Tips, techniques and notes on Wooden Boat Building, Restoration and Maintenance

Easy to find advice and tips to make your Wooden Boat project a success and avoid some of the mistakes that I made.

Spend less time searching for the information you need.

Get started on your dream project, a boat that will always get that double-take look and be the envy of all your friends.

Over my many years of messing about in wooden boats I have built them, repaired them, and renovated them.

I'm just an ordinary guy doing it in my spare time.

So You can do it too.

  • A brief description of and how to tie some of the most useful boating knots. Including some that every boater should know.

    Knots for Sailors.

    A brief description of and how to tie some of the most useful boating knots. Including some that every boater should know.

  • Rope types, what types, construction and materials to use on your boat when to use three strand and braided marine lines.

    Rope types

    Rope types, what types, construction and materials to use on your boat when to use three strand and braided marine lines.

  • Splicing, tips and techniques, three strand eyes and rope ends, make your own dock lines why pay for something you can easily do yourself.

    Splicing Three Strand Rope.

    Splicing, tips and techniques, three strand eyes and rope ends, make your own dock lines why pay for something you can easily do yourself.

  • How Blocks and Tackle work to give mechanical advantage and how best to rig them.

    Blocks and Tackle lines and sheaves.

    How Blocks and Tackle work to give mechanical advantage and how best to rig them.

  • Boating ropes and rigs, knots, sailing, line handling and line care, what all boaters need to know.

    Ropes and Rigs for Boating.

    Boating ropes and rigs, knots, sailing, line handling and line care, what all boaters need to know.

  • Whipping marine ropes to prevent the ends fraying, how to use whipping twine to prevent rigging and yacht ropes from untwisting.

    Whipping Boat Ropes

    Whipping marine ropes to prevent the ends fraying, how to use whipping twine to prevent rigging and yacht ropes from untwisting.

  • A Handy Billy made with two blocks and tackle can be used to give mechanical advantage wherever needed.

    Handy Billy a traditional rope and sheave rig.

    A Handy Billy made with two blocks and tackle can be used to give mechanical advantage wherever needed.

  • Tidal stream and currents, how they affect boat navigation, estimating position and determining course to steer

    Tidal Stream Vectors for Boat Navigation.

    Tidal stream and currents, how they affect boat navigation, estimating position and determining course to steer

  • Weather sayings, worth remembering, sailors use phrases, expressions and idioms for short term forecasting, many have scientific explanations.

    Weather Sayings

    Weather sayings, worth remembering, sailors use phrases, expressions and idioms for short term forecasting, many have scientific explanations.

  • Description of VHF Marine Radio Equipment for the average boater, types of transceiver, range and restrictions.

    VHF Marine Radio

    Description of VHF Marine Radio Equipment for the average boater, types of transceiver, range and restrictions.

  • Tide gates, currents, overfalls and tide races what to watch out for when planning coastal navigation.

    Tide Gates and Navigation.

    Tide gates, currents, overfalls and tide races what to watch out for when planning coastal navigation.

  • Marine GPS for boat navigation, what the navigator needs to know about GPS navigation equipment, hand held, chart plotters, waypoints, charts etc.

    Marine GPS for Leisure Boating

    Marine GPS for boat navigation, what the navigator needs to know about GPS navigation equipment, hand held, chart plotters, waypoints, charts etc.

  • The rule of twelfths and the rule of tenths are easy rule of thumb calculations for quickly working out the approximate tidal stream and tide height from marine tide table predictions.

    Rule of Twelfths for Quick Tidal Estimates

    The rule of twelfths and the rule of tenths are easy rule of thumb calculations for quickly working out the approximate tidal stream and tide height from marine tide table predictions.

  • How to use Polaris to determine the direction of north, probably the oldest form of celestial navigation in the northern hemisphere.

    Polaris the Navigator's Star

    How to use Polaris to determine the direction of north, probably the oldest form of celestial navigation in the northern hemisphere.

