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Wooden Boats for Blue Water Sailors

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 Exploring the world’s mysteries of from the deck of a small sailboat propelled by the wind under the influence of your own wits and skills, is the most magnificent of personal accomplishments. Amateur ocean sailing developed during the first half of the 20th century and reached its peak during the two decades after WWII. Then, mass-marketed boats subtly undercut the bond between the sailor and his boat. The sport lost its meaning. 


Wooden Boats for Blue Water Sailors explores the quiet counter-revolution to mass-production boats--enabled by cold-molding and the epoxy bonding of wood--which has presented an opportunity for sailors to re-bond with their craft.


Wooden Boats for Blue Water Sailors begins with a history of ocean sailing. Then it delves into the sciences of material and structure to demonstrate the advantages of wood as a boat building material. It climaxes with the description of a new way for building wood boats that are beautiful, performing and long lasting. An afterword describes use of the new technique to restore traditionally built wood boats that are failing, yet too precious to abandon. 


For sailors, Wooden Boats for Blue Water Sailors is a celebration of their quest. For builders, Wooden Boats for Blue Water Sailors offers new techniques for economically building ocean going boats. For designers, Wooden Boats for Blue Water Sailors offers inspiration to remember, reflect and refine their designs to meet requirements of the sea overlooked in the rush to modernity. 


For the craftsman, the short appendix concerning use of the tape measure, by itself, will earn for them the cost of the book.


Wooden Boats for Blue Water Sailors will delight and inform the sailor, the boat builder, the yacht designer; and bring joy to those who love beautiful sailboats.


What the critics say: 

Dear Alfie: I received my copy of Wooden Boats for Blue Water Sailors and I have devoured it! Interesting stuff--and so much there for novice and expert alike. It was inspiring for me to learn about your thinking in regard to the build of wooden boats and how it came about through time spent sailing timber yachts across oceans…really sailing them that is! Your appreciation and understanding of wooden boats is music to my ears – your treatment for building and repair through cold-molding makes a lot of sense. I do totally see why taking a vintage yacht to bits piece by piece only to replace the old fabric with a new boat is ultimately just replication--and to spend time enjoying the ‘original’ article with her soul and patina intact is a different experience…


I do, of course, believe this book will make interesting reading for anybody considering the purchase of a wooden boat--or anyone who has spent time around them.


--Barney Sandeman, Classic yacht broker, Devon, England



Wooden Boats for Blue Water Sailors is a clear, well-illustrated text book on building a seaworthy boat of cold-molded wood. If I were not retired from the business of publishing good books on boatbuilding, I would be proud and happy to have published it. But this book is more than that, for Alfie Sanford, who brought us the famous Alerion Class Sloop, Captain Nat Herreshoff’s personal sailboat, also shares his lifetime experience at sea in sailing yachts. He’s been out there and knows what is needed in a boat. Reading about his cruises and his philosophy of seamanship is not only vitally educational, but also most enjoyable.


--Roger C. Taylor, former president of International Marine Publishing Co.

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