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The Working Guide to
Traditional Small-Boat Sails
by David L. Nichols


I first met David Nichols a dozen years ago at a wooden boat festival near Austin, Texas. Since that time, our paths have crossed many times and over the years we have developed a friendship that goes beyond our business association. When David told me that he had begun a book on traditional sails years ago but had shelved the project due to inertia, I suggested he run it past another friend, Garth Battista, an independent book publisher. Garth has done such other books as Boatbuilding for Beginners and Max Wawrzyniak's Cheap Outboards. To make a long story short, the two of them hit it off and the book that sat on a shelf so long is now a wonderful resource for boat builders who want to learn more about traditional sails. - Chuck Leinweber

Here is what the back cover says:

Make your modern sailboat look (and work) like a salty classic.

The Golden Age of Sail is long past, sadly, and much of its lore is nearly extinct. Sailboats now almost uniformly use the Bermudan sloop rig—a triangular jib and a triangular mainsail. But that rig evolved mainly to meet esoteric yacht-racing measurement rules. It is not necessarily the most efficient or effective rig. This book lets sailors rediscover the practical advantages—and the aesthetic delights—of such configurations as the sprit sail, the gaff sail, the lug sail, and the gunter rig. It also includes valuable information on marlinspike work like rope-whipping and eye-splicing; and tips on converting your modern sailboat to a traditional rig.

DAVID L. NICHOLS has been building boats and making sails for approximately fifteen years. When he isn’t designing sails or building boats you’ll find him in the boats he’s designed and built. He feels that the only way to truly understand boats and sails is to use them. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, he has written for boating magazines like WoodenBoat and Boathuilder, as well as writing and producing boat building videos. His designs may be viewed HERE.



Other Books by David Nichols:

Lapstrake Canoes

Lapstrake Canoes




boat designs by David Nichols: