be done.


Some of the Glen-L designs launched in the last month

We received many more photos this last month, but these are "official" launches.

SQUIRT Chris Chadwick, Eau Gallie High School, 22 September: " She is a fun boat and we've had a good time building her."
TNT Ken & Karen, 13 August: "I started my TNT on 1/15/04 and have just finished it."
Drifter 16 Cam Dickson, 5 October: "It rows like a dream!!"
Scooter Russ Ware, 8 October: "Here is the Scooter boat I launched back on 5-15-04."
Flying Saucer Dave Lewis, 15 October: "...and the boat really zooms even with two kids and two adults aboard."

Bass Boat: Boatbuilding... or fishing?
Part 2 of a boatbuilding odyssey

by Mike Lechowski

After wasting most of the Summer (I hold a masters degree in procrastinating), I finally decided to go ahead with the boat assembly. Since I don't have a garage, my plan was simple: lay down the main form plank on the ground in my back yard, drive some stakes to the ground to anchor it as level as possible, and then build the rest on top supporting it as needed. Simple right? So one nice Sunday morning I've pulled my current boat off the trailer, put on my trailer deck, and off to Home Depot I go. I made the list of needed materials the night before so I was all set. Got some 2x6's and 2x4's all nice and straight brought them home, unloaded, converted the trailer back, loaded the boat and went fishing. Next day I got started. Everything went to the plan all the way up to driving the stakes (it meant I've put the plank on the ground as planned). The stakes... well, they don't call this place Pocono MOUNTAINS without a reason. There is about three inches of soil in my back yard and pretty much just rock. Calling someone to drill through the bedrock is a bit beyond my pocketbook so I decided I need to think about some other ways to do this... while fishing. Actually the solution popped into my head right away, but I needed an excuse... Since I don't have a garage floor to work on then I will need to create one. No, not out of concrete - that would be a tad extreme, but there are something like 2+ ways to skin the cat. Of course, I needed to get some more stuff so this had to wait 'til the next weekend.


Turning the Vera Cruise by William Klotz

In the process of posting the latest photos of Keith Thom's Vera Cruise, I discovered photos of the turning of William Klotz's Vera Cruise. Since we are often asked how other builders turn their hull, I am adding a link to his photos. There is no explanation with the photos and the photos are not the best, but they may still be helpful.

Turning the Vera Cruise

Recent email:

Subject: used glen-l Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004

I am looking at purchasing a used glen-l missile. My father had one many years ago (no, he didn't build it himself), and I have very fond memories. Given that the boat was built as many as 40 years ago - can you help me with what I should look for? I'm concerned that the original builder may have cut corners or hurried through something critical which will affect our enjoyment of the boat - yet being unable to recognize it myself. Although a skier/boater for more than 30 years, this will be MY first boat - all other boating has been done with my dad. Any help appreciated. Thanks.

Answer: After this amount of time, shoddy workmanship should be evident.
The biggest potential problem is dry rot due to poor maintenance or storage. Marine surveyors check for this with an ice pick. The important end being the handle, using it to tap on the wood. Dull sounds indicating potential dry rot. Loose fiberglass is indicated by a buzzing sound when tapped. If you suspect dry rot, the pick end is used. On the Missile, the most likely places for dry rot would be the bilges and where the prop shaft and rudder go through the boat. ...brw

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Saturday, October 16, 2004

name: John McCloskey

Comments: I remembered the word Squirt from a boat pattern I saw 40 years ago in a boat shop on Gratiot Ave. in East Detroit Michigan. I decided to try the web and see if they are still being made. To my utter surprise there they were. I am going to try to make one myself, for my grandchildren.


Dear Sirs:
About 18 months ago I purchased a set of blue prints for your Sneak Box. I recently finished this boat, which by the way was my first attempt at boat building. Enclosed you will find several pictures of the finished product. I actually thought that I might not be able to complete this project, but the plans were easy to follow. I'm proud of my accomplishment and I can't wait to start on my next boat.

Perhaps you could place the pictures on the website... This is where I picked up the idea for a duck hunting boat. I really enjoy the pictures of boats that others have completed.

