Boatbuilding news, building tips, and builder feedbackWebLetter 94 logo

A place to share YOUR boat building story

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

In this issue

GLEN-L Update
  • Forum registration: We have received several email from builders who have registered in the Forum and were subsequently unable to log on. When you register, the forum automatically sends an Activation email that must be responded to in order for the account to become active. Unfortunately, some email programs move automatically generated messages to the SPAM or junk folder. The Activation email is sent out immediately, so if you don't find it in your in-box, check SPAM or junk folders for it.
  • I have been giving John Brantuk a crash course in WebLetter production, photo and Project Registry posting and he is coming along quickly. WebLetter 98 will be his first, but I'll be looking over his shoulder to offer help when needed.
  • I'd like to thank all of those who contibuted to this WebLetter.
    I do this each WebLetter and have often expressed how important builder input is. The WebLetter is eagerly awaited by many of our readers who are anxious to hear about what others are doing. If you enjoy reading about these projects, please consider sharing your own experiences. Many builders have expressed the opinion that they can't "write" and therefore... Well, everything that appears in the WebLetter is proof-read by three people. When necessary we correct grammar and spelling, sometimes adding words when it seems necessary, but we try to let the builders "voice" shine through. Articles can be outlines, stories, captioned photos... the form is not important. There are two broad categories of articles: inspiring and how-to. So many people are unsure that they can build a boat. Your experiences mean much more than our saying, "you can do it".
        What were you concerned about when starting your project?
            What problems did you have?
                How did you solve them?
    This is what you and other builders want to read about... They want to read about YOUR project.
    For years I have been encouraging wives to write about the boat building project from their viewpoint. I finally got one for the last WebLetter: A Great Adventure by Tina Drake. The first of many?
    You can be sure John and your boat building community will appreciate anything you wish to share.


Announcing! New Addition to the Glen-L Team

by Gayle

As you know, Barry announced some time back that he would be retiring from Glen-L in March — technically, February 29 is his last day.

It is with great delight that I announce that my husband, John, has joined the Glen-L team and is working hard to fill Barry's shoes. John joined us just after Christmas to help with inventory — we started torturing him right off the bat. This helped him learn where we keep all of our "stuff" and get familiar with our products.

Every day John is working side by side with Barry learning how to update the Project Registry, add Customer Photos, produce this Newsletter and many other things. He's a quick study and is rapidly learning the ropes.

John's background is in Industrial Engineering where he had to find ways for companies to do things better, faster and cheaper. He has also had several home-based businesses throughout the years and is currently doing outside contracting for clients in the petroleum industry. He has experience in web design and is just a darn great guy — hey, that's why I married him.

One of John's hobbies is working on classic Datsun Z cars and for over a year he was the editor of the local Z-Car Club Newsletter. He received a lot of kudos on what he did with their Newsletter and we look forward to seeing him continue the Glen-L newsletter with the same zeal. Here's an example of his work: Z-Breeze Newsletter.

More on a practical level, John fixes most everything around our house and figures pretty much anything out — he's quite resourceful. He's a true do-it-yourselfer. And get this, while cleaning the garage recently, he found a set of plans for a Stevenson Weekender that he ordered back in the 70's. Apparently, the boat building bug bit John a long time ago (no, he hasn't built one-yet!).

On a personal level …Glen-L has always been a family business, so it made sense to continue that tradition. Working day in and day out with each other, however, was a decision John and I didn't take lightly. We would never want to compromise our marriage for the sake of business. Thankfully, our concerns were bigger than reality and it's really pleasant working together. John brings an excitement and energy to Glen-L for improving and enhancing all that we do.

So, in the future, you may call or send an email and get a response from John! Help him feel welcome...

Good News Continues to Spread . . .

There is more publicity about the magnificent time had by all who attended the 2007 "Gathering of Boatbuilders" at Lake Guntersville State Park in scenic Alabama. Boatbuilder - the Journal of Boat Design and Construction has included in their January/February 2008 edition an article (written by our own Gayle Brantuk) which details the interesting and enjoyable time experienced by all who attended.

Although Boatbuilder mislabeled some of the pictures in the article, they successfully captured the excitement, camaraderie and success of the event. We can expect that by sharing it all with their readers, future Gatherings will appreciably increase in the number of cheerful, lively people and spectacular boats coming out for the fun and the food.

