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Ultralight Boatbuilding [Paperback]

Thomas J. Hill
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Nov 1987

Ultralight canoes and small boats are things of beauty, their apparent delicacy concealing great strength. They are lapstrake-constructed from marine plywood planks, each plank overlapping the one below it in a gracefully curved hull. Epoxy glue along the laps gives the hull structural reinforcement, minimizing the need for framing and permitting an amazingly light structure. Round-bilged and elegant, they are built over jigs, but the method is straightforward and not time consuming. You can build a boat that will give you fun and satisfaction, one you can be proud of, in a winter of leisurely weekends. No fancy tools are needed, and care and patience will make up whatever you lack in woodworking skills.

All the information you need is here. Tom Hill, the chief proponent of ultralight boatbuilding and its leading practitioner, describes the method from start to finish using a skiff and canoe as examples. In the appendix is a gallery of ultralight designs, all but one of which you can build without lofting. If you want more flexibility, however, you can adapt almost any lapstrake small-boat design, traditional or modern, to the ultralight method. With some lofting (directions for which are given) you may then build a wide range of boats whose offsets are available. And you may adjust planking thickness and scantlings to give your boat extremely light weight with normal strength, or moderate weight with great strength.

Particularly if you lack an extensively equipped workshop and professional skills, Ultralight Boatbuilding will unlock exciting possibilities you considered out of reach.


Frequently Bought Together

Ultralight Boatbuilding + Ultrasimple Boat Building: 17 Plywood Boats Anyone Can Build + Devlin's Boatbuilding: How to Build Any Boat the Stitch-and-Glue Way
Price For All Three: 37.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: International Marine (1 Nov 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071567038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071567039
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 19.8 x 28.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

``A marvelous book which has broken fresh ground on quality, low-cost construction of traditional hull forms. By all means, don't pass up this book.'' (The Ash Breeze)

``Crammed full of work-saving techniques. . .The boatbuilding skills presented are all tried and true, but seldom presented this clearly.'' (WoodenBoat)

Book Description

Ultralight canoes and small boats are things of beauty, their apparent delicacy concealing great strength. They are lapstrake-constructed from marine plywood planks, each plank overlapping the one below it in a gracefully curved hull. Epoxy glue along the laps gives the hull structural reinforcement, minimizing the need for framing and permitting an amazingly light structure. Round-bilged and elegant, they are built over jigs, but the method is straightforward and not time consuming. You can build a boat that will give you fun and satisfaction, one you can be proud of, in a winter of leisurely weekends. No fancy tools are needed, and care and patience will make up whatever you lack in woodworking skills.

All the information you need is here. Tom Hill, the chief proponent of ultralight boatbuilding and its leading practitioner, describes the method from start to finish using a skiff and canoe as examples. In the appendix is a gallery of ultralight designs, all but one of which you can build without lofting. If you want more flexibility, however, you can adapt almost any lapstrake small-boat design, traditional or modern, to the ultralight method. With some lofting (directions for which are given) you may then build a wide range of boats whose offsets are available. And you may adjust planking thickness and scantlings to give your boat extremely light weight with normal strength, or moderate weight with great strength.

Particularly if you lack an extensively equipped workshop and professional skills, Ultralight Boatbuilding will unlock exciting possibilities you considered out of reach.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I started building boats in the early 1970s, and I guess I've built about a hundred of them over the years. Read the first page
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Concordance
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and instructive! 14 Feb 2003
Format:Paperback
Thomas Hill hit the nail on the head with this book.
Having never built a boat before but thinking about it I picked up this book. I was not disappointed. It does not show the patterns required etc. but what it does give are clearly explained methods for build ultralight boat out of plywood and epoxy, which can be transferred to building other small vessels. The text is very clear but some of the photos leave a bit to be desired.
The book walks the reader through the steps needed to build a canoe and a flat-bottomed skiff and therefore covering most of the steps needed for most ultralight boats. This book was very clear, even for someone like me who has minimal woodworking skills (Experience = 6months of playing) but who dreams of building their own boat.
The appendix are also very helpful in pointing out sources of patterns but all address for other materials are in the US. However, products are named throughout the book.
One final point, if you are looking for detail in how to loft a boat then look at Vaitses book on lofting. This book only gives a quick overview on the subject.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a good book for daydreamers or for someone looking to get started in building a small boat. The book describes construction techniques for a canoe and a small skiff. The methods described can be applied to other designs, but the information provided is not enough to actually construct either example boat.
Plans for the example boats (or for other designs) can be purchased separately.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes the leap from sofa to workshop! 28 Dec 2007
By O. Lund
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hill takes a no-nonsense approach in both his boat building and book writing - this book is squarely aimed at getting you off the sofa and into the workshop with a minimum of fuss.

