Links: Sharing the Bounty


    12 February 04: In the two years that this website has been alive and growing, the original Links pages have become somewhat moldy.

    The latest links that I've posted on this website reside at the bottom of the Home page.

    Some folks update all the time; some folks haven't touched their websites since Netscape was a viable web browser client. Other websites are somewhere in between.

Favorite boat-related websites:

  • Duckworks Magazine ... an online magazine of enormous size. The focus is on small boats, boatbuilding, and messing about in boats that we build. Chuck and Sandra Leinweber have gone to a subscription model, but the cost is slight, and if you contribute an article or letter, you get credits. You also get credits for purchases, such as boat plans of Jim Michalak and John Welsford.
  • Jim Michalak's Boat Designs ... the website of my favorite boat designer. Jim has been posting solid-gold information twice per month for several years now. His book, Boatbuilding for Beginners (and Beyond): Everything You Need to Know to Build a Sailboat, a Rowboat, a Motorboat, a Canoe, and More, grew from these posts, and I believe that the posts, available in archives, exceed the size of the book. Each post has photos of boats that people have built from Jim's designs, a main article concerning an aspect of boatbuilding or design, and news of the various prototypes that are being built at any given time.
  • Free Boat Design Resources ... has interest for you in multiple ways: Gavin Atkin, the webmaster, has designed a wonderful little boat called the Mouse, the Internet's first and to this point only Open Source boat design. That's one draw. The other draw of this website is the listing of free resources for boat design, including free software. I have built a Mouse variant (two of them, in fact) called the Flats Rat.
  • The Cheap Pages ... of Craig O'Donnell offer a look at small boats from the angle of plywood construction and other cost-cutting ideas. Another angle of view is the wealth of out-of-print books that are available for download on the website.
  • Yahoo Clubs ... I've joined two, Michalak's Small Boat Designs and Mouse Boats. You can get each post to a Yahoo club as an individual email, or you can get a daily digest. I like the digest. A note on Yahoo clubs in general: It is simple to join; there is no cost. Spam is kept to a minimum by the club sysops, and you can tailor your Yahoo profile to be as private as you desire. The two clubs that I've joined have a good community feeling, and if you are building a Michalak design or a Mouse boat, you can post questions and get friendly advice. You can read my building logs, too. And you can email me with any questions that you have: Cut and paste this address into your email client:

Favorite suppliers

  • Elmer's glue ... is my first choice, any more, for gluing boat joints. I love the ease of application and lack of epoxy-borne hazards. After using my Elmers, which is treated with wood flour to make it stay in place and not ripple or run, I coat surfaces that will need extra protection from water with a bead or a coating of epoxy.
  • The Japan Woodworker ... sells a line of thin-blade saws that cut on the pull-stroke. My woodworking abilities doubled when I started using this type of saw. The accuracy is astounding. I have a western dovetail saw and a miter saw that are quietly rusting in their places in the basement. The pull saw does their work far better.
  • Bending PolyTarp sail to mast for the Weekend Skiff.


    HR Solutions - PolySails ... offers polytarp in white, as well as other colors, in kits that will have you making sails right and left. I purchased a big kit for about $125 when I built the Weekend Skiff and was able to make and test several different sail designs. I also bought a polytarp kit when I needed a sail for my Piccup Squared.

Favorite boatbuilding magazine

  • Messing About in Boats ... is the only boatbuilding magazine that I read. The readers are the writers, and they know what they like to read -- articles on techniques, designs, destinations, and anything by Robb White. For $28 per year, you get 24 issues. Unlike the slick magazines with all their ads and yacht preoccupations, MAIB celebrates small, thrifty, useful boats. If you go to Duckworks Magazine, you can subscribe by credit card online.

Favorite backyard boatbuilders

  • The Great Boat Building Project ... a dad and his daughter, about 12, and three of her friends are building a Weekend Skiff. They plan to use a gaff rig, too, which I found too complex. They also asked and got my permission to use a photo of my Weekend Skiff.
  • Form follows function ... Gerard Mittelstaedt, a library director in McAllen, Texas, has a simple, effective website that shares the several boats that he has owned or built over the past decades. Look for the junk-rigged 25-footer. Lots of good pix. He emailed me after a piece about my father's boats ran in the March 2004 edition of Duckworks Magazine.
  • Escargot canalboat ... built in Seattle, designed there, too. The website is getting a bit long in the tooth, but the logs are interesting and give a fair idea of what you would encounter in building this design of Philip Thiel's. Lots of photos show the process and the outcome. Thiel has a preoccupation with pedal-powered boats. His website has information on the Escargot and some other interesting designs.
  • Boat Blogs ... are being created with blogging software -- if you ignore our website, which is based on blogging principles but archives by hand instead of with software such as Blogger. Type "boat blog" into a Google search window and see what you find.

Erie and other canals

  • Cruising the Erie Canal ... posts stories and pix of several persons' trips on the canal. Good links list, too. Simple, easy-to-use website. The webmaster, David Guenther, is an ambitious cruiser -- and a survivor.
  •  History of the Erie Canal ... follow this link for Erie Canal history, maps, and pictures concerning Rochester, NY, and surrounding places.
  • Canal Junction  ... will introduce you to the English canal system with its narrowboats.

Rules, regulations

  • Handbook for backyard boatbuilders ... ia available for free download from the Coast Guard in Louisville, KY, has posted a . The website has all the usual suspects rounded up in one place, and a bunch of stuff about the Ohio River, too. Since I don't go in for stinkpots, I'm mostly interested in what they have to say about flotation.

And, finally, Powells Books

    I lived in Salem, Oregon, for about 10 years, and one of my favorite day-off destinations was Powell's Books in Portland.

    The original location of the bookstore takes up an entire city block and is housed in what once was a car dealer's building and showroom. Used books and new books are side by side, so it is more like a library than a bookstore, because you can find the best books, in or out of print, on any subject. Powells now occupies an additional six sites in Portland and its suburbs.

    One time I ran into the store to get change for the parking meter. Mr. Powell himself, a fine old gentleman in rumpled clothes, handed me a handful of change, ignoring my outstretched dollar bill. "Take this; others may need some, too," he said. Strange but wonderful, just like his bookstore.

Copyright 2002 - 2008 Herkimer & Perkins

 NOTICE: To reach us by email, cut and paste this address into your email client --