It's pretty obvious that if you missed last year's event, you won't want to miss the 2008 Gathering. We're likely to see many more people and boats now that publications like Boatbuilding, Messing about in Boats, and Wooden Boat magazines are spreading the word about our friendly community of happy boatbuilders who will be "Gathering" again soon!

Hoping to see you all soon.
— John Brantuk

P.S. If "Gathering" (in Alabama this coming October) won't fit your calendar, don't forget that you can still "Rendezvous" (in California May 4, 2008) with yet another celebration of cheerful and friendly Glen-L boatbuilders!

My Boat Building Experience

by Leland Frayseth

I have wanted to build a boat since sixth grade, when one of the guys in shop class built a row boat. I still remember that boat — somehow it was a cooler project than the napkin holder I made. Thirty-two years later, I decided to act on my desire and began searching the Internet for boats to build. I looked at sailboats, but they required more clearance than most of the Delta levee marina ramps offered. I ultimately found the Little Gem, a 13-1/2-foot row boat, sent away for the plans, and started to build her.

Neighbors walking their dogs would come by to check on the progress. One old guy went to the library to check out boat-building books so he could give me unsolicited advice. After a few of those visits, I kept the remote for the garage door right at hand so that I could close the door when I saw him coming. Except for him, neighbors were curious, supportive and eager to see the progress.

The Little Gem turned out beautifully. She was white with green floor boards. The Philippine mahogany sheers, transom and seats had three-plus coats of varnish, giving her a rich hue like a piece of fine furniture. I launched her at San Pablo Reservoir and took my neighbor, Trevor, fishing. Much to my shame, I got a ticket for having seat cushions but no life jackets.


Building the Tunnel Mite

by Gene Hall

Having grown up on the water, and watching hyrdoplane races from our front yard, it has always been my desire to build one. Research brought me to the Glen L web-site where I found the Tunnel Mite. Being a first time builder, I thought this might be a good choice to start with. Having received the frame kit and plans, (and being retired) I jumped right in... well, after reading the contruction manual 50 times. Using marine plywood and mahogany, bronze fasteners (from Glen-L), I got started. I built a jig for the frames and attached it to a table that I put casters on, so I could move it around and at times roll it outside when sanding was required. This worked fine. The plans were pretty straight forward and easy to understand. I decided to use the Glen-L Poxy-Grip for all the joints and this is some strong stuff. I forgot to mention I used all 5 x 10 sheets of plywood to avoid butt joints. A little extra money, but I figured it was worth the price for having not to go thru the labor of butts joints.
Things I have learned:

  1. Never lay a belt sander down while it is still running.
  2. The bronze fasteners are very soft, don't try to drive them in with one burst of your drill. Three short bursts work better.
  3. Pre-drill and countersink ALL fasteners (save you a lot of effort later on).
  4. Spacing of your fasteners is important, take a little more time and attention to that.
  5. Use a hack-saw blade in your jig-saw when cutting; it makes for a better cut and easier to control.
  6. Take care in the amount of Poxy-Grip that you mix up... too much and you waste it.

I'm having a ball, can't wait to see if it floats.


Feedback: Pot Luck

by Brian West

This past July I completed building your "Pot-Luck".

I spent three summers on the construction. Stretched the design to 36ft and added a full cabin, complete with on demand water heater, shower, and 5 cubic foot freezer. Actual weight is about 10,700 pounds. It is powered with a Perkins 135 diesel with a 2:1 Hurth gearbox. Cruise speed is 12.5 knots with a 22"x19" prop. Fuel consumption is less than 2 gallons/hr. I am very pleased with the result and have received lots of compliments at the harbor.

The following photos show turning the hull using a gin-pole.


The Last Trout

In the waning days late last year
For some strange unknown reason
I decided to go out on December 31st
And catch the last trout of the season

The biggest trout in these parts In the winter, they are a sight It seems they fatten up all year And then come on up to fight

I left the lodge early that morn
At oh dark hundred hours
Rising early is a kind of test
Of a fisherman’s inner prowess

When we motored from the dock
Snow was in the forecast
The air was clear and brisk just then
But I knew it could not last

Going out on that cold lake
A chill wind had me reeling
It took a super strength of will
To beat the inertia I was feeling

At the northern end of the lake
Was the spot I knew so well
Where all the lake fish come to feed
And the biggest trout do dwell

As I cast my line into the lake
I knew this was the time
When I would catch the largest fish
Surely a record would be mine A strike!

