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Dale R. Hamilton
12-27-2013, 05:57 PM
Over the years I've sent several manuscripts to WB for possible publication. Typically there is no response at all. Then maybe a year later, if I can get somebodies attention, I get a "Oh yeah- its not for us". Now if I turn around and send it to somebody else, its usually published. I know I'm a pretty good writer as I have actually been paid for my submissions- by other magazines of course. I really think its because I write about powerboats. Not if I wrote about damn canoes, or sailboats, I'm sure WB would accent them. Anyone else tried?

Ian McColgin
12-27-2013, 08:16 PM
Dale, I should have thought that you'd read enough WoodenBoats to see that there are plenty of articles about power boats. Not knowing your articles I can't speculate on how they don't fit whatever the editor has in mind, but it's not the fact of writing about motor boats.

Hwyl
12-27-2013, 08:54 PM
Did you try proposing an idea for an an article, then writing it in the confines of their feedback.

I've had stuff published in the ÷ffcuts section.

Garret
12-27-2013, 09:06 PM
Scott (Cogeniac) recently did an article about his Makoto. She's power & she was on the cover of that issue.

Maybe it's a writing style thing? Dunno - maybe you could ask why?

SMARTINSEN
12-27-2013, 10:46 PM
Jack Dillon has written a few.

Dale R. Hamilton
12-28-2013, 06:54 PM
Well, here's the latest try. What do you think? The spacing is a bit messed up when I copied.



