The Nature of Boats

Insights and Esoterica for the Nautically Obsessed

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September 22, 1995


Mixed media product, 418 pages


007024233X / 9780070242333


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Main description

Boat noodling. Boat lovers suffer universally from this benign affliction. In its mildest form, boat noodling is nothing more than wondering why that sloop in the next slip is faster than yours. In a more significant manifestation it could mean serious daydreaming--drifting off for extended periods, sketching design ideas on the back of an envelope. Chances are, if you've picked up this book just to see what's in it, you're beyond help.

Naval architect Dave Gerr offers the perfect antidote, a browser's reference to understanding how boats tick: all you've ever wanted to know about boats--power and sail, racer and cruiser; dinghy and motoryacht.

In the clear, friendly, nontechnical style that has made his column for Offshore magazine so enduring and popular, Gerr explains everything from how thick a hull should be to why one sailboat tips less than another, from choosing an engine to designing a rig for your trawler yacht, from building a dinghy to simple rules of thumb for dozens of design quandaries.

Gerr writes for the boat noodler in all of us--those seriously interested in learning and dreaming about all types of watercraft. There is no better way to become a better sailor, equipped to handle any contingency. And there's no better place to start than right here.

Table of contents

Acknowledgments A Note on Metrics Introduction Part 1. Boats to Note--Designs and Types Worth a Noodle 1. The Earliest Yachts--a Gift from the Dutch 2. The Dory--The Seaman's Sea Boat 3. Sharpshooters--The Catboats that Never Were 4. Sea Skiffs: Sea Bright and Otherwise 5. The Best of Both Worlds 6. A Cruise Aboard Crackerjack or an Imaginary Cruise in a Dream Boat 7. Presto and Sharpie: The American Answer to the Dutch 8. A Tug of the Heart Strings 9. My Own Double-Enders 10. The Ultimate Sportfisherman 11. The Sutherland Paddle Boat 12. Nester Dinghy and the Terribly Trying Dinghy Dilemma Part 2. Theory for Everyone or Why Boats Do What They Do 13. How Big Is She Really? 14. Displacement and Shape--the Practical and the Forgotten 15.The Great Stability Mystery 16. Flotation and Trim Part 3. Shaping Her Up or What's Hull Form About, Anyway? 17. Defining Her Shape 18. Reading Between the Lines 19. Speaking Volumes Part 4. How Fast Will She Go? 20. Power Yardsticks 21. So You Like to Sail Fast? Part 5. Fads, Trends, and History 22. Thanks to the Rule . . . 23. Speed with Style Part 6. The Iron Breeze 24. Engine Lore 25. Let's Talk Torquey 26. The Care and Feeding of a Power Plant 27. The Case of the Boat that Shook or Engine Nightmare 28. Outboard Info Part 7. Electricity and Water Sometimes Mix 29. The Case of the Boat that Burned 30. Controlling the Flow, Keeping Electrons on the Straight and Narrow 31. Comprehensible Corrosion: Keeping Your Electrons from Jumping Ship Part 8. Analyzing the Eggbeater 32. Power to the Propeller: Propeller Selection You Can Understand 33. Understanding the Sailboat Propeller--The Art of Compromise 34. Getting the Shaft, Pulling the Prop, and Taking Its Measure 35. Speed Demon Drives 36. The Boat that Wouldn't Fly Part 9. Catching the Wind: Sailing Simplified 37. Getting a Lift 38. Lift from Cloth: Sails and Their Workings 39. Rigging Rules of Thumb: Demystifying the Rigging Game 40. The Delicate Balance 41. Homemade Self-Steering 42. Miracle Rope! Part 10. You Built Her of What? Construction for Everyone 43. Even from Cheese Whiz (Almost) 44. Scantling Rules of Thumb 45. It's Only Plastic 46. Secrets of Space-Age Hulls 47. Believe It or Not, Wood Is Best 48. The Ring of Metal--Boats from the Smithy 49. Home-Built Boatyard Part 11. People Power or Your Boat Should Fit Like a Glove 50. Room Enough? The Human Dimension 51. At the Helm: Steering Station Ergonomics 52. Staying Afloat Part 12. Getting Where You're Going 53. Rudders, Hitting What You Aim For 54. Controlling the Rudder Suggested Reading Index

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