3 reviews

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Traditional Boatbuilding Made Easy 


A lapstrake pulling boat, in the whitehall tradition.

This is the second book by Rich, and is in the same clear, step-by-step format as his book Building Heidi book.

Rich Kolin is able to take the traditional designs, and traditional planking, and make the building process so straight-forward, you will be able to picture each step in your mind, before you make your first cut.

Catherine was featured in the May 2018 issue of Small Boats Monthly where, in the Netherlands, they are building a bunch of these handsome boats.


You can build directly from this book, as there are mold patterns with detailed measurements included. She is 14' 5-1/2" long with a 4' beam.

I In the Beginning

  • Learning to build wooden boats, then and now
  • The origins and myths of the Whitehall boat
  • Bibliography and recommended reading
  • Lapstrake boatbuilding, then and now
  • How much time, space, and money do I need?
  • Where do I get the materials?
  • Boatbuilder's jargon

    II Getting Started

  • How to use this book
  • Organizing your shop
  • Hand tools
  • Safety equipment
  • Wood
  • Ordering wood
  • Fastenings
  • Tool sharpening
  • Materials list
  • Sources

    III Setting Up

  • Materials required
  • Your workspace
  • Draft and build the stem assembly
  • Build the molds
  • Shape the transom
  • Cut out and assemble the backbone
  • Build the daggerboard case
  • Build the ladder jig
  • Set up the backbone and the molds
  • Check the rabbet and transom bevels
  • Line out the planks

    IV Planking

  • Materials required
  • The art of planking
  • Spile the garboard plank template
  • Cut out the garboard plank
  • Mark the gains
  • Fit the garboard
  • Prepare for the next plank
  • Plank the rest of the boat
  • Turn over the boat

    V Framing

  • Materials required
  • Steam box
  • Make and install the knees
  • Mark the frame locations
  • Bend in the frames

    VI Finishing Out

  • Materials required
  • Fit the inwales
  • Shape and fit the guardrails
  • Install the seat risers
  • Install the horseshoe seat brace
  • Fit the keelson and floorboards
  • Install the drain plug
  • Fit the horseshoe seat
  • Fit the center thwart and daggerboard case
  • Fit the forward thwart, mast partners, and maststep
  • Fit the thwart knees
  • Fit the oarlock pads
  • Fit the backrest
  • Carve the boat name and decorative details

    VII Sailing Rig and Oars

  • Materials required
  • The sail plan
  • The sail
  • Make the daggerboard
  • Make the rudder
  • Make the spars and fittings
  • Rig the boat
  • Make the oars

    VIII Finishing Touches

  • Materials required
  • Varnish
  • Paint
  • Install the rope fender
  • Install the stem band, shoe, and eyebolt
  • Fit the boat to the trailer
  • Protect your leathers
  • by Rich Kolin
    96 pp., softcover
    9 x 11"
    ISBN # 0-937822-62-0


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    Customer Reviews

    Based on 3 reviews
    James Stecker
    Building Catherine

    Seems to be a comprehensive work for building a wooden boat classic covering the many aspects of the projected.

    Emery Galik

    Seems like it’s possible to build Catherine from the book. A little more instruction in lofting would be helpful. I have other books that can help me.
    I also would like to know what can be done to make it a 17 footer.

    Paul Guivens
    Building Catherine book review

    At first read this book appears to be the perfect guide to building a small boat. I have no boat building experience per se, but many years of woodworking. Although I am not familiar with all of the terms in the book, it is written in such a way which still leads to understanding. The illustrations are clear and informative. The folks at the wooden boat store answered my questions promptly and enthusiastically when I was seeking a basic boatbuilding manual, directing me to this book. Can’t wait to get started building!

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