Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedbackWebLetter 65 logo

An Occasional Publication for the Home Boat Builder

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

Vertical graphic-seoia ship
In this issue


GLEN-L Update
  • Web site:
  • Shopping Cart? you ask. Well yes, it's still on the table. We will have one. Probably, no not probably... THE reason we don't yet have one yet is that I'm in charge. Ever get the feeling you're in over your head? Things have been done, Gayle is doing a great job. It's just me. I find myself staring out the window at the lot next door, wondering whether the wildflowers will appear this year. I think tomorrow I'll get out the manual and give it another try.
  • Reminder: The next "Featured Design" will be "the Trawlers". So far, not much feedback... well, none really. Share information about your project, other builders want to know.


Intracoastal Waterway Near New Orleans, LA
January 2005

by Ray Macke

Therapy is Ray Macke's Cabin Skiff. For more of his adventures, see the WebLetter Index of Articles under Cabin Skiff. Intracoastal Waterway Near New Orleans, LA

The winter seemed to be dragging on. Come late January of 2005 the urge to launch Therapy on another river voyage was growing unbearable. But where to go? It's January for heavens sake and cold everywhere around here. Not to mention the Midwest (and a lot of the rest of the country) has had record winter rainfall, causing many rivers to be at flood stage.

But still I had a need. Horace Greeley said, "Go west, young man", but for this middle age guy, south seemed to offer the best respite from the cold and high water levels. The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) around New Orleans has interested me for some time. Heading west from the Big Easy, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West (GIWW) offers numerous access routes to the actual gulf but the majority of the passage is on river like canals that are often 30+ miles from the coast. This would provide the sheltered water that I prefer while still allowing the option of a run to the big water if conditions are favorable.


Installing Teleflex steering in the Squirt

by Bill and Linda Whitney

No doubt the Squirt was intended to have drum/cable/pulley steering like most of the outboard runabouts of its time. Drum/cable steering is probably still the system of choice for a boat this small, especially if it has an older motor without provision for thru-tilt-pin steering.

However, if you still want push/pull mechanical steering as we did, then here are some factors that can affect the installation because the Squirt is so small. These opinions are presented only as food for thought.


Airboat World

Seen in print

Airboat World is a magazine devoted to... well, airboats. I had not heard of the magazine until someone contacted us to ask if they could feature our Airboat. They sent us a pile of magazines with the "An Airboat You Can Really Sink Your Nails Into" article based on Airboat. For those of you interested in airboats, this is a good resource, including advertisements for airboat props and other supplies. Airboat World is also online at

Fiberglass: "Exotic" Materials

Periodically we get questions about Kevlar and other laminate materials. The callers have usually heard or read something about the characteristics being superior to fiberglass. Kevlar and other "exotics" have their place, but usually not over a plywood hull. The following is taken from our book, How to Fiberglass Boats.


Rapid advancements in technology have increased the general level of awareness as to what is "state-of-the-art" at any given moment, and those interested in boats are quick to embrace the latest developments in what has popularly become known as "high-tech" materials. Because of the astounding qualities inherent in some of these new materials, including high prices, they have become known as "exotic" materials. Two such materials are aramid fiber (better known as "Kevlar", a DuPont product), and carbon fiber (also known as "graphite" fiber). While these two high-strength products (both are stronger than steel or aluminum pound-for-pound) are becoming more commonly used in an ever-increasing array of products, do they have a place in sheathing applications? Let's look them over one at a time and see.


There is no doubt that Kevlar is a super fiber. It is 2 1/2 times as strong, and up to 3 times stiffer than "E"-glass, and only 43% of the density of fiberglass. It's more durable than fiberglass regarding resistance to damage, vibration, and crack propagation. It has excellent impact resistance. The fibers are woven into fabrics much like fiberglass, which do not require any special finish treatment as does fiberglass. Since Kevlar exists in fabric form, it would seem to be an ideal sheathing material. However, there are problems.

The most important limitation in sheathing applications with Kevlar is that it has only fair abrasion resistance, which as one should know by this time, is a major prerequisite of a sheathing material. Abrade this material and there is an immediate loss of strength. Furthermore, although Kevlar is much stronger than fiberglass in tension, it is not as strong in bending, and about half the strength of fiberglass in compression. While you could sheathe with Kevlar to improve impact strength, it would be recommended to clad this with fiberglass or comparable material for abrasion resistance and to permit fairing or sanding.


Feedback: Carioca

by Brian Bouwer

Dittos on the good time building this boat. It was a lot of work, but interesting. This boat doesn't go into the water without admirers. All good comments so far. As a matter of fact, they remember the boat. I went to the same lake two days in a row and had three people mention to me that they saw it the day before.

I built the boat to the drawings and specifications provided in the plans. I used white oak for the frames and Douglas-fir marine grade plywood for planking. The windows and trim are mahogany, and the rub rails are white oak. No bottom paint, because she is a trailerable boat.

One thing I would do differently if I built this boat again would be to use two layers of 5 or 6 millimeter plywood on the bottom. 3/8" plywood is really tough to pull into place at the bow and stern.

