For the economical do-it-yourselfer who wants to build his or her own skiff, this instruction manual relies on simple techniques and hand-powered tools and shows how to make a boat in a minimum amount of time. Start your flatiron skiff in the spring and be on the water by summer. Boat-building instructor K. D. Jones explains his "Thoreau Approach," which involves learning to trust your instincts like craftsmen of centuries past as you use your eyes and hands to build simple, elegant, functional boats. The book includes lists of recommended tools and accessories, design variations, instructional photographs and drawings, and a little history about this under-appreciated type of boat, named for its resemblance in shape to an antique cast-iron press. The use of these traditional methods and of local materials not only reduces construction costs but also prevents exposure to toxic adhesives and solvents.
Keith Douglas Jones, born in 1946 in Indianapolis, Indiana, served in USAF from 1968?974, Purdue University, Indiana, 1978, BS in Engineering, and holds a USCG 100-ton Merchant Mariner Credential. After working in Aerospace for over thirty years the author returned to his roots and love of wooden boats, first encountered as a child playing on the waters of the West Fork of the White River in Indiana and messing around with his cousins at the O'Brien boat shop that overlooked the river. After repairing, building, and sailing boats, he changed direction to make small, flat-bottomed skiffs, often called ?latirons?because of their resemblance to the cast iron pressing irons that were heated on top of a stove. Primarily workboats, these skiffs have been used everywhere there is water, often rowed, powered by small motors, or sailed. Simple and cheap to build, using traditional methods and materials, they are now his favorite boat design when teaching boatbuilding. Jones prefers traditional building over modern composite epoxy methods. Even though those methods are good, he has developed allergies to the chemicals after years of working with them. Working without plans, designing by eye and building by hand are his preferred methods. His tools of choice are simple hand powered ones, with lots of patience thrown in for good measure. He lives with his wife Barbara in Virginia near the Potomac River.

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