How to Build a Wooden Boat — David C McIntosh


David C. “Bud” McIntosh was a designer, builder, and sailor of large and small wooden cruising boats. He made his home on New Hampshire’s Piscataqua River, where he was teacher and friend to both amateur and professional boatbuilders. The author built wooden boats for over 50 years and shares his knowledge about traditional, practical, plank-on-frame boat construction. Literate, warm, encouraging, insightful. Wonderfully illustrated by Sam Manning.

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How to Build a Wooden Boat was first written as a series of articles for the Wooden Boat magazine, this is a standard textbook for those who want to embark on the grand pastime of wooden boatbuilding. “Boatbuilding” by Howard Chapelle is, of course, the all time classic in this arena, but the pre-WWII tome does not have modern powertools in mind and the maritime language is a cypher to the modern reader. McIntosh, by comparison, uses easily understood expressions and jargon commonly found in any maritime dictionary. But if you are really about to build a boat, DO NOT let any one book be your guide. Buy as extensive a collection of books as you can get your hands on. Books are cheap, and reading them much less of a labor, than the money you will poor into your dream boat in the garage, and the back-breaking man-hours you will put in.

Hardcover: 255 pages
Publisher: Wooden Boat Publications; 1st edition (March 1, 1988)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0937822108
ISBN-13: 978-0937822104
Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.7 x 1 inches

With a great sense of humour the author explains his way of building a wooden boat. His methods and comments about materials and techniques are also very useful to know about in epoxy/wood boatbuilding. The drawings that accompany the text are very good. Also if you just wonder how to build wooden spars you should read a chapter in this book.

I highly recommend this book for anyone considering building a wooden boat. Building a wooden boat is an enormous undertaking, full of effort, joy, and pain. Bud was clearly a master, showing both great emotive understanding of what you are going through as well as the technical understanding commented on by so many others.

I built a 36 foot white oak and mahogany boat, carvel planked in two layers (by myself), starting with a tree in a 100′ barn outside of Princeton NJ.

I started with Bud’s book, blueprints I got from Ted Brewer, and essentially no knowledge…so here is a data point rather than an opinion, for anybody considering building one this book can take you through it. The boat has now has many 1000’s of nautical miles of water under the keel, and is currently in the South Pacific. I sailed it there from Peru this past summer.


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