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BOOKS TO READ

Fiberglass Boat Restoration: The Project Planning Guide How to Organize, Finish, and Actually Use Your Boat By Captain Wayne Canning Review by Steve Morrell

The author of this book, Wayne Canning, wrote several very good articles for SOUTHWINDS a few years ago, so when this book was sent to me, I took a special interest. When I first received the book, I thought— because of the title—it would be a technical book, but after checking it out, I realized this book’s subtitle, The Project Planning Guide, says what it’s really about. It’s a guide that will help you decide if you really want to restore a fiberglass boat, and if you decide you do, how to pull it off so that you will finish it and probably be happy in the end—because this book helps walk you through what to expect when taking such a project to completion, showing you all the pitfalls to watch out for and all the ways to make it successful. So...my first thought if you are considering a restoration is to go out and buy this book and read it carefully just to see if you are up to the task. The first chapter alone is worth the cost of the book. It could save you from making a major mistake, or it could be the guide to making your project succeed. The book is easy reading, even inspiring. I have owned and worked on many boats from 16 feet to 38 feet—both wood and fiberglass. As I read this book, I even felt inspired to find a boat project, as I have all the basic mechanical skills and experience (I was a homebuilder in a previous life, doing everything from small repairs to high-end custom homes). But then again, as you read on, you feel both inspired and cautious. If you decide after reading chapter one that such a project is not for you, then the book has paid for itself many times over. The next chapter is called “Logistics.” You can work on a boat in your yard, a boatyard or in the water. But only in your yard will you have all the tools right there and handy, besides a short commute. And advantages and disadvantages of boatyards and boats in the water are also discussed. Chapter 3 covers the first major task: “Purchasing a Project Boat.” This is an interesting chapter, since many of us have walked down many a dock and seen many neglected, beautiful boats that are almost sad at how someone has let them deteriorate. But there’s more that the book explores. Not only are there neglected boats out there, but there’s damaged boats that you can buy from an insurance company that might not be worth fixing because they have to pay contractors. To you, though, it might be worth it many times over. Canning says that the single biggest reason most people

News & Views for Southern Sailors

take on a project boat is to save money. But he says that alone is a poor reason. The boat you purchase and your knowledge of what it will take is probably the determining factor in the success of your project. Choose the boat carefully. The rest of the book continues with what a restoration project entails with chapters on “Now What?”—which is about what to do first when you purchase the boat: Your first steps, planning, gutting the boat (don’t gut it, he says), planning the workflow, making lists, etc. Next comes a chapter titled “Eating Elephants.” Strange title, but he quotes an old saying: “If you have to eat an elephant, do it one bite at a time.” I learned this in the construction business as I evolved from small projects to large complex homes. A big job is just a bunch of little jobs. Good advice. His next chapter, “Finances and Budgeting,” says a lot and he repeats an earlier remark to not put more into your boat than it may be worth when completed. This makes total sense, but then again, people who have owned boats know that a boat is a hole in the water you pour money into. True, but that makes controlling your expenses all the more important. Next comes “Bits and Pieces”—what a boat is made up of—parts, supplies, etc. This chapter covers where to buy stuff, saving money, etc. Everyone who has worked on a boat knows that it’s all about parts, and they seem to always cost more for marine stuff. The book ends with the final chapter covering one of the most important subjects: “Staying Motivated.” One thing I learned in construction, back when I was doing the manual work myself: It can be very rewarding to build something and see your finished work in front of you fairly soon. But in a big project that you might be doing in your spare time that can take a very long time, the finished project is often hard to envision. Many times, you will want to go fishing with your friends but instead have to work on the boat. You can fall into becoming disillusioned very easily. Finishing the book with this chapter shows me that Canning knows what he’s talking about. Available for sale on Aug. 15 at Amazon.com and Barnes andNoble.com. Available now for preorder on Amazon.

SOUTHWINDS June 2017

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Southwinds June 2017  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...

Southwinds June 2017  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...