Doesn’t everyone want to build a wooden boat? Perhaps not, but in my case, I have nurtured the idea for many years without having the time and facilities to act on it. This page references some of my sources of information and inspiration leading to the point that I had the belief that I could take on the project.

Blogs: “Building (and sailing) a Golant Gaffer” (link) is a blog primarily about building a boat. I was very happy to discover this blog, which was active when I was in research phase, because it brings to life the building process. I tracked down the couple and paid them a visit (they live about an hour and a half away) to see what a real life, partially completed Golant Gaffer would look like. They made me welcome and allowed me to crawl around the hull, which by that time was the right way up. So useful.

This second blog is from a professional blogger. Mark Corke is a professional sailing writer and his personal blog is “On board with Mark Corke“. He has a lot of useful information, but my favourite entry is “Favorite Boats – Number three: The Golant Gaffer” which is about his Golant Gaffer, Mallard.

Magazines: I read a few magazines, but Water Craft Magazine (Home page link) is my favourite, being focussed on affordable boat designs and practical boat building projects. Water Craft has kept me entertained for years.

Training: I am fortunate enough to live a 45 minute drive from The Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis, and went on 2 of their short courses: Build a boat – initial set up, and Modern wooden boat building. The Academy and its staff are brilliant. The course focussed on the practical with sufficient theory to support it. The only problem with the courses was that you had to manage your envy of the participants on the 40 week course. highly recommended.

Books: I read lots of books. These are just a few I found particularly useful (or entertaining):

How to Build a Boat. A Father, his Daughter, and the Unsailed Sea by Jonathan Gornall: I recommend reading this book first. It didn’t increase my boat building knowledge much, but it really communicates the emotions involved in building a boat. A lovely book.

The Gougeon Brothers on boat construction: The Gougeon Brothers were early pioneers in the use of epoxy resins for boat building and the company they started produces West System epoxies. The book, available free online, does a lot more than explain the West System epoxies. It very clearly describes the various boat building techniques in which epoxy is used.

Wooden Boatbuilding, the Sydney Wooden Boat School Manuals by Ian Hugh Smith. This book was developed from the author teaching first time boat builders, and the clarity of explanations shows. It covers Clinker, strip planking, plywood clinker and carvel methods. As the author says, most books on strip planking are aimed at canoes or other small boats. This covers all sizes.

Boatbuilding. Cold-Moulded and Strip-Planked Wood by Ian Nicholson: Another very solid practical manual for amateur boat builders with quite a lot of data for people with less detailed plans than the ones I received for the Golant Gaffer.

Hand, Reef and Steer. Traditional Sailing Skills for Classic Boats, by Tom Cunliffe: obviously not a boat building book, I include Tom’s book because he has such passion for gaff rigged boats, and one day my Golant Gaffer will be launched!