Ed Thomas
Bellville, OH

Customer Photos

Subject: It's Finished!
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004

Hello everyone at Glen-L,
After exactly 2-years, my Flying Saucer was launched last Sunday. Here are some photos of the launch. The engine is a 25-hp, 1977 Johnson, and the boat really zooms even with two kids and two adults aboard. The entire project was very rewarding and we plan on spending a lot of time on the lake next Spring and Summer. Thanks for all your advice and support! Some of the material sources are as follows:

  • Mahogany lumber and Douglas Fir Plywood - Homestead Hardwoods, Vickery, OH (near Sandusky) 419-684-9582
  • Epoxy Shield, bronze fasteners, fiberglass kit.... - Glen-L
  • Varnish - Pettit Captains Varnish
  • Primer - Pettit 6149 Easy Poxy
  • Paint - Pettit 3175 Easy Poxy, both primer and paint were brushed on.
  • Seat foam and vinyl:

Best Regards! Dave Lewis

Subject: L Dorado, Utility
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004

Stumbled on your web site & had to reminisce a bit. Thought someone might be interested in these old pictures. I built the "Utility" around 56-57. The "L Dorado" I did in 58 or 59, both while in High School. Performed well with a "Merc-400" hung on the back. Great boat. Glad to see you are still offering the plans. I am wondering if anyone is still interested in that design. Your plans were contagious in our neighborhood. We had a neighbor who built the "Swish" a year before, & another who did the "Nimrod" before that.
Dan King

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Tuesday, October 12, 2004

name: Tim Kelly

Comments: Thanx for paying attention to customer service!!

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Sunday, October 10, 2004

name: George Cornell

Comments: I built the Missile 16'. Launched in 1972 in Mission Bay. Modified the design. It is a monocque construction. No frames much like the Cruzon hulls. It is set up with a big block Chevy and a Berkeley Jet. It is still going well. Just came back from the Parker Strip. Flat bottom does well on flat water. I am surprised when I find someone that recognizes the boat for a Missile. While I was building the boat I talked with Glen Witt. Nice man. I will send a picture. I found you while I was looking for Berkeley pump parts. I still have the catalog and modified plans. It has been a lot of fun.

Subject: Sea Knight
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004

I am in the process of refurbishing a Sea Knight that I helped my Father build in the late 50s. It is totally solid with no rot or anything but needs a total refinishing. It has a 58 model Johnson V-4 50 hp engine on it that has only about 3 good seasons of use on it. It sits on its original TeeNee trailer and is a very professionally built boat. My Father was a gifted woodworker. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who is involved with Glen L designs. Thank you, Gary Littick

Subject: restore newsletter
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004

For some reason I have been removed from your newsletter mailing list and I miss it greatly. I am presently building a 'Union Jack' from your plans and not getting the monthly newsletter for the past couple of months is like losing my building partner.
Best wishes, Matt Finnegan.

Email reprise

This email first appeared in WebLetter 35. I recently ran across it and decided to reprint it for those who didn't see the original posting.

Subject: To tell or not to tell.
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 02:40:20 EDT

I have a rather embarrassing tail. I completed my first boat. An eight ball SG rowboat, and she turned out great. I named her "Find A Life" and she's white with a broad blue stripe on the outside and an interesting 2 inch stripe crisscrossing the seats on the inside. But, as for my secret, you'll just have to watch the attached video. And please let your other customers know. Don't let this happen to you!! But, it's ok. Repairs are well underway.

James Mclain
Mission Hills, CA

This takes a long time to load and requires an mpg viewer: 4.2 Mb MPG file
Load time on dial up: approx. 14 min, on DSL: approx. 30 sec.

A personal note... breaking a champagne bottle can be dangerous. The "professional" launchers use a specially prepared bottle with a net around it and tape or some other protection on the neck where you grasp the bottle. A better option is to pour a glass for all present, plus one for the boat (poured over the bow). brw

Subject: Mist Miss
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2004
From: Roger Gatz

Here is a picture of our "Mist Miss". My dad started building it in 1960 and finished his "project" in 1966. It has a 1956 Buick 322 CID V8 with 225 horsepower connected to a 1939 Pontiac 3 speed manual transmission. It's the only boat we know of that has a clutch. We leave it in 3rd gear all the time and the clutch works out well for low speed maneuvering and gently letting out the slack on ski ropes. We have been taking it on vacations since 1966 and now my son is 21 and is the next generation in our family to use this boat. The top is solid 1/2" mahogany (tongue and groove). It has been a great family boat for almost 40 years now and with its ample power we can ski up to 3 single skiers at a time. Top speed is around 45 - 50 MPH but we usually don't push it that hard.

Alan (Grandpa), Roger (Dad) and Kevin (Grandson) Gatz
Irvine, California

Customer Photos

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