Boat Building Sources of Information:

Gifts for Boaters:

The Simplest and Traditional Boat Building Methods include Plywood Methods.

Books describing particular types of traditional boats, include Surveys and Safety books.

The Sailmaker's Apprentice. Books describing the whole sailmaking process. A Guide for the Self-Reliant Sailor.

Other skills used in boatbuilding: Oars and Engines, Lofting amd Rigging.

Boat building Methods, New and non-traditional.

Books: Plans for small Boats

Books describing How to build a canoe, Methods and styles. Canoe or Pirogue.

Sailing Canoe Sources of Information, Building Methods and Museums.

Restoration and Painting Books

Boat building Books

Restoration and Painting

Frame, Stem, & Keel Repair. PeterSpectre, ed. WoodenBoat 1996 160 p. selected articles

Planking and Fastening. Peter Spectre, ed. WoodenBoat. 1996. 170 p. selected articles.

Painting and Varnishing. same team. 24 articles. 146 pp. 1995.

This Old Boat. Don Casey. International Marine 1991. 474 p. "An outstanding guide for restoring an older [fiberglass] boat" Intended to show you how to "turn a run down fiberglass boat into a first class" one. This is a *really good* book. Even if you don't own a cruising boat, or a fiberglass boat, much that is in here will help in restoration and maintenance. For examples, the sections on varnishing, electricity, inboard engines, painting, rigs, sails, etc. Do it yourself approach. Lots of detailed practical advice, for example a description of 6 or 7 increasingly potent cleaners for fiberglass, none with marine product price markup. (Number two is lemon juice.) Does not assume any prior boat work experience or skills at all, but does not let you get off with second-rate results, either. Has 35 pages section on making your own sails. Big chapter on painting: inside, decks, non-skid, hull, everything. If you want to paint an old fiberglass hull this tells you how.

Spurr's Boatbook: Upgrading the Cruising Sailboat. Daniel Spurr, 2nd. ed. Widely used and regarded.

Finishing. Walter J. Simmons 97 pp. oil paint varnish epoxies. 1999.

Repairs Walter Simmons. 292 pages. wooden boats; storage, hulls, oars, how to find a repairable boat.

Boat Repair Manual George Buchanan 312 pages.

Wooden Boat Restoration and Repair. Gougeon Brothers. repair frames, carvel plank, lapstrake, plywood, and cold molded hulls, and install decks, and hardware. Standard use of epoxy glue. Send $3.00 to Gougeon Brothers, PO Box 908, Bay City, Michigan 48707. or call (517) 684 7286.

The Boatwright's Companion: Repairs below the Waterline. Allen Taube 170 pages - traditional carvel wood boats

Covering Wooden Boats with Fiberglass, by Allan H. Vaitses, "The other end of the spectrum from the Companion, just above. Details how to entirely encapsulate a wooden hull in glass, from top to bottom. Vaitses has apparently done this commercially for 20+ years, so speed and efficiency are stressed." Note that just slapping a layer of fiberglass and resin over deteriorating wood will help nothing and will soon fall off. Read the book.

Wooden Boat Renovation: new life for old boats using modern methods, Jim Trefethen, 270 pages. boats from 16 to 60 feet. "written for the novice ... Trefethen's techniques use modern adhesives and laminations to replace intricate joints and heavy timbers" This is not restoring traditional construction.

Metal Corrosion in Boats. Nigel Warren. Sheridan House. Dobbs Ferry NY.

Brightwork. Rebecca Wittman. Varnishing. Advocates foam brushes, which some cannot make work.

Painting and Varnishing. Peter Spectre, editor. WoodenBoat .146 pages. 1995 24 articles from past 20 years of issues.

Fine Yacht Finishes, Paul & Mary Butler, hardback 1987, 1991. 141 pages. (Sold also as "Fine Boat Finishes", in paperback. Same book.)

Surveying and Restoring Classic Boats, J.C. Winters. Reviewed in WB #114

How to Paint your Boat. Nigel Clegg. Sheridan. 1997. 138 p. paints and application equipement.

How to Paint small Aluminum Boats - to bring your old tinny boat like new

Restoration services - Vintage, wood and classic restoration services, supplies and boat repair.


Types of Varnish

Varnish maybe used on the exterior of a boat on items such as toe rails and coamings and on the interior on the cabin sole, galley etc.
For these different applications you'll want the appropriate varnish. Interlux offers varnishes for each situation.

If you are planning on doing interior varnish there are several Interlux products to chose from. One is Goldspar Satin 60 which they recommend solely for interior use. It produces a low luster finish and resists scratches. Their Jet Speed Varnish is a fast drying product to be used to quickly build up multiple coats. It lacks UV inhibitor and should be kept inside.

When you varnish exterior surfaces you must take into account the effect of the sun and it's UV rays. In extreme cases wooden varnished boats sometimes have a canvas cover from waterline to mast to stay out of the sun.

Interlux's Goldspar 95 is a 1-part varnish with high UV prevention capability. Schooner Varnish 96 also works well against UV, and is highly water resistant another good characteristic when varnishing things like toe rails that often are submerged.


Preparation is a crucial part of varnishing. Sanding is an exacting part of preparation. If you are undertaking a woodworking or varnishing project, a new sander might be in order.

Fein makes dust free sanders which have several benefits. One is that less dust = less bad stuff to breath. Another is that having a clean area is a prerequisite for good varnish work. If your sander doesn't produce dust, your area is that much cleaner. Our Ships Store also stocks sandpaper for Fein Sanders. Additionally, as a Fein dealer, we sell grinders, polishers, cutters and saws.