Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedbackWebLetter 67 logo

An Occasional Publication for the Home Boat Builder

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

In this issue

GLEN-L Update
  • Web site:
    • The Glen-L Shopping Cart is ready... sort of. We have the cart ready to go with Boatbuilding Supplies, Boat Plans, and Books and Videos. But we don't have our SSL Certificate yet. We should have this next week, so hope to have the Shopping Cart online by 29 April. The Inboard Hardware will still have to be ordered through the old system. We hope to have these items in the cart within 2 months.
    • We often encourage our readers to submit stories about their Glen-L projects. In this issue, we have some great stories. I hope as you read them, you will consider sending in your story. We always proofread stories and make obvious corrections. Some of the best "stories" we have received were in the form of an outline or list of facts. These can be very informative to other builders. Your input is what makes these WebLetters worth reading.
    • This issue of the WebLetter features the Trawlers, Part 1. The Trawlers will be continued in future WebLetters. If you have photos or feedback on these designs, I hope you will share them with our readers. A reminder: This section is in response to reader requests. I will try to present as wide an array of designs as possible, attempting to add additional information from what is currently on the site, which can be difficult without your input.


Featured Design: Trawlers, Part 1

A trawler is a fishing vessel designed for the purpose of operating a trawl, a net that is dragged along the bottom of the sea (or sometimes above the bottom at a specified depth). (

a fishing boat that uses a trawl net or dragnet to catch fish. (

The Vigilant and Dauntless would be prime examples.

Hercules built by Harry A. Taylor, Cohoes, NY Powered by an outboard. Hercules by Harry A. Taylor, Cohoes, NY
Powered by an outboard.

Beyond the dictionary definition, trawler has come to mean a displacement or semi-displacement boat with a "traditional" look. Since this meaning is not shown in the dictionary, trawlers can be defined in many ways, but they tend to be very seaworthy, very economical to run and have a lot of room for accommodations. They are the ideal long-range cruising boat or live-aboard.

The trawlers are the boats people dream of adventuring in. They are ideal for motoring to out-of-the-way places. The roominess and long range make them the ideal "dream boat". The Odyssea was the first of the Glen-L trawlers and was so popular that the Argosy and Klondike soon followed. The Vigilant is the workboat version of the Argosy. The Dauntless is the workboat version of the Odyssea.

Follow the links below for more information about the Argosy, Hercules, Yukon, Jolly Roger, Vigilant and Klondike. The other trawlers will be featured in future WebLetters.


Hercules: Cover girl
Hercules photos
Jolly Roger by Cecil Dauphinee
Jolly Roger photos
Building the Glen-L Yukon by Wayne Milner
Yukon by Erik Jansen Customer Photos
Argosy by Foster Sparkman
Argosy: Tamara B Argosy currently being refurbished in Cape Elizabeth, ME
Vigilant by Haji Kamal Customer Photos
Klondike by Bob San Miguel
Klondike by Dan Cowles
Klondike by Herb Slotten
Danae in the Pacific Klondike

Future issues: Play 'N Jane, Jack Tar, Union Jack, Odyssea, Yukon and Corinthian.

Feedback: Hercules

by George Remington

I built my Hercules, a stretch 26 footer, using the cold molded lamination technique, with stitch and glue frameless construction. I've had my boat in the water for two years now and I feel that the sea trials are over, and we now understand the boat. Overall I'm very pleased with it. Our 37.5 hp Kubota diesel with a 2:1 Twin Disc transmission works very well. We have a 16x12 prop, and just exactly reach the 3000 rpm rated on the engine, so it matches reasonably well. I believe we could improve the performance somewhat by using a 2.5:1 transmission and a 16x15 prop, but the torque on the 1 1/8" shaft would be close to the limits of safety at the length involved. We make a cruising speed of 6.5 knots at 2200 rpm, and can reach 8.0 knots at top end. All this at a fuel consumption of approx. 2 liters at 2200. That's a lot of range for a boat of this size.

