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Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes: Modern Construction Methods for Three Fast, Beautiful Boats Paperback – August 15, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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  • Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes: Modern Construction Methods for Three Fast, Beautiful Boats
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary Dierking has been designing and building boats for more than 40 years. He runs his own boat shop and designs, builds, repairs, and modifies a wide variety of working and recreational vessels.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press; 1 edition (September 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071487913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071487917
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Julien Boivin on September 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
Once in a while I come across a piece of gem. This book is one of them.

First, my background... I am a sailor. I have owned a wooden catamaran for about 15 years. I have learned working with wood and epoxy while maintaining my boat. Early in my life, I have received formal training on engineering and on how to read blueprints.

This book offers three very attractive plans for outrigger canoes and describes how to build and sail them. These plans offer a lot of flexibility.

It was clearly written by a very experienced builder who happens to know how to write well. It has all the information that I need to build any of these boats. The explanation looked very clear to me but required that I study the plans.

Yet, I have found this book really entertaining. It is feeding my dreams. I can just imagine myself going down the St-Lawrence in my wa`apa hmmm ... :)

If you want to build and sail an outrigger canoe, or if you just want to dream about it, then I highly recommend this book.

Thank you Gary.
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Format: Paperback
Well written and illustrated. Three different designs and their variations are presented. Since I am rabid about proas I read it cover to cover and enjoyed it immensely. I don't think it's enough for a beginner to build a complete canoe just from the tables of offsets and parts diagrams but perhaps an experienced craftsman could pull it off. I still think it would be better to buy the full plans if you're serious about building. The plans will have the construction sequence, tips, instructions, etc. that the book lacks. Thus this book is a long advertisement for Gary's plans but I don't find fault with that. I wish there was more about actually sailing the canoes. I liked reading a little more of Gary's history building and designing canoes. In the end this book is exactly what the title says.
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Format: Paperback
As a sailor, builder, and designer of multihulls, and collector of multihull related books, this one is unique! Dierking presents three simple and attractive designs, from a hard chined plywood outrigger for a first time builder or for a class project; to a strip built asymmetric hulled proa that is also simply described and laid out for a first time builder.
The book also details the construction of amas, akas, spars, and foils; everything is covered. If you are inclined to purchase plans from Dierking, this book would be the perfect primer. Actually, it's a great primer to anyone interested in building a small sailing craft.
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After procrastinating for a long time I decided to build a sailing outrigger of my own design. After going through the process of discovering lots of little nuances of their design, I came across Gary Dierking's website. I just had to buy the book and I'm glad I did. It is up to date and I can tell there are lots of ideas that Gary is passing along from other designers he is in touch with. I am now building two models of canoes prior to the full size one. I don't think I could have done it without the information in this book.
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Format: Paperback
I have always been enamored with outrigger canoes and catamarans. Prior to reading this book, I couldn't have seen myself ever building something this beautiful and useful. I've built small wood & plastic models, but that's about it. I bought this book recently, read and re-read it cover to cover, and performed as much research on the subject as possible. Two weeks later, I ordered a set of full sized plans for the Ulua sailing canoe featured in this book. I am in the midst of building this boat as I write this review.

My personal experience aside, I will say that this an exceptional DIY book with many clear and well-composed illustrations and diagrams. The author goes into detail with his instructions but remains accessible throughout. In a couple of instances, he suggests some alternatives to techniques and materials for construction. This is not an overly technical read or a jargon-ridden manual. All the measurements are given in English and Metric units. There are no tricky formulas or maths to confuse the manual process.

Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes is approachable to the first time builder that might have a little experience with power tools. If you've cut lumber with a tablesaw, built models with glue, and used a sabersaw to cut out basic wood shapes, then you have the skills necessary to build any one of the canoes in this book. You have the option of purchasing the full-size plans at a reasonable price from the author if you have doubts or no previous experience creating lofts from offsets.

Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes is not meant to be a historical survey of Pacific outrigger canoes, nor is it meant to be a complete guide on how to sail, paddle or cruise with them. The book is exactly what the title implies.
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No relationship with author nor even from same continent. This book is written to instruct with the assumption buyer has no knowledge or experience with bost building. Excellent demonstrations, diagrams, and instructions. Very straightforward construction plans and tips. Has some ideas that inspired me to go larger and to pass on the idea and plans that urge you to sacrifice quality quality and size for a boat that is less than your dream. Book is complete with reference websites that answers questions and inspires confidence. One of the best I've read in the last 20 years.
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