While relatively short at 111 pages (excl. appendices) the book is very much to the point and gives an excellent overview of the whole glued plywood lapstrake boat building process; from equipping your workshop to lofting the lines, building a jig, scarfing plywood and then the various stages of building the boat and planking it. There's even a short chapter on finishing!

All you need to start building your first wooden boat is this book, an empty single-car garage, some basic hand tools, a set of construction plans for your boat and the contact details of a marine plywood supplier!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review Ultralight Boatbuilding 11 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback
Just Fine - gave technical advice and hints on building lightweight boats. Really handy when you needed to explain plans to someone that wanted to give you hand, who was brought up with traditional boats, what an earth you were talking about.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultralight Boatbuilding by Thomas J. Hill 10 Feb 2002
By goldhillmom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After reading many of the 'classics' on building small boats, I relied on Hill's Ultralight Boatbuiling extensively to construct my first boat--a Chamberlain Dory Skiff in Gardner's Classic Small Craft. Hill helped resolve many of the mysteries of how to achieve tight lapstrake construction with entry-level woodworking skills and a little patience. The result was very rewarding. I created a light, seaworthy, beautiful craft that proved very durable. I used it for many years before selling it. Now I'm considering another project, but can't find my copy of Hill's book, so I'm back for another.
One caveat: the designs Hill uses in his book to illustrate his techniques are beautiful, but you'll probably need more complete plans for your first project.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good overview of one style of small boat construction. 16 Sep 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a good book for daydreamers or for someone looking to get started in building a small boat. The book describes construction techniques for a canoe and a small skiff. The methods described can be applied to other designs, but the information provided is not enough to actually construct either example boat.
Plans for the example boats (or for other designs) can be purchased separately.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glued Lapstrake Boatbuilding 25 July 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book that teaches techniques in building glued lapstrake boats in a clear and accessible manor. There is also plenty of useful information on general woodworking techniques applied to boat building. I'm not sure where the term "ultralight" comes from, but I wish the title had been, "How to Build Wooden Boats Using the Glued Lapstrake Method."
This book has more helpful pictures than most others. Still, I wished there were more at times. However, in those cases I was able to get a mental picture from the author's exceptionally clear explanations.
I am using this book as a guide as I build my own glued lapstrake boat.
I also recommend "Clinker Plywood Boatbuilding Manual", by Iain Oughtred. That book also has some great diagrams and pictures. Also get "Building Small Boats", by Greg Rossel, but if you are new to boatbuilding, you might want to read this book and Oughtred's first since they are slightly more accessible.
By the way, if you want to build the skiff discussed in the book, Redmond Designs is easily found on the internet by searching for "Steve Redmond Boatbuilding".
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reference for glued lapstrake boatbuilders 22 Dec 2006
By Don M - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is one of two books I recommend as essential reading for anyone attempting to bulid a glued plywood lapstrake boat for the first time. The other book is "The Plywood Clinker Boatbuilding Manual" by Iain Oughtred. There are several approaches to building a plywood glued lapstrake boat, and in my opinion the technique presented in this book gives the greatest chance of producing a high quality, fair hull. This book is not a set of instructions for building a particular boat design, but rather a set of procedures for building ANY lapstrake plywood hull. It is an easy read and has lots of detailed information on tasks that are not generally covered elsewhere, such as cutting a rolling bevel. The technique of using stringers on the mold makes getting the plank shapes right a snap. If you are thinking of building a lapstrake boat, read this book first. It gives a comprehensive overview of the process and may give you the confidence you need to go ahead with the project.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad, but a bit closed minded 14 Mar 2007
By Andrew Barclay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This was the first book I purchased on the topic of building clinker ply boats, and I wasn't terribly impressed. If I was building one of the two boats he describes, it would probably be more useful, but it doesn't cover anything about round bilged dinghies. It goes over a flat bottomed skiff and a round bilged but very lightly built canoe.

The author only covers one way of doing everything, and his methods usually struck me as tedious. For example, to spile a plank he clamps an entire 2'x16' sheet of plywood to his building jig and then the shape out from underneath.

I found John Brook's "Building Ellen" article in woodenboat magazine issues number #156, 157, 158 to be more helpful than this entire book. While I don't have John's book, if it's anything like the article it is probably much more useful.

I'd recommend buying Iain Oughtred's book "Clinker Plywood Boatbuilding Manual" instead. It covers a whole variety of techniques, including Tom Hill's, and also covers a much wider variety of hull types (prams, dories, round bilges, etc).
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