  • Marine charts are essential for boat navigation a sea either as paper charts or electronic charts for the information the navigator must have.

    Marine charts for Navigation.

    Marine charts are essential for boat navigation a sea either as paper charts or electronic charts for the information the navigator must have.

  • Pilotage planning, tips and techniques for small boat, inshore navigation, buoy hopping, night sailing and entering and leaving port.

    Pilotage Planning, the Art of Coastal Navigation

    Pilotage planning, tips and techniques for small boat, inshore navigation, buoy hopping, night sailing and entering and leaving port.

  • Marine Weather, how to interpret and use general reports, services and free alerts and how to predict local inshore, conditions, wind speed, waves, swell and coastal sailing safety.

    Marine Weather Prediction

    Marine Weather, how to interpret and use general reports, services and free alerts and how to predict local inshore, conditions, wind speed, waves, swell and coastal sailing safety.

  • Tides, tidal streams, sea level predictions and marine currents and what the leisure boater should know about Tide tables, charts coastal height prediction data.

    Tides, how they are caused and predicted.

    Tides, tidal streams, sea level predictions and marine currents and what the leisure boater should know about Tide tables, charts coastal height prediction data.

  • How to use The Southern Cross as a pointer to find the South Celestial Pole.

    Southern Cross, Navigating by the Stars in the Southern Ocean.

    How to use The Southern Cross as a pointer to find the South Celestial Pole.

  • Learn your Buoyage marks and navigation buoy colors and configurations to pilot your boat safely in coastal waters.

    Buoyage systems for coastal navigation.

    Learn your Buoyage marks and navigation buoy colors and configurations to pilot your boat safely in coastal waters.

  • Celestial navigation basics which with GPS accuracy will improve your navigation skills, help you understand latitude, longitude, distance at sea and position lines.

    Celestial Navigation, an Introduction.

    Celestial navigation basics which with GPS accuracy will improve your navigation skills, help you understand latitude, longitude, distance at sea and position lines.

  • A Magnetic Compass is the basic navigation instrument needed on any boat for determining direction, heading, bearing

    Compasses for boat navigation.

    A Magnetic Compass is the basic navigation instrument needed on any boat for determining direction, heading, bearing

  • Global weather patterns influence your local marine conditions, understanding how these work will help you to interpret forecasts, help to keep you safe and your boating enjoyable.

    Maritime Weather Patterns

    Global weather patterns influence your local marine conditions, understanding how these work will help you to interpret forecasts, help to keep you safe and your boating enjoyable.

  • Dead reckoning, how to navigate a boat using traditional chart plotting techniques, become a safer more competent navigator

    Boat Navigation by Dead Reckoning.

    Dead reckoning, how to navigate a boat using traditional chart plotting techniques, become a safer more competent navigator


I am near the completion of my latest project the rebuilding of Mignonne.

So, I'm putting this resource together in the hopes that it will be of help to anyone else who is interested in wooden boats.

Perhaps you dream of having a Cabin cruiser big enough for your Family holidays, weekends or even to sail the world.

On the other hand perhaps you would prefer a single seated kayak to explore the wilderness.

Or, a row boat for fishing. Whether you want a canoe, a row boat or a cabin cruiser there are hundreds of styles and designs to choose from.

They are all very doable for the home builder.

Also there are many  Wood Boat Kits  available which simplify the building process for the novice.

However if you are planning that big boat it is always worth starting with a Small Boat project. 

Why not start with a tender for your bigger dream boat.

Make a good job of that and you will feel much more confident about tackling that big job.

Glorious details will develop as you consider and reconsider your dream in the light of good advice. 

Seeing what others have achieved will help keep you focused.

And there are hundreds of people out there just like you creating superb boats from environmentally friendly Wood.

PS.  Start building that boat and soon folk will be coming to you for advice and to admire Your Beautiful Wood Boat.

PPS. Got some advice you want to pass on? 

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