See also Boat Building
and Building Kayaks and Canoes

  • Forty Wooden Boats
  • Forty-Five Wooden Boats
  • Fifty Wooden Boats
  • Pelin Boat Plans Catalogue
  • John Welsford's Small Craft Design Catalogue
  • Yacht Designs
  • The Open Boat
  • Plans & Dreams Vol II
  • Plans & Dreams Vol I
  • Small Ships - Benford Design Group
  • Pocket Cruisers and Tabloid Yachts
  • The Sharpie Book
  • Small Yachts
  • Sailor's Book of Small Cruising Sailboats
  • Building Classic Small Craft
  • The Marisol Skiff
  • How To Build The Gloucester Light Dory
  • The Dory Book
  • Buy on line using our secure pages, by clicking on the buttons below each review

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    By Editors of the Wooden Boat Magazine. Paperback, 0.27kg, 206mm x 277mm, 94 pages, line drawings.
    Your next boat just might be here on the pages of Forty Wooden Boats. Assembled by WoodenBoat Publications, this comprehensive catalog of boat plans contains classic and contemporary designs from old masters as well as from promising young architects.
    Canoes and Kayaks
    Six different designs
    Sailing and Pulling Boats
    Superb as tenders, trainers, and small beach cruisers. You'll find six of these likable designs here.
    Performance Rowing Craft
    Two 18' Ken Bassett sliding-seat boats and the exciting new 27' Kookaburra - a double scull from Graeme King.
    Real daysailers, with real cockpits and real seats, for real daysailors. Ten designs ranging from a 13' Melonseed Skiff by Marc Barto to a graceful 23' double-ended sloop from Joel White's drawing table.
    Ten elegant powerboat designs.
    Cruising Boats
    Seven traditional cruisers that will take you places you've never been. From the delightfully simple 19' Cat Schooner by William Garden, to the robust 26' Lubec Boat by Brewer, Wallstrom & Associates.

    NZ$35.00 + delivery.

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    By Wooden Boat. Softcover, 205mm x 278mm, 72 pages, 0.22 kg . Line drawings and plans. Published 2016

    A study plans catalog containing forty-five different wooden boat designs you can build. Includes canoes, kayaks, skiffs, dinghies, daysailers, pulling boats, powerboats, and canal boats. Boatbuilding plans are available for all the designs shown in the book. Visual lines of boats which let you see the hull's shape, as well as profiles and overhead drawings.

    Details provided to compare and contrast designs, such as length, beam, construction method, sail area, engine size, building skills needed, price of plans, level of detail provided by the designer, and if lofting is required.

    NZ$30.00 + Delivery

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    FIFTY WOODEN BOATS Volume 1, A Catalogue of Building Plans.
    By The editors of Wooden Boat Magazine. Pbk, 210mm x 275mm, 112 pages, monochrome drawings and plans.
    Many of the designs in this catalogue are from the greatest designers of the century. There are also new designs commissioned by Wooden boat specifically for amateur construction, from the boards of contemporary marine architects.
    Craft include sailing dinghies, powerboats and rowing boats. In size they range from the very well known Nutshell , at 7 feet 7 inches, to the 41 foot Alden design schooner Malabar II There are skiffs, catboats, day-sailers and lapstrake canoes.
    All of the plans are available at full size from Wooden Boat Publications, and they can be ordered directly from this catalogue using dedicated order forms in the last pages.

    NZ$50.00 + delivery.

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    By Frank Pelin. Pbk, 295mm x 210mm (A4), 88 pages, monochrome drawings and plans.
    There would be hundreds of Pelin designed boats all over New Zealand. For an inexpensive, easy to build outboard powered runabout his designs are still hard to beat, even though they have been around for several decades. This catalogue features all of his well-known runabout designs, rowing skiffs, sailing dinghies and trailer yachts, sailing catamarans and larger cruising yachts and launches. Included in the catalogue is a price list for the plans.

    NZ$30.00 + Delivery.

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    By John Welsford. Pbk, 297mm x 210mm, 38 pages, full colour photographs and monochrome drawings and plans.
    We can do no better than to quote what is on the front cover:- "Plans for home builders; sailboat - rowboat - powerboat". THis is truly a catalogue of small boat plans, interesting and entertaining stories, and information for those who are longing for a boat of their own. A person of modest means could build one of these boats.
    A unique and most valuable addition is that John is always available by phone or other means to give advice on choice, sailing techniques and characteristics (he is a devoted sailor), building and changes to planned structure or rig.

    NZ$25.50 + Delivery.

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    By William Garden. Softcover, 215mm x 280mm, 320 pages, 0.94 kg monochrome drawings and plans. Published 1998

    William Garden's career as both a yacht designer and builder spanned well over six decades and untold hundreds of boats.

