Boat Building 

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by Jack London
Building the "Snark" in which London voyaged to the South Seas.
$6.95
by Hinman R. Root
A simple steaming rig that will be very helfpul for all builders.
$3.50
Understanding manufacturing materials for small boat fastenings is important.
$3.50
How to cast a lead keel and some other small parts.
$8.95
A good primer on how to caulk wooden boats properly.
$9.95
An excellent primer on traditional boat building.
$9.95
A basic text on using fiberglass to build one-off designs.
$9.95
by Independent Nail Co.
The reasons for their superiority, and how to use them in your boat.
$9.95
by William D. Jackson
A simple explanation of lofting--which really isn't difficult!
$7.95
Before starting to build any boat, you must understand the meaning of the drawings.
$3.50
After assembling the stem, frames and transom of a small boat, setting up is a problem.
$3.50
by Sam Rabl
How to better understand designers drawings prior to building.
$7.95
A brief course on carvel planking.
$7.95
by J.A. Emmett
Functions of the many fastenings in a boat and how to choose them.
$7.95
by Widd Hauber
A very fine basic book on boat building with many useful illustrations.
$19.95
by Herbert J. Ashcroft
A guide to the Ashcroft method of building, rowing, sailing and motor boats
$9.95
The basic principles and some good ideas.
$3.50
Basic rules for the building of a successful plywood boat.
$9.95
Like any other good boatbuilding material, plywood must be understood to use it to the best advantage.
$3.50
For boatbuilding, don't think you can short-cut by not laying the lines down full size. It's not difficult and it pays off.
$3.50
Building of the Boat-The Snark, The (Pub. No. 5510)
Jack London/Building the "Snark" in which London voyaged to the South Seas.

by Jack London

reprinted from Harper's Weekly (ca. 1920)

"Spare no money," I said to Roscoe "Let everything on the "Snark" be of the best. And never mind decoration. Plain pine boards are good enough finishing for me. But put the money into the construciton. Let the "Snark" be as stanch and strong as any boat afloat. Never mind what it costs to make her stanch and strong: you see that she is made stanch and strong, and I'll gonon writing and earning the money to pay for it." And I did . . . as well as I could: for the "Snark" ate up money faster than I could earn it. In fact, every little while I had to borrow some money with which to supplement my earnings. Now I borrowed on thousand dollars, now I borrowed two thousand dollars, and now I borrowed five thousand dollars. And all the time I went on working every day, and sinking the earnings in the venture. I worked Sundays as well, and I took no holidays. But it was worth it. Every time I thought of the "Snark" I knew she was worth it.

8 pages

$6.95
Simple Steam Box for Amateur Builders (Pub. No. 7706)
Hinman R. Root/ A simple steaming rig that will be very helfpul for all builders.

by Hinman R. Root, et.al.

Here are several descriptions for building simple steaming rigs that may turn out to be as helpful to others as it has been to us. No doubt there are many amateur boat builders who have found themselves in the same fix that we were—all set to build a boat, with completed plans and all tools and materials necessary for the whole job,.except the apparatus for steaming. Necessity mothered our invention, and limited resources kept it simple. The result was a practical steaming rig consisting of merely a one gallon can, a pipe coil and a steam box, and it has demonstrated its ability to take the “tuck” out of the stiffest lumber in thirty or forty-five minutes. It can be made, as it was in our case, out of odds and ends from an average workshop. There are also several tips, hints and good practices for the steam bending of ribs and other items.

1 page(s)

$3.50
Planking Fastenings and How to Choose Them (Pub. No. 7707)
/ Understanding manufacturing materials for small boat fastenings is important.