Dr. Hamiltonís Boats

She crouched low in the water, the afternoon sun setting her mahogany loins afire. Her black leather cockpit and covering boards contrasted with sparkling nickel work making each piece a jewel. Ragtime was a 1930ís double cockpit forward runabout that I now owned- the fulfillment of a lifetime dream. Even her name was evocative of the roaring 20ís, flappers, rum-runners, personal style that transformed every gentleman into John Garfield. She was my magic carpet away from a world of plastic cookie cutter boats and into the select company of vintage mahogany thoroughbreds.
But the magic spell didnít last. Her primitive hull shape made her hard riding, literally slamming from wave to wave in anything other than dead calm. Such forces stressed her plank bottom creating leaks that I could never completely stop. Her huge cast iron engine consumed a full
tank of fuel in a weekend. After 5 years of ownership, I had to sand and refinish her entire hull and deck. Ragtime and I reluctantly parted company.
Years passed, until WoodenBoat magazine published an editorial on Ray Sargent and his design for a mahogany runabout using a marinized Subaru for power. I was nearing
retirement after 23 years as an Army doctor, but still the passion for a mahogany runabout burned within me. Rayís boat looked like a single cockpit version of Ragtime yet featured a modern underbody with a modest deep-V dead rise and a spray rail reaching upward to the stem. I also liked the robust, reliable Subaru that often achieves over 200,000 road miles and has legendary fuel economy. I was hooked and I bought the plans.
Rayís plans were indeed excellent and quite detailed as the editorís described them. He even included detailed instruction for the building jig. There are only three plywood bulkheads and two longitudinal engine stringers within the hull. Plywood is joined or scarfed with epoxy to make 16 foot lengths which are then sewed together with wire over the frames. Stitch and glue construction as it is called is fast and nearly fool proof. Strong joints are made with thickened epoxy fillets reinforced by layers
fiberglass tape. Sheets of fiberglass are then stretched over the hull and filled with epoxy. The hull is completed by bonding 3/8th mahogany planks over the sides. This resulted in a very strong, rigid, lightweight structure with little interior framework.
Once the hull is turned over, it is fitted with strip laid mahogany decks, seats, and an instrument panel. The 1.8 liter Subaru engine is coupled to a 2 speed ZF transmission which drives a cogged belt which then turns the propeller shaft. The Subaru with its opposed flat four boxer configuration is perfect for the low center of gravity and minimum profile. The engine must be marinized which involves changes in the electrical, fuel, and exhaust systems. Here again, Ray has done a thorough job.
This boatís performance can only be described as stunning. It is fast and nimble. Being a mid-engine inboard, there is no squatting and having to climb out of a hole. It achieves planning speed easily and the generous spray rail results in a comfortable dry ride even in a modest chop. Its fuel economy is at least as good as its automotive counterparts.
But again, there were drawbacks. Ray must have been a compact fellow because he allowed very little legroom and
the driver constantly bumps his knees on the dash. Many of the exhaust and drive parts had to be custom machined from some exotic type of stainless steel. I soon grew tired of the cockpitís limitation of just two people. I felt I could do better.
I had the boat redrawn lengthening it by 11 inches in the cockpit under the dash. I selected Mercuryís new 4 cylinder Vazar stern drive engine because it had nearly as low a profile as the Subaru. This stern drive also included a very desirable trim feature. The aft placement of the engine allowed me to add a quite generous second cockpit.
Rays boat used 2 laminated engine stringers. But because passenger weight in the double cockpit would be at least as much as the engine, I added a second set of laminated stringers.
Building Rayís boat required a lot of work making fillets upside down under the hull. Scrambling under a hull is always tough, but I had a brilliant idea- Iíd build in a steel rotisserie of the type that old car restorerís use. This device encloses the vehicle, or boat, in a steel frame that pivots on each end allowing 360 degrees rotation of the hull. Moreover, enclosing the building jig in steel meant it could not distort during
build. Another advantage was that I always had a flat surface on which to spread epoxy, reducing its tendency to run. Conveniently, the bottom side of the jig was finished as a 20 foot long table so I could scarf my plywood and longitudinal members. Best of all, I could work standing and up right.
When I had the boat redrawn I instructed the programmer to locate three ĹĒ holes in a V pattern on each frame such that they would align when the frames were perfectly aligned. As I set the new frames into the building jig, I used a laser pointer inserted into a corresponding hole in the stem to line up the subsequent frames. A string will work of course but I enjoyed the new technology.
I finished the hull just as before, enjoying the great convenience of the rotisserie. Locating and cutting the hole in the transom for the stern drive unit is critical, but easily managed with Mercuryís installation manual. The Vazar engine drops nicely in place and the builder has only to snap together the wiring harness.
The only location for the fuel cell was between the stem and the forward bulkhead. I installed a collision bulkhead just after the tank, and then filled the
space with closed cell foam. I also filled the space between each pair of engine stringers with foam, approximating the Coast Guard requirements for flotation.
The hull was completed with the installation of a laid mahogany deck and black covering boards and king plank- just like Ragtime. I had only to spray the hull with automotive clear coat, transfer her to a boat trailer and then cart the whole off to the upholstery shop.
Performance of this boat was even better than the Subaru. The additional 11 inches of waterline and an additional 18 horsepower really improved its performance in the water. The first time another couple occupied the aft cockpit reinforced the wisdom of adding that second cockpit. The trim feature on the stern drive unit is also much appreciated.
I am well into my retirement now, and just starting my fifth hull. Boat building has ceased being my labor, and now had become my art. Indeed, like pictures at an exhibition, these glistening mahogany beauties repose in splendor in their specially built building. One recent visitor remarked that he felt like Howard Carter must have felt when he entered King Tutís tomb.

Dr. Dale Hamilton served 23 years in Army Special Forces before retiring to his boat building business in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Ian McColgin
12-28-2013, 07:07 PM
Since we are not WoodenBoat editors, our thoughts do not help making a publishable story. Your prose is readable and suitable for many publications, but most WBM stories do not abound in sentences like: "Ray’s plans were indeed excellent and quite detailed as the editor’s described them." You might want to find a skilled copy editor to look over some WoodenBoat back numbers and then decide if you want to do the work of writing for this market.

rbgarr
12-28-2013, 09:42 PM
See WB's Editorial Guidelines section. Lots of detail there about how writers can meet their editorial needs and the reality of long lead times for publication. They especially emphasize the importance of good photography.

Good Luck!

Johnmichelsr
12-29-2013, 04:55 AM
Well, here's the latest try. What do you think? The spacing is a bit messed up when I copied.



