In one of the best-written and most enjoyable boatbuilding books I’ve read—and I’ve read a few—author and journalist Larry Cheek provides the perfect blend of research and memoir. With little experience of either sailing or woodworking, he decides to build a wooden sailing dinghy from a set of plans by Sam Devlin, a designer of wood/epoxy stitch-and-glue small boats. What follows combines gentle self-deprecating humor with a philosophical account of personal growth. For Cheek, boatbuilding becomes a soul-searching revelation of self, forcing him to confront his flaws while resolving the inevitable crises of any do-it-yourself project. Upon completing his Zephyr, Far from Perfect, Cheek writes, “I think I’m significantly more patient, measurably more methodical, and slightly more courageous than I was on the day when Sam’s plans arrived in the mail. I might be a little better at feeling at peace when I fall short of my own expectations.” Anyone who’s ever felt humbled by a boatbuilding project will appreciate Cheek’s lively account of his boatbuilding foibles.
Sailor-Punk and the State of Cruising
Back when I was a young man, sailing back and forth across the North Atlantic in an old fiberglass sailboat, it seemed fairly obvious to me how all that was wrong in the world might be set right. Everyone should be issued a boat at birth! Or so I declared to any who would listen ...read more