The materials from which small boat fastenings are manufactured are an important item of construction. Generally, the most discussed metals are copper alloys and galvanized iron. The latter has an excellent record, proven by many vessels put together with good iron years ago and still going strong, and probably will continue to do so, but it seems elementary to select a homogeneous corrosion resistant metal that can be hammered, drilled, threaded or worked in any way without destroying any of its noncorrosive properties. In other words, the entire metal should have the same resistance to corrosion as the surface. One of the most argument-provoking questions is that of planking fastenings, but it can be safely stated that flat head wood screws are almost universally accepted as the best method, although copper rivets are still the most satisfactory and long-lived fastening for very lightly built boats such as racing dinghies, which have frames unsuited for screws. When one-half inch, and thicker planking is called for, screws are widely used, and undoubtedly will also be used on the lighter waterproof plywood construction now becoming increasingly popular.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Casting a Lead Keel and Other Castings (Pub. No. 5641)
/ How to cast a lead keel and some other small parts.

(Includes plans for casting other smaller parts)

Lead has the advantage over other metals insofar as its use for keels is concerned in that it has greater weight for equivalent volume. Iron can be substituted for lead; the cost will be approximately the same, but the weight will be less. Iron weighs only 65 per cent as much as lead. Where the iron substitution is made it will be necessary to place the difference in weight as ballast inside. It has been generally conceded that the placing of ballast inside contributes greatly to the ease of the hull afloat; this would be especially the case in very rough water. If the design specifies the use of a lead keel, it had better be a lead keel and not iron or other ballast, as the weight has been figured and iron is too light. The lead must be cast and the builder or moulder should be warned at this time that it is a task of considerable magnitude.

20 pages

$8.95
Caulking (Pub. No. 5642)
/ A good primer on how to caulk wooden boats properly.

When miniature waterfalls begin to find their way into a boat through opened seams it is high time to think about recaulking. It is best to do this job during the winter lay-up, and a good job will eliminate much embarrassment and profanity during the active season. With a little care and knowledge a boat owner can do a creditable job of recaulking, as it is not extremely difficu1t to learn.

36 pages

$9.95
Build Your Boat Right (Pub. No. 5660)
/ An excellent primer on traditional boat building.

(Another good basic primer on traditional boat building)

A complete text; from lofting and laying out to framing to planking right through decking and rigging

40 pages, 1 plate(s)

$9.95
Building Boats with Fiberglass (Pub. No. 5055)
/ A basic text on using fiberglass to build one-off designs.

You can work with fiberglass either from sheets prepared in the factory, or you can work directly from the component materials, molding the fiberglass mat or fabric with polyester resins in one or more laminations. Either method presents the amateur boat builder with that timehonored word--challenge. Many optimistic boat builders, unfortunately, miss the challenge and quit halfway through the job--for working with fiberglass is not simple--but those who stay with it get that peculiar satisfaction known to the man who builds his boat himself, plus a bonus: the sense of accomplishment. There are, however, certain aspects of building a boat from fiberglass which remain the same as those involved in building from wood or plywood. For one thing, the designs are identical in concept. It is the translation of them that differs. The interior for the most part remains the same, except that flotation material must be l~luded because of the non-porosity of the fiberglass hull, which is thus unable to float on its own.

32 pages

$9.95
Building With Annular Ring Nails (Pub. No. 5261)
Independent Nail Co./ The reasons for their superiority, and how to use them in your boat.

by Independent Nail & Packing Company

The strength and permanence of fastening which can be achieved with annular thread nails and the substantial savings in time, labor and cost which result from their use, make them ideal for boat building. This booklet explains the reasons for their superiority to other methods of fastening, and will show you how to use them in your boat.

33 pages

$9.95
Lofting--Making Full-Size Boat Plans (Pub. No. 5276)
William D. Jackson/ A simple explanation of lofting--which really isn't difficult!

by William D. Jackson, Naval Architect

You can build better boats by learnng the loftsman’s trade.

If you can do a good job of~Iaying down boat-design lines full size, you can qualify as a mold loftsman which incidentally, is a well paid profession. The job of the mold loftsman is to enlarge to full size and fair certain portions of the naval architect’s drawings (basic designs shown as the lines), so that templates and patterns can be made and the actual form, of the boat obtained with true fair lines. (A line is fair when,it makes a smooth curve with no abrupt change in shape, and is pleasing to the eye.) Making full-size layouts also serves to avoid the errors that occur when dimensions taken are scaled directly from the architect’s small scale blue-prints and applied to the actual construction.

