purchase of DVD, earns discount of $25 off any David Nichols
plan ordered within 6 months
This disk was made to be included with plans
to David Nichols' decked lapstrake canoes (links
at right) but when I saw the video, I insisted
that David let us sell it alone because it is
loaded with good stuff for any boat builder.
Here is my review:
A couple of years ago, I got excited by the idea of producing boat building videos. I figured I’d built a dozen or so different boats and could do a passable job of teaching other folks how to build simple plywood boats. You know, the slab sided, flat bottomed kind. I bought one of the then new digital camcorders and got busy. After all, there is not a lot out there for those of us who can’t make it to the Wooden Boat School.
I was just starting a Jim Michalak Ladybug cruising dinghy, and I thought that would be a good place to begin my new video career. I built a white backdrop and recruited my lovely wife to be camerawoman. We shot the first couple of scenes, and I felt I had done a pretty good job of keeping the narrative interesting while getting the basics across to the viewer, but when I watched what we had done on the home TV, it looked like a home video. Where is the music; where is the little picture in a picture thing; where is Bob Villa?
Fast forward a year or so, and I am looking up my old friend, David Nichols, to hit him up for an article for Duckworks Magazine. During the conversation, David mentions that he is now selling plans for his lovely Lutra series of lapstrake decked canoes and is including a DVD with each set. I tell him that we have a store and would like to sell the plans and would he send me a copy of the video. He agreed.
The first thing I noticed when the disk arrived was that it had a professional looking cover on it. When I put it in the player, Whoa!, I saw it had a menu. It was obvious this was no home video. When I chose the Intro, there was the music, there was the picture in a picture thing, there was Bob Villa with Dave’s face.
I watched the whole thing right then and there. It was fascinating for me, a relatively novice boat builder, to see a boat go together from strongback to the final credits. I learned a few things too as Dave clearly explained lofting, scarfing, and fiber glassing. He covered the big mystery of lapstrake and the details of midplanks, deckbeams and bulkheads, and he doesn’t forget decks, hatches, sheer setting and false stems.
Thinking back, why was I surprised? Dave came to professional boatbuilding (he teaches at the WoodenBoat School) from a career in film production. It shows, and we boat builders are lucky that he decided to make this disk. I was so impressed that I asked David to let us sell the DVD by itself. I have encouraged him to make more of these videos , and to focus on the individual elements of the craft like epoxy work, finishing, designing, and tools. I think he will, so for now, get this DVD and begin your David Nichols library. I promise you will be going back to watch it again and again.