Types of traditional boats, Surveys and Safety

Boat building Books

Listed here are books about boat building, for all kinds of methods. In add Surveys and Safety Books

particular types of traditional boats

American Small Sailing Craft, Howard I. Chapelle. W. W. Norton, 1951.
The classic treatise on the history of small American boats.
It's full title is American Small Sailing Craft: Their Design, Development, and Construction. A great book." (from John Kohnen).
This book is one of the key documents of traditional American wooden boats. Peapods, sharpies, etc. All the plans shown small here can be purchased full size from the Smithsonian at low cost. No building instructions.
Note this is a different book from his "American Sailing Craft"

Small Sailing Craft. Chapelle, Howard I. International Marine 1975. Reprint of a collection of articles from Yachting in the 1930s about New Haven sharpies, skipjacks, Friendship sloops, Cape Cod catboats, Gloucester schooners and sloop boats, pinkies, Nova Scotia "tern" schooners, Bahama sharpshooters, Bermuda sloops and dinghies and American pilot boats. The author discusses adapting these designs for pleasure use, as well as giving their history. Many lines drawings.

American Sailing Craft, Howard I. Chapelle. - First published in 1936.
Was out of print since 1939 when International Marine released their reprint in 1975. "It is in many ways a companion to, as well as a
precursor of, American Small Sailing Craft, dealing with some larger craft as well some of the smaller ones mentioned in the later book. It's not a
great book like ASSC, but it's a good book and quite useful and interesting."
(from John Kohnen) has sharpies, skipjacks, Friendship sloops, catboats, etc.

The Dory Book, John Gardner, 1987, 275 pages, 153 illus.
See description just above. Complete building instructions for some boats.

A Heritage in Wood The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Small Craft Collection


Dodds and Lesher, eds.,
123 pages, 123 illus, $20. survey book.
76 boats described; 30 traditional small craft have drawings; much reduced. Large scale plans available.

The Simmons Sea Skiff A Boat for all Ages. David Carnell. Cape Fear Museum.
Wilmington NC 28401. $7.00 31 p.

Catboats. Stan Grayson. Intl Marine 1984. 167 p. the complete history

Chesapeake Bay Skipjacks, Pat Vojtech. Tidewater Pub, Centerville, 1993. 145 p.
The Workboats of Smith Island. Paula Johnson. Johns Hopkins University.
112 p. 49 illus. 1997.

Chesapeake Bay Crabbing Skiffs, Howard I. Chapelle,Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum 1979
(Pamphlet about the flat and v-bottom sailing skiffs once used on the Chesapeake. Many lines and construction drawings.)

The National Watercraft Collection, Howard I. Chapelle,
US Gov't Printing Office, 1960, 327 pages, "profusely illustrated"

The Tancook Schooners, Wayner O'Leary, McGill Univ. Press, 1995 290 p.

The Tancook Whalers, Robert Post, Maine Maritime Museum, 1985.

Rushton's Rowboats and Canoes, W. Crowley, Adirondack Museum, 1992, 80 pages.


The 1903 catalog in perspective.

The Adirondack Guide Boat, K and H Durant, with plans and commentary by John
Gardner. Adirondack Museum 1990 252 pages, illustatrated.

Mystic Seaport Museum Watercraft, Maynard Bray. 296 pages. 1986 "describes
220 craft... contains sample plans of 24 watercraft"

Building the Crosby Catboat, Barry Thomas. Cape Cod cat 20 feet long.
60 pages with plans. from Mystic Seaport.

The Seabright Skiff and other New Jersey Shore Boats, Peter Guthorn, Schiffer Pub. Co., 1982, 256 pages.

The Authentic American Johnboat: How to Build It, How to Use It,
Larry Dablemont. David McKay Co. 1978.
Step-by-step instructions, illustrated with photos of the author's father, a second generation johnboat builder, at work building a 14' Ozark Mountain johnboat. It's supposed to take about two days and $50 worth of materials.

The Steam Launch, Richard Mitchell, Elliott Bay Press; Portland, Oregon; available from WoodenBoat Store. 334 p. over 300 illus.

Practical Junk Design, Hassler & Mcleod, International Marine 1988 244 p.
also know as Practical Junk Rig. from Tiller pub. 1 800 6TILLER

Canoes of Oceana, A.C. Haddon and James Hornell.
Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, Hawaii, Volumes I, II, and II in one volume, second printing 1991. 900 pages cover all known details of Pacific canoe construction.

Tha Hawaiian Canoe. Tommy Holmes. Editions Limited, P.O. Box 10558,
Honolulu Hawaii 96816. 2nd ed. 1993. 220 pages. $38.00

"Canoes of Polynesia" WoodenBoat number 19; "Hawaii's Koa Canoes,"
WoodenBoat Number 59. One koa log for a 15' canoe now costs about $50,000. Building a boat by hand-carving from a single piece of mahogony.

Think Ice The DN Ice Boating Book. Roberts & St. Clair, 1980. from
the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association. 1994 address: Armstrongs, IDNIYRA Secretary, 244 Plainview Drive, Bolingbrook, IL. 60440
708-759-0023

Wooden Boat Designs: Classic Danish Boats Measured and Described,
Christian Nielsen, International Marine 1980.

Survey of traditional Danish work boats, mostly sailing and rowing craft; a few ships.


Illustrated with contemporary photos and engravings.
Originally in Danish. Almost all are lapstrake open boats.
Drawings are not intended to be a builder's guide, but could be used by experienced boatwrights to make closely similar craft if not replicas.

Inshore Craft of Norway. Bernhard and Oystein Faeroyvik. "has dozens of row/sail designs from different parts of Norway." scare in US.

The Viking World, James Graham-Campbell, Ticknor and Fields, 1980.
With excellent overview of Viking-era ships and shipbuilding, but no plans or dimensions, just sketches.


Short bibliography of other works on Viking ships, many scarce.

Building and Trials of the replica of an ancient boat: the Gokstad Faering.
S. McGrail and E. McKee. National Maritime Museum Monograph No. 11,
Greenwich 1974.

Surveys and Safety


"Safety Standards for Backyard Boat Builders"
and while you're at it, ask for copies of: "Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats" (lights, life jackets, etc.) and "Navigational Rules"


U.S. Coast Guard "InfoLine" 800 368-5647 or from U.S. Coast Guard, Office of Boating Safety, 2100 2nd Street, SW Washington, D.C. 20593

Surveying Small Craft, Ian Nicholson

What Shape is She In, Alan Vaitses

Metal Corrosion in Boats, Nigel Warren

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