Our Booklets offer substantive narratives excerpted from larger well-known works or stand-alone articles from the periodical literature. Booklets measure 5.5"x 8.5" and contain between 4 and 48 pages and most have a number of plates in addition

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Handy Andy--A versatile craft (Pub. No. 5024)

by Sam Rabl

At the summer camp, Johnnie wants to go for a sail, Doris wants to row and Dad is anxious to try out a trolling rig with the new outboard over by the lily pads. Three boats are out of the question. For this happy family we present "Handy Andy" which is all that its name implies. Two methods of construction are possible; the choice may be made by the builder. As a sail boat "Handy Andy" embodies all the new developments in sail of the past few years, carrying hardly any more area than the rig on a canoe, yet efficient enough to keep up with boats designed especially for sail. Under power this craft will give good account of herself up to ten horse-power, and will be as easy to row as any skiff of similar size.

14 pages, 1 plate(s)

Icicle--A speedy 2-seat Ice Boat (Pub. No. 5025)

This smart front-steerer, an up-to-the-minute adaption of the 1937 Class C champion of the Northwestern Yachting Association, will appeal at once to the man who loves to build as well as sail his iceboat. A proven success, it carries 125 square feet of sail, is cat-rigged and has double fore and aft cockpits. The hull is streamlined aerodynamically for real speed. “Icicle” is 24 feet long and the runner plank spread of 16 feet provides a full 14 feet between cutting edges. The after end of the hull or backbone is swept upward to eliminate suction, which retards speed. The original sail area has been reduced slightly to increase iceworthiness in heavy weather but the rig recommended in the drawings makes 50 to 60 miles an hour speed possible in average winds.

6 pages, 4 plate(s)

Tiny Craft Folds into a Compact Bundle (Pub. No. 5026)

by Chester Sullivan

No outboard speedster is more versatile than this one. In a jiffy, it can be folded up into a bundle for transportation atop a car, or it can be conveniently carried under the arm. When folded the boat measures only 9 feet long and 15 inches thick. Unlike the usual collapsible craft, this unique boat employs no delicate stretched canvas covering which would be easily torn should it strike some underwater object. Instead, construction is confined entirely to plywood, with canvas serving only to render water-tight, the hinged sections of the sides and bottom.

8 pages, 3 plate(s)

Zip--A Class "C" Racer (Pub. No. 5027)

by J. Julius Fanta and Douglas P. Rolfe

"Zip,” the bungleboard scow type sailboat described here is designed primarily for protected waters where the wind is ample and the waves slight. Other than catamarans and Windsurfers, Inland scows are the fastest type of sail boat afloat—capable of 15 to 20 miles an hour speeds. If you want one of the world’s speediest designs, here it is!

12 pages, 4 plate(s)

Balboa--A 17 1/2 ft Pacific Dory (Pub. No. 5028)

by Hi Sibley

This staunch dory is a good model for the amateur to build because with the flat bottom and straight sides no problems are presented in construction that demand special experience. This "Balboa Dory" makes no claims for beauty of line, but is about as inexpensive as one can build in a roomy and satisfactory craft. The original is now in its third season (as of 1938). It has never shipped any appreciable amount of water in its three trips to Catalina Island, 28 miles offshore from its home port. Like all dories with their peculiarly narrow bottoms, it rolls easily in a calm sea when passengers move about, but by virtue of this very design a rolling sea does not affect it as much as other types.

12 pages, 3 plate(s)

Shark--A 15 ft Racing Sloop (Pub. No. 5030)

by Fred W. Schnur

"Shark," though only fifteen feet long, is every inch a yacht. She was designed for sailing in very rough water with quite a bit of breeze, yet the craft will perform well in light airs. Several of the most modern features of the yachting world are incorporated into the design. The rig is high and narrow, with light hollow mast and a rigid tee boom. The permanent backstay adds the nth degree of stiffness to the rigging. With the full length battens in the sail as advocated by leading racing men, maximum efficiency and speed are to be had, along with comfort and safety.

