Wooden Boats: In Pursuit of the Perfect Craft at an American Boatyard

Wooden Boats: In Pursuit of the Perfect Craft at an American Boatyard

by Michael Ruhlman
3.8 8

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Wooden Boats: In Pursuit of the Perfect Craft at an American Boatyard by Michael Ruhlman

There are fewer than 10,000 wooden boats in America, but the circulation of WoodenBoat magazine exceeds 180,000. What is it about these boats that has captured the popular imagination? With his "lively blend of reportage [and] reflection" (Los Angeles Times), Michael Ruhlman sets off for a renowned boatyard in Martha's Vineyard to follow the construction of two boats-Rebecca, a 60-foot modern pleasure schooner, and Elisa Lee, a 32-foot powerboat. Filled with exquisite details and stories of the sea, this exciting exploration of a nearly forgotten craft and the colorful personalities involved will enthrall wooden boat owners as well as craftspeople of every stripe, nature enthusiasts, and fans of compelling nonfiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440684159
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/30/2002
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,020,975
File size: 753 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Michael Ruhlman is the author of The Making of a Chef, The Soul of a Chef, and Charcuterie. He has also collaborated with Thomas Keller on two cookbooks, The French Laundry Cookbook and Bouchon. Additionally, Ruhlman has written for The New York Times, Gourmet, Saveur, and Food Arts magazine, as well as being featured on the PBS series Cooking Under Fire.


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Wooden Boats: In Pursuit of the Perfect Craft at an American Boatyard 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Author Ruhlman might be the new Studs Terkel of our time. In his various other books he seached for perfectionists, whether chefs or surgeons. This study is about carpenters, or rather more specifically, the men (and they are almost all men) who make sailboats, the old-fashioned way, out of wood. It might seem a stretch to dedicate a whole book to an obscure topic; after all, after you've met the guys, reviewed what they do, and lard up some stories, what do you have? A fascinating read into people and a trade and circle that we wouldn't otherwise be aware of. The author is not afraid to get down-&-dirty, either with the work and cutting and hammering, or, as his own work of writing demands, with trying to describe all sorts of esoterica about wood, lifting, boat design, the economics of shipbuilding, and he's also not afraid or embarassed to take the next logical step, and point out the 'meaning' of the task, its honesty, beauty, grace. The observation is made that wooden boats are probably as old as humankind, including some of our oldest stories such as the Odyssey or Noah's Ark. Points not mentioned are that Jesus was a carpenter and that Paul was a tent-maker, and we might be free to believe that they probably made boats and sails. This book describes the holiness of work, well done, lovingly, as a source of pride and life.
A_Sloan More than 1 year ago
Essentially Zen and the art of Boatbuilding Ruhlman brings all his skills of observation, description, and writing craft to Wooden Boat. I grew up around sailboats, in fact, the first boat mentioned is the restoration of an Alden Malabar Senior, which is the kind of sailboat my grandfather owned 1957-1968. I really likes this book, as it is not so much about boat construction but about the people within the boat building culture. In a clear and elegant voice, he illustrates that what you make is who you are and vice versa. In this modern age of disposable things, its beautiful to discover people whose dedication to a craft defies the norm.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She smiled. "Not if you dont want me to...." she licked his muzzle. ""We could find a pack together?" She suggested.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I buy a book of this type I would like to know Im going to see picture of beautiful vessels. There was nothing that mentioned this detail. The visual experiance is as important as the information
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michael does an excellent job in recounting his experience and exposure to this unique nitche and those who are motivated by the elemental persuit of staying in touch with the elements that make up themselves and our universe in its rawist form. To say the least, Michael identifies with the root of the trees that become the subject vessels created by Nat and Ross however their story is more basic than that of pen and paper especially to those of us who have ventured to the sea in small boats. Drawn by the magnetic flux that surrounds us all in an invisible vail and to explore the last great frontier in three deminsions with earth, wind, sky and water. The basics of our being in this world and perhaps other worlds we use to navigate our way through life at sea and risk; to live through survival.