Tom Riti wanted a new pedal boat. The retired TV-production teacher and his wife, Lori, had just moved from Florida to Virginia, and were looking for a craft to explore the surrounding bay and back channels with.
So, like most folks in his position, Riti started shopping around online. But rather than heading right to the Cabela’s website, Riti, who calls himself a “DIY-er with an itch,” landed in the Popular Science Google Book archives. There, in the August 1948 issue, he found the instructions for a “Bicycle Boat Built For Two.” The design wasn’t perfect—he wanted a motorized vessel, not a pedal-assisted one,