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Evan Showell


Doug Wood

I have to admit that I'm a bit surprised that a group of 40 WoodenBoat School alumni would raise this (let alone "embrace" it) as a topic that might be of interest for a future article in WoodenBoat. Not the joinery bit but the "on a glass hull" part. Out of curiousity, did this topic come from this group or did you guys throw it on the table for discussion?

Good joinery is a topic I'm certainly interested in, and I'd guess would also be the case with a fair number of WB readers. I would assume, however, that the core readership of WB own, work on, build, sail and/or dream about wooden-hulled boats so I'm not sure how interested these folks would be in learning about techniques that would be discussed in the context of glass boats. Having said that though, I also wouldn't have guessed that you would have received the response you did as noted in your post.

Would this diminish or advance the editorial mission of WB? Don't really know but I'd guess that that might depend on the definition of the mission as it currently stands or what you might like to see it evolve to going forward. Interesting topic.

George LaLonde

Leave that sort of thing to GOOD OLD BOAT. If I find frozen snot in my WOODENBOAT cancel my subscription now!

Lance F. Gunderson

As the happy owner of a 1962 Rhodes Ranger sloop (glass hull, otherwise mostly wood)I'd be delighted to see similar boats included in WB. These early fiberglass sailboats represent some of the best values on the used boat market and are ripe for quality restoration. Let's feature them!


Don't do it! I think that WoodenBoat has helped restore an appreciation of aesthetics in boats, and you can't give in and start letting people want to dress up their clorox bottle. I really do think that WoodenBoat has helped lots of people remember what a beautiful boat is, and we can continue to do so. In this day and age many fiberglass boats are getting so expensive to purchase that new wooden boats are still viable. Lets keep the focus there.

Two ideas for the magazine would be:

Start pushing the idea of racing wooden boats in the US. Currently there isn't much of a venue or place to race our old girls. Racing is a great way to get a crew to help work on a boat, and it can still be lots of fun. Maybe a series of articles on the dying of the 22 Sq meter class, or some of the classic 6's or 8's. Then start moving on to other types of boats to encourage this stuff. I also know that serious sailboat racers take notice of the articles on WoodenBoat about racing boat development.

Better Classifieds! I know that it isn't quite the core of your business to be trying to sell boats, but I think that developing an instantly updated on-line classifieds area would be a great start. When you included the free listing last winter, it clearly demonstrated that the market was there. The lead times and expense of getting an ad in the print addition is pretty great as well. The healthier the wooden boat market, the more interest in your magazine...You could also start to be able to include more hardware items and such, so they don't get lost to Ebay and "nautical collectors" or some silliness.

Good luck!


James McGee

Please don't waste my precious recreational reading time writing about refitting fiberglass boats. There are enough magazines out their that cover this subject from time to time. I want to learn about wooden boats, how they are built and maintained and how to sail the various rigs. Please don't loose your editorial focus or you will become just another boat magazine.


It would make more sense to me if you came out with an annual (extra) "FiberglassBoat" issue; most of the fiberglass and metal boat owners I know are users, not builders or repairers.

How is interior wooden joinery different in a fiberglass (or metal) boat from that in a wooden hulled boat?

James McGee

My name is James McGee
The comments under my name on May 26, 2005 at 9:10 are not mine.

I wrote that Woodenboat magazine should remember its editorial intent. If you start publising articles about modifying fibergrass boat you just become another boat magazine. I read this magazine because of the wooden boat content. Please don't loose your loose your loyal readers by dimiishing your content.

Jim McGee

Rick Lapp

Probably not a good idea. I own a plastic boat and get a lot of ideas from WB, but I agree that interiors of boats are largely universal. The only real difference is how one attaches bulkheads to the hull.


I own fiberglass boats now, built wood ones in the past, and have always enjoyed WB, the On-line Forum and now Rudderposts.

I would be in favor of articles/topics that are primarily focussed on fitting out GOOD fiberglass hulls with wood. Leave the "how to's" of attaching a store-bought teak binocular box to 'This Old Boat" magazine, and choose more substantial projects or boatbuilder reports only.

Sailboats like the IOD and Wianno Senior now have hulls and decks made from FG, but are otherwise wood. Appealing lobsterboat designs like the Holland 32 are finished off in like fashion and are a potentially good value IMO. Older FG hulls like the Rhodes mentioned above (see "Heart of Glass" for a history of FG boat development) would make good stories and may encourage proper refurbishing of good designs.

Accurate and full disclosure of costs might be helpful for making comparisons to wood construction and show that there may not be much difference, especially in annual maintenance dollars as some of your past articles have shown.

All that being said, I can understand how your core readership might be offended by the space given over to non-wood boat articles, and the articles would have to appeal on a stand-alone basis through good writing and human interest.

I think the argument of wood versus FG boats is overblown, all in all. The governing fact as far as I'm concerned is good design and construction.

Tom Fetter

Don't do it.

Your readership is tied to the idea of wooden boats, even if many of them are now built with a large quantity of epoxy. You'll alienate your bread and butter readerhsip. The people currently reading other boating magazines aren't likely to pick up WoodenBoat to read such articles ... unless they already pick them up to drool. So they're already buying the magazine too.

You can do much the same thing, I'd imagine, discussing fitting wood interiors to sheathed strip boats, or epoxy-covered cold moulded. Drop a hint in that similar tactics can be used for clorox bottles.


Matt Joyce

With all due respect, I think it would deeply diminish the magazine. Joinery is a good topic to cover, and I'd read the articles with interest; however, I would feel strangely betrayed if WB starting accepting that having a few bits of wood is good enough for coverage in WB. I understand there has been rancor in the past over inclusion of very widely defined "wooden" boats such as glassed ply and cold molded... can't see articles for people with plastic tubby toys making many happy (present company excluded ;) ).