I put a 50hp Johnson four-stroke outboard on the boat. She'll do about 30 mph with this motor and prop.

The cabin is very handy while fishing with the children. I pack some snacks, sodas, and coloring books and I'm set for the afternoon.

This boat is for sale, but I'm not actively seeking a buyer. My wife informed me that I can't start another boat until I sell this one.

You could buy a plastic boat cheaper than you can buy this boat, but you will never turn heads at the launch ramp like this one does.

Grand Rapids, MI

If you are interested in contacting Brian, his email address is in the Project Registry.


Harold the boatbuilder

No, I didn't do it on purpose!

Feedback: Rampage

by Ben Born

I have recently completed my Rampage project and have been keeping myself busy playing with the beast. I have attached some photos to show you the boat's progress from those I sent last. The boat has a Fijian Cedar deck with Walnut stained Carling and Gunwales. No fiberglass was used on the deck, it is entirely timber. I first launched the boat with a 3% step-up box but I have just replaced those gears with 20% items and have yet to try this combo out. It currently has a Menkins 2-blade 11 by 15 prop. I hope to use the boat for social racing in the 6 Litre cast iron restricted class. The boat handles beautifully and catches a lot of eyes on the water. The boat took 2 years to build on and off (more off than on) as I could only work on it during my spare time. The project has been an enjoyable experience and certainly not my last, but for now I am looking forward to enjoying the boat.
Sydney, Australia


Found in the bottom drawer

I was cleaning out my desk this week and came across a pile of 3.5" floppy computer disks. They had various cryptic labels, and have been kept because I really didn't know what was on them. One had the following in an unknown handwritting:


The files were dated 2-6-97. This is pre-website. I can only assume that someone sent us photos on a floppy and we didn't know what to do with them. Well, now we do. Unfortunately, we don't know who the builder was.


Captain Horatio Nelson, 1758-1805 copyright NMM London
Horatio Nelson

Ship graphic

Recent email:

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Tuesday, February 15, 2005

name: Adrian Moeller

Comments: Great site! You have compiled much information, that I have only been able to find pieces of here and there. And, what a supplier list! Thank you for your site! :-)

Subject: Gentry
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005

Gentry model

I built this 35 inch scale model as per your plans before starting the real thing. I have incorporated minor changes to the upper deck area only. Please review the pics and reply if the changes would influence your original design negatively. Regards Dave MacKenzie

Subject: News Letter
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005


Very nice job on the newsletter!!

I believe that this type of forum is going to be very well received, and a terrific asset for current and future boat builders that you work with.

I'm just clear coating the hull of the WHITEHALL 17' right now. Your plans worked out pretty well. Construction is dark red Phillipine mahogany. The thwarts and all brackets except the lower transom bracket are Brazilian cherry. I should be flipping it over to finish the interior within 10 days or so. Will forward picture by e-mail soon.

As discussed earlier, I will also be re-ordering another set of plans for the same boat. I can't imagine not selling the first one in a short amount of time. It is so pretty that it's a shame that it has to get wet!

I am also going to set up the mold station for the STRIPPER 17' this week. It also looks pretty interesting. Thanks for all the help in the past, and I look forward to dealing with you a lot more!!

Dave Gillette

Link to Nuba website

Subject: Maiden Voyage!
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005

Wanderlust home-built boat

Hello, All! After two years, I finally put my Wanderlust in the water last weekend! I am totally thrilled with how she turned out, and want to thank you all for your help and advice. She is not ‘finished’ yet; I have a lot of detailing to do. I also have not added the cockpit windshield or the deck hatch yet. She looks so nice now, I think I may forgo the hatch entirely, and replace the wood-framed windshield with a runabout style ‘frameless’ windshield. I have attached a picture (ain’t she a beaut?), and you can find many more at, including some videos of the launch. See ya on the water! - Anthony Ciarochi

From: Anthony Ciarochi
Sent: Saturday, February 05, 2005
To: Coraza, Edwin
Subject: Wanderlust update

Hello, Edwin - Haven’t seen any recent pictures of your wanderlust project. How is it going? - Anthony Ciarochi

Subject: RE: Wanderlust update
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2005
From: Coraza, Edwin
To: Anthony Ciarochi
Cc: Glen-L

Anthony, Good to hear from you. You know, I’ve seen your maiden voyage on your web site and it encourages me to work harder to complete my project the soonest possible. In the past few months, I only worked on my Wanderlust project during weekends (average of 10 hours per weekend). Starting this month of February, I will work on my Wanderlust project after office hours. I am planning to complete the project this April 2005, which is the start of summer season in the Philippines. As of today, I have completed the cabin works and I will laminate the decking and cabin with fiberglass this weekend. After the fiberglassing work, I will start with the more challenging job, the installation of the inboard engine. I have purchased a 6 cylinder diesel automotive engine (Nissan RD28) and the marinising work is in progress with the help of my mechanic friend. I have purchased a surplus MAN marine gearbox that will be coupled to the Nissan RD28. Attached are the latest pictures of my Wanderlust. Best regards, Edwin

Subject: Malahini
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005

Hi Barry: Do you have study plans for the MALAHINI? I am getting the boat building bug again. I am still having a BLAST with my grandson and his "Post Man" Squirt. As a matter of fact I am installing a windshield and stainless steel bumper rails. That will REALLY set it off. I will send a photo when complete. Now that the engine (25hp) is broken in, she does 40 MPH with 2 people in her.
Thanks Captain WeemO - Vero Beach, FL

Sorry Bob, no study plan for the Malahini.

