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Books About Boatbuilding

  • Fiberglass Boat Building for Amateurs
    by Ken Hankinson / Hardcover / Published 1982
    Working in fiberglass is tricky business for the uninitated. Ken Hankinson's book is a confidence booster by offering detailed, clearly written descriptions of everything "glass" covering balsa-core, C-Flex and ferro-glass.

  • Boatbuilding: A Complete Handbook of Wooden Boat Construction
    by Howard I. Chapelle
    Who wrote THE book on wooden boat building? Howard Chapelle.

  • Devlin's Boatbuilding: How to Build Any Boat the Stitch and Glue Way
    by Sam Devlin
    The stitch and glue method of boat construction opened the door for a new generation of boatbuilders. Whether a first time builder or a committed stitch and glue advocate, this book has much to offer.

  • The New Kayak Shop
    Chris Kulczycki
    From coast to coast, home boatbuilders have turned to Chris Kulczycki for everything they needed to know about making their own kayaks from high-grade marine plywood and epoxy. In The Kayak Shop, a long-time popular standard, Kulczycki provided explicit directions and plans for building seakayaks.

  • Fine Boat Finishes
    by Paul and Marya Butler
    Reality-based - that is the best element of the Butler's Fine Boat Finishes. The authors have not just tossed together some obvious advice - they have done the work they discuss in such detail. Practical information from surface preparation to final finish.

    Boat Designs & Plans

  • Fifty Wooden Boats: A Catalog of Building Plans
    Published by Wooden Boat Pub / Published 1988
    A pleasant presentation of tenders, dinghies, power cruisers, daysailers and more - 8' to 42' - and WoodenBoat sells plans for every boat listed.

  • Thirty Classic Boat Designs: The Best of the Good Boats
    by Roger C. Taylor / Paperback / Published 1992
    You probably won't be building any of the boats described in this book, but they are beautiful to examine - many great designs from the Herreshoff family, Chapelle, Stevens, Murray, Billy Atkin and others.

  • How to Build Wooden Boats: With 16 Small-Boat Designs
    by Edwin Monk
    Though his name is not as well known as many others designers, the line of Edwin Monk's traditional boats are all worth examining.

  • Classic Small Craft You Can Build
    by John Gardner
    Who wrote THE book on wooden boat building? Howard Chapelle? Maybe...or was it John Gardner.

  • Boats With an Open Mind: 75 Unconventional Designs and Concepts
    by Philip C. Bolger
    Buy everything that Phil Bolger was ever written or assembled. You'll fine yourself going back to peruse his books over and over - just for fun.

  • Handmade Houseboats: Independent Living Afloat
    Russell Conder / Paperback / Published 1997
    From this book you can learn boat construction using most unusual materials and methods; houseboats are surely like no other vessels afloat.

  • Building the New Instant Boats
    by Harold H. Payson
    All the Instant Boats were designed by Phil Bolger - and then built by "Dynamite" Payson. A great fleet of plywood, easy to construct boast for the amateur builder.

  • Understanding Boat Design
    by Ted Brewer
    If you want more than to just assemble a boat, learn about the elements of boat design with this book.


  • Basic Coastal Navigation : An Introduction to Piloting
    by Frank J. Larkin / Hardcover / Published 1993

  • Celestial Navigation
    by Jeff E. Toghill / Paperback / Published 1988

  • Coastal Navigation
    by Jeff E. Toghill / Paperback / Published 1988

  • Using GPS
    by Conrad Dixon

  • Chapman Piloting: Seamanship & Small Boat Handling
    Elbert S. Maloney, Charles Frederic Chapman

    Living Aboard

  • Narrow Waters
    by Dee Carstarphen / All Color Paperback / Published 1998

    The story of a cruise from Norfolk, Virginia down the Intracoastal Waterway to the Florida Keys and back across central Florida through the canals to Stuart. This book is a mix of colorful sketches and intriguing prose. A true "artist memoir of sailing through sound, swamp, city, forest, marsh and glade."

    The book can be ordered directly from Pen and Ink Press [Free Shipping!], P.O. Box 235, Wicomico Church, VA 22579, Tel: 804-580-8723.

  • Handmade Houseboats: Independent Living Afloat
    Russell Conder / Paperback / Published 1997
    From this book you can learn boat construction using most unusual materials and methods. Houseboats are surely like no other vessels afloat.

