Review; The Art of Wooden Boat Repair, by Allen Cody Taube

Not quite clear of the starting blocks on my overhaul of "Saltwind", the Alden 275B that now lives in the newly built boat shed in my side yard, I am still in the planning stages of tackling this project. Gathering the tools, parts, wood and especially the information I need is an ongoing quest and besides picking the brains of real-live wood boaters, reading books on wooden boats seems to temporarily pacify my lack of progress and occassionally teach me something. Page 197 in the latest "Wooden Boat" #233 caught my eye with a review of "Two new repair and restoration books" and I settled on the one by Taube, thinking it better fit my need and "wood boat philosophy". Within a week of ordering online, I had it read and ready to place on the shelf in the "restoration" part of my growing boat library.  It was then I discovered what I will tell you now. I had placed the newly read Taube book next to what I thought was a good neighbor, reading the title of the old book to make sure I could find this new one later for reference; "The Boatwright's Companion" by A. Taube.  "Hey", I thought, "that's the same author!"  I plucked the older book off the shelf, immediatly finding the front-leaf inscription to me from Peter Thompson! Peter and Sandy had sent me the book on loan, hoping to steer my efforts along after watching me wander around Blackbird's boatshed for a week in the winter of 2011 and knowing that a similar Alden Schooner was patiently waiting on me back in Kentucky and needing all the help she could get.  Did they feel sorry for me, or the Alden, perhaps both?  mmm... I had read the Taube book that Peter sent to me early on, but evidently had not grasped much of what was presented in those pages.  Perhaps I was not ready earlier..."when the student is ready, the teacher will come"...Chinese proverb. Comparing the two Taube books, side by side, the newer "Art of" edition has several additional chapters; 5; keelbolts, 20; cold molding, 21; decks, 22; rigging.  And the page count went from 161 to 183. The "companion" was written in 1986 and now out of print.  The newer "Arts" edition; 2013 and as the publisher's note states; "Allen insisted that he have a chance to re-write the book with the insight and hindsight that comes with the 28 years since he wrote the first edition". -Cost of book shipped to me; $23.40  -Knowledge contained within the pages about wooden vessel repair; extremely valuable. -The support and encouragment of wooden boat nuts like Peter and Sandy, Schooner Fred and Evenkeel Joe; priceless ! I cannot recommend the book based on my wood boat experience; I have none.  Nor can I recommend it based on my progress or my application of the knowledge found in the book; again, ZERO. I can highly recommend this book based on what it is doing for me; giving me hope that I can tackle and finish my Schooner Saltwind, piece by piece.  Showing me what to do and what comes next.   What happens after I launch and sail to meet up with other Schooners in the cool North-East, or treasure dive off her in the tropics, is the material for other books and my own dreams.  All I know is, I can't get there without first getting my Schooner done and that's all I need to worry about right now.  photo PICT0171_zpsc44d6cf7.jpg Wooden Boat mag with the new and old editions of Taube next to the new-old-stock Force 10 cabin heater waiting for a cabin to heat.

Restoration Philosophy

Roger - As you know, restoring boats requires a different set of skills than building.  For one the process is backwards.  Two- you will be fitting wood on several sides to already existing wood, rather than just one or two sides.  Taube' s book is good on the attitude part.  Do a little work every day.  When the quality of what you are doing declines or you get frustrated that somthing won't come apart, take a break.  By the way the book is not on loan.  Its yours until the boat is done then pass it to someone else.  You have started.  The boat has been moved to a place it will improve, you have constructed a building for her.  Thats two big tasks.  Start laying up wood.  Keep it going.  This kind of work is marathon, not a sprint.  You'll get to the finish line.  It has taken us 12 years and14 to 15,000 hours, there abouts and about 25K in Heineken.  Its just a bunch of parts.  Everytime you replace one, you are one part closer.


Cheers  Peter

How can we donate to the " Blackbird-Heineken" fund?

Well spoken Peter...not a sprint, for sure.

Fund Donations

By the dingy load of course.  Just pull alongside when we are in the water and we'll sway it upon deck.