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.
Best Boats 2019
Some years ago, the book Aak to Zumbra catalogued—and celebrated—the incredible diversity of watercraft that has evolved over the centuries, a diversity that remains evident to this day in the 11 winners comprising the “Class of 2019” in SAIL’s Best Boats contest. Indeed, it ...read more