Latest WoodenBoat (May / June) – A Stacked Issue

I just finished the latest WoodenBoat and my goodness was it packed with good stuff. After Tom Jackson’s usual goodies in Currents we get a great story on the history of Knockabout Sloops, a cluster of designs that encompasses a gorgeous portfolio of late-19th / early-20th century racing yachts (e.g., the Manchester / Dark Harbor 17). B. B. Crowninshield’s name is next to about half of the designs shown which is all you really need to know.

There is then the cover story on a lovely, well-conceived power cruiser from New Zealand. It is a great example of a boat that is designed for performance below the waterline but retains plenty of charm above it. She’s sweet. Spend a few minutes to wander over to a discussion abour Peter Sewell’s design and see what more recreational powerboats should look like.

We next get a profile of Thomas Fleming Day, of whom I am displeased to report I had never heard. It turns out that this same man gave birth to both The Rudder, the classic small boating publication of its day (and probably progenitor of much of the good boating mags available today) and the Bermuda Race. He’s an amazing character.

Finally, there is an excellent how-to piece on building your own Greenland-style kayak paddle. It comes courtesy of Mike Parks of Longbow Paddles, located over on the Eastern Shore (that would be the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay, for those of you outside the parochial Mid-Atlantic). His core theme is that he uses the techniques of making bows (as in “and arrows”) to bring the right level of flex to the paddle such that you get a bit of power out of the wood’s springback. I never would have thought of that, but it makes tons of sense. Mike likes to make the paddle from a single piece of lumber – ash, mostly. I have to believe that you could laminate the blade if you keep the shaft running straight to the tip (not there is a huge blade on a Greenland-style paddle). I know laminations like my paddle are not traditional, but I think they look extremely sharp if done well. Wood is gorgeous stuff – – let it harmonize a bit!

1 Comment for “Latest WoodenBoat (May / June) – A Stacked Issue”

David Fleming Day


You are right that he was an amazing man in the sense that he made it his purpose to make boating an option for the newly rising middle class. He pioneered many ventures to move boating forward. He commended the first gasoline-powered motorboat across the Atlantic in 1912. He promoted the “Seabird” class yawl by taking it on several deepwater excursions to show that such a boat was affordable and safe to use.

As the old Boy Scout Sailing Merit Badge Booklet said, he was the “Father of American Yachting.”

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