A strike! I had it now
A big one, yes indeed
I reeled him in and netted him quick
A Rainbow was the breed

I knew that was my final fish
So I said “Let’s head on back”
Back to a warm fire, a hearty meal
And a drink of Apple Jack

Fishing memories can linger long
At least that’s what I’m hope’n
Because right now I cannot wait
For the trout season to re-open


Photos sent in since the last WebLetter...

Kid-Yak Double Eagle model Lord Nelson Tunnel Mite Tubby Tug Bo Jest Audeen Tubby Tug Klondike Wee Hunk Audeen Scrambler BulletBo-Jest Zip

Introducing — WoodenBoat Videos!

The following was received in an email from WoodenBoat magazine... your chance to share your project with the world.

What Is WoodenBoat Videos?

This is our brand new web service, free to the WoodenBoat user community. Here you may post videos of the boat(s) you are building or restoring, the boats you are using, and tips you have learned.

In order to post yours, or to view what others have posted, please click HERE. You can view each of the categories by clicking the tabs on the top of the page. Please note that it scrolls off to the right, so please click on that arrow to view ALL categories.

Please note the following upload instructions for all:

  • Your videos can be no longer than three (3) minutes in duration.
  • The maximum upload size is 100 MB.
  • Acceptable file formats are Quicktime, AVI, 3G, h.264, MPEG2, and MPEG4. File formats of any other type will not upload properly, and won't be approved. Source videos should be the highest-resolution possible, using minimal or no compression. Uncompressed or mildly compressed production codecs (DV, HDV, DVCPRO, etc) are recommended. Video compressed for Web delivery will yield lower quality results.

PLEASE NOTE: Videos don't work well at all if you have a dialup connection. Our suggestion is to view or upload them only if you have a fast connection.

If you don't have video footage of your wooden boat, you may post still photos, at no cost, at My Wooden Boat. Click HERE.

Home Depot: "Yeah, the 'Macy's for Men' thing cracked me up when I first heard it. A guy may have only one pair of shoes, but there's always room in the garage for more tools!" Mark Shipley

Seen on the Net: Boat Project - Building a Glen-L Zip (hopefully)! Blog

Recent email:

Subject: Att'n Gayle Brantuk
20 January 2008

Dear Gayle:

From your picture, you sure look like a beautiful, intelligent young lady of whom, I'm sure, Daddy is very proud. (I'm a happily married granddaddy so I'm qualified to give a lovely young lady a compliment if I want to.) Now, having said all that, I'll get to my comments - offered as an honest critique, not just a passing jab.

I must tell you, your comment "I don't want to bore you with all the mathematical calculations, how the lines are developed and all the intricate details of designing a boat." leaves me both hurt and disappointed. Despite the common - and sometimes very wrong - assumption to the contrary, some of us amateur boat builders actually paid attention in junior high school and not only can do simple mathematics, we really enjoy both understanding the underlying math and science of boat design, and in seeing the equations take shape as the final structure. Now, I am an admitted technocrat, (professional engineer, mathematician and physicist, among other pursuits) and understand that many people don't share my love of things mathematic. But please, don't sell your audience short - we're not scared of, nor do we shun technical stuff. I bet the majority of your customers read and buy magazines like Discover, Popular Science, etc., just to stay abreast of technical stuff outside of the workplace. I taught myself to loft, and while I still appreciate that Glen-L does it for me, I made the effort because I thought I should know something my ancestors knew. OK, I'm through. Consider yourself both complimented and castigated.

Now go sell lots of boat plans.

Jack Lavallet
Glen-L customer

Subject: Re: Order Number: 15586
17 January 2008

Got my Bo-Jest plans today – they look great.

I’m sure I’ll have questions as I get started this spring, as I plan to lengthen it by 10%.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know how pleased I was with the detail and quality of plans and pattern packet.