    Garden's writing style is just as far-ranging and eclectic as his boats, whimsical and informative, light-hearted yet solidly grounded, serious, thought-provoking and thoroughly engaging. The original edition of Yacht Designs was published in 1977 and, after several printings, had gone completely out of print. Bill Garden revised and expanded the essays from the original edition and added over 30 more boats, many never before published, and even a few dream ships that were never built. Each essay is as different as the boat it describes, sometimes explaining the building process or a particular aspect of it in detail, or the events that led to a design, or the individuals involved, or the evolution of a yacht type, or Bill's own unique outlook on life and the boats he loved.

    NZ$90.00 + Delivery

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    By Ian Hugh-Smith. Softback, 210mm x 295mm, 196 pages, monochrome and colour images with drawings and plans. Published 2017
    The Australian 18-Footer. Origin, Design and Construction.

    The Australian Eighteen Footer has been a big part of Sydney Harbour, the Brisbane River and to a lesser extent Perth and a number of harbours up and down the NSW and Queensland coast for more than a century. But where did they come from? Folklore tells us that they evolved from working boats, but no-one ever traced the links and documented it.

    Retired Sydney boatbuilder Ian Smith explains the history and evolution in his new book - The Open Boat. The book contains a thorough coverage of how these boats were built, with a how-to guide based on extensive interviews in the last decade with the last remaining builders of these boats before it all changed in the 1950's.

    Chapters include:

  • Part One. The Origin & Evolution of the 18 Footers
  • The Coming of the centre Boarders
  • The Rise of the 18 Footers
  • The Shape Changers
  • The Skiffs Win out

  • Part Two. Construction of a Batten-Seam Eighteen Footer
  • Design & lofting
  • Moulds
  • Lining ou
  • Planking
  • Ribs
  • Masts & Spars
  • Rigs & Sails

    NZ$70.00 + Delivery

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    By Paul Garside. Softcover, 228mm x 300mm, 200 pages, 1.07 kg monochrome drawings and plans. 2018

    Volume II of Plans & Dreams contains complete building plans for 20 small boats. They were first published together with the accompanying essays in the British magazine Water Craft. All the designs are professional plans, drawn with the amateur builder in mind. Accompanying essays provide tips on technique and building procedure that should prove useful to first-time builders.

    The projects in this collection range from an 8ft. Childís Rowboat to a 43ft. Steel Motor Sailer, the latter clearly pushing the limits for a part-time builder. Still, it never hurts to dream, and this volume should provide ample stimulus to do just!

    NZ$145.00 + Delivery

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    By Paul Garside. Softcover, 228mm x 300mm, 217 pages, 1.22 kg monochrome drawings and plans.

    This book from Paul Gartside is a collection of 23 essays, each accompanied by a full set of ready-to build boat plans. The essays provide relevant technique and professional know-how along with musings on the world of boats in general.

    All the plans are for wooden boats spread across the categories of power, sail and oar. They range from the simplest plywood pram dinghy to sailboats of the most sophisticated traditional construction. There are twenty three complete plan sets, plus a final chapter containing detailed deck and mast ironwork drawings.

    Whether you are looking for the next building project or simply enjoy pondering the possibilities, this volume will provide endless distraction.

    The essays were first published in the magazine Water Craft. They have been re-formatted for the book with additional photographs.

    NZ$140.00 + Delivery

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    SMALL SHIPS, Fifth edition; Working Vessels and Workboat Heritage Yacht Designs.
    By The Benford Design Group. Pbk, 215mm x 275mm, 360 pages, full colour and monochrome photographs, plans and drawings.
    This is recognised as a standard work on boat design options for those planning to employ a tradesman boatbuilder. The range is primarily of workboat power craft that are - as the title suggests - "small ships".
    The book is a large number of comprehensive study plans which feature tugs, small freighters, ferries, excursion boats, trawler yachts, houseboats and fishing vessels. Jay Bensford's designs have the outward appearance of classic tradition. This, however, is very much a profile disguising innovation and up-to-date thinking as far as the use of space, materials and construction methods are concerned.
    The book is very well illustrated with occasional colour photographs of Benford Design vessels on the water.

    NZ$100.00 + delivery.

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    By Jay Benford. Paper backs, 280mm x 215mm, 149 pages, monochrome drawings and plans.
    Jay Benford designs robust cruising boats all based on the traditional models. These three books are his design catalogues but also feature much useful anecdotal information.
    Even if you do not build one of his boats these books provide some wonderful dream material.

    NZ$51.50 + Delivery

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    By Reul B. Parker. Pbk, 233mm x 187mm, 179 pages, monochrome photographs, drawings and plans.
    Sharpies are flat bottom craft suitable for shallow water areas. They are easy to build and stable. For someone who wants a coastal cruising boat but who does not have a lot of money to spend this could be one way to go. Reul Parker is an American designer who specialises in this type of vessel. His book gives a brief history of the type, tells you how to build one and provides complete plans for a number of his designs in the form of lines drawings and tables of offsets.