10 pages, 2 plate(s)

$7.95
Reading Boat Blueprints (Pub. No. 7828)
/ Before starting to build any boat, you must understand the meaning of the drawings.

Before starting to build any boat, you must understand the meaning of the drawings or blueprints. These always give the design of the boat as seen from three different viewpoints. The profile drawing, or elevation, shows the boat viewed from the side; the plan is a view from the top or bottom, and the body plan shows how the boat looks when viewed directly from either end. The body plan contains the station lines, which are cross sections at various points. The builder should never attempt to scale the line drawings because the table of offsets gives the measurements at each station, taken horizontally from the center line and vertically from the base line. The spacing of the stations and other measurements that cannot be given in the table of offsets are shown on the plan and profile drawings. All measurements are given to the outside of the planking, and it is only after the complete set of lines has been reproduced full size that accurate measurements of the frames to the inside of the planking can be determined.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Setting Up The Frame of a Small Boat (Pub. No. 7829)
/ After assembling the stem, frames and transom of a small boat, setting up is a problem.

After the stem, frames and transom of a small boat have been assembled, the problem comes of setting these parts up and bracing them. In general there are four ways of doing this. The boat may be set up right side up or upside down, and with or without use of a keel form. Boats under 20 feet in length are usually more easily built upside down. The use of a keel form will assure the correct curve to the keel line. Notches are cut in the keel where the frames will rest, and uprights are fastened to it at each station, next to the frame notch.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Simplifying Boat Plans for Amateur Builders (Pub. No. 5657)
Sam Rabl / How to better understand designers drawings prior to building.

by Sam Rabl

To the seasoned boatbuilder the terms used by a naval architect in describing the design and building of a new boat have a world of meaning; to the beginner they can be as puzzling and incoherent as a foreign language. Laying down is the term applied to the process of enlarging the small scale drawings of the architect to full size; this must be done before a single timber can be cut for the boat. Taking off is the term applied to the transferring of curves and dimensions on this full size plan to the frame timbers of the boat. Before we go into the mechnisms of the actual laying down, an explanation of the terms used in this process will be a great help. The complete set of curves that depict a boat shape is called the "lines". The lines plan is usually divided into three views. The profile depicts the shape of the boat as we see her from the side in normal position. The plan is really a "fish-eye view," showing how the boat appears when looking at her from a point directly beneath her keel.

10 pages, 3 plate(s)

$7.95
How to Plank Small Craft (Pub. No. 5658)
/A brief course on carvel planking.

Years back a boats keel was considered the most important part of its construction, but today's application of engineering to boat design arranges the planking to form a sort of fore and aft girder, using it not only to keep water out but also as the most important strength member. This makes it necessary to use the type of planking specified in the plans of any boat you may be contemplating building. For instance, if the designer specified batten seam construction, indicating thin strips to be let in frames behind the seams, he figured the additional strength and help from the battens to keep the seams tight would permit frames being kept twice as far apart as if ordinary planking were used. If you leave out the battens and plank the usual way the absence of enough backing frames will result in a leaky boat. Much of the popularity of the common flat-bottomed skiff results from the ease with which it can be planked, particularly on the bottom. Here planks are run athwartship, or across, and being on the heavy side, and usually in short lengths, necessitate only one keelson, or fore and aft inner strip, to keep them from working. Still, satisfactorily planking such a boat is not as simple as it sounds.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

$7.95
Fastenings Make the Boat (Pub. No. 5659)
J.A. Emmett/Functions of the many fastenings in a boat and how to choose them.

by J. Emmett

No boat is any better than the little pieces of metal that hold it together, and every prospective or actual boat owner should know all about them. Before you start any building, buying or repairing, read this article.