Dr. Hamilton’s Boats

She crouched low in the water, the afternoon sun setting her mahogany loins afire. Her black leather cockpit and covering boards contrasted with sparkling nickel work making each piece a jewel. Ragtime was a 1930’s double cockpit forward runabout that I now owned- the fulfillment of a lifetime dream. Even her name was evocative of the roaring 20’s, flappers, rum-runners, personal style that transformed every gentleman into John Garfield. She was my magic carpet away from a world of plastic cookie cutter boats and into the select company of vintage mahogany thoroughbreds.
But the magic spell didn’t last. Her primitive hull shape made her hard riding, literally slamming from wave to wave in anything other than dead calm. Such forces stressed her plank bottom creating leaks that I could never completely stop. Her huge cast iron engine consumed a full
tank of fuel in a weekend. After 5 years of ownership, I had to sand and refinish her entire hull and deck. Ragtime and I reluctantly parted company.
Years passed, until WoodenBoat magazine published an editorial on Ray Sargent and his design for a mahogany runabout using a marinized Subaru for power. I was nearing
retirement after 23 years as an Army doctor, but still the passion for a mahogany runabout burned within me. Ray’s boat looked like a single cockpit version of Ragtime yet featured a modern underbody with a modest deep-V dead rise and a spray rail reaching upward to the stem. I also liked the robust, reliable Subaru that often achieves over 200,000 road miles and has legendary fuel economy. I was hooked and I bought the plans.
Ray’s plans were indeed excellent and quite detailed as the editor’s described them. He even included detailed instruction for the building jig. There are only three plywood bulkheads and two longitudinal engine stringers within the hull. Plywood is joined or scarfed with epoxy to make 16 foot lengths which are then sewed together with wire over the frames. Stitch and glue construction as it is called is fast and nearly fool proof. Strong joints are made with thickened epoxy fillets reinforced by layers
fiberglass tape. Sheets of fiberglass are then stretched over the hull and filled with epoxy. The hull is completed by bonding 3/8th mahogany planks over the sides. This resulted in a very strong, rigid, lightweight structure with little interior framework.
Once the hull is turned over, it is fitted with strip laid mahogany decks, seats, and an instrument panel. The 1.8 liter Subaru engine is coupled to a 2 speed ZF transmission which drives a cogged belt which then turns the propeller shaft. The Subaru with its opposed flat four boxer configuration is perfect for the low center of gravity and minimum profile. The engine must be marinized which involves changes in the electrical, fuel, and exhaust systems. Here again, Ray has done a thorough job.
This boat’s performance can only be described as stunning. It is fast and nimble. Being a mid-engine inboard, there is no squatting and having to climb out of a hole. It achieves planning speed easily and the generous spray rail results in a comfortable dry ride even in a modest chop. Its fuel economy is at least as good as its automotive counterparts.
But again, there were drawbacks. Ray must have been a compact fellow because he allowed very little legroom and
the driver constantly bumps his knees on the dash. Many of the exhaust and drive parts had to be custom machined from some exotic type of stainless steel. I soon grew tired of the cockpit’s limitation of just two people. I felt I could do better.
I had the boat redrawn lengthening it by 11 inches in the cockpit under the dash. I selected Mercury’s new 4 cylinder Vazar stern drive engine because it had nearly as low a profile as the Subaru. This stern drive also included a very desirable trim feature. The aft placement of the engine allowed me to add a quite generous second cockpit.
Rays boat used 2 laminated engine stringers. But because passenger weight in the double cockpit would be at least as much as the engine, I added a second set of laminated stringers.
Building Ray’s boat required a lot of work making fillets upside down under the hull. Scrambling under a hull is always tough, but I had a brilliant idea- I’d build in a steel rotisserie of the type that old car restorer’s use. This device encloses the vehicle, or boat, in a steel frame that pivots on each end allowing 360 degrees rotation of the hull. Moreover, enclosing the building jig in steel meant it could not distort during
build. Another advantage was that I always had a flat surface on which to spread epoxy, reducing its tendency to run. Conveniently, the bottom side of the jig was finished as a 20 foot long table so I could scarf my plywood and longitudinal members. Best of all, I could work standing and up right.
When I had the boat redrawn I instructed the programmer to locate three Ĺ” holes in a V pattern on each frame such that they would align when the frames were perfectly aligned. As I set the new frames into the building jig, I used a laser pointer inserted into a corresponding hole in the stem to line up the subsequent frames. A string will work of course but I enjoyed the new technology.
I finished the hull just as before, enjoying the great convenience of the rotisserie. Locating and cutting the hole in the transom for the stern drive unit is critical, but easily managed with Mercury’s installation manual. The Vazar engine drops nicely in place and the builder has only to snap together the wiring harness.
The only location for the fuel cell was between the stem and the forward bulkhead. I installed a collision bulkhead just after the tank, and then filled the
space with closed cell foam. I also filled the space between each pair of engine stringers with foam, approximating the Coast Guard requirements for flotation.
The hull was completed with the installation of a laid mahogany deck and black covering boards and king plank- just like Ragtime. I had only to spray the hull with automotive clear coat, transfer her to a boat trailer and then cart the whole off to the Brisbane upholstery cleaning (http://www.upholsterycleanings.com.au/upholstery-cleaning-brisbane/) shop.
Performance of this boat was even better than the Subaru. The additional 11 inches of waterline and an additional 18 horsepower really improved its performance in the water. The first time another couple occupied the aft cockpit reinforced the wisdom of adding that second cockpit. The trim feature on the stern drive unit is also much appreciated.
I am well into my retirement now, and just starting my fifth hull. Boat building has ceased being my labor, and now had become my art. Indeed, like pictures at an exhibition, these glistening mahogany beauties repose in splendor in their specially built building. One recent visitor remarked that he felt like Howard Carter must have felt when he entered King Tut’s tomb.

