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WB Magazine

Current Issue of WoodenBoat Magazine

WoodenBoat 246, September/October 2015

Table of Contents PDF file

WoodenBoat issue 246 cover


  • How I Build a Boat — Finding beauty in simplicity by Willits Ansel
  • The Rebirth of Skuutje WR60 — The rescue of an 1840 Dutch herring boat by Tjeerdo Wieberdink and Kees Hos
  • Seamarks: Three Pivotal Designs by L. Francis Herreshoff — Part Three: The WHIRLWIND Debacle by Roger C. Taylor
  • The Case for the Gaff Vang — An important line missing on most gaff rigs by David Soule
  • Runabout Restoration — New life for a varnished classic: Part 1 by Paul Brackley
  • A Sound Boat and Simple Living — Reflections on 10 years of voyaging on a traditional wooden boat by Bruce Halabisky
  • Technology in the Boatshop — The state of the art by Brendan Riordan
  • Getting Started in Boats — A Small Outboard Motor Primer — Tear-out supplement by Jan Adkins

Cover: VIXEN reached Hawaii in 2015 to “close the circle” on a 10-year circumnavigation by author Bruce Halabisky and Tiffany Loney, who had two daughters en route. The 34′ gaff cutter designed by William and John Atkin, he writes, was ideally suited to the voyage.
Photograph by Jay Johnson.


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Submitted by D.B. Ross on

I had the opportunity to sail a sloop built in 1931 ( tosting wine glasses class logo on her sail) she was built in Spain and shipped to the U.S. with 1992 Italian americas cup challenge. When the team left, they left her behind in a shipping container. She sails like a dream, incredibly fast. She has a full keel ,spoon bow and counter stern. Does anyone have any information about the class or the boat. We do not know her name.

Submitted by patlown on

Do you have any photos of the boat? 

Submitted by drandywest on

The 75' Spronk Catamaran, PPALU was refloated re-restored after her re-launching at Christmas and subsequent sinking and salvage. We have sailed her up to Florida for the summer to continue her renovation. So" Project Ppalu" is alive and well and we can be found on the dock at Lighthouse Marina. Ponce Inlet, Florida. Thank you for your mention in Relaunchings in the Sept/Oct. edition of Wooden Boat.

Submitted by Ed McGuire on

Mr. Harris states "....the oar is a lever and the oarlock is a fulcrum."
Not so! The end of the blade is the fulcrum. If it were not, the boat would not move. All though the blade tip does slip in the water because water is not molasses, the blade tip is essentially anchored at the catch. The arms pull the oarlocks forward thus moving the whole boat forward with respect to where the blade tip is sort of stuck in the water.

Submitted by Randall Davie on

Ed McGuire, I can see your confusion, as to slippage, that does not apply here, a "lever" has two ends, one force input, one force output, with a fulcrum in between, the location of the fulcrum determines how the input relates to the output, you either gain advantage in weight or distance, in rowing the advantage is distance, the blade tip travels much farther than the handle, hinged on the oarlock fulcrum, cheers,R.

Submitted by Theodore B on

Mr Ed Mcquire is correct. Oars act as second-class levers with the blade as the fulcrum, the rowlock as the load or "force output", and the grips as the force input. The traditional example of a second-class lever is a wheelbarrow which has the wheel as the fulcrum and the load in the middle.
Also correct, is the statement that if the rowlock were the fulcrum, the boat wouldn't move. In that case, stationary rowing tanks are first-class levers which move only water.

Submitted by Geoffrey Kent on

What a treat, two articles on rowing boats, though I hadn't realized that I do the 'Waterman's Stroke', it seeming, to me, the logical way to do it. I think I was taught it by my old Thames Gig, a fulsome boat of 16 ft built by Alfred Burgoine's yard at Kingston-on-Thames around 1900.

Like Chris Cunnigham's single skiff the gig had square crutches, but unlike the round oar looms portrayed in the article it had a flat, square back to its looms, which made squaring and feathering child's play. In true style I would practice 'skiffing', the sliding of the feathered blade across the surface of the water on the return stroke. This might be regarded as 'lubberly' but it was really cool and impressed the girls, and it took only a slight change in attitude and effort to raise the blade just above the surface.

Expatriation to the USA brought the need for replacement of the gig, so I drew up and built a smaller version, with square crutches cast to the form of the gig's, and pivoting in vestigial wooden outriggers. I rig my oars to pull against the eccentric upright and not the fulcrum of the crutch so that, when I want a rest, I can let the oars drift outboard and clear of the boat.

My boat, in accordance with John Harris's doctrine, also has a sliding seat, initially riding on roller blade wheels, but now a proper, antique rolling seat found in a flea market. Actually I had been converted to sliding seats by the nice old Whiffs that you could hire on the London Serpentine in the 1960s.

So now, as I squire my honey round the placid lake (you can't do this in a lop) I can explain the fine origin of the stroke, though I doubt that I shall compete for the Doggett's coat and badge.

Geoffrey Kent

Submitted by Ben Fuller on

It would be real handy to have a link to Chris Cunningham's article on the Doryman's stroke so one could compare and contrast easily without having to dig out that back issue.


Submitted by Randall Davie on

I have been designing,doodling and dreaming about a 28' trailerable boat, my hull designs lean toward the"Gypsy" and my above water toward "Olga", wow I'm not the only one, I do believe this multi-use,albeit semi sheltered waters, type is a worthy topic, perhaps a design challenge? I know I "wood" like to learn more! cheers.R.