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Ultralight Boatbuilding
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Ultralight canoes and small boats are things of beauty, their apparent delicacy concealing great strength. They are lapstrake-constructed from marine plywood planks, each plank overlapping the one below it in a gracefully curved hull. Epoxy glue along the laps gives the hull structural reinforcement, minimizing the need for framing and permitting an amazingly light structure. Round-bilged and elegant, they are built over jigs, but the method is straightforward and not time consuming. You can build a boat that will give you fun and satisfaction, one you can be proud of, in a winter of leisurely weekends. No fancy tools are needed, and care and patience will make up whatever you lack in woodworking skills. All the information you need is here. Tom Hill, the chief proponent of ultralight boatbuilding and its leading practitioner, describes the method from start to finish using a skiff and canoe as examples. In the appendix is a gallery of ultralight designs, all but one of which you can build without lofting. If you want more flexibility, however, you can adapt almost any lapstrake small-boat design, traditional or modern, to the ultralight method. With some lofting (directions for which are given) you may then build a wide range of boats whose offsets are available. And you may adjust planking thickness and scantlings to give your boat extremely light weight with normal strength, or moderate weight with great strength. Particularly if you lack an extensively equipped workshop and professional skills, Ultralight Boatbuilding will unlock exciting possibilities you considered out of reach.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments1 Glued Plywood Lapstrake Construction2 Tools and Workspace3 Lofting4 Jig Building5 Scarfing6 Stems, Chines, Transom, and Keelson7 Planking8 Joinerwork9 Spars, Rudders, and Tillers10 Paint and VarnishAppendix A: Sharpening ToolsAppendix B: Ultralight Boats--A Gallery of DesignsAppendix C: SourcesGlossaryIndex

About the Author

Tom Hill lives in Huntington, in the Green Mountains of Vermont, where he has been building boats and houses since 1972. He reckons he has built more than a hundred boats in that time, and has repaired hundreds more--everything from canoes and rowboats to 60-foot power yachts. Although he has worked with all types of wood construction as well as fiberglass, he has used glued plywood plank construction almost exclusively since being introduced to the method in 1980. Tom has taught boatbuilding classes since 1981 at The WoodenBoat School (Brooklin, Maine), The Brookfield Craft Center (Brookfield, Connecticut), the Shelburne Craft School (Shelburne, Vermont), and The Appalachian Center for the Crafts (Smithville, Tennessee). The boating he likes best is gunkholing--poking along interesting shores and exploring coves, estuaries, and inland waterways in canoes, kayaks, and small sailboats--but he appreciates ocean cruising as well, and once sailed his 28-foot sloop from Lake Champlain to the Bahamas and back while living aboard her for a year.

Reviews

"A marvelous book which has broken fresh ground on quality, low-cost construction of traditional hull forms. By all means, don't pass up this book." The Ash Breeze "Crammed full of work-saving techniques...The boatbuilding skills presented are all tried and true, but seldom presented this clearly." WoodenBoat

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