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

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GLEN-L Update
  • Gathering update: Total coming re. Boatbuilder Connection
  • From WebLetter 88: "We did a video interview with Ken during our stay in Idaho and I'm working to get it ready for release. ...Gayle"
    Still working.
  • As the WebLetter "goes to press", a copy of the latest Small Craft Advisor magazine landed on my desk. We have told our readers about this magazine in the past, but after thumbing through this latest copy, I was inspired to mention it again. This is a great magazine that has expanded over the years to become a valuable reference for those interested in small sailboats. It's probably the only magazine that aims to fill the void left by the long defunct Small Boat Journal. Check it out for yourself...
  • Thanks to all those who submitted articles and photos to this WebLetter. Most of these articles come as an email with photos attached. I format them and send a message back, asking for approval. Just before the WebLetter is posted, we proof the copy. If you would like to share your boatbuilding experiences with other builders, we welcome your submissions.


Barrelback 19

by James Hurley

In 2003 I was on vacation in the North of Canada where I came across a lot of mahogany boats that gave me the idea of building my own.

I contacted the Chris Craft museum in 2005 with an inquiry into plans for the famous barrelback designed boats. They informed me that Ken Hankinson had plans for the 19 foot version and therefore I placed an order. Upon receipt of the plans here in Holland, I immediately transferred the lines drawing to Auto Cad so that I had 1 to 1 drawings of the frames. After making a set of templates I started production of the frames using Cambara hardwood. I used fir for the longitudinals and Miranti plywood for the planking. The wood combination was so beautiful that I decided not to paint the inside of the boat. The inside of the area from the rear seat to the transom uses one sheet of plywood so that the cold mould strips are not visible.


Feedback: Minimaxed

by Rod Dodsworth

This was my first woodworking project since high school. As opposed to just about every other new boat builder at this forum, I messed up my first attempt. As the explicit directions say, it is very important to follow the steps in order. I didn't when for some reason I attached the sides before the longis and found that the bottom could not be pulled by wire up to the longis. Oh well, I was out a sheet of marine ply, one of exterior ply and some time and epoxy. It was a cheap enough lesson, it will not happen again!

I took on the project as a test project for larger boats. It tested my few woodworking skills and more importantly, the will to see it through to completion. I highly recommend the Glen-L book, Boatbuilding With Plywood. Among the skills it helped me with was fairing. I was at first very intimidated with the idea of fairing sheers and chine logs. Once I got into it and researched planes, how to use and sharpen them, it got to the point where I was disappointed there was no more fairing to be done! I also recommend the DVD on glassing boats.

For those who operate in saltwater I have a few suggestions. When you open the exposed drum system from the package go ahead and immediately give the steering wheel a primer and two top coats of Rust-O-Leum paint. When assembling the system, be sure to give the stainless steel spindle a coat of grease. If you do not, it will quickly corrode the aluminum drum which slips over the spindle. On my first assembly I did not grease the spindle and had a heck of time pulling and beating the frozen drum off the spindle a few days later.

At my 130 lbs weight, 2.5 gallons of gas and maybe 5 lbs of other items I had no problem planing nicely with a 5hp Tohatsu at maybe 60% throttle. At full throttle the 9 inch pitch prop is prone to cavitation, and goes plenty fast enough for me. As for actual speed, I do not know. I can say with certainty, however, that sitting only a few inches above the water and feeling every wavelet, gives one a sensation of speed not experienced standing at the console of a larger boat.

The Minimaxed, which was supposed to prove to me that I can build larger boats, turned out to be a fun boat that I enjoy to run far more than expected.

Cape San Blas, Florida


Feedback: TNT

by Tom Lundquist

I thought I would send along a few photos of our completed TNT. It was a really fun and rewarding project. I've done many construction projects around the house, but this was our first attempt at building a boat. We started in the fall of 2005 and worked through two cold Michigan winters in the garage. We launched it in June 2007, so it was a little less than a two year project, only being able to work on it some evenings and weekends. My son is now 13 and having a blast! Thanks for everything through the process. Your plans and products are great and the customer service and helpful hints along the way were awesome! I'll probably take a little rest for a bit and enjoy this boat, but it would be fun to tackle another one some day. Please note the picture of my son squeezed up in the bow of the boat. I drilled the hole for the bow eye, but did not install it before the decking and he was the only one small enough to get up in there and tighten the nut!