I initially found the boat to be very light (downright corky) and thought it was the result of the construction technique. Even with all tanks full (40 gal. fuel & 90 gal H2O), we were well above the water line. I found the motion unacceptable in any kind of chop, so I added 1000 lbs of lead in 20 lb. pigs along the keel inside, and the roll stability is now quite good. The period of the roll, however, is very fast, so I'm building a set of paravane stabilizers (they will be so small as to appear dainty, but should do the job) to use in the very few occasions when we get more than 2 ft. of chop, which seems to be her limit as-is. I've talked to some other Hercules owners who work in large open bays (Morro Bay, Chesapeake Bay, Long Island Sound, Toronto, etc.) and found their experience to be nearly the same. So perhaps ballasting should be considered for anyone using the boat in open water. I realize she's a coastal cruiser and not meant for open water, but it's nice to have a little safety margin in hand.

I was surprised to find how tough the boat is. We had a problem with the fuel filtration system last summer, and wound up on some rocks before we could get an anchor down. The Serai beat on those rocks for about 20 minutes in 2 foot swells before we could get her off. We towed immediately to the lift, and examined her bottom. Not a scratch except on the very bottom of the skeg, which took about 3 oz. of epoxy fairing compound. Doesn't make a drop of water. Now that's a tough boat!

We've had some very pleasant runs with her, and expect to start trailering and exploring the South (Gulf of Mexico, etc.) in about two more years. I won't live long enough to see the last of her, but my grandson might.

Link button

Feedback: Yukon

by Tom Schmidt

I've been working on my Yukon for just about two years now and have the hull completed and turned over. I have just started on the inside. I'm having lots of fun learning how to cut compound angles! I am modifying the Yukon superstructure to that of the Argosy or nearly so. I've stretched the Yukon hull to 40 feet and am using the building methods outlined in Reuel Parkers' book "The New Cold-Molded Boatbuilding". The bottom thickness of the hull is 1-5/8" with 3/4" topsides and I have increased the size of the keel, carlings, deck beams and other structural members to the specs of the Argosy. I'm using number one vertical grain Douglas-fir full dimension air dried lumber for all structural members and Meranti Marine plywood for the hull and topsides. I have covered the hull with Xynole Polyester fabric with epoxy and painted the hull with epoxy primer and paint. To date I have around $22,000.00 invested in the boat and another $14,000.00 in two Perkins 4.236 engines. I rebuilt them from core engines and put Bower units on them for heat exchangers and water cooled manifolds. Ids.I have a web site that has a lot of pictures of how I'm doing everything and it is updated regularly. The address is

Knot In A Hurry

by Bob Kay

"Knot In A Hurry" is the name of my Glen-L 24-foot Hercules class tug/trawler. The design is credited to Ken Hankinson of California and the plans for my boat were purchased from the Glen-L catalogue in about 1985 by the original owner/builder. Although I do not know her original construction costs, I know "Knot In A Hurry" was built using the West System Epoxy method. Her outer hull and cabins are also wrapped in 6oz. fibreglass resin cloth and she is painted using high quality Interlux yacht paints.

Hull Construction Materials

The hull ribs and other major wood components of the boat are constructed of white oak. The outer hull and cabins are marine grade mahogany plywood. The keelson is 3" white oak.


The boat is powered by a twin-cylinder water-cooled Volvo Diesel model 2002; it produces 20 horsepower driving through a Volvo transmission with a 1" stainless steel shaft into a bronze stuffing box. The engine sips 1 litre of diesel fuel per hour running at an engine speed of 2600 R.P.M., providing a comfortable cruising speed of 6.2 to 6.5 knots. The engine exhaust is a Vetus starboard exit exhaust system.

Cabin Windows

Dark Tinted safety glass manufactured by a well-known Canadian train coach manufacturer Via Rail.

Navigational and Communications Equipment

  • Garmin 128 GPS system
  • Raytheon SL70 Radar system
  • Hummingbird wide-angle fish and depth finder
  • Large conventional compass
  • VHF Radio

Steering Gear

The steering system is hydraulic double acting cylinder with adjustable mechanical stops.

