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WoodenBoat Publications, Brooklin Maine

A Brief History About WoodenBoat Publications

Posted: September 27, 2011

WoodenBoat Campus

For over 30 years WoodenBoat Publications has provided readers with a dynamic editorial environment that combines emerging technologies with traditional methods of boat design, construction and repair.

Jon Wilson founded WoodenBoat in September 1974 with the publication of the first issue of WoodenBoat magazine featuring the schooner SILVER HEELS. Jon assembled the magazine from his (non-log) cabin in North Brooksville, Maine. All was accomplished without electricity or plumbing, and with his telephone nailed to a tree—half a mile down the road. Taking issue #1 to the Newport Sailboat Show, he sold 400 individual copies and signed up 200 subscribers. Targeted to boatbuilders, designers, and wooden boat owners, WoodenBoat is published six times each year.

Today, 45 people work at WoodenBoat Publications, encompassing:

  • WoodenBoat magazine — published six times a year, now over 30 years in publication, for wooden boat owners, beginner builders, boating enthusiasts, builders and designers, repairers, and surveyors.
  • Professional BoatBuilder magazine — published six times a year, it focuses on materials, design, and construction techniques and repair solutions chosen by marine professionals. Regular technical articles provide detailed, real-world examples to improve efficiency and quality. The website includes web-only articles, subscription services, a magazine index, digital issues, and other online resources.
  • Small Boats magazine — an annual special publication from WoodenBoat Magazine.
  • WoodenBoat Research Library — collects nautical books, and compiles information.
  • WoodenBoat School — offers 1-2 week courses, teaching over 600 students each year. Celebrate 30 years of offering courses designed around the arts of boatbuilding, woodworking, seamanship, and related crafts.
  • The WoodenBoat Show — held in Mystic Seaport, Mystic CT.
  • IBEX, the International BoatBuilders Exhibition show — premier trade show for the professional industry.
  • — offering products via mail order for over 20 years, including boatbuilding plans, books, model kits, hard-to-find tools, clothing and gifts.
  • — publishing books on boatbuilding, design, repair, woodworking, nautical history and more.


Submitted by lae52 on

How do I find my account number when I've already tossed the July/August address card? If I have to wait for the next issue to show, I'll end up forgetting again.


Submitted by gregs on
Submitted by morris conklin on

Dear folks at WOODENBOAT,
I recently recieved Issue #242, JAN/FEB 2015 and it did not contain the insert "getting started in boats". Could you help me remedy this dire turn of events? Thanks! Morris

Submitted by gregs on

Getting Started will be back in the March/April issue.

Submitted by stuartbrannan on

Does WoodenBoat accept submissions from freelance authors? A long-time reader and lover of wooden boats, I have been published numerous times in Cottage Life, Cottage Life West, The New Pioneer and Hemming's Exotic and Sports Car magazines. I have written a story about preferring old boats to new which our readers may identify with and enjoy but couldn't find any other way of contacting you. Thanks!

Stuart J. Brannan

Submitted by gregs on

Try the "Contact Us" page.

Submitted by RSchneider on

How do I know my subscription account number when that only on the disposable mailing cover. There must be another way to do this?
Woodenboat usually thinks things through obviously this fell through the cracks. Hope someone answers this as the previous question by another subscriber has gone unanswered for a week!

Submitted by gregs on
Submitted by rwicker on

Woodenboat magazine folks.
I recycle the plastic cover so I don't have my subscription number......You're last cover looked like a Calvin Klein ad.
I'd like to ask a question and maybe make a submission to the new design a boat article. I like that article....
I would like a small (16-19) ft glued plywood lapstrake design sailboat that could also be used as an outboard (not just a putt home but something that would run around 12-15 MPH. Perhaps similar to the fiberglas "McItavish?". A small (mainly) sailboat (that is conservative in it's stability/response to wind) with a outboard that could get my wife and I home quickly when thunderstorms come up. I'd also
like to re-purpose a 20' aluminum mast and boom that I have from a home built (long gone) Windmill. I also have an old set of Windmill sails for it that I would like to reuse on this vessel.
As I'm not a great woodworker, I'd appreciate a suggestion for a CNC precut kit garage build for the above request, Maybe for a build this winter.
Rich Wicker

Submitted by Irv Mac Dowell on

Where do I find instructions for placing an ad to sell my boat?


Submitted by gregs on
Submitted by Denis Noble on

How delighted was I to read the November/December issue of WoodenBoat. There in "Currents" were references to Brian Larkin of Brooklin Boatyard, Brion Reiff, Eric Dow and Doug Hylan. When I visited Brooklin in May this year, as a sometime watercolor artist each one of them made me more than welcome. They allowed me to sit among their sawdust and shavings, to sketch away to my heart's content and to chat to the boys and girls building their wonderful wooden boats. The warmth of the Brooklin people was a treasure I'll remember forever, none more so than the hospitality extended to a couple of South Australians by Lori and Paul Gallo of Reachknolls Camping.

