Tuesday, April 02, 2013

About the one true path and boatbuilding...

A film worth watching, Krugman pointing stuff out, and just the thing for the night watch...

The other day a reader of Boat Bits wrote in to point out that two books on boat building I often recommend ("The New Cold-Molded Boatbuilding" and "Buehler's Backyard Boatbuilding") are not exactly on the same page about sailboat design or boatbuilding. He seemed kind of pissed about it in fact...

The thing is, he's right. They don't actually agree with each other a lot. Though, in truth, they do agree more often than not. I tend to recommend both their books because they don't agree a lot of the time and it's up to you, the reader, to realize that there is no one true answer to the designing or building a boat thing.

I like Buehler's designs and thought process and I could say the same for Parker's. That said, I don't really buy in to either of their thoughts on design or building 100% but I do think their books and designs are a great resource and building blocks to a real education on the subject.

I'm also a big fan of the late Phil Bolger and I really think his body of work is a must study as well. On the other hand, while I'm a real fan of his work, I really don't consider myself a follower of Bolger... I admire his designs but I am not about to go on a crusade and forsake all others.

The thing is, a lot of folks looking for a boat design/designer are not so much looking for a boat, they're looking for a cause/lifestyle/philosophy/doctrine/ideology/religion that they can hang their hat on.

They are looking for the one true path and that gets problematic when I recommend various designers who design radically different boats and methods of building them.

A question I hate, that I get far too often, is who is the BEST designer and what is the BEST design... Seriously, how can you answer when there are so many awesome designs, designers and any number of boats that will suit the questioners desires to a "T" if he were open-minded and willing to set preconceptions aside.

Returning to the Parker/Buehler thing, if you're set on building a Buehler boat, Parker's book will be a huge help when you build it and the same goes for someone building a Parker boat, as Buehler's book will come in very handy as well... Trust me on this.

I should also point out that there are a plethora of excellent design and boatbuilding books, most of which are pretty damn good and will teach you a lot if you pay attention. Some agree with each other and a lot don't. Maybe it's just me, but I find I learn a lot more from seeing where people diverge rather than where they come together.

Listening to It's a Beautiful Day

So it goes...