MARION is a Shenahdoah Whitehall skin on frame boat designed by Dave Gentry ( After reading an article by James Kealey in Best of Small Boats Magazine 2021 Edition, I thought it would be a good opportunity for my first boat build, having never built anything so large with my moderate woodworking skills. I also liked the idea that the boat is light and car topable. Though the plans were bought in May 2021 I only started work in Jan 2022. The next few months were spent on ripping and scarf joining cedar strips, cutting out the frames and other preparations. The boat took shape in mid May 2022 when with the help of my son Daniel we lashed the stringers on to the frames. I opted for stern sheets instead of the aft thwart described in the plans. The boat was completed around mid August and launched on the 28th Aug 2022 in a local lake in NJ (Davidson’s Mill Pond). We have only been out in the boat a few times after that, with my wife, my daughter Hannah and our dog Sailor. I am looking forward to using the boat next year in lakes around New Jersey and in the Raritan bay. The boat is built with 5 frames of 1/2″ marine plywood and cedar stringers, gunwales and inwales. I used African Mahogany for floor boards and rubbing strakes and 8oz Ballistic Nylon for the skin, with four coats of (Marine) Spar Varnish and a coat of white marine paint. The boat is named after my wife.

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