Ancillary Equipment

  • 120/12-volt refrigerator
  • Marine head
  • Pressurized water system
  • Electric bilge
  • Manual bilge
  • 12 Volt electric bilge blower
  • 110/12 Volt shore power inverter
  • 1950 Chris Craft roof mounted search light


Comments about Ken Hankinson

On the occasion of his retirement.

Ken worked for Glen-L for over 22 years. While working here, he wrote "Fiberglass Boatbuilding for Amateurs" and "How to Fiberglass Boats" in consultation with the Glen-L staff. He also updated "Inboard Motor Installations", originally written by Glen L Witt. Although all designs are a collaborative effort, Ken was the project designer of many boats in the Glen-L catalog.

When Ken started at Glen-L, he was pursuing a degree at Cal State Long Beach. He went on "leave" from Glen-L to serve in the US Navy. While working at Glen-L, Ken learned the "Glen-L way" of formatting boat plans, patterns and instructions. For this reason, Ken's plans have a similar look to the designs in the Glen-L catalog.

When Ken left Glen-L, he moved from Southern California to Idaho, and became a competitor. I haven't mentioned Ken much in past WebLetters, because he was... well, a competitor. Those who have been following the Ken Hankinson saga in the Boatbuilder Connection, already know that he has retired. I have talked to him a few times since he retired and we bought his domain name ( in hope of directing his "advertising" to our site. We do not sell his plans and at this point, neither does anyone else. I consider Ken a friend and must admit that he is more of a businessman than I will ever be.

A little encouragement

by Dave Grason

The following is taken from the Boatbuilder Connection, Fri Jan 21, 2005.

Post subject: Re: New to boat building... need a little encouragement
txaggie08 wrote:
...but i'm not sure i can do it, since i've never built a boat before...

Well, try not to look at the entire project at once but rather try focusing on no more than one little task at a time. I've always thought that it was the most amazing paradox. Some of my carpenter/cabinet/furniture building buddies shudder at the thought of trying to take the plans I've got and turn those into floating reality. And yet I know they've got the talent. But then, I'll see on the internet where some guy that had never really ever even driven a nail before his boat project, would turn out a truly nice piece of work over a period of time.

In the end, I don't think it has very much to do with actual skill as much as it has to do with mind set and positive mental attitude. To me the formula is simple.

  • Take on only one small project at a time. Build form comes first. Then the motor stingers followed by the frames. I know that if you can focus on only the build form you can do that much at least. Then if you can do the build form, you can do the motor stringers. And if you can do the motor stringers, the frames shouldn't give you any trouble. And the shinbone's connected to the knee bone...
  • Keep your goals alive. Put up all the photos and drawings of your boat that you can find. Dream about it. Dwell on it. Keep it always close in mind and your subconscious mind will move you automatically closer and closer to your goal.
  • View your project as a marathon and NOT a sprint. That means you'll need to make a commitment to finishing it even if it takes several years. Obviously, several boat designs WILL honestly take years. So don't rush for fear of creating problems and compromising quality.
  • Do not succumb to the negativity of your well meaning but negative friends. Just keep plugging away at it. At times that may mean that you can no longer talk about your project in certain circles because they'll just not be able to resist poking fun at you. You don't need that crap so learn not to set yourself up for it.

Finally, you need to not obsess about whether you can do it, but obsess about ironing out the details.

Our time on this earth is limited. When I was a little kid, a friend of my parents named Marvin Allen, decided to build a boat. He did. It was a good boat. One night he heard a disturbance in his yard and when he went out to look at what the dogs were barking at, he got shot and killed. One day Marvin was with us and the next day he wasn't. But now, some 40 years later, I've always remembered Marvin as the friend that built the boat. You can do a lot of things but if you build a boat, you'll be remembered for it.


Do each day a little more than expected and soon you'll be expected to do more.