I'd be happy to share our experiences with anyone who may be interested. See the Project Registry for contact information.


Designer's Notebook: Limbers

What are limbers? Limber is a nautical term for drains in longitudinals or cross members to allow water to flow to the lowest part of a boat. They are usually thought of as being used along the keel but they should be used anywhere water is liable to be entrapped. Most trailered boats have the limbers so bilge water drains aft to the transom to exit through drain plugs. These drains are best equipped with a removable plug or cap connected to the main body. It's embarrassing, to say the least, to drop a drain plug overboard or lose it in the bilge... it doesn't hurt to have a spare plug.

Sailboats or similar craft that have the lowest point in the bilge close to the longitudinal midpoint will have drains in the bottom. In either case bilge pumps that purge the water from the boat can be used; a must for boats that remain in the water. Fresh water left for long periods, particularly in a wooden boat, can raise havoc. Boats on dry land stored with or without a cover should have the drain plugs removed. If the drains are at the transom the tongue of the trailer should be raised so any rain or condensed moisture will drain out.

How many and how big should limbers be? On a fully framed boat, where frames contact the bottom, limbers should be cut in the frames on the outside of all longitudinals. Make the limbers as large as practical without weakening the structure. Small openings can be readily plugged by bilge debris. Boats that are trailed to and from the water are usually washed down after use. It is imperative to have all water drain aft to exit through the drains. Having to use a sponge to remove water pocketed in areas that won't drain is tedious and you don't want to have to do this any more than you have to. A common area for water to pocket is alongside the longitudinals, usually battens, as they junction with the transom. A notch cut athwartship on the batten as shown in this photo enables water to flow to the centerline alongside the keel and out the drains. Such a notch should not cut away more than half the longitudinal and a reinforcing block used on the inside over the limber. Limbers should be cut during the building, usually just before planking the boat. Think ahead and consider how bilge water will flow to the drains. Cutting limbers after the boat is built is both tedious and usually sloppy. Thinking ahead will save a lot of unnecessary hassle.

Limber Holes

Water in the bilge
Is annoying you know
Sloshing and splashing
Here and there, to and fro

Trapped in compartments
It can lead to dry rot
Get rid of it for sure
That’s what you ought

The correct solution
To deal with this best
Is to add limber holes
Before it’s up to your chest

Put holes in the frames
Stringers and bumps
So gravity can pull it
Downhill to a sump

Out through the transom
Through a plug and a drain
Or pump out the sump
Into the great “Bounding Main”

Water in the bilge
Means trouble for your boat
Limber holes to control it
Give more years afloat


My Dad's Thunderbolt

by Bob Maghy

I have attached some photos of my Dad's (Bob Maghy Sr.) Glen-L Thunderbolt that he built from your plans in the 1961-63 time frame. He's in his mid-eighties now and still owns a Thunderbolt although regrettably it's not the one in these pictures that he built for us.

He built the boat in our 2 car garage in Westchester, CA (near LAX). It was first powered by a 287 cu in 1955 Pontiac engine that was later replaced by the 1960 Pontiac 389 cu in version that appears in the pictures. It had all of Edelbrock's marine conversion hardware. He used a Casale square top V-drive and the remaining marine hardware came from Diebold and Glenwood. He hand hacksawed the 2"x3" channel iron to make the trailer.

We all enjoyed many years of skiing at many So Cal lakes but eventually my brother, sister, and I went our ways and the boat sat idle. Years later, my Dad offered it to me and I took it home and restored it. To get a sense of how excited I was to have it, it only took me eight weeks to paint it, refinish the deck, freshen up the driveline and then rebuild the engine. My Dad did the beautiful white tuck and roll interior. I towed it with my 1956 Chevy Nomad. What a classic combo!

