Few people have done
more than Sam Devlin to popularize wooden boatbuilding.
For the past 15 years he has been designing, building,
and helping others build his fleet of small sail and
power boats. Ranging in length from 7 to 40 feet--so
graceful, pert, and purposeful they seem to have been
born on the waves--these boats belie the fact that they
are built from sheet plywood using wire stitches and
epoxy glue. In other words, anyone can build them, and
many have. A 1988 WoodenBoat magazine profile of Devlin
garnered more than 1,800 inquiries for his boat plans,
an unbelievable response to any article in any magazine.
Sailboats like Nancy's China (costs less to build than
the reported cost of one place setting of Nancy Reagan's
china) and powerboats like Surf Scoter are familiar,
much-appreciated sights these days. Devlin developed
this guide to building boats--his or any other designer's--from
the building instructions he supplies with his plans.
It is a mature, shop- and ocean-tested manual, covering
everything from sharpening the tools to launching the
finished boat. There is also a gallery of Devlin's designs
and a detailed appendix listing sources for tools and