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Boatbuilding Series

by Walter Simmons
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Walter Simmons builds traditional wooden lapstrake boats...wherries, mostly…has since 1970. There is a great deal of experience gained through a lifetime of building and repairing wooden boats, and that experience is what is being passed along to you in these books.

He wrote his first book, Lapstrake Boatbuilding, in 1978. Early on, his books were published by International Marine. Duck Trap Press was started in 1982 to continue publication and to keep books from going out of print. Lapstrake Boatbuilding and the other early books have gone through several editions since then, expanding and updating them each time. All remain as current as they were when first written. And one of the nice things about these books is that they actually tell you what works and what doesn't...you're not left to learn the hard way. As one reviewer said, "Boatbuilding is never easy, but there are easier ways to do things, and Simmons explains them clearly and concisely."

These books are intended to go to the shop with you, not to decorate a coffee table. Our books are 8.5" x 11" format, comb bound to lay flat on your bench, and provided with sufficient white space for those all-important notes. Covers are laminated so they are easy to keep clean.

Our online Boatbuilding Series catalogue is all right here on this page...scroll down and have a look. Prices are in US dollars, and do not include shipping (unless you order 2 or more at the same time and want them delivered within the United States; in that case, we pay the shipping charges.)
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Walter Simmons in his lapstrake Canoe

The author in his
15' Lapstrake Canoe
Seasmoke,
at Duck Trap.

Lapstrake Boatbuilding covers the basics of lapstrake construction from stock selection to steaming and planking. Written because there was no other comprehensive source of information about American lapstrake practice. Brand new in '08, this edition includes everything that was in the first two Lapstrake Boatbuilding books with 30 years of boatbuilding experience added. This is THE premier book on lapstrake practice, and should be in every boatbuilding library.

402 pages/ 3 full color chapters/ indexed
US$65.00

Or, get Lapstrake Boatbuilding on CD for $25.
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lb30cvr

cover: Newfoundland Trap Skiff
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Building the 9’-7” Maine Skiff is step-by-step boatbuilding from the plans to the finishing. It is arranged in 40 individual lessons requiring about an hour apiece. Full size 1-1/2” plans are included, in your choice of Maine Skiff, Lobsterman’s Skiff, or the Dory Skiff.

40 pages + building plan
with Maine Skiff plan US$40.00
with lobsterman's Skiff plan US$40.00
with Dory Skiff plan US$45.00


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cover: Maine Skiff
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Building Sunshine, is another step-by-step book, detailing the construction of our most popular yacht tender. These boats row and tow beautifully and are in use around the world. Lofting, setup, the backbone, planking, joinerwork, and even making the oars are all covered. This is the second edition, completed October 2011.

85 pages/ 42 illustrations/indexed
book alone US$30.00
with Sunshine's building plans US$70.00


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Sunshine cover

cover: Sunshine
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Building Lapstrake Canoes…lovely boats with the maneuverability of a kayak and the stability of a double ender. These are the easiest to build of all lapstrake boats. They are fast, dry, light, and able. A traditionally built 15-footer weighs 56 pounds. Includes a 25% off coupon for any of our canoe plans.

121 pages/ 58 illustrations/indexed
US$25.00

(includes 25% off coupon for DTW canoe plans)

If you want to see how they are built, and in full color,
then check out our Lapstrake Canoe CD.
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cover: 15' Lapstrake Canoe
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Finishing discusses the finishes to use (and a few to avoid), how to prepare for them, how to apply them, and how to maintain them. Here are the tricks of the trade along with the tools you’ll need for painting, oiling, varnishing, and even gold leafing.

97 pages/ 27 illustrations/indexed
US$25.00

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cover: Matinicus Double Ender
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Lines, Lofting, & Half Models Called a “must have” addition to every boatbuilding library by reviewers, this is the only lofting book you will ever need. Lines work begins with half models, and so does this book. From half model basics to the easiest way to loft a raking curved transom you will ever read.

158 pages/ 91 illustrations/indexed
US$25.00

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Pigeons & Gudgeons Here is a reference that every boatbuilder and armchair sailor should have close at hand. Don’t even try looking in a dictionary for “apple bow”, “bevel board,” blacksmith weld,” dumb iron,” “gone democratic,” or “gin poles,” —they aren’t there, they’re here. Chock full of boatbuilding information, not just terms, but shop tips and rules of thumb to make your life in the shop easier.

245 pages/ 135 illustrations/indexed
US$29.95

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cover: lap clamps, lining off.
rudder gudgeons

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Repairs Experience is a great teacher, and this book is the product of 30 years of building and repairing wooden boats. Here’s a way to avail yourself of lessons learned without having to learn them the hard (and expensive) way. Chapters include: Things You Need to Know (clamping, steaming,…), Backbone & Framing, Planking (lapstrake, carvel, strip), Inboard Joinerwork, and Finishing Up.

292 pages/ 104 illustrations/indexed
US$29.95

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cover: planking repairs
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Glued Lap Construction began as a supplement to our Duck Trap Wherry plans and turned out to have wider applications because the information is applicable to other traditional small craft as well. The explanations are concise but specific, and there are large illustrations on every other page.

38 pages/ 23 illustrations/indexed
US$10.00

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cover: Duck Trap Wherry
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Wherries Duck Trap was the center of the Atlantic Salmon fishery, and we’ve been gathering information on the salmon wherries and their builders for nearly four decades. Not only historical information, but carried through to today, it discusses the wherries we’re still building. Lots of photos, most in full color.

256 pages/ 142 photos & illustrations/indexed
US$35.00

Or get Wherries on CD for $25.
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cover: Nfld Trap Skiff (top)
Duck Trap Wherry (bottom)
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Basic Decoy Carving Why on Earth would a decoy book be included here? Do you have any idea how much scrap is generated while building boats? The cedar used for planking is also the premier wood for hunting decoys, so this is simply a means of utilizing high quality scrap. Carving decoys is a hobby turned business, and the information in this book tells you all you need to know to get started. It even includes some patterns.

205 pages/ 76 illustrations/indexed
US$29.95

Note: This one book measures 6.5" x 8.5"

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cover: Oldsquaw hunting decoy
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There are special deals available
when you order more than one book at a time
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