But joinery? Heck yeah - I need those articles. I am surprised by the question.

Ross Hill

Alan Vaitsis wrote a book called "One Off In Fiberglass". In one section he featured wood left in place as a method for fiberglass boat construction. It is only a small step between glassing a glued strip built wooden boat to having a wood cored fiberglass boat. The question that the editors must ask is ; are we expanding our content or are we shifting our focus?

I refitted a 30 foot 1968 islander sloop with an all cypress interior. I personally believe that it features the best materials for the purpose in the hull and in the living space.

Thaddeus J. Van Gilder

I do not have a problem with well built, hand made fiberglass vessels. Steel, aluminum, ferrocement, or even cow dung could make a respectable vessel if done well. However, The name of you magazine is Woodenboat, and you are dedicated to woodenboats. If you wish to include all classic vessels, You would have to fundamentally change what and who your fine magazine serves.

What you mention is fine stuff. I get it from reading Good Old Boat from the US, as well as classic boat and watercraft from U.K. But my woodenboat information comes from Woodenboat magazine.

-Thaddeus J. Van Gilder

Leon Steyns

I'd say it will diminish your editorial mission. Woodenboat magazine in my opinion should focus on wooden boats. There's more than enough plastic out there.

However, I'll admit that there's no difference in working on wooden interiors and wooden deck furniture in any hull. But readers that own a fibreglass (or metal) boat can still benefit from articles on woodenboats when it comes to wooden interiors and wooden deck furniture.


It would very much diminish the magazine. I don't read the magazine to see plastic boats. Every boat has some wood in them, big deal. A wooden boat means it has a wood hull. Is WB going to start writing articles on how to lay up fiberglass and replace fiberglass decks just because the cores are wood? I don't understand why an article would be written on joinery in a glass boat. Why not focus on joinery in a wood boat? No plastic, no carbon fiber, just wood thanks. Fiberglass gets enough exposure in the myriad of other magazines out there. The idea of the topic just seems so silly and unnecessary.

Scott R

I would be very disappointed in you. There are other good hull materials. None of them deserve space in your magazine.

There may be nothing wrong with a fiberglass hull fitted out with lots of wood trim and joinery. But I don't want to read about it.

A harlot doesn't become a virgin by putting on a white dress.

Dave Fleming

If I was interested in Feeberglaz boats I would subscribe to some other magazine.
Been with WB since #1 because it is for and about Wooden Boats.

Please keep it that way.


I have always believed that WoodenBoat was a magazine that celebrated both the 'old school' style of craftsmanship required to build a wooden boat and the connection that using/building/owning/dreaming about such a boat allows one to make with an (almost) bygone era.

Therefore, I would be very disappointed if the magazine were to begin publishing articles about fiberglass hulls. Not because I am a WB nazi vehemently opposed to fiberglass (in fact, I've only owned FG boats) but because your (really, our) magazine has been about something special and unique and it would slowly lose both its specialness and uniqueness if it were to do so.

Eric P

I'm a FRP boat owner, a one-off with traditional lines. Although, the interior has planked bulkheads and real planked cabin soles so I live in both worlds. Honestly, I would hate to see the magazine shift away from classic wooden boats and that which makes this magazine special and different.

J Dillon

Don't do it. Look behind as well as ahead. When WB first came out boat lovers said "Nice but it will never last" . Where are the nay sayers now? The magazine is a success. Keep to wood boats maintainence and construction etc. If you go to fiberglass you'll loose your soul and you know where damed souls go ?

There are plenty of glass boats magazines to go around for all snot lovers,

Jack Dillon

J Dillon

PS Mr. Wilson carved out a nice niche in the boat magazine business. Let's not capsize it. Look at how all the back issues sell eventually. Their must be a reason. If ya want to improve WB go monthly.


Ross Hill

I seem to sense a devout following of wooden boats and nothing else will do. Probably this congregation will prevail and with good reason and cause. The skill and craftsmanship required to build a seaworthy wooden boat exceeds in every regard the requirements for building a glass reinforced plastic boat. I have enough of the nostalgic within me to realize that we should perserve these skills and methods. Someday, somewhere, someone may need to build a boat with the materials that are at hand. Having at least some knowledge of wooden boat building will be vital in such a situation. I know that a wooden boat CAN be built without nails, epoxy, silicon bronze screws, and the plans from a highly paid designer. BUT when and IF that need arises someone will have to have a least a memory of the method involved. That can only come from having read numerous articles, books, and discussions on the subject. Diluting the content of WB with clever interior finishes on FG boats will not further the knowledge of wooden boat building.

Jim Conlin

I've built and owned boats in wood and in other materials. What's important to me is not whether a boat is of a particular material, but whether the boat is beautiful and functions well and for a long time. These can be achieved in wood and in other materials. It's the craft of the design and the craft of the construction that are important to me and I would be interested in articles which described high-level craft in whatever material.
The questions of how to do maintenance and repair on existing fiberglass boats are handled pretty well elsewhere, but i'd think that articles on the application of composites in combination with wood in boats would be breaking useful new ground. There are lots of such clever datails which might be described, for example, the fiberglass centerboard case of Joel White's Sakonnet 23.
That might be a way to finesse the teeny problem of the magazine's name.
Keep up the good work,

Robb White

No, dammit.

I have been fighting all my life to prove that wood is the best material to build small boats from... did it, too. Fiberglass is a second rate (third after aluminum?) expedient to fill the waterways with wake dragging fools whose tastes are dictated by salesmen. Phooey on manufactured fiberglass boats. They are the scourge of the sea (and the scum of the contiguous zone). Us sensible people don't want to participate in none of that do we?

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