Dr. Dale Hamilton served 23 years in Army Special Forces before retiring to his boat building business in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Not bad publish at all.. I am sure your story must have matched the guidelines of Woodenboat editors. The story is exciting and I love to read it..

James McMullen
12-29-2013, 10:05 AM
No offense intended to you, Dale, but I myself sure don't read WB for the plywood speedboat articles. Maybe it simply didn't fit the demographic they were targeting? Not enough historical content or not enough step-by-step how to build it stuff, perhaps. Try submitting it to one of the powerboat magazines maybe?

Paul Pless
12-29-2013, 10:29 AM
No offense intended to you, Dale, but I myself sure don't read WB for the plywood speedboat articles.what the world really needs is more plywood lug yawl articles ;):d

Hwyl
12-29-2013, 10:36 AM
e, but I myself sure don't read WB for the plywood speedboat articles. Maybe it simply didn't fit the demographic they were targeting?


I do, but my love of boats is more encompassing than James'. I don't think the style Dale writes in is well suited to the Magazine however. Too narrative, and it is difficult too write aboout ones self.

Breakaway
12-29-2013, 10:44 AM
Dale

Your story may be better suited if you frame it differently, perhaps about " going pro" or really zooming in on and illuminating just one or two techniques or aspects of building that you are great at or have developed. Your rotisserie and the methods you use to re-cut the panels so they take the shape come to mind. Focus and dissect those, providing step by step visuals ( pictures or ideas for illustrations) and go to the editor with that.

Kevin

Dan Payne
12-29-2013, 11:56 AM
I found it an enjoyable read. Informative and entertaining.
This illustrates the limitations of print.
My short-short story, amateur quality at best, was printed in the "your turn" section after only 2 days of review.
E-publishing is the future and it's here now.
Ill stop saying print is dead if others stop insisting its alive.
This internet thing is alive, and one day I think it's really going to catch on

Dale R. Hamilton
12-29-2013, 02:27 PM
All good comments guys. I was just miffed when I posted that rant. I still would like to be published in WB, so I'll keep trying. I wrote a story about how wife and I rowed the length of the Thames River from Cricklade to Hampton- just like Peter Spector and wife did a few years back. WB was not interested, but US Power Squadron did publish it, So maybe I'll try WB again.

TR
12-29-2013, 05:01 PM
Have you used the Submissions page to submit an idea? http://www.woodenboat.com/woodenboat-article-submissions

They (the editors) like it if the proposal is fairly short, roughly one page, and the images are important.

