Everybody has the dream: Build a boat in the backyard and sail off to join the happy campers off Pogo Pogo, right? But how? Assuming you aren't independently wealthy, if you want a boat that's really you, you gotta build it yourself.
Backyard boatbuilding has its problems. Building in fiberglass is itchy, smelly, and yields a product that yachting maven L. Francis Herreshoff once called "frozen snot." Ferrocement, once all the rage, has pretty much sunk from favor, if you catch the drift. But there's still wood, right? Ah, wood. Nature's perfect material. You can build in the time-honored traditions of the Golden Age of Yachting, loving crafting intricate joints in rare tropical hardwoods, steaming swamp oak butts to sinuous shapes, holding the whole thing together with nonferrous fastenings that cost a buck or better each. Does that sound like boatbuilding for everyperson?
What about the currently fashionable wood/epoxy boatbuilding? You butter regular old wood with Miracle Whip, stick it together in the shape of a boat, and off you go, right? Epoxy works, but They don't exactly give it away; nor is it exactly a benign substance. Suiting up like Homer Simpson heading for a fun-filled day at the nuclear power plant isn't exactly the aesthetic boatbuilding experience many of us are looking for.
Where does that leave us? In the capable hands of George Buehler, who honors the timeless traditions of the sea all right, but those from the other side of the boatyard tracks. Buehler draws his inspiration from centuries of workboat construction, where semiskilled fishermen built rugged, economical boats from everyday materials in their own backyards, and went to sea in them in all kinds of weather, not just when it was pleasant.
Buehler's boats sail on every ocean and perform every task, from long-term liveaboards in Norwegian fjords to a traveling doctor's office in Alaska. This book contains complete plans for seven cruising boats--from a 28-foot sailboat to a 55-foot power cruiser. All the information you need is here, including step-by-step instructions honed by nearly 20 years of supplying boat plans to backyard builders--and helping them out when they get into trouble.
Buehler is anarchic, heretical, and occasionally profane; his book is West Coast counterculture meets traditional hardchine workboat construction, leavened with hardnosed common sense and penny-pinching economy. This book is for those who look around them and see that much of what is done in the world today--whether in yachting or politics or economics or interpersonal relationships--is based not on logic but on conforming and meeting other people's expectations. This book is most definitely NOT about either. It is about the realization of dreams.
If you believe that everyone who wants a cruising boat can have one . . .
If you see beauty beneath the fish scales and work scars of a commercial fishing boat . . .
If you want to build a simple, rugged, economical, good-looking cruising boat--power or sail--using everyday lumberyard materials and few skills other than perseverance, this is the book for you. Buehler's Backyard Boatbuilding tells you how to build extraordinary boats using the most ordinary skills and materials, with complete plans, instructions, and specifications for seven real cruising boats ranging from a 28-foot sailboat to a 55-foot power cruiser.
"Build wooden boats the Buehler way, which is to say inexpensively, yet like the proverbial brick outhouse."--WoodenBoat
Richly flavored with personal advice and anecdotes as well as a wealth of valuable information."--American Sailing Association
"Everyone will revere this book."--The Ensign