A newby I am...



I would like to begin an apprenticeship in boat building, more specifically dealing with yachts. Problem is that I couldn't tell you exactly what a clipper is, or any other term I've ever heard in passing. I love boats, though the knowledge base isn't there enough to even fathom approaching a boat builder here in Australia in order to ask for an apprenticeship. What I've been attempting to do is read as much as I can online about the history and various builds of yachting craft. Its a half arsed way to go about it, very confusing. What I'm asking for are any suggestions about books or periodicals I can use for a starting point. The yachting "bible" is there is one. What I might suggest to my teenage children had the knowledge been there.
Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
A Strahan
Vic, Australia


Well-known member
31 May 2001
'ang on a mo, I'll just take some bearings
Visit site
There are two secret languages, that of the sailor and that of the boat builder. There's some cross-over, but not much.

Any primer on sailing will give you the basic vocabulary - luff, leech and foot for the sides of a triangular sail and head, tack and clew for the three corners - for example.

The boat builder's language is more arcane, and I don't understand much of it - just what is a futtock, or a damp. There are some specialist publications around, and if you can get hold of copies of magazines like 'Classic Boat' or 'Wooden Boat' there will probably be book reviews and advertisers that might help. There are also specialist schools around (at least two each in the UK and the US) that might be able to advise.