What strikes me about your posted text is that it's short.....WoodenBoat articles are usually pretty deep, not just the what, but also the why and where.....

Dan Payne
12-29-2013, 11:24 PM
All good comments guys. I was just miffed when I posted that rant. I still would like to be published in WB, so I'll keep trying. I wrote a story about how wife and I rowed the length of the Thames River from Cricklade to Hampton- just like Peter Spector and wife did a few years back. WB was not interested, but US Power Squadron did publish it, So maybe I'll try WB again.

You got a right to be.
I'm miffed after the paper industry spit me out after 4 decades. Only progress and the internet to blame.
I'm telling you, submit it in the "your turn" section in "community"
It's the future of all publishing, this fine magazine included.

Oldad
12-30-2013, 02:42 PM
Dale, sorry, but your first line was more like a Harlequin romance than a story about boats. Loins? Really? I doubt the editor got much beyond that before moving on to the next submission. Not too harsh I hope, but I assume you are looking for honest feedback.

Russ Manheimer
12-30-2013, 04:04 PM
Dale,

Suggest you submit a one page proposal as mentioned above. Also, find a WB article you like and edit your proposal to match. I went that way for the review I did a few years ago on the Sardine Wood Stove.

The hardest part of the writing it was to keep myself out of the article. It's worth the effort as the thrill of being published by WB (and getting paid) was terrific.

Your passion and knowledge show clearly. Keep trying and best of luck.

Russ

Dale R. Hamilton
12-31-2013, 01:53 PM
so Dan, whats that "community?

Phil Y
12-31-2013, 08:44 PM
Dale. I wasn't sure whether this was a romance piece or a boatbuilding piece. The misplaced apostrophe noted above is a serious problem. And if you can't be bothered tidying up the spacing when you ask for feedback, well....And you are not Peter Spector. Or Spectre.
I wouldn't expect to see a piece like yours in Woodenboat.
if other mags publish your stuff, that's great, stick with them.
Phil

Dan Payne
01-01-2014, 07:13 PM
so Dan, whats that "community?

When you sign on to Woodenboat...find "community" then find "your turn"

I welcome you to critique my short story, but please be kind, I'm an amature.

Also, I had the "ah-ha" moment that most had years ago. That this is the future of publishing, the internet has no page size or limit or deadline. it appears mine is only the fifth story contributed so this is relatively new for WB.

Gerarddm
01-11-2014, 12:16 PM
I had an article published in Fine Homebuilding some years ago. Wrote to the editor proposing the article with a summary, got an OK to submit, did so, it was published. Surely WB has a writers's guide?

Mad Scientist
01-11-2014, 04:12 PM
WB's Editorial Guidelines: http://www.woodenboat.com/woodenboat-editorial-guidelines

Hope this helps!

Tom

Dave Hadfield
01-26-2014, 10:24 AM
I had a column once in an outdoor magazine, plus have written for aviation magazines and others.

What I learned is to talk to the Editor first. Never mind what you want. If you want to get published, find out what the Editor wants.

Also, getting the Editor engaged early means they feel a certain sense of ownership, and are almost certain to print it.

That way you know from the start how-long it has to be (actually, how-short), and what tack to take as you write.

If the Editor feels you can write publishable articles quickly and on-cue, you will probably get commissions -- an email asking you to explore some aspect and then write it up -- with the magazine paying the expenses!

Dave

rbgarr
01-26-2014, 01:00 PM
Dan,

I liked your submission to 'Your Turn', especially the line about being invited to board the boat you lusted after:

"Wanna see her?"

"Oh hell yes."


I'll have to use that one. ;)

Dan Payne
01-27-2014, 01:20 AM
Dan,

I liked your submission to 'Your Turn', especially the line about being invited to board the boat you lusted after:

"Wanna see her?"

"Oh hell yes."


I'll have to use that one. ;)

I'm glad you got a kick out of that.
The seller has a real special boat there (1955 54' Shane) but it took on water and has other other age and neglect issues that really start pushing her to the "free boat" category. The story here is, unfortunately, not unique.