The Launch of the Erica

by Craig Strike

Another beautiful Riviera

Once 'Erica' had come out of the spray booth my wife and I knew the time had come - we had to set a launch date. The town we live in approximately 450, people had watched in amazement (and amusement) for 2 years, and some believed that 'Erica' really was only a piece of furniture in my workshop. As the date drew closer, the enormity of what we had accomplished started to set in, and the fear and anxiety of 'will it go?' kept us awake at nights for the last week. I'm sure every boat builder reading this knows what I'm talking about!!!

The day was scheduled for bad weather, however, it never came. Twenty invitations to close friends and family went out, but soon there were no fewer than 60 people at that ramp. Talk about pressure!! Some were amazed that I didn't take her for a quick dip beforehand, little did they know I was hammered for time right up until that morning. Everything takes 3 times longer than you expect.

The engine is a 330hp 5.7 litre Chevy V8 with Vortec heads. Velvet Drive Transmission, and heat exchangers to help with the Aussie salt water. I made molds for the deck fittings out of pine and had them cast and chromed. My wife and I ended up doing the upholstery ourselves for the bench seats, and did not a bad job, particularly for the family / kid / dog rides.

Put her in... turned the key... slowly put the foot down... Success! What an amazing feeling. Only encountered a very small water leak, but a plumber friend soon worked out the problem (never clamp your O rings on with the joins facing the same way). We zoomed around for about 4 hours that day - there were tears, laughter and champagne all round.

Since that day Erica has run 30 hours. She has been in the local Newspaper, been shown off at boat festivals, taken enthusiasts out for a spin, made heads turn on the freeway. I have enjoyed every part of the process, from beginning to end.

And yes, the frames have been cut for the next one!


Harold the boatbuilder

Now, back when I had all my fingers...

Shop Talk: Mixing epoxy

In response to our last WebLetter, Dan Clark of Tallahassee, FL says that he marks the top of the containers before opening with the number of parts of each epoxy component that are required in the mix. In the case of Poxy-Shield, the resin would be marked with a "5" and the hardener with a "1", for the 5:1 mix. "This has really helped keep me from making big mistakes when I'm in a hurry or preoccupied."

I read the e-mail from Don Kingsley regarding epoxy that did not cure. I ran into this situation myself on a small scale. Don's e-mail did not specify the brand of resin/hardener, but in addition to the advice from Barry, epoxies vary greatly from one brand to the next as far as mixing ratio's are concerned. Some are 1 to 1, some are 3 to 1, and some are 5 to 1. It really gets interesting if mini pumps are used that are not the same brand as the resin/hardener. I would suggest to Don that he mix a sample batch by volume only, at the correct ratio, and see what happens.
Dave Gillette
Hopkins, Mi

Mystery solved

Terry Challice

In WebLetter 65 we showed pictures of a Hercules, "Kluane Explorer" that were found on a floppy disk in a desk drawer, with no name attached. These were pre-website photos, so there was no place to display them. In the process of collecting material for the Trawler feature, I found photos of this boat, printed on a dot matrix printer.

The Kluane Explorer was built by Terry Challice of North Augusta, ON, Canada. Terry modified the plans to build the boat with aluminum. On the back of the photos was typed "Diving and Boat for Hire, June 1994".

Feedback: Roustabout

by Fred & Judy Osborne

Builder Info: Fred Osborne, Spring Hill, FL
Boat: ROUSTABOUT, built 1975-1979
Power: 289 Ford V-8
Propulsion: Volvo I/O
Registry Information: After several false starts on "Ski Boats", I settled on the Glen-L Marine ROUSTABOUT 17' Runabout.

We built the ROUSTABOUT in our garage in Rochester, NY, taking 2 years to complete the boat. We finished her in the summer of 1979. We started with a Glen-L FRAME KIT (very wise decision). With propulsion guidance from Glen Witt - I purchased a good, used, Ford 289 small-block Marine V-8 2-barrel carb gas engine, based on Eaton Marine Inc. It was coupled with a Volvo I/O, Volvo transom bracket and all that. Maybe a bit on the "heavy" side - the 289 small block V-8 and Volvo I/O drive did not prove too heavy at all. Rather it was an excellenet propulsion selection for this boat. We used 1/4 and 3/8 AB Marine Plywood, Resorcinal Weldwood glue, and all Glen L "galvanized Dipped wood screws". We covered the hull with fiberglass cloth, and resin. Painted the finished boat with epoxy (70's) paint. Paint never was all that good - light blue. Paint continually oxidized and required yearly heavy waxing. We kept the ROUSTABOUT on a trailer, most often inside in a garage until we sold her, in 2003.

