Sample Articles From WoodenBoat Magazine

  • Text by WoodenBoat Editors
    Illustrations by Jan Adkins

    Here are ideas for how you, at any age and in any location, can get aboard to sail, get your hands dirty maintaining, or garner skills for building before you ever think of digging into your wallet to own a boat. The best boats for a beginner, truly, are Other People’s Boats.
  • So, this is my story of how, essentially, my grand­father saved my life...
  • by Greg Rössel

    Oscillating tools have many uses in boat construction and restoration. A number of manufacturers make them; the one shown here is by the German company Fein, which first developed oscillating saws for medical professionals to use in removing plaster and fiberglass casts. For boat work, the tools, fitted with appropriate saw blades, are adept at getting into hard-to-reach places, such as behind this coaming to cut off an old screw.
  • Text and photographs by Harry Bryan

    In the subdued natural lighting of a boathouse, the handheld LED lamp accentuates the difference between sanded surfaces and new finish, in this case varnish on the sheerstrake.
  • Many years ago, one of the big varnish manufacturers had a regular advertisement showing a cowering boat owner eyeing a brightwork project with a feigned expression of terror, and saying “Vvvvvvvvarnish?” Such fear is a common sentiment among would-be and occasional varnishers, and for good reason: Varnish provides excellent protection while showing the beauty of the wood, but it takes a consistent commitment of time and skill each year to maintain it. And achieving a good bright (aka varnished) finish requires...
  • Text by Randall Peffer · Photographs by Peter McGowan

    The fishing vessel SKIPPER was launched in 1941 as a “party boat,” carrying deckloads of anglers on “deep sea” fishing expeditions from northern New Jersey. She continues in that role today, but now hails from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
  • Reviewed by Greg Rössel

    Anyone who has built a boat knows that it is the near-perfect vehicle for teaching applied math and science, because these topics apply to all phases of a construction project. A boat can also be a vehicle for understanding a process that’s difficult to replicate on a screen. There are formulas, fractions, ratios, proportions. There is geometry everywhere—isosceles triangles, symmetry, perpendiculars, right angles, and bisecting angles.
  • by Matthew P. Murphy

    On September 18, 1962, GRETEL, the first-ever Australian 12-Meter-class sloop, beat the AMERICA’s Cup defender WEATHERLY by a margin of 47 seconds. It was the second race of the Cup’s final series, and the victory sent a shock wave through the sailing world and touched off gleeful pandemonium Down Under. Could this be the first year that the Cup would be wrested away from its American grip since its inception in 1851?
  • by Nic Compton

    Distinctive racing yawls, tracing a long lineage to Devon coastal workboats, have been racing off the English town of Salcombe for generations. Here, the revolutionary NUFFIN (Y141), the boat that precipitated a split of the development class into two divisions in the 1980s, leads the fleet. Close behind are ANOTHER DILEMMA (Y173), FIRECREST (Y187), and SPRUCE GOOSE (Y177). All four boats were designed by Phil Morrison and sail in the Red Fleet, created after NUFFIN was built.
  • A great deal has changed in the world of plywood since those masters of the medium made the recommendations quoted above. The prospective plywood boatbuilder of 2017 wades into a thicket of unenforced standards, uneven quality, and outright flim-flammery. Lots of great choices remain, but you can’t simply judge marine plywood by its stamp.