Watch an expert examine a used boat and youll notice him checking its fastenings carefully, not only their type and condition but to see how they are spaced and driven, for he knows such points determine to a great extent whether the boat is a good buy or not. Even in cases where the boat is comparatively new with its wood in good condition, he may advise some refastening because he has found evidence of members pulling apart or working one on the other, or of metal of the fastenings having failed through fatigue or corrosion. All this can be guarded against at the time of building by using good fastenings and by seeing they are spaced as planned, bored for and driven correctly.

12 pages, 1 plate(s)

$7.95
How to Build Boats (Pub. No. 4906)
Widd Hauber/A very fine basic book on boat building with many useful illustrations.

by Wid Hauber

I am writing this especially for those who have little or no experience with boat building. I have taken the attitude that the reader is an amateur, therefore I ask those who read this that are familiar with boat terms and building methods to bear with me. I will endeavor to explain every step in such a way as to save the builder those costly and very discouraging mistakes that the amateur is most likely to make. I find that these mistakes are due mostly to the builder not knowing boat building methods and terms, rather than his lack of skill as a wood worker and mechanic. Contrary to popular belief, boat building does not require as much wood working skill as it does the knowledge of what to do and how to do it. I have seen some rank amateurs who hardly knew one end of the boat from the other, but who were willing to learn and could take and follow advice, turn out a sweet little craft that the average person would swear was built by a professional. The greatest mistake that the amateur usually makes is the failure to realize the relation of one part of the boat to the other. In other words, the boat itself will only be as strong as its weakest part. Consider building the keel of a boat, for instance from timbers 12 inches square, and then fastening them together with ten-penny spikes. That would be like a blacksmith fastening together two links of heavy chain with a piece of wire. It is very obvious that the first requirement of a boat is strength, then comes seaworthiness and performance, pleasing lines, resistance to rot and deterioration, etc. The builder must consistenty bear all these features in mind in order to build a boat that will give the utmost in satisfaction and pleasure. One can derive a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction in watching the boat progress—-and the work on a boat never becomes monotonous because of the ever changing form, and the finished job gives that satisfaction of achievement that one can be proud of. I’ve heard many boat enthusiasts and yachtsmen say that they got almost as much fun out of building their own boat as they get out of using it.

90 pages

$19.95
Boat Building Simplified (Pub. No. 5702)
Herbert J. Ashcroft/A guide to the Ashcroft method of building, rowing, sailing and motor boats

by Herbert J. Ashcroft

The Ashcroft Method of Cold-Moulding

Being a Practical Guide to the "Ashcroft" Method of Building, Rowing, Sailing and Motor Boats

This was one of the very first attempts at "cold moulding" boat hulls using thin layers of plywood or veneer. Ashcroft's method differed from later methods in that all of the veneers or plys ran in the same direction, rather than in "double-diagonal" fashion. One advantage of this method is that the hull (with two layers of veneer) can be planked in one direction at the same time, rather than having to plank up the entire hull in one direction then turn around and replank in the other.

76 pages

$9.95
Planking the Small boat (Pub. No. 7915)
/ The basic principles and some good ideas.

Years back a boat’s keel was considered the most important part of its construction, but today’s application of engineering to boat design arranges the planking to form a sort of fore and aft girder, using it not only to keep water out but also as the most important strength member. This makes it necessary to use the type of planking specified in the plans of any boat you may be contemplating building. For instance, if the designer specified batten seam construction, indicating thin strips to be let in frames behind the seams, he figured the additional strength and help from the battens to keep the seams tight would permit frames being kept twice as far apart as if ordinary planking were used. If you leave out the battens and plank the usual way the absence of enough backing frames will result in a leaky boat. Much of the popularity of the common flat-bottomed skiff results from the ease with which it can be planked, particularly on the bottom. Here planks are run athwartship, or across, and being on the heavy side, and usually in short lengths, necessitate only one keelson, or fore and aft inner strip, to keep them from. working. Still, satisfactorily planking such a boat is not as simple as it sounds. The trouble is not in putting the planks on but in laying them in such a way that subsequent swelling in the water will not cause them to crowd each other so much as to warp and start leaks where they fasten to side planking.

