Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 10/15/01

A Book Review by Franco Clements
Title: The Wooden Boat
Joseph Gribbins

Published by: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN 158663223X
Price Softcover: $19.95 at Barnes and Noble
128 color pages

This is a stunningly beautiful book full of wonderful photographs. It is just the ticket for a long and enjoyable afternoon of reading and pouring over the pictures. It is a history, it is a narrative, it is a commentary about boating and the love of boating, especially in a wooden boat.

Yet the most outstanding feaure of the book is the photography. Mr. Gribbins includes photos of small personal craft, commercial and working boats, and the esoteric yachts that race for the America's Cup. He covers them all with a sensitive eye: the old, the new, the commercial, the owner-built, the high-tech, the low-tech, the boats any one could build and the "one-design" boats designed and built by or for millionaires or organizations.

While reading, you might get a little lost in the nautical jargon, but that is inspiration for further reading and research. A wood craftsman can hardly look at these photos without wanting to build something, anything, that uses sensuous twisting planes and sweeping curves. This book is a visual feast, but it is also an homage to boat building. If you haven't built a boat, the photography in here will whet your appetite for such an adventure. It certainly worked on me.

Franco Clements

Editor's Note: Sterling Publishing has graciously donated several books for review which are passed on to our members free of charge in exchange for thoughtful, honest reviews. Thank You! And you can usually find their titles at a discount from Barnes And Noble

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