Ultrasimple BoatBuilding

Author(s) Gavin Atkin
Publisher International Marine/McGraw-Hill
Date 2008
Pages 234
Format pdf
Size 7 Mb







I adore secondhand bookshops—the smell, the atmosphere, and the low prices. In my time, I've found lots of great books about building small boats on their dusty shelves. Because many aspects of boating remain the same over generations and even centuries, older books on the subject can often be as relevant today as newer editions, and there's much indeed to learn from them.

However, I have come to dislike certain types of older books, particularly the ones on boat carpentry that are more discouraging than helpful. They usually start with an anecdote about how the author tried building a boat at a young age and failed. In some versions, the author's father, in a fit of misplaced and misguided rage, destroys the original boat with an ax because it's both shameful and unsafe; in others he burns it. Usually the experience leaves the fledgling boat-builder in tears but determined to win the father's approval. Stories like this make me angry because when I see them I know it's more than likely that the author, deliberately or not, is replaying the part of the angry father and making readers feel inadequate, as if they were kids unable to build a proper small boat. In contrast, the present book is meant to make readers feel confident about building small boats. It will explain them how to make the project go smoothly and efficiently, bearing in mind that mistakes are not the end of the world.

You can correct many with the help of good old cousin Poly Urethane, Uncle Epoxy, and Auntie Filler, so there's no need to fear potential blunders along the way. Thankfully, the bad old boat-chopping and boat-burning days are long gone. The methods I'm presenting here are tried, tested, and known to work. Over the years I've noticed beginners often wonder whether alternative cheaper materials and methods might work just as well as the ones I have included in this book. The answer is some will, some won't, and some will only to a point. If you have a slightly wacky idea about building a boat from expanded foam or using water-resistant (rather than waterproof) glue, ask about it on the Internet discussion groups...

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