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Ultrasimple Boatbuilding
by Gavin Atkin


The first complete how-to guide for building the latest generation of quick and easy boats

In Ultrasimple Boatbuilding, renowned designer Gavin Atkin shows you how to create elegant, seaworthy plywood boats with a minimum of time, experience, and expense. Using clearly written and illustrated step-by-step instructions, Atkin explains the basics of stitch-and-glue construction, tools, materials, shop safety, and more, as he helps you choose and build the simple boat of your dreams.

Table of contents

  • Introduction: The Virtues of Small and Simple Boats
    • Part 1 How We'll Build Them
      • 1. Three Simple Ways to Build Ultrasimple Boats
        The Simplified Chine Log Method
        Stitch-and-Glue
        Polyurethane Stitch and Glue
        Epoxy Stitch and Glue
        Your Choice
      • 2. Materials and Tools
        Plywood
        Buying Plywood
        Lumber
        Buying Lumber
        Adhesives
        Epoxy
        Polyurethane Glues
        Paint and Varnish
        Tools
      • 3. Basic Skills
        Working with Lumber
        Marking
        Cutting
        Working with Saws
        Joining Lengths of Lumber
        Working with Plywood panels
        Marking out using coordinates
        Cutting the panels
        Making Butt Joints
        Using Fasteners
        Pre-drilling holes
        Working with hand drills
        Using hammers and driving nails
        Using screwdrivers and driving screws
        (sidebar: Working with Chisels)
        Working with Glues
        Using polyurethane glue
        (sidebar: PL Hints from Bryant Owen)
        Using Epoxy
      • 4. Building the Hull
        Building with the Simplified Chine Log Method
        Cleats for bulkheads and frames
        Cleats for the transoms
        Assembling the Bulkheads, Transoms, and Sides
        Adding Chine logs
        Building Stitch-and-Glue Style
        Bulkheads and Frames
        Initial Assembly
        Taping versus "Stitching"
        Making Fillets with polyurethane
        Making Fillets with epoxy
        Covering the hull
        Adding a Skeg
        Inwales, gunwales, breasthooks and quarter knees
        (sidebar: Home Made Clamps)
      • 5. Finishing Your Boat
        Painting
        Painting with water-based paint
        Painting with oil-based paint
        Varnishing
      • 6. Fitting out and Rigging
        Fittings
        Paddling and rowing gear
        (sidebar: A Rowing Rant)
        Sailing Gear
        Daggerboards, leeboards, and rudders
        Spars
        Sails
        Rigging
        (sidebar: Knots)
        Preventing rot
      • 7. Model making
    • Part 2 Let's Build Some Boats
      • 8. Minimouse and Micromouse: two tiny, flat-bottom double-paddle prams
        Hull
        Decks
        Seats
        Les Brown's Micromouse
      • 9. Lilypad: a stone-simple punt
      • 10. Mouse and Rowing Mouse: a V-bottomed messabout pram for double-paddle or oars
      • 11. Cruising Mouse: a two-person rowing or paddling pram with carrying capacity
      • 12. PoorBoy: a small outboard skiff
      • 13. Dogsbody: a larger outboard boat
      • 14. Jiggity: an "ultrasimplified" Auray punt
      • 15. Aurette: a small sailing Auray punt
      • 16. Piragua: a pirogue
      • 17. Cinderella: a double-paddle canoe with a "roundish" bottom
      • 18. Flying Mouse: a child's sailing pram
        String Sailing
      • 19. Eek!: a larger, sportier sailing pram for more experienced kids and small adults
      • 20. Puddle Duck Racer: the world's simplest racing class?
      • 21. Summer Breeze: a versatile rowing/sailing skiff
        Using the Simplified Chine Log Method
        Stem and transom
        Frame
        Assembling the Sides
        Installing the Bottom
        Using stitch and glue
        Finishing the Hull
        Rowing Accoutrements
        Sailing Rig
      • 22. Doris the Dory: a rowing and sailing expedition boat
    • Part 3: What Shall We Build Next?
  • Biographical note:
    Gavin Atkin is known around the world for his
    minimalist boat designs. His award-winning creations,
    including the celebrated Mouse, have been built by countless
    boat enthusiasts.