4 page(s)

$3.50
Introduction to Plywood Boatbuilding (Pub. No. 5786)
/ Basic rules for the building of a successful plywood boat.

Basic rules for the building of a successful plywood boat—kinds of plywood, sizes, thicknesses, strength, cost, bending; forms of hull; and developable surfaces.

So you are going to build yourself a boat! For months you’ve longed to get away from it all for a day, a week, or longer—get away from the noise and traffic of the city or the dullness of the little commuting town, get out on the blue water and enjoy the flying spray as you speed to the inviting cove with the family for a picnic, a swim or fishing, renewing mind and body amid the beauties of nature. But, like thousandc of others, you’re not a millionaire. However, you need not be rich to enjoy boating. After considering all other means of obtaining your boat you have settled on a Build~it-Yourself model. It seems to be the least expensive. But it is not the easiest thing in the world and will take up your week ends, evenings, spare time, etc., for many weeks ahead. But it offers a lot of satisfaction when you proudly take the wheel and send her dashing over the water. However, your wife and older members of the family may also have a feeling of pride that their work and help made the boat possible. And little Johnny may be pardoned his gloating expression when he remarks “Dad, you don’t need to worry about that coming loose ‘cause I made the nut so tight.” Anyone who has built his own boat will tell you that it wasn’t entirely a cinch. That is, if he regards the truth. There were probably moments when he felt like touching a lighted match to the whole thing, after locking the designer in the cabin. There are always a few tough spots and problems—-enough to make it interesting. When you’re about ready to tear out your hair trying to make a part fit in place you throw down your hammer in disgust and lo! she springs into place. So to make it easier for you we are going to try to point out a few things which should not be neglected or disregarded in building your boat.

41 pages, 1 plate(s)

$9.95
Plywood Has Its Place (Pub. No. 7020)
/ Like any other good boatbuilding material, plywood must be understood to use it to the best advantage.

Like any other good boathuilding material, plywood must be understood to use it to the best advantage. For many applications, it’s a boon to the boat builder. To use it intelligently in marine service, take some of the practical tips suggested by the author in this informative article

Every once in a while a new product is introduced upon the market which is such a startling improvement over what is already available that at first it almost seems as if the ultimate had been reached. But even though this new material is highly acclaimed and at first appears to be the answer to many problems and is generally admitted to be an improvement, it isn’t long before you will find one group of users praising the new material to the sky while there will also be those who see nothing good about it and will condemn it to the limit. Plywood is not a new product but since there seems to be a sort of “for-and-against” attitude concerning the use of marine plywood, we are wondering if it has been overrated or if it is unpopular with some because it has been put to uses for which it is not fitted. Because marine plywood has so much to offer the amateur boatbuilder, per. haps it would be worth while to consider some of the various applications to which this material is put to see if it has been used properly as well as to consider some of the current objections regarding it.

4 page(s)

$3.50
Loft Before You Build (Pub. No. 7024)
/ For boatbuilding, don't think you can short-cut by not laying the lines down full size. It's not difficult and it pays off.

If you expect to turn out a professional job of boatbuilding, don’t think you can short-cut by not laying the lines down full size. It’s not difficult, and pays off.

All over this boat-minded land of ours amateur boatbuilders are planning to construct the boat of their choice. While many will purchase their boat in kit form in order to eliminate some of the layout and other preliminary work, a considerable number will obtain plans from competent marine architects or build directly from one of the many excellent “how-to-build” articles. In either case, in one’s eagerness to get at the actual construction of a boat, it is a temptation to skip some of the preliminary work shch as the task of making a full-size layout of the lines from the table of offsets. This is thought of by some as being a tedious, laborious task to be done grudgingly and gotten over with as soon as possible. We have never thought about it in this manner, but have always looked on it as the opening of a door to a new project, the necessary beginning to a new venture.

4 page(s)

$3.50
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