Boatbuilding in Pictures

This series is aptly named-here are over 1600 boatbuilding photos in seven books.

If you are looking for comprehensive coverage, this is it.

There is seldom any such thing as too much information. However good a written description, there is simply no substitute for seeing how something is done, because we are all visual learners.That is what our Boatbuilding in Pictures series is all about. As one of the early reviews said, "It's the next best thing to being right in the boat shop while the boat is being built."

Although these were written by Walter Simmons and intended to help you build specific boats, the information on them is as limitless as boatbuilding itself, so will be valuable even after your first boat has been built and launched. The entire collection provides a solid foundation of boatbuilding knowledge, and every title contains information applicable to all traditional lapstrake boats.

These are full color books, printed on heavy bright white stock and comb bound so that they will open and lay flat for ready reference.

Trap Skiff
Duck Trap

Rhodes Wherry cover



The Rhodes Wherry is named for the man who built her...Stimp Rhodes. The original boat, from which the lines derive was built for the 10-year-old son of an Atlantic Salmon Fisherman, and launched at Duck Trap in the Spring of 1899. Ozzie Wade (that same boy) turned out to be the last surviving salmon fishermen, and his wherry is still in useable condition after all these years.

The boat featured is 10'-7" overall and is planked with 9mm Okoume marine plywood using the glued lapstrake method.

The text begins with making the moulds, setting up, and making the backbone. The planking section is especially detailed. Installing her daggerboard case, thwarts and rails are all covered, as is the finishing and rigging.

The Rhodes Wherry by Walter Simmons
90 pages/ 132 photos
Full Color Book...........US$45.00


The Littlest Boats actually deals with three small boats: the Littlest Wherry, the Littlest Yacht Tender, and the Skiff Youth Bed.

The Littlest Wherry is just 4' long and is intended to be a baby's cradle or a coffee table. The Littlest Yacht tender is the same length and is designed as a coffee table, though she could also be a cradle. The Skiff Youth Bed is 7' overall, and can be a bed or an actual skiff for you to teach your children to row.

Interestingly, all three of these go together just like their larger counterparts, complete with lapstrake planking. Build an heirloom for your family, or simply build one as as educational exercise. Since the plans are drawn full size and even include plank patterns, it is a good way to begin (boatbuilders aren't likely to say "a great way to get your feet wet.")

They are all fun to build, and certainly unique.

The Littlest Boats by Walter Simmons
101 pages/ 144 photos

Full Color Book...........US$50.00


Littlest Boats cover


The Newfoundland Trap Skiff is the largest of all the wherries. They can be built open like this one, or decked with an oval cockpit.

The boat photographed for this book, Thank You, is just under 20' overall and is ketch rigged. The photos begin with the making of the moulds and setting up for inverted construction using glued lapstrake construction. Once righted, it continues with making the sawn frames, centerboard case, thwarts, and rails. And finally, it covers finishing, making spars and oars, rigging, and even launching.

The Trap Skiff is a wonderful sea boat that outsails nearly everything on the water. And there is no prettier boat. They are, however, the most demanding to build of all the wherries, which makes this information from the builder all the more valuable.

The Newfoundland Trap Skiff
by Walter Simmons
142 pages/ 185 photos
Full Color Book...........US$65.00

Newfoundland Trap Skiff cover


Duck Trap Wherry cover


With her design based on the venerable Newfoundland Trap Skiff, the Duck Trap Wherry is a sleek, fast pulling boat. She can also be suited to sail like Osprey in the cover photo to the right.

Not only is she good looking, she also just happens to be the easiest to build of all the full sized wherries. That's owing to her fine lines, but building is made just that much easier thanks to the profusion of photos contained here.

You will have an in-depth look at setting up and getting out the plank keel. And you will get an even more detailed look at the planking process right on the shop floor at Duck Trap Woodworking.

Of course, the story wouldn't be complete without the inboard joinerwork, finishing, and rigging, and those subjects are all covered. It even discusses selecting and modifying her boat trailer.


Duck Trap Wherry by Walter Simmons
180 pages/260 photos

Full Color Book...........US$75.00


Christmas Wherry cover


...The Christmas Wherry is the newest of the wherries, designed by the author .......in 2003, to answer specific requests. This is a wherry that does it all...she .......rows well, sails even better, and can be powered if you are so inclined. She .......is also the only one to carry a lug rig. She may well be the ultimate family .......boat.

One of the requests was for a wherry that would be easier to build than a trap skiff, yet have the same seakeeping ability. The Christmas Wherry scores on both counts.

Like the others in this series, the text and photos follow construction from making the moulds all the way through launching. We took so many photos, in fact, that the building time stretched more than a week. It was worth it, because all of the construction photos you need are included.

Building the Christmas Wherry
by Walter Simmons
179 pages/222 photos
Full Color Book...........US$75.00


mLapstrake Canoes cover

Lapstrake canoes are far and away the easiest to build of all round bottomed lapstrake boats. Not only that, but they are far more able on the water than their canvas-covered cousins.

But to use them, of course, first you have to build them, and that's where this book comes in. In fact, the book follows the construction of a pair of lapstrake canoes...a cedar planked 13-footer complete with steamed ribs, and the 15' glued lapstrake canoe featured on the cover.

This is our first book to deal with steaming, and it is covered from setting up the boiling tank right on through riveting the ribs and floors in place in the canoe. Steaming isn't at all difficult, and it doesn't require a sophisticated steaming apparatus. You'll see all of that here for yourself...that, and a lot more, right down to making your own jointed double paddle.

Lapstrake Canoes
by Walter Simmons
209 pages/297 photos

Full Color Book...........US$75.00

Matinicus Double Ender cover


The Matinicus Double Ender is the stereotypical boat of the Maine Coast. To many, plain and unassuming, to those whose livelihood and lives depend on them, the one boat they can count on in all conditions.You may never encounter 12' seas and gale force winds, but it's reassurring to know that your double ender can handle them.

This is the story of building two double enders-a classic 15' cedar planked pulling boat (photo below), and a 16' glued lapstrake sailing version with a plank keel and centerboard. If you're interested in working with Okoume marine plywood, it's in here; if you're more interested in learning how to steam planks and place steam bent ribs, that's covered too. In fact, this is the most extensive of any of our books.

BTW, you'll find that these boats are anything but plain.

The Matinicus Double Ender by Walter Simmons
299 pages/404 photos

Full Color Book...........US$85.00



15' Matinicus Double Ender Freedom
built by the author in the Fall of 2006.




If there were such a thing as a waterborne utility vehicle, it would be the skiff. And on the Maine Coast where the author lives, they seem to be everywhere. Good ones, however, are few and far between, and the Harbor Skiff is one of the best.

As the series title implies, this book is the photographic record of the manner in which the Harbor Skiff was and continues to be built. Mare than that, it discusses the design itself, the materials needed, suitable outboards and floatation. There is an entire section devoted just to scarphing, one of any builder’s most useful skills. If you are looking for a boat to get you and all your gear from the town dock to a mooring or looking to outfit one for fishing, this could well be the boat you’re looking for. And this book will show you how to build her.

Building the Harbor Skiff
8.5" x 11" format 76pages/87 photos
Full Color Book...........US$45.00


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