A “Proof Of Build” Glen L Woody Boat By Roberta Hegy.

glen L TorpThanks to fellow Woody Boater Roberta Hegy for sending in this wonderful story of building a proof of build for Glen L and Roberta herself. Thanks again for sharing, take it away Roberta

The Torpedo is Glen L. Witt’s latest design done in his retirement from the company he founded. His daughter, Gayle, and her husband, John Brantuk, currently run the company. Glen L was noted for their classic style boats and have provided plans and kits for their designs for decades. Kits are limited these days, but the full line of their plans along with Ken Hankinson designs are available as well as fastening kits and building supplies.

The Torpedo was introduced into the lineup about 5 years ago. I immediately fell in love with the lines of the boat and knew I had to build it. Shortly after I purchased the plans, some minor issues with patterns popped up. Glen L offered a refund or another set of plans to customers who purchased the Torpedo plans and pulled the design from their lineup. I contacted Glen and Gayle and expressed my Great Interest in building the boat. With their help, I decided to build a “Proof of Concept” of the design and provide them with information about any changes to the design so plans and instructions could be revised and the design re-issued.

hatch 002

I did some re-lofting from the scale drawing and made minor changes to setpoints and pattern sizes. As I built the boat, I made allowances so I could make in-process changes to keep the lines fair. As built dimensions were sent to Gayle and Glen along with any changes necessary in the instructions. Once the framing was done, it was clear to me that the boat design could be revised and would go on to be a real looker as Glen intended. Glen and Gayle are currently working on the changes and it is hoped that the plans will be re-issued at a later date.

The boat is made from mahogany framing placed on white oak and Okoume plywood stringers. The hull is planked with Okoume plywood using the “cold molded” process of epoxied double diagonal strips of the Okoume. The hull bottom is 5 layers of 3mm and the sides are 3 layers of the Okoume plywood. The hull has been sealed with a layer of 7 oz. fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin and then painted with 5 coats of two part poly-urethane paint,

The decking is comprised of a 1/4″ Okoume plywood substrate and 3/8″ mahogany planking. This has been stained and coated with clear gloss ploy-urethane top coat. Caulking was done with 3m 4000 uv.


The boat is powered by a 330 hp Crusader Captain’s Choice 5.7 MPI V8 engine coupled to a Velvet Drive 8 deg. down angle Liberty “A” transmission. I am currently using an OJ 13X13 full cup four blade prop. The boat accelerates very quickly to speeds in excess of 50 mph and handles just great!!

One of the unique features of the boat is the very large engine hatch. Due to the limited access to items in the aft end of the boat, I decided to enlarge the hatch and use electric hatch lifts for access. This has worked out well and allows easy access to all items in the aft section of the boat.

The boat has already won a “Best of Show” and “Best Home Built” awards at local ACBS shows. It will be at the Glen L Gathering (9/18-19) at Hales Bar Marina in Tennessee and the ACBS International Show in Brainerd, MN in September 23-26.

The entire building of this boat is featured in the Glen L forum under the topic called “Roberta’s Torpedo”.

Roberta Hegy

18 replies
  1. Pappy
    Pappy says:

    Roberta, I can see why you just had to build her. Absolutely stunning. She sorta looks like a Cobra sans fin to me. I have a feeling that there may be more of these built in the future. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Walt
    Walt says:

    Sweet boat. I love looking at all of the boat plans on the Glen L site. As a kid my dad used to get one of their catalogs every year and gave it to me since those were one of the few things I would read. well, those and the J.C. Whitney catalog. Looks like a pretty complex boat to build – not for the feint of heart.

  3. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    Congratulations on a beautiful job! Love the ’59 Cadillac taillight. Accessing the engine while you’re out on the water might be challenging without a splash overboard, but the lines look great.

  4. Alden R
    Alden R says:

    After building an 8′ Chris Craft Pram in the mid 1960s as kids, we built a 10′ Glen L Squirt–a real fun boat with either a 10 hp or 20 hp outboard. Couldn’t have done it without a Yankee screwdriver and a bar of soap that was used to ease driving the screws…

    • Jeff Wittenfeld
      Jeff Wittenfeld says:

      Hey Warren,

      Do you know what year/model / length that Ventnor is. I absolutely love it. I have a 20′ 1947 Chris Craft Custom that is a total basket case and need of a new life. Thought I might rework the aft to give it that Ventnor look. Blasphemy, I know, but that’s okay by me. Having something special and unique has a place as well!

  5. Jack Schneiberg
    Jack Schneiberg says:

    Roberta belongs to the Glacier Lakes Chapter of the ACBS and has kept our members up to date on her progress during the build by giving photo presentations at several of our meetings. When I first saw the boat at its maiden outing at our Madison, Wisconsin boat show….it was hard not to keep starting at it, taking in all the details. And (shhh), that Cadillac tail lite actually works.

    • Beth L
      Beth L says:

      …AND, this boat won Best of Show in Madison, and I believe (Jack, correct me if I’m wrong) it won People’s Choice in Pewaukee! Congratulations Roberta!

  6. Doug P in the PNW
    Doug P in the PNW says:

    The Ken Hankinson designs from Glen L are fantastic….Is anyone familiar with his accomplishments?

    • Gayle Brantuk
      Gayle Brantuk says:

      Doug, Ken Hankinson worked for Glen-L for about 22 years in the 60’s to 80’s. Prior to that he worked for Don Hall who was a builder and designer of larger boats. From Glen-L Ken went out on his own in the 80’s and then when he retired, he offered all of his designs to us. This is the short version 🙂

  7. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Incredible execution, love the use of what looks to be CC Riviera windshield. Probably the only boat to incorporate a ’59 Cadillac taillight. Well done.

  8. John Baas
    John Baas says:

    Proud to share the same “test tank”….Potter Lake! Roberta failed to mention the two airplanes she built and first Glen L boat build. Got goose bumps when I heard the Torpedo come to life at Madison. Way cool!

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