    Knots & Rigging

  • The Morrow Guide to Knots
    Guido Regazzoni and Mario Bigon / Paperback / Published 1982
    So you really aren't interested in buying Ashley's Book of Knots for $50+. Try the Morrow Guide for crystal clear color illustrations covering all the hitches, loops and running knots most of us will every need to know.

  • Knotcraft: The Practical and Entertaining Art of Tying Knots
    Allan and Paulette MacFarlan / Paperback / Published 1983
    Not as pretty as the Morrow Guide but it is half the cost. Knotcraft goes beyond the basics and gives us chapters about "Games with Rope" and "Knot Magic."

    Great Idea Books

  • Boat Docking: (Close Quarters Maneuvering for Small Craft)
    by Charles T. Low / Paperback / Published 1995
    (Close Quarters Maneuvering for Small Craft) is about how to dock a boat! It contains many concrete examples of boat docking, from the elementary to the advanced, and also has chapters discussing the theory of close quarters maneuvering. This is a softcover publication, 7"x9" (18x23 cm) about 90 pages in length, with roughly 25,000 words and about 140 clear, simple illustrations. (Thatís a lot of illustrations!) Itís a comfortable (winter) eveningís read, or a ready on-board reference and discussion document. The distillation that has resulted is not, to our knowledge, reproduced elsewhere. This book is tightly focused only on slow-speed handling of small craft, and as such it is very complete and thorough. It has an excellent balance of technical analysis and practical boat-docking recipes.

  • Good Boatkeeping
    by Zora Aiken and David Aiken / Paperback / Published 1995
    The Aikens offer ideas and solutions to probems faced by many sailors. If you want to optimize your cabin's storage space, stock your galley for a cruise, get rid of "crawling, flying or scampering pests" or learn how to maintain your boat's mechanical systems, this book is for you.

  • A Guide to Small Boat Emergencies
    by John M. Waters, Jr. / Paperback / Published 1993
    Assembled by a retired Captain of the USCG, this book should be read and kept at the ready by all who sail or cruise. Waters provide sound advice about how to prevent as well as respond to emergencies like fire, grounding, collision, heavy weather and search and rescue operations.

    Not Just For Children

  • Swallows and Amazons Volume 1
    Arthur Ransome / Paperback / Published 1990
    The first of a series of stories about the Walker children and their friends - sailing, camping and growing up in the lakes region is extremely entertaining. Wonderful as bedtime reading for our adventurous children, you'll find yourself pushing ahead long after they're asleep.

  • Young Sailor
    Andrew Langley, et al / Hardcover / Published 1993
    For the eight and under group that show a fancy to boats, this book provides colorful inllustrations and easy to understand descriptions of everything from the various parts of a sail boat to how to use a compass.

    Other Favorites and Interesting Books

  • Maverick Sea Fare
    by Dee Carstarphen
    One hundred and fifty original recipes are woven into a rich picture of island life as seen from the deck of the MAVERICK.

  • Windjammer Cooking
    by Dee Carstarphen
    The story of a week's cruise, plus many, many recipes. Windjammer Cooking also contains a 16-page field guide to many of the New England Windjammers.

  • The Conch Book
    by Dee Carstarphen
    This wonderful book, all about the Queen Conch is chock-full of history and tales about the conch, as well as recipes from around the Bahamas and other parts of the Caribbean.

  • The Compleat Cruiser: The Art, Practice and Enjoyment of Boating
    by L. Francis Herreshoff / Paperback / Published 1956
    This is the story of a meandering cruise of the good vessels Piscator - a catboat, Viator - a ketch and Rozinante. It is about sailing the southern New England coast, about boat designs and desiging, and about history - all rolling around in Herreshoff's mind.

  • Shackleton's Boat Journey
    Frank Arthur Worsley / Paperback / Reprint edition October 1998
    Sir Ernest Shackleton and his hand-picked crew embarked in HMS Endurance from London's West India Dock, for an expedition to the Antarctic. It was to turn into one of the most breathtaking survival stories of all time.

  • The Perfect Storm
    Sebastian Junger / Paperback / Published 1999
    The Perfect Storm is the tale of a doomed ship caught in the middle of what some meteorologists have called the storm of the century. At its heart is a gripping narrative about struggling for survival in a tempest of ferocious winds and 100-foot waves.

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