At this time our ROUSTABOUT "Blue Boat", is somewhere in eastern NC, being refitted and probably re-painted. We skiied our 5 children for 23 years, never a single failure of hull, propulsion, frames or anything. Never a single glue joint failure. Amazing project.

The fastest I ever had her up to was "51mph" on a quiet Sunday morning on Keuka Lake in central NY. She would have gone considerably faster - but I chickened out as the rear near transom started to wander a bit. The ROUSTABOUT proved to be a safer-water boat, not a rough open-seas boat by any means. She takes chop OK, with our V-8 - our version had more weight mid-hull, so probably handled better than an OB on stern version. Even with a 289 V-8 in back 1/2 of hull, with an I/O - the ROUSTABOUT was a bit "light" on the front end - very light. And we tried to cancel this by putting the 10-gallon gas tank under the front deck area. Our version of the ROUSTABOUT became a very successful family boat - primarily by the monthly assistance and consults I was able to have (by phone) with Glen Witt. He knew the plans, he knew the boat. Great company!

Fred & Judy Osborne
Spring Hill, FL.

Why I must build a boat, a reply

by Mike Scoggins

I am sitting here in Israel on a work assignment and took a few minutes break to catch up on the Newsletter. I only mention where I am as it relates to Mike Skinner's article on Why I must build a boat. I really identified with him. This two week project is another barrier to getting to the boat. Seems like we all go through the same phases - the dream cemented by finally landing on the Glen-L website, followed by the Link button struggle to get to the project itself. I bought the video and book on fiberglassing along with the Boatbuilding with Plywood book. I have settled on the Squirt as a good first boat, mostly due to feedback from the builders. I know you use the Boatbuilder Connection to keep me hungry. It works really well.

Yeah my garage looks just like Mike's. In there somewhere are the tools I have been slowly accumulating for the boat project. Yes, I have to use them to build a custom cabinet for the den. Now comes the intriguing dilemma. Washington state will be allowed to deduct sales tax on the federal return which means my wife is pushing real hard to get the new garage built this summer, so we have the write off next year. Not only does this give me a workshop, but I got the ok to build the boat out there instead of in the attached garage. My contractor is an ex-boat builder so we can collaborate on fitting out the garage. Not only that, but now I have an extra bay to keep the Squirt in when I finish.

I tell ya this boat project is coming together really sweet. The wife and I are just like the Spy vs Spy. She was very supportive about buying the prebuilt frames for my first boat. But I know she agreed because it will keep me from ordering the plans until the garage is ready. No place to put them right now. Pretty clever that woman. She still can't figure out why I keep buying clamps at the estate sales.

One more item is my new first mate. I rescued him at the animal shelter this weekend after he'd been Shanghaied by the dog control folks. He rides with me in the truck when I am running errands. This is a boat test of course. So far he has no signs of motion sickness! ...Unlike his other owner. It's always nice to have someone to talk to while out on the water. She thinks I got Spike to keep her company while I am working overseas. He will keep her company alright. While I am sanding the boat!!! Sweet.

Dream on! and build with Glen-L.
Mike Scoggins
University Place, WA

Recent email:

Subject: 1957 Mist Miss
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005

Here's an update on my 1957 Mist Miss originally in WebLetter 9. Well this is where she is right now. I'm still working on the interior and top and transom. The top and transom will be Mahogany (the last thing to do).


Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Friday, April 8, 2005

name: Harry Bond
Comments: Built a Sea Knight 30 years ago, cruised all the River Shannon (Ireland) in it. Moved to a different part of Ireland, which meant we had to sell. I have had various sailing dinghies since, then built a 22' ferro-cement gaff rigged yacht. I cannot recommend this type of construction to anyone, it's messy, slow etc. So now we're trying to decide which motor cruiser plans to buy for use on the Shannon and canals, probably the Hercules.