12 pages, 2 plate(s)

How to Build Dorothy--An Economical 24 ft Cruiser (Pub. No. 5031)

by John G. Hanna

Here is a little cruiser that incorporates utmost simplicity and economy in building, yet is a real 100 per cent boat, able to go safely anywhere within reason regardless of the fact that the weather is usually bad on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.  Designed after the famous dory craft such as used by the fishermen of the Grand Banks, Dorothy is the limit of simplicity, yet one of the ablest sea boats ever built.  All difficulties which might otherwise mar the craft’s perfection have been eliminated giving her fair rocker to the keel, a moderate amount of V-bottom, a stern broad enough to prevent squatting, yet retaining graceful lines all around. Though this boat may look wide on deck, notice that the great flare of the sides reduces the beam at the waterline to less than 6 feet, making for easy driving with moderate power.  At the same time, an ingenious form of construction makes the boat as easy to build as a flat-bottom skiff, for the “V” is worked out of one wide bottom member. The frames can be made in one-half the time required for true V-bottom types.  Dorothy is not the real V-bottom model, this being probably the most difficult of all types to build, but along the lines of the old “diamond bottom skiff” which eliminates all twist in the bottom planking; and nearly all in the sides, permitting it to be planked as easily as a "flattie".

(Publisher's Note: Dorothy originally appeard in a 1933 edition of How to Build 20 Boats. We have located a copy of that magazine and include the original plans in this booklet as well. The sails shown in the illustration are meant primarily as auxiliary propulsion.)

24 pages, 5 plate(s)

Scram--A flashing 15 1/2 ft Runabout (Pub. No. 5032)

"Scram" is a fitting name for a boat that has the flash and sheer brilliancy of performance that this runabout has.  Can “Scram” travel? You get in her comfortable front cockpit alongside the dock, settle into the seat and press the starter button.  The downdraft carburetor shoots a charge of gasoline into the intake manifold, and the engine comes to life like a machine gun. Cast off of lines and thread out into open water as the engine ticks along. With wide water on all sides, you shove in the gun and get ready for a new kind of thrill.

16 pages, 6 plate(s)

Five Dollar Boat, A (Pub. No. 5034)

(That's 1938 dollars, but this is still about as cheap as you can go!)
Five dollars for a combination row-boat, canoe, racing shell and sailboat. Surely. no one can complain of the expense. And that is just what you can expect for your money. Tell your sportsmen friends about it and the lot of you build a fleet of these little craft and enjoy some real sailing during the warm, summer days. Racing and pleasure sails will fill the season with real fun. Plenty of orange crates, a bit of dressed lumber and an old bed sheet will be all the essentials required for the building.

5 pages, 3 plate(s)

Flying Cloud--A 27 ft Auxiliary Cruiser (Pub. No. 5035)

by Sam Rabl

Hardly were the plans for "Buddy" off the press than MODERN MECHANIX boat fans everywhere began to demand a large boat along the same general lines. The simple construction of this craft placed her within financial reach of every ambitious youngster who could wield a saw and push a plane. Many of the original craft were built with exceptionally fine results; one of them having crossed the Gulf of Mexico. Men who earn their living today must be back at the office or shop Monday morning and of course, require a boat that will not require hours to dock. Nevertheless, the craft must be large enough to provide comfortable accommodations for the average family and not cost too much to build. With all of these essential points in mind plans were drawn up for this “ideal” boat and eventually the boat itself was constructed and christened “Flying Cloud” after that famous old American vessel. Somehow we feel that the spirit of old Donald McKay, designer of the original sailor, will look down kindly upon our miniature versio

28 pages, 3 plate(s)

Bouncing Betty--A Round-Bottom Lapstrake Pram (Pub. No. 5036)

