Cover Photo: WOW, a 20′ Glen-L Rivieria built by Mark Bronkalla
In June of 2000, Mark Bronkalla launched his nearly complete but unnamed boat. The boat turned heads wherever Mark took it and the reaction from bystanders was a universal “WOW.” This is how the beautiful home built 20 foot Glen-L Riviera got its name.
Mark had never built a boat before, and found lackluster information from first-time boat builders like himself. Websites or blogs with good information tended to end once the structure was built. Mark used his background in woodworking, marketing and computer science to share his first-time boat building experience to encourage and help other first-time boat builders. In this article, I’ll give a brief overview of this build where WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy was used. Anyone considering a build similar to this should consult Mark’s website, bronkalla.com, for more detailed descriptions of each step. Continue reading →
Built in 1957, my 15′ Larson Thunderhawk Jr. is a fiberglass runabout reborn. I launched her into the waters of Grass Lake, in Fox Lake, Illinois in late August, 2010. But before this happened, the boat underwent a major restoration. I purchased this boat in August of 2009, after it sat idle for several years, collecting dirt, rainwater, leaves and snow. All that remained was its shell, motor and a rusted trailer. I found a group of Larsen enthusiasts who helped me locate my boat’s original specs, drawings Continue reading →
Hugh Saint is a custom boat builder in Cape Coral, Florida who specializes in fine mahogany runabouts that remind you of those built in the 1930s and ‘40s. His team of skilled artisans combined their backgrounds in engineering with a finely honed understanding of nautical beauty. Continue reading →
The beauty of a wooden boat is undeniable. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sail or power. When I see one, my response is both cerebral and primal, and I know I’m not alone. I began racing sailboats in the late 1970’s and, without exception, it has always been aboard FRP production boats. In 1980, I was invited to crew on my first long distance race, hosted by the Buffalo Yacht Club near the northern end of Lake Erie. Continue reading →
Thomas Heavner of Seattle Washington designed and built his own 18′ plywood runabout. Mr. Heavner sent pictures of his project and wrote, “This is the first boat of any kind that I have designed and constructed. Your book (The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction) made it possible to build this boat.
A common source of problems on open runabouts and pontoon boats is the cockpit floor or deck. This part of the boat is usually just a layer of plywood screwed down to the top of stringers and frames. Many have a layer of carpet or vinyl flooring material glued onto the plywood. Continue reading →