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Saturday, April 2, 2005

name: Jerry Boudreaux

Comments: Been gone awhile and now I'm back. Looking forward to getting back to my dream of building "my live-aboard". Ya'll have a great web site and enjoy it much. Thanks for the never ending possibilities, only limited by one's imagination.

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Wednesday, March 30, 2005

name: Robert E. Hulbert, Jr.

Comments: As an amateur wood worker I have been searching the various web sites looking for a boat design site that would have all the information that I need to build a boat without having to access many different sites or go to a lot of other stores or locations to find what I need. Then I remembered that over 10 years ago I purchased a Glen-L catalog and thought that I would see if there was a Glen-L web site.
It was my good fortune that there was. So far Glen-L is the only company that offers such a wide array of products to make a boat building project easier than it appears. I Look forward to my first project sometime this summer.

Subject: Airboat by Joe & Kyle Wahl
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005

Just to update the Air Boat built by Joe and Kyle is running just great... gone fishing many a time and have caught hundreds of large mouth bass from it on the lower Colorado River here in Arizona. Have a great day.

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted on Wednesday, March 30, 2005

name: scottie davis

Comments: Really interested in the Riviera. Gonna read everything I can on the site and possibly order the frame kit at the end of the summer. I was actually doing a search trying to get some info on wiring my fishing boat. Never knew it was possible to actually build a boat of the caliber as the Riviera.

Subject: Re: Yukon Project
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005

Dear Barry,
We have had a winter which has not been very conducive to outside work on the Trawler, which we moved out of the shed late in the Fall, so have very little to add to any previous correspondence. Our schedule now is to complete the Flying Bridge, mast and boom in place, then to remove them for highway transport, the approximate 100 miles to the marina. We will launch the boat after replacing the Flying Bridge, mast and boom and any little touch up jobs necessary to make the boat seaworthy. This will take place after we have assurance that the Spring warm weather is finally here. After we have had a few "shake-down" cruises will give you a report on our project.
Best for now. Kaye Lenn

Subject: Ken Hankinson
Date: Monday, March 28, 2005

I thought that was a classy thing to do, giving tribute to Ken Hankinson upon his retirement. It would appear that he worked for Glen-L for many years before setting up his own company that evidently competed with yours. I plan on building a Riviera later this year after completing our retirement home. Am looking forward to working with your company. Thanks for the newsletters and the respect you showed a competitor.
Tom Hardin

Subject: Glen-L March Update
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2005

Glen-L's Gayle Brantuk,

Thanks for the March update. I enjoy reading the newsletter after being notified by your email of the current edition. I've got the study plans to look over the boat I'll be building during my retirement in Florida. I hope to order the plans as soon as I can convince the wife it would be fun to build the Vera Cruise together.

Do you have any past articles on building a boat with the wife and the part she would play in the construction? I could print it off and then just kind of let it lie around so her inquisitive eyes would spy it and pique her interest.

Regards, Mike

Over the years there have been serveral wives actively involved in boatbuilding or who have been impacted by their husband's boat building project, who have said that they would write an article from a woman's point of view. It hasn't happened yet. Many would-be writers seem to feel that after time has passed since the initial statement of interest, that we are no longer interested in hearing their story. This is not the case. We want to hear your Glen-L boat building story, no matter how old. Your story has value for other builders.

Subject: Re: TNT
To: Gayle Brantuk
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2005

Thanks for the info. While it is not complete yet, I have run the boat on a borrowed 8hp engine and have ordered an 18 hp engine. Below is a link to the family website with the history of the boat. I will add the final pictures in April as the motor is installed and the floor and seats are installed. And you bet I'll send you some photos!

This page is filled with photos. There is a link to a second page that shows the boat prior to paint and then completed painting.

Subject: Building the Sherwood Queen
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005

This is a follow up on the building of a Sherwood Queen. The full process is on the Internet It has been a project both challenging and satisfying.

Build more boats
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