Based on a successful boat built a few years ago by the well-known naval architect Sam Rabl, who needs no introduction, this pram is constructed of white oak, white cedar, and mahogany. It has a round bottom and lapstrake planking. Right here a lot of you will probably turn pale and gasp, “A round-bilge hull? That means steam-bent frames. I could never do it! That’s bunk! Any professional boatbuilder will tell you that a round-bottom boat is easier, quicker, and cheaper to build than one that has a V-bottom. The delusion of difficulty starts in the greenhorn’s mind with the words “steam-bent.” He conjures up a picture in his mind of a high-pressure boiler, a mess of piping, and a complex steambox. Nuts! These frames are not steamed at all, but boiled, which gives better results. All the apparatus you need is a length of old pipe, any kind. Plug one end with cement and prop the other up so the pipe forms a 30-degree angle with the ground; then build a scrapwood fire about the lower end. That’s all. Anybody who can boil an egg can boil a stick of wood.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

Waif--A sturdy flat-bottom 14-ft Rowboat (Pub. No. 5037)

A Sturdy, flat-bottom, 14-ft. Rowboat. Perhaps the most useful of all boats is the ordinary, sturdily constructed rowboat. It is easily built from readily available lumber, it will hold three or four people in comfort, and it will stand up under a lot of abuse. "Waif" is such a boat—and it has an added attraction in the form of a rigidly braced transom on which any small, light outboard motor can be mounted.

6 pages, 2 plate(s)

Arrow--A Fast Outboard Runabout (Pub. No. 5039)

by Jack Williams

"Arrow" is fun to build and use. Fast, safe, highly maneuverable, and sporty looking, she is designed to be used with any outboard motor from 10 hp. up to one of the big 33-hp. jobs. With 10 hp. she does 20 m.p.h. and with 33 hp., about 35 m.p.h.  The first step in building her is to study the accompanying bill of materials and collect the various items listed. For a really attractive job, use mahogany plywood on the deck and sides. The increase in over-all cost will be slight, but the added beauty of the will be great.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

Arpeggio--An Outboard Sedan (Pub. No. 5040)

by Charles M. Ungerbuehler

"Arpeggio" is nearly perfect for knocking about and cruising on the many lakes, rivers, and bays of our country. Incorporating most of the desirable features of both cruiser and runabout, she is a highly practical craft. Because "Arpeggio’s" usuable space is unobstructed by a conventional engine, she has as much room as a great deal larger craft of the inboard type.  Snug and comfortable cruising quarters for two are provided. No lavatory or galley are shown, but there is ample room under the berth tops for a stove and a small water closet if you desire to use the boat mainly for cruising.  While speed was not the prime consideration, "Arpeggio’s" performance will leave little to be desired. Powered with a 33-hp. Evinrude Speedifour, she’ll do better than 22 m.p.h. carrying two passengers and a full load of gas and equipment. The addition of two more passengers will reduce her top speed by approximately two m.p.h. She runs cleanly at all speeds and, if properly trimmed, won’t squat. There is no perceptible point at which she ceases to drive through the water and begins to plane; consequently there is no hump over which she must be pushed. This feature will be appreciated in rough water. Riding is soft, dry, and comfortable. It will take really bad weather to keep "Arpeggio" tied up in port.

14 pages, 3 plate(s)

Spanker--A Racing Runabout (Pub. No. 5041)

by Gerald Taylor White

Although it’s true that maximum speed with any given horsepower will always come from the hydroplane type of boat, it’s likewise true that interest in V-bottom racing ruriabouts is increasing rather than falling off. There are logical reasons for this. As anyone who has ever ridden in a hydroplane knows, it is uncomfortable and its passenger-carrying ability is strictly limited. The designer of a hydroplane must arrange the weights so the total load is properly apportioned between the planing surfaces. The addition of extra passengers throws the boat out of balance, destroys her speed, and, in many cases, makes her difficult to handle. An additional disadvantage is the fact that the hydroplane can be properly steered only when running at relatively high speeds. If you have to slow down for rough water—or to catch your breath—you find that the boat is sluggish, refuses to handle, and fails to lift over any sea that may be running.  The racing runabout overcomes many of these disadvantages at a cost in speed that many feel is amply justified. While no racing boat can be an ideal rough-weather eraft, racing runabouts can be relatively comfortable and can be used for purposes other than racing. Spanker is an excellent example of what the racing rules have produced in the way of a boat having extreme speed, yet one that is able to stand a moderate amount of rough water and to carry up to four passengers.