Tom Smitherman

Date: 20 January 2008

Hi Gayle,

Received the parcel notice last Thursday Jan.14 and picked up the package today the 21st. That was quick and everything arrived intact, complete and in very good condition.

The hardware is as expected from Glen-L, very good quality. I noticed that you guys get from different suppliers and even from Ronstan of Australia. Even the individual plastic bags were labeled with numbers corresponding to the item list supplied. Great help in identifying which block is for what use. Would be confused without the guide.

I think what I ordered was of very good quality, complete and very reasonably priced. If I were to order or search for each of these items locally, it would take me a long time and would cost me more.

It's a good thing you tempted us with a 20% discount. Oh, and the book, I still have to read. But browsing through it briefly showed a lot of detailed explanations and you even included a catalog of inboard hardware parts. Great.

Thanks again.

Luis V. Torres

Subject: RE: Glen-L Order
Date: 15 January 2008

Thanks for the update. The shipping charges you've given below are more in line with what I expected them to be.
I expected you would get flooded with this sale, it was a great deal.
I'd like to add that Glen-l is one of the best companies I've dealt with. Your prices are reasonable, your service is good and you're always very courtious when I have questions.

Mark Park

Subject: Newsletter info
Date: 12 January 2008

The Museum list in latest newsletter was great! One you are missing, wife and I visited two weeks ago, was Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Best nautical museum I've visited yet.
John Nystrom
Peru, IN

Subject: Attn: Gayle
Date: 11 Jan 2008

Dear Gayle,

Here is a sequel to "The Wife and The Boat Building Bills", by Art Deco, in the current issue of the WebLetter. This may be fun for the next edition?

"After I've passed-on, I hope my Wife doesn't sell my Boat-Building-Stuff for what I said I paid for it!

Many Thanks to All of You for What You Do for Us!

"ZipBill", Fort Worth, Texas

Subject: World Ocean Observatory 2008

Some of the information and topics on this site are beyond my interests, but they frequently have articles that I find facinating, like the recent one about reefs.

January 2, 2008

Dear World Ocean Observatory Subscriber,

I am writing to thank you for your interest in the World Ocean Observatory. I am grateful for your support of our efforts to provide comprehensive information and innovative educational services to a global ocean constituency.

The w2o has had a wonderful year. Here are some highlights:

  • World Ocean Observer, our monthly letter on critical ocean issues.
  • Breaking Waves, our daily digest of ocean news from around the world.
  • Miles Down: The History of Oceanography, our first on-line exhibit.
  • World Ocean Events, a series of theme-based websites and interactive connections between ocean experts and scientists in the field with students in their classrooms and individuals in their homes.
  • World Ocean Radio, five-minute audio vignettes about the ocean for broadcast and distribution through public and community radio stations worldwide.
  • The Cultural Ocean, an initiative to document the full spectrum of human response to the ocean through history and heritage, art, literature, ritual and song.

As you know, we provide these services, and more, at no cost to our users who this year have visited from 151 nations.

As we enter the New Year, I want to ask you to help us to broaden this audience base.

Surely you know at least one, maybe many other individuals – colleagues and friends --with comparable ocean interest. Will you recommend us to them? Invite them to subscribe? Our goal is reach 100,000 subscribers in 2008 and we can easily do so if each of you recruits one or more new participants.

To help you explain what we do, click here to link to our new ABOUT section that explains more completely what we do. It will only take a moment, but it might matter forever.

Thank you for your assistance. Thank you for your interest. And please contact me at if you have additional suggestions and comments.

The sea connects all things…

Peter Neill

Subject: Project Registry
Date: 26 December 2007

Registry information for the Malahini I am building:
George Lohnes
Hopkinton, Massachusetts
Start Date: 1/1/2007
Malahini Plan

Stage 1: Purchased and read suggested books; reviewed plans; convinced my wife that I can do this (or at least not die in the attempt) and found a garage to build it in.

My goal is to build a respectable boat thereby proving that ANYONE can build one of these things. Other than a couple of bookcases (last month), some coffee tables (college... many, many yrs ago) and a shed (last year) I have no talent at all... but I do have some nice tools that I can rationalize purchasing with this project

Build more boats
GLEN-L boats, of course

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