    NZ$48.00 + Delivery.

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    By C. P. Kunhardt. Hardcover, 227mm x 306mm, 272 pages, line drawings.
    Over one hundred years ago, the original edition of Small Yachts appeared as the first study of yacht design. Its author, C.P.Kunhardt, had been the yachting editor of the sporting journal Forest and Stream, and enjoyed one of the most thoroughly informed and influential positions of his day.
    His intent, as expressed in the preface, was to cover "the whole range of type in small yachts, but embracing only those which have received sufficiently wide recognition to entitle them to public confidence". Small Yachts heralded the beginning of a widespread appreciation for variation in boat types, and had its own effect on the developing synthesis of art and science in yacht design. As such, it has become an extremely important element in the history of naval architecture, and deserving of a prominent place in any serious nautical book collection.
    The original editions contained a considerable amount of text material relating to contemporary processes in yacht design and construction, and numerous other areas of pleasure boating. But republication of the entire text would have created a very cumbersome and expensive volume. The abridged edition contains virtually all original plates, and their accompanying descriptive text. It preserves intact the essential purpose - the study of small yacht types - for which it became so widely known.

    Was NZ$120.00 + Delivery.
    Now NZ$70.00 + Delivery.

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    By Steve Henkel. Softcover, 412 pages, 210mm x 280mm, black and white photos and diagrams.
    This American publication contains reviews and comparisons of 360 boats under 26 feet.
  • Complete specifications for almost every small fibreglass cruiser ever built.
  • Sail, cabin, and inboard profile plans.
  • Detailed comparisons of boats with similar characteristics.
  • Massive amounts of hard-to-find technical and historical information.

    NZ$56.00 + Delivery.

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    By John Gardner. Paperback, 1.16kg, 285mm x 220mm, 536 pages, monochrome drawings, plans and photographs.
    When John Gardner died in October 1995, there was an outpouring of letters and eulogies in the boating press from his legions of fans. Wooden Boat magazine stated Gardnerís work has engaged and inspired more individuals connected with traditional small craft that will ever be counted. This book is a commemorative edition of Gardnerís two volumes on building classic small craft, and includes complete plans and instructions for 47 beautiful, small boats for oar, sail and motor. In here youíll find the classic skiffs, wherries, duckboats and dories that characterised Gardnerís work. Full plans and text completely explain the building process, from laying down the lines to finishing out the hull.

    NZ$63.00 + Delivery.

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    By Gifford Jackson. Hardback, 0.54kg, 286mm x 223mm, 87 pages, monochrome drawings.

    All thirty five pages from the exceptionally detailed planset are reproduced within this book.
    In addition to seeing all of the plans drawings, you'll read designer Gifford Jackson's notes for each plans page, as well as his overview of Marisol. Plus you'll find sources for materials and the variety of woods used. And there is plenty of sailing advice from Gifford, who has plied the waters around his beautiful hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, for over thirty this very boat.

    NZ$55.00 + Delivery

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    Instructions By Harold "Dynamite"Payson. Paperback, 0.12kg, 208mm x 277mm, 30 pages, monochrome drawings and photographs.

    Drawn by prolific boat designer Philp C Bolger, the Gloucester Light Dory, also known as the Gloucester Gull, is a 15' 6" dory made from sheet plywood that is easy to build, easy to row, and has such sweet lines that she has been described as Phil Bolger's "ticket into heaven" Dynamite Payson, who built well over 100 of these boats, takes you through the process so you too can build and enjoy this simple, yet elegant, dory.

    NZ$25.00 + delivery.

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    By John Gardner. Paperback, 0.89kg, 210mm x 275mm, 275 pages, monochrome photographs, drawings and lines plans.
    The dory has long fascinated boat lovers. Of the simplest design, built from the most common materials, the dory has the ability to handle the most demanding tasks.
    The variations on the basic dory design are legion. Over the years the dory has been duty as a fishing boat, a lumberman's log-driving batteau, a lifeboat, a recreational rowing boat, and a racing sailboat.
    This book is the most comprehensive book on dories ever published. More than a decade in the making, it is at once a history of the dory, a practical handbook on how to build a dory, and a compendium of dory designs with full construction details. On these pages can be found details about some of the legendary dory types: Bank dories, Swampscotts, gunning dories, semi-dories, St. Pierre dories, flat-irons, dory skiffs, and batteaux. Its step-by-step illustrations of exceptional clarity make this book unique.

    NZ$85.00 + delivery.

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    See also Boat Building
    and Building Kayaks and Canoes

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