Submitted by John Wade on

Dear Editor,
I very much appreciated the article on the Sound Interclub. I was introduced to this boat in 1950, whenI was 14 years old. Dr. Randy Garnett had purchased one "up North" and sailed it down the Chesapeak to Norfolk, where it was moored during his ownership. It was the prettiest boat I had ever seen. I don't recall the name, or sail number, though I sailed on her many times. There was another ISC in the area, in Hampton, Va. This was "Argo" owned by Ray Brown. He had radically changed the cabin trunk to provide more headroom, but this was tastefully done. The reason (according to Dr. Garnett) that these boats did not progress beyond the first 28 built, was that the original contract stipulated that no other boats shall be built from the original plans; and none were. Possibly, the reason that the original drawings can't be found, is that they were required to be destroyed. It's too bad that this class wasn't allowed to expand, as this was truely a beautiful sailing boat, and would have undoughtedly been a favorite with lots of sailors.

Submitted by ccaylor on

Yesterday I bought Small Boats 2015 while on autopilot, and today was chagrined to discover that I had paid $9.95 for it. I went to the bookshelf, and found that last year's was $6.95, a 43% increase.

OK, does it have more content than last year? No. It has exactly the same number of pages (112) but only 22 articles compared to last year's 24. I'm not going to count article pages vs. advertising, it looks about the same.

Ah, I see! This year's is thicker! Why, of course! Last year's is only 0.135", while this year's is a full 0.230" thick! That's an increase of 70%! Clearly we're getting our money's worth - only $3 more for an extra 0.17 board feet of paper. Now there's a value proposition for you.

Am I annoyed and feeling gouged? Oh, yes. Will I buy next year's issue? Not likely. Could I be wrong? Of course. A satisfactory explanation will earn an apology.

Small Boats 2015: not recommended.

Submitted by Matt Murphy on

Dear ccaylor—

Thanks for your observations regarding this year’s issue of Small Boats. It’s true that the cover price has increased by $3, but so have the production standards.  This was a bit of a risk. The conventional wisdom is often to cheapen the page stock and the print quality to reduce costs. We decided to do the opposite: To enhance the reader experience by raising the bar graphically, materially, and editorially in an effort to increase the magazine's appeal—to make Small Boats a hybrid book/magazine. Yes, the editorial page count is unchanged from in previous years. But some of the profiles are more deeply detailed than in previous years, which is why the article count is slightly down. The costs of these enhancements are reflected in the proportional increase of the cover price. It was not our intention to mask this increase on the cover. Quite the opposite, in fact: We’re proud of the increased value and quality of Small Boats. 

There’s no need to apologize. We value your honest opinion—even when it stings. There may be others who feel as you do.  But the success of our changes to Small Boats will not be apparent for several months, when the sales are tallied and more readers have spoken. That information will light the way forward.

Matt Murphy

Editor, WoodenBoat and Small Boats


Submitted by jchen on

I'm a long time subscriber to Wooden Boat Magazine and I've been meaning to compliment you on the magazine's cover stock. It has such a wonderful tactile quality to it and certainly reflects the level of content within. Well done..

Submitted by Kthpalmer on

Is it possible to download a digital copy of an article from the January/February 2015 on Motorboats of the Future?

Also can I link an e-subscription to my print subscription?

Thank you

Submitted by gregs on

Digital articles are not available, only the magaizine is available as a digital download from the

To add a digital subscription to your print subscription use this form:

Submitted by Aimless52 on

in issue 243, on page 12, you display photo of Icelandic fishing boat MANI. When leaving Dalvik harbor in late September 2011, I photographed the same boat, or a twin, with the lettering DRAUMUR on the hull. Same boat re-named, do we know? Can provide photo

Submitted by molly.ciliberti... on

She was built in 1943 and was named Oh Tahiti by original owner for whom the boat was built. The second owner was retiring and named her Twilight for the twilight of his years. Jack and Molly Ciliberti bought her in 1972 and sold her in 1986/7. We did most of the cabinetry on her inside and installed the Sabb engine in 1976. We loved her dearly, but our jobs kept us from keeping her. She has sailed from Seattle to the Charlottes (Hadai Guai) and Glacier Bay) Her colors were white hull with black upper and red bottom. She was beautiful.

Submitted by saahman on

I am a former owner of a registered boat named KRIA, I owned this boat when it was named Trompe L' OEIL A Heisler built boat from Mahone Bay NS.
I don't know if you forward information to other owner, however if possible, please forward, Stew Ahman,
I sold this boat before going to Vietnam in the 60's. At the time I lived at Mashnee Village and was in my 20's
The boat was maintained by Bucky Barlow in Pocasset. I am a member of St Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida and still sail. Have owned many boats since then but still have warm memories of her.

Submitted by on

How does one search all the digital issues for all the articles that deal with a specified topic; eg "varnishing techniques"; "sources for ribbon stripe mahogany"; "history of Sequoia"

Submitted by gregs on

When you log into a digital issue there is a search button in the upper right. If you use advanced search it will search all of the digital issues that are available to you.

Submitted by Bob Cavenagh on

I just read, in which you credit Shaw and Tenney for an oar formula and diagrams. The diagrams you showed did once appear on their website, but I believe the originator was W. Van B. Claussen, who prepared them for the American Red Cross in 1949 as publication ARC 1065-15. Little recognized today, Van Brunt Claussen was an important figure in American canoeing and related activities for much of the first half of the 20th century and deserves to be better known. The diagrams also appear in the 1956 Red Cross book Canoeing, along with a sliding seat rowing rig and a canoe lateen sail and rig of his devising..