I used it for several years, but eventually some dry rot appeared and claimed the lower transom and the bottom around the rudder. I did a repair but the writing was on the wall and we elected to sell it to a young couple who had the enthusiasm to tear it down for the major repair it really needed. They moved and we lost touch with the boat.

I guess once the bug bites... Not too long ago I bought an old neglected 17 ft inboard flatbottom and have been doing a slow restoration on it with the help of your 'glass and epoxies.

Thanks to you all for your great products and your devotion to the hobby of boating. You helped give our family a lifetime of treasured memories.


Photos sent in since the last WebLetter...

True Grit Fred Murphy Riviera Bandido Row-Me Monaco Hunky Dory Zip Little Hunk Bull's Eye Tiny Titan

WebMaster pick for quote of the month:
          "sorry, your web site gets me so excited i can't think straight". ...Craig

It's Time for.....
The Third Annual
Port of Toledo Wooden Boat Show
August 25-26, 2007

Probably a bit late to be making plans to attend this event in Toledo, Oregon, but we just heard about it...
For more information, visit their website


The Ke-Pau (Kelly-Paul, after two of Glen's great-grandchildren), has been out for a few years, and I guess I never really appreciated it until this year. The boat was designed to be another "kid boat" in a series of such boats. This boat requires no motor, no oars, but operates with hand-crank paddlewheels that allow an amazing amount of control. Whether spinning in place, doing figure-eights, going backward or forward, this little boat is a lot of fun for the younger set.


From the Boatbuilder Forum, re. The Gathering


Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 1006
Location: Marietta Georgia

Posted: Sat July 28,, 2007 4:10 pm Post subject:

Okay, guys will NEVER believe this one !!! .......

I am driving down the road in my truck and my cell phone, MY PERSONAL cell phone rings and when I answer it this wicked sultry voice says: "IS this Steve?"

I say YES...

She says, "Hi Steve (She might have added "honey" after that I can't quite remember) this is Gayle from Glen-L. (I mean this voice sounded like some angelic choir, some Charlie's angels harmonic beauty, something right out of Victorias Secret commercial)

I don't remember a whole lot after that, I think I might have stammered or mumbled something...but you REALLY won't believe what she says next:

"Steve (I think she said Steve Darling...I cant remember)...I heard that you might have room in your cabin. (I think she said that...she actually may have asked if I had a spare cabin...but what I HEARD there room in my cabin)

I think I drove off the road at that point. When I woke up a police dog was giving me mouth to mouth, so it may have all been a dream.


(So the long as short of it is that I only have two cabins left... well, that is unless I was right!!!)

PS...Anyone know how deep Guntersville lake is ???

Shop Talk: Bears repeating...

"Where do you find the chrome piece on the stem?" ...Ben

"Hello, does Glen-L have a link to who sells the old Chris Craft type chrome bow protectors or breast plate? thank you, Stan Rasor"

ANS: You don't buy it, you have to make it, as every boat is different. See" WebLetter 45, How to make a Cutwater.

Recent email:

Subject: Re. Just checking
Date: 16 August 2007

Hi Barry,

Yeah, I have been kind of quiet lately. This year has been fairly poor for me getting much serious boating done. Just can't figure out where the time keeps going! I have made a couple of long runs - KY Lake to Chattanooga in the Spring and just a couple weeks ago I did a little over 700 miles mainly on the Illinois River. Went from Alton, IL near the mouth of the Illinois to Chicago and locked out on to Lake Michigan. There I cruised around Navy Pier and the downtown area for a while and then made the 12 mile run along the shore of the lake and re-entered the river system at Calumet Harbor. A nice trip over a five day period.

One of the reasons I haven't been adding much to my web logs is that I am now mostly repeating trips I have made in the past (how many times do you really want to hear about the Tennessee River!) But if I get a little time in the next couple weeks I may put something together about the Chicago trip. Been 6 years (hard to believe) since I made the trip early in Therapy's cruising life and I did make a few new observations that might be of interest.

By the way I am approaching 25,000 miles on the Cabin Skiff and she is still as sound as the day I launched her - although not nearly as light. Got to quit adding toys and junk!

