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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.