The forest of Bermudan-rigged white plastic boats in every marina and creek might lead one to think that the methods of the golden age of sail are close to extinct – but so long as there are people like David L Nichols around, I don’t think there’s any need to worry just yet.
This is a nice little book that reflects the author’s long experience with traditional small boat rigs, and with the craftsmanship he has developed over the years, and includes general chapters on sails, making sails and sail-making tools, followed by more specific sections on the sliding gunter, the sprit, lug sails, the Chinese lug sail and gaff sails. Each of them are illustrated with clear photographs that show what the result of the work should look like, and illustrate the author’s skill in making up his rigs. It’s useful stuff, and more practical than some of the bigger, more expensive classic texts covering the same material.
All these chapters are great for those of us replacing an existing traditional sail, or working one into a new boat, but I have to admit to slight reservations about the chapter on retrofitting traditional rigs onto modern boats. Nichols’ advice is sound and correct, but I would suggest that these kinds of conversions can be quite difficult and involved, especially if they involve a second mast in (say) a moulded boat designed to have only one.
Buy this book via the intheboatshed.net Amazon Store: The Traditional Guide to Traditional Small-Boat Sails