From Library Journal
Authors of both books are traditional wooden boat builders in Maine. Alvord describes well-made small wooden hunting and fishing craft that have a permanent place in Eastern boating. Focusing on historical preservation and identification of trends rather than on boatbuilding, he begins with a good chapter on "Boat Basics," which includes a concise glossary and a few good clear diagrams illustrating the terms. He surveys the Native American birch-bark canoe, Eastern fishing guideboats, Maine lobster boats, duck boats, and Chesapeake Bay watercraft. For most craft, there are a detailed line drawing and an interesting anecdote. This will not supplant Howard Chapelle's American Small Sailing Craft (1951), but it is enjoyable and has a nice recommended reading list. Stelmok and Thurlow are boatbuilders writing for boatbuilders. They offer some good history and a fine description of canoe building, but there is a great deal of technical talk. The first part is a third-person narrative describing how a modern-day canoe maker builds a traditional birch-bark canoe. It details a trip to the forest, selecting and gathering materials, and what tools to use. The rest of the book is a step-by-step guide by Stelmok to the repair and restoration of a turn-of-the-century wood and canvas canoe. We get a good idea of the rhythm of boatbuilding as it was in the early 1900s. This thorough, well-written book should be highly prized by canoe builders, but it is not for every library. John Kenny, San Francisco P.L.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Jerry Stelmok is a Tilbury House Publishers author.