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The Boatbuilder's Apprentice: The Ins and Outs of Building Lapstrake, Carvel, Stitch-and-Glue, Strip-Planked, and Other Wooden Boa Hardcover – January 5, 2007
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From the Back Cover
There is a peculiar form of insomnia that afflicts amateur boatbuilders. It consists of lying awake at night, reviewing the details of a boatbuilding project and wondering, "How am I going to do that?" Greg Rössel helps answer those questions.
Wooden boats have been called "the most lifelike" of man's creations. Their beauty can inspire even inexperienced woodworkers to attempt their construction, but their complexity can bedevil the most determined. In The Boatbuilder's Apprentice, longtime WoodenBoat writer and professional boatbuilder Greg Rössel helps weekend builders choose the best boat design and construction method for their first, second, or twentieth project.
Beginning with the question, 'why wood?,' and focusing on wooden boats less than 20 feet long, Greg provides a complete overview of the methods used to build small wooden boats, from traditional carvel or lapstrake planking to modern stitch-and-glue, strip-planked, glued-lap, cold molding, and others. He discusses their pros and cons, their adaptability to different boat types, and their degrees of difficulty in both construction and maintenance. He explains the basics of boat design and of hull form and function and helps the beginner decide which type of boat will best suit his or her needs, skills, and desires.
Greg also covers the essentials of every boatbuilding project, including:
- Tools, wood types, fasteners, adhesives, and coatings;
- Shop setup and safety;
- Whether to build right-side up or upside down;
- How to go about steam bending, cutting rabbets, scarfing, and laminating;
- Oar and spar making;
- Building knees, gaff jaws, and cleats, and taking the lines off an old classic.
Writing with wit and an engaging style, Rössel makes light work of that most feared of all processes for the beginning boatbuilder-lofting. He shares his extensive experience on problem solving, shows you how to work efficiently, and offers hundreds of ingenious techniques for surmounting age-old difficulties. He also includes a glossary as well as an extensive appendix of sources for plans and materials.
About the Author
Greg Rössel is the author of Building Small Boats, coauthor of Kayaks You Can Build, and a long-time contributor to WoodenBoat magazine.
Top Customer Reviews
This is the book that every aspiring boatbuilder should read first -- before choosing the design, before deciding what construction method to use. It assumes very little knowledge on the reader's part and proceeds to explain just about everything that the first time boatbuilder should know before he spends money on plans or planks. Like: how to figure out what kind of boat is suitable to your needs. Like: how to assess the performance characteristics any given boat design and determine whether they will satisfy said needs. Like: what are the differences between carvel, lapstrake, cold-molding, strip-building (etc.)? How difficult are they? What do they require in the way of special tools, time, skills, money, maintenance? Once you know the answers to these questions, *then* you'll be ready to decide what boat to build and how to build it.
Author Rossel gives the ins and outs of tools and materials. He explains how to set up a good, cheap, workable, *portable* boatshed.Read more ›
It is equally well suited to the beginner. I wish it had been around when I first started messing around with wooden boats. It really is the next best thing to being a real life apprentice to a master boatbuilder. If you can't build a boat with the help of this book, maybe you should consider taking up golf, or some other hobby.
The introductory chapter, "Selecting a Small Boat to Build," provides an excellent overview of style and design considerations based on the primary use or method of propulsion of particular types of small wooden boats.
Subsequent sections describe Methods of Hull Construction, Setting Up Shop, Building Techniques, and Boats to Build.
While this book does not have plans for any one boat (see Step 2 above), the author provides detailed descriptions of construction techniques, conventional wisdom, etc. It is a treasure trove of information. I wish I had seen this book before I read the "Step 2" books. I now understand the pros/cons, strengths/weaknesses of various types of small wooden boats and construction methods and have been able to make a well-informed decision about what boat I will build.
Though I've decided what boat to build, this book will be an essential reference through the construction process and any future boatbuilding projects.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book for anyone wanting to learn about building a wooden boatPublished 16 days ago by S. Gamman
Appears to be a rehash of an early book by Mr. Rossel and not very in depth. Much better books out there, including his earlier and very good book "Building Small Boats.Published on February 21, 2014 by Our Man in Texas
Well written and illustrated, Balanced approach to the assorted methods of boat building, recommended. A classic in the forthcoming years.Published on May 2, 2013 by Motoretro