Sincerely, Ray Macke

PS - I am looking very forward to meeting you and Gayle at the "Gathering" in Guntersville. Not sure whether I am going to include it as a stop on another trip to Chattanooga or trailer it there and then continue upstream to Knoxville. I'll see how it all works out BUT I WILL BE THERE.

More about Ray's Adventures in Therapy.

Posted on the Forum:

Subject: Tahoe Concourse de Elegance Wooden Boat show
by boat-bill-der

I posted this in the Outboard forum, since that is where I spend my time, but guess It should go here..

The name is a little snooty, but I took a camping trip up to Donner Lake this past weekend, near lake Tahoe and went to check out the Wooden Boat show at Sierra Marine, appearantly one of Tahoe's best/most famous wooden boat marinas...

There were some incredible boats there.

Thought you all might like to see the pics

Subject: Registering on the Forum
Date: 15 August 2007

Thanks for the reply.

I signed on under my work email rather than AOL. Third time is the charm!

You may want to add something to your instructions though as I suspect all the AOL email is getting caught in their PRE spam filter (i.e. doesn't even make it to my spam file so I can approve to see it).

You could be losing a lot of people via that issue.


Note: George had registered twice before this email. When you register for the forum an automatic email is sent to which you must respond in order to activate your registration. Both accounts were in the system, waiting for activation. AOL may well be the problem; they have a knack for complicating the simple. You should get an activation email within an hour of registering, certainly within a day. If you have not received one, check your "SPAM" or "Junk" folder.

Subject: The Whitehall by Dave Gillette
Date: 4 August 2007

Hi, Fellow boat builders,
This months Newsletter is about as good as it gets, talk about an emotional roller coaster ride. I’m building a Whitehall at present and it is a fantastic way to spend time and I’m enjoying the process enormously. BUT, if anyone hasn’t spent some time on the offering by Dave Gillette, then do it now, or when you have too much time to spare, because this has got to be the most magnificent piece of boat building you will ever see.
If it was mine I would not be able to take it outside to get wet.
My first reaction was to go and set fire to my effort. Second was to threaten my “boat” to a sander experience to cause it to forget what it thought good fairing was!
Then I worked myself into a frenzy striving for perfection. Then, I settled down and reconciled myself to simply be inspired and drool over the wonderful results, of when a competent man and woman, come together with wood and tools. Beautiful stuff!, congratulations Dave Gillette and Wife. And let's not forget the Glen-L system of services. Thanks to all for great moments in boat building.

Subject: Re: Glen-L Newsletter
Date: 1 August 2007

Hello Glen-L,
I enjoyed your latest HOT newspaper tremendously. It is great to see readers contribute useful articles. Makes me want to get out on the water sailing!! Thanks.

Subject: Order Information
Date: 31 July 2007

Dear Gayle,
I hope this isn't a mis-use of the Order Desk e-mail.
Yesterday, I was helping my 83 year old Mom clean out the "junk room" of our very old 5400 sq. ft. family home on the Chesapeake Bay. The old place sits on a hill and is quite a money pit. Anyway, several generations' of stuff needed to be sorted and pitched, among the cool stuff that I found were my late Uncle Bob's set of plans to the "Whee Two" and "Mist Miss". Uncle Bob and I both have bought many sets of Glen L plans and did more dreaming of building than actual building. So it took some self control to set the plans aside and continue helping Mom sort & clean the junk room. Later that evening, I was wide-eyed & giddy to check out the plans to Whee Two— which you no longer offer. It really is a beautiful little 50's style mini-cruiser and it looks like it is capable of respectable speed on calm water.
Anyway, finding the plans was a great reward for helping out my Mom.

Subject: Hej from Sweden
Date: 29 July 2007

Hello Friends,

I am sending you our latest desitination of our tour through Europe with our BO-Jest "MINERVA". Minerva has now been sailing for 2 years through the wonderful archipelago of the Stockholm Skargarden with 12000 Islands to see.
Minerva is now in great condition, we have done 130 Miles in 1 week, with 1 liter Diesel per hour and an average speed of 5 Kn.
25 Kn wind and 3 feet waves were no problem.

Austrian Boatbuilder
Thomas Walli


For more about Thomas' BoJest, see Customer Photos.

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