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New Plywood Boats


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About the Author

Tom Jones is a professional boat builder, designer and writer. A sailor all his life, he has made 6 transatlantic crossings in boats of his own design and construction, and has written several books, including Multihull Voyaging.


I am not given to tantrums but what really provokes major wobblies are those unrequested emails, with umpteen high-res images attached which take forever to download. One such started coming in a while back and more in anger than in sorrow, I picked up this book. Mr. Jones so calmed me down that when the Mac pinged a whole hour later, I paused briefly to bin the email unopened and returned immediately to his book. What is it, I wonder, which makes boat designers such good writers? On the face of it, a book which discusses the design and construction of a selections of simple small boats, daysailers, outboard runabouts, slender motorboats and simple multihulls may not seem like the stuff of real reading. Informative perhaps but like a computer mag, not something anyone would actually enjoy in a literary way? But Tom Jones combines the instruction with insights into why boats are shaped the way they are and with all kinds of anecdotes and digressions. The best part of the practical stuff is that six of the craft described come with building plans; the best part of the personal writing comes in an appreciation of Phil Bolger. One for the boatshop and beach. WaterCraft Tom Jones is a professional boatbuilder, designer and writer he is also a highly experienced offshore sailor, as evidenced for example in his book Multihull Voyaging. He has, in fact, made six trans-Atlantics in boats of his own design. New Plywood Boats has chapters on Row and Paddle Boats, Daysailers, Runabouts, Long Narrow Powerboats and Sailing Multihulls, each chapter containing plans and construction details for a number of craft, not entirely (but mostly) built of plywood, ranging in size from a kayak to a thirty foot powerboat. There are lots of drawings and photographs, and entertaining anecdotes about boats and their owners. The US origins of the book are evident in the selection of designs (some being developments of traditional North American craft), and to some extent construction materials, but it is none the worse for that. There is a distinct similarity with some of Phil Bolger s work, and indeed the final chapter is an appreciation of Phil. New Plywood Boats is worthy of a place on the bookshelf (or in the workshop) of anyone seriously interested in building a plywood boat, and will be of interest to all of us who enjoy daydreaming about being on the water. Cruising

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