What are some of the best books for learning boat building?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by nbgen12, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. nbgen12
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    nbgen12 New Member

    Does anyone have suggestions as to good books on boat building to point me in the right direction??

    I'm looking to get into boat building enough to hopefully build myself a 20ft+ center console boat, but as of right now I don't have any experience and need to be pointed in the right direction for a starting point on the learning process.
  2. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    What's your choice for material?
    1 person likes this.
  3. Surfszup
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    Surfszup Junior Member

    Go to the library and check out some free books....as many different ones as you can and go through them all. You will soon decide what is an interesting style, material, or technique for you. You may then, in the future, be able to figure out what books you might want to spend money for. Then you can continue asking questions in the forums.
  4. nbgen12
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    nbgen12 New Member

    I would like to start off the wood/epoxy and obviously a smaller size boat somewhere between 13'-16'. Is that a good choice of materials for the inexperience beginner? Here are the 3 books I've ordered from amazon to start off and have an idea of what I'm getting into:

    Complete Amateur Boat Building by Verney

    Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction

    Boat Building Manual by Steward and Cramer
  5. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member


  6. Herman
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    Herman Senior Member

    The Gougeon book will not disappoint you.

    Also, to gather some knowledge quick, you can see if you can work part-time at a boatbuilder. Even by doing some small jobs under proper guidance, you will learn a lot.
  7. sean-nós
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    sean-nós Senior Member

    I used Glen L boatbuilding with plywood and found it very good, their site is also a great place to get info with enough reading to keep you going for years.:D
  8. rberrey
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    rberrey Senior Member

    Go to Ed Horstmans site , he has two good books. The Bateau web site forum and tech help and this forum will let you learn from others and get good advice from N.A,s , designers , builders ect. rick
  9. carball
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    carball Junior Member

    Titanic! ??are you joking...
  10. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Yes and No

    Yes and no. It is wonderful to learn from others mistakes. What sank the "unsinkable" wonder ship? Anything to learn there?

  11. Surfszup
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    Surfszup Junior Member

    Build bulk heads which seal compartments completely.
  12. peter radclyffe
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    marchaj,adlard coles,moitessier,lloyds, FAO,nevins,alden,herreshoff,leather,noble,underhill,mckee,ted frost, dave gerr,calder,warren,welsford,oughtred,smeeton,newick,greenhill,uffa fox,
  13. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Ah, you don't miss a thing Surfzup. Anything else to learn there?

  14. Surfszup
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    Surfszup Junior Member

    Unsure if you have sarcasm there.... but also keep in mind the question was about building small wooden boats and books for reference.

    It doesn't have to turn into something similar to a kid choosing to play with the laundry basket or the big cardboardbox over the collection of expensive legos with instruction booklet.

    Or if you want to play eclectic teacher, maybe you should lead with one of your learning points about the titanic and how it might apply to this wooden boat to be built.

    I can also say an obvious learning point for the Titanic is never let your ego blind you into thinking your boat is unsinkable....even a small wooden one.

  15. graemery
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    graemery New Member

    Aside from materials, what method are you leaning toward? Stitch and Glue, Ply on Frame, Cold Molding, Strip Plank, Glued Lapstrake . . . . There are good books for each of these methods.

    If you're not sure of the method, do you already have plans? The plans should tell you the method you'll be using (and may include or suggest some reading materials too!)

    Sorry, you mentioned inexperienced beginner; you may not have known too much about the methods.

    Just my opinion but for boat length you're referring to, the Steward book might be overkill. But if you have great enough aspirations, it may provide you with plenty of motivation.

    I suggest Jim Michalak's Boatbuilding for Beginners (And Beyond) or, as a previous poster mentioned, Glen Witt's Building with Plywood. Michalak's book is more of a manual and comes with a couple of plans so I think its a great place to start.

    Another great introductory book is Payson's Instant Boatbuilding with Dynamite Payson. This is mostly stitch and glue but it also comes with plans (shrunk to fit on the pages so kinda hard to read without magnification) for a bunch of boats.

    There are more of course but these are a good start.
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