16 pages, 3 plate(s)

Ha'Penny--Midget Express Cruiser (Pub. No. 5042)

by John G. Kingdon

Here are plans for a pint-sized V-bottom express cruiser that will really get up and go. Under the impetus furnished by a 33-hp. outboard, she’ll do 23 m.p.h. with two people aboard, And she’ll cruise along economically with this power at 19 m.p.h. Her name? It’s taken from a couple of lines in an old English Christmas song that fit the desires of boat-hungry fellows in moderate means: “If you haven’t got a penny, then a ha’penny will do. If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!”  It is presumed that familiarity with boat terms is possessed by the man who is to build her. There is nothing complicated about Ha’Penny, but she should not be attempted without at least a modicum of prior boatbuildirig experience. Ha’Penny is a V-bottom boat having the following approximate dimensions: Length Over All: 18 ft., 0 in.; Length on Water Line: 16 ft., 11 in.; Beam: 5 ft., 7 in.; Draft of Hull in Loaded Condition: 8 in.

8 pages, 3 plate(s)

How to Build Gannett- 1 and 2 (Pub. No. 5043)

Among the hundreds of designs printed in the past in How To Build 20 Boats, one of the all-time favorites is "Gannet", which first appeared back in 1933 and is still going strong. For the benefit of the latest generation of amateur boatbuilders, here she is again. Her specifications have been modernized, but the simple beauty of her lines, as first laid down by that lovable and competent old-timer, Chaz Hall, are unchanged. If you want one of those “streamlined,” high-speed, over-powered, difficult-to-build creations that are loosely called boats nowadays, "Gannet" is not for you. But if you want a cruiser that’s sensibly planned for simple and straightforward construction, a boat that makes moderate speed with an engine that won’t keep you broke buying gasoline, then by all means consider "Gannet".

(Publisher's Note: We found a copy of the 1933 magazine and have included the original plans for Gannet in this booklet as well.)

48 pages, 7 plate(s)

Little Injun (Pub. No. 5044)

Easy to build, easy to handle, very fast, and extremely light are the terms that best describe this design. Construction is of ¼-in, waterproof fir plywood over stock one-by-three fir framing. The only power tools used were an electric drill and an electric sander—and even these weren’t necessary.  The boat is absolutely noncapsizable and nonsinkable. A watertight compartment forward acts as a flotation chamber. Even though Little Injun should heel over so the masthead touches the water, the cockpit will be entirely above the water and the boat, thanks to the 130 pounds of lead on the centerboard, will automatically right herself.  In light winds, she is extremely fast. In heavy winds, she’ll plane on her flat bottom in any position except close-hauled. Because of her inherent stability, she’ll scud along under full sail long after much larger boats have shortened sail or turned back to port.

8 pages, 3 plate(s)

Spooker--A Sailing Paddleboard (Pub. No. 5045)

by C.W. Wilson and J. Kimber

Aerodynamically speaking, the rig tt shown here is the latest word. Economically speaking, it was designed to fit any conventional paddleboard and to cost less than $10. The board to which the rig was fitted cost less than $20 for materials. Thirty dollars! Did anyone ever get under sail for less?

11 pages, 2 plate(s)

How to Build a Snipe (Pub. No. 5046)

The Snipe is one of the fastest of the smaller racing sailboats and has repeatedly beaten larger boats with considerably more sail area. She will ghost right along with virtually no perceptible breeze, and in strong winds—when many other craft, regardless of size, are forced to run for cover—she will stand up and take it like a Trojan. Thus the rig is a happy medium. It is a jib-headed knockabout having a 67-sq.ft. mainsail and a 36-sq. -ft. overlapping jib, making a total of 103 so. ft.

16 pages, 5 plate(s)

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