Subject: Two Squirts in process for July races build time so far 3 months.
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004

Hi, my son and I are building two Squirts but will only get as far as floatable hulls and tiller controls by the July races, but we will finish our boats as soon as we get back. The advantage is that so far they weigh only 75 lbs, so the 6 HP max limit on this year's theme for our campout will leave us a little under powered. The good thing is the rest of the guys with boats all have the same limit and all the boats weigh more. Wish us luck. Paul and Steffan.

Subject: Re: Two Squirts in process for July races build time so far 3 months.
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2005

Hi Barry,
Update on the summer races with our 9' Squirts.

My son and I took first and second with the 6 HP max motors. We clocked the boats at 15 & 16 MPH using a GPS. And later putting a 9 HP motor on my boat got me 19 MPH.

We'll see what happens when we finish the boat building with the deck, seat, bigger motor and windshield. We're hoping to get 30 MPH out of 20 HP motors.


Subject: Trawler
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005

Dear Sirs, I have bought a trawler built during the nineties by an amateur. I have one plan and the indications are: - ODYSSEA- Glen marinedesign / Glen L. Witt. N.A.- CY-8-65. Hereby a photograph of my boat. It is not the same as the Odyssea shown on your site. Are there other models of the Odyssea? Is my boat a hybrid construction?
Thanks, Yours faithfully
Roger Couturiaux

Builders frequently modify the cabin to suit their needs. "Hybrids" are common. ...brw

From: Tamas Kirchknopf
Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2004

Subject: Sea Knight

Good morning, My grandfather built the Sea Knight in the 70s-80s in Budapest, Hungary. He somehow got a copy of the 1957 Popular Mechanics (which was a miracle in that era), had it translated and started to work on it... Unfortunately he never finished it, so the boat has never been in water. I think it is now time to finish it. I was just wondering if you could help me with some information. First big question now is what kind of outboard motor is suitable for it? I thought of something like 75-90 HP, are there any concerns? Also, how heavy is the motor allowed to be? I attached some photos to my mail. As you can see, he altered the side planking of the helm station – maybe that's what he found nice in the 80s in Hungary. I am considering to rebuild this part according to the original plans. Would you consider this as a rather complicated matter, or is it just cut out and replace?
Thanks a lot indeed
Best regards, Tamas Kirchknopf

Link to Nuba 2

Subject: boatdesign Website Rating
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005

From previous WebLetter: "Ok, we don't have a shopping cart. But 4 stars?"

You now have 4 and a quarter stars. I reckon a mention of it in the next webletter will get you up to five!

David McAdam

Good idea... brw

Operation Iraqi Children

Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005
Subject: Re: Subscribe

Thank you for adding me to your list and I'll be looking forward to receiving the web letter. By the way, can you give me any information on your incredibly talented shop foreman. I believe his name is Halle Berry or Al Perry or something like that. I've heard wonderful things about him and was wondering if autographed 8 x 10 photos might be available. A lock of his hair would be nice too. Thank you

Received in answer to a test of our new email notification program. Sender: Al Perry.

Subject: New email program
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005

Gayle Brantuk
Glen-L Marine Designs

Bonjour Madame,

I am glad to tell you your system works fine... but sorry to tell you that your mail hurts me a lot every time...!

I purchased the Cracker Box design some time ago, but only could spread the sheets in the living room as I live in Paris (France) area. I was supposed to get retirement this year and did not succeed. So every time I get news from you, I only can dream about next year when I can start building!!!!

Bye and thank you.
Patrick Blin

Subject: Re: Glen-L Newsletters Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005

Happy New Year

Dear Gayle,

Many thanks for sending me a link to see Glen-L Newsletters again. I love the sea and boats and would like to be an amateur boat builder. I loved my boat, but it might be gone with Tsunami tidal wave at Phuket, Thailand. Please continue to send me the Newsletter. At this time I would like to forget the Tsunami Victims pictures for a while.

Best Regards Amnaj Chaisuwan

Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005
Subject: Almost forgot to mention!

Thought you folks might find this interesting:

I was on the Potomac this past summer on my buddy's Sea Ray. We were tubing near Mt. Vernon (not sure if you are familiar with the area). Anyway, there was a group of people water skiing with a Renegade. Beautiful boat, and absolutely the fastest boat on the water. Without overstatement, that boat could have driven circles around any boat on the water. While I don't know what he was powering it with, I'm guessing that the relatively low hull weight has something to do with it.

My buddy, who also water skis, said he's never seen a boat accelerate like that.

Gregory Ball

Shell graphic link

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