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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Selected Publications and Readings

Every now and then I get an email asking which books I have been reading or referencing during the construction of the WestSail. I thought I would post a list of the few that are getting the most attention. "Boat Interior Construction", Second Edition, Michael Naujok This title convers topics related to building out interiors of boats. Most of the topics are wood working related. I nstalling headliners. Framing and finishing cabinetry. Building chart tables and dinettes. Etc. Etc. There are a few pages devoted to some mechanical, electronics and plumbing, but most of the book is about roughing and finishing the interior. The first part of the book covers basics of woodworking, including necessary tools, basic joints as well as some tips and tricks when working with wood. The book is of very print good quality. It is mostly color pictures that are very descriptive with some narrative. So if you are a visual learner, this would be a good book for DIY boat building. This book does NOT cover the traditional theory and practice of boat building (i.e. planking hulls, floor timbers, ballast, rigging). The author clearly is a resident of Europe as there are several hints in the pictures and the narrative describes numbers in metric units. Overall a good book. "Boat Joinery and Cabinet Making Simplified", Fred P. Bingham This book covers a bit more than just interiors as the title implies. The book covers extensively (about the first 1/4) power tools, hand tools, basic wood joints, tips and tricks for cutting and shaping wood. There are a few chapters on boat exterior wood work, hull to deck joints, topside wood finishing trim. Then there are the chapters on interior building and construction. These are the chapters I have found particularly useful so far. There are a few pages discussing ideal measurements for settees, bunks, heads, etc. Including discussions of when you might to adjusthem for the different types of sailing you plan to do (i.e. coastal vs offshore) and the pros and cons that go along with each. This has been very good in that it encourages you to think about what you really want in your boat for what you plan to do. As there are no set formulas and rules for building out a boat. Finally, there is a chapter on "woodworking around the home" which is completely useless unless you are doing some DIY woodworking around the house (which I am not). Lots of black and white illustrations and pictures with very detailed narrative. Overall a good book. "Boat Strength for Builders, Designers and Owners", Dave Gerr I just recently cracked this open. If you are into numbers and formulas, this book is for you. This book discusses the structural elements that go into building a boat and how it affects overall strength. It starts off by describing how to compute the Scantling number for any type of boat (power or sail, fiberglass, wood or steel). From there the scantling number can be used to determine how to design/build elements of the boat (like bulkheads, floor timbers) according to your requirements for the boat. It is a hard cover book full of pictures, illustrations, graphs and formulas with just the right amount of discussion for each. The book is generally divided into three sections according to type of construction: wooden, fiberglass, steel/aluminum. Overall a good book. Even for the non fiberglass topics. But, not for the type who is afraid of numbers and formulas (I love them). "From a Bare Hull", Ferenc Mate (Out of Print?) This is a classic. Written about 30 years ago. I presents a lot of information on boat building in general with an emphasis on how to design and build for voyaging. There are pages on basic tools needed, how to work with wood, basics of fiberglass work. It covers both topsides and interior work. It also reviews a number of selected hull designs and their goals. It does have a page on the Westsail 42. Now, this was one of the books that jump started wave of "backyard boat builders" in the 1970's. Now there apparently were a couple editions of this book, but it has not been published since the late 70's. And, it is obvious. The materials and techniques describe were the accepted norm in the 70s. While many of the techniqes are still sound and work today, the book makes no mention of modern resin systems, fiberglass alternatives and newer composite materials. But this is ok. It still contains a lot of useful information if not only for understanding how boats were built a couple decades ago. "Professional Boatbuilder", Periodical This is a great magazine. It is targeted at the person who works in the marine boat building trade. Some of the articales range from the very basic (tips and techniqes for fiberglass repair) to the high-tech (vacuum infusion techniques). Sometimes that areticles are very technical, like "efficient foil design for performance". But to be honest, the best thing I like about this magazine are the manufacturers ads (never thought I would say that about a magazine). Manufacturers ads help keep you up to date on what the latest is for pumps, electronics, fasteners, fittings. Most often with the mfgrs URL. Quite a number of ads in the back where you just might find that odd-hard-to-find marine part. A great magazine to browse. Well. Thats it. I will throw open the comments if anyone has something to say on these publications or would like to recommend another.
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