Book Review: “Fix it and Sail” by Brian Gilbert

The book describes Mr. Gilbert’s process of taking a MacGregor Venture 222 from a wreck to a nice sailboat.  It is well laid out with separate chapters on the major parts of repairing a boat.  (Getting started, woodworking, metalwork, canvas, rigging, motor, etc.)  I’m surprised there isn’t a full section on fiberglass, since it is a fiberglass boat – but he works that into the getting started section.  I particularly enjoyed the metalwork chapter where he talked about “Electrolytic Rust Removal”.  I can’t wait to try that out!

One thing I didn’t like is that he frequently describes how he did something the hard way, and then mentions what he thinks might be a better way to do it.  Granted, it’s better to know he didn’t like a process, and that he learned from it – but I would rather have a guide that says “this is the best way to get this job done”, and then show me how.   Another thing that bothers me a little bit is that he seems to have more tool experience than I do, and he does some things that would really give me pause or have me asking for help.  Some of it is a bit daunting.

The book is really a documentation of Mr Gilbert restoring one boat.   Although it does contain a lot of information, it is not meant to be a final reference for rebuilding a small fiberglass boat.  If you read it with that in mind, and you are encouraged to have a try at restoring your own boat, then I believe his goal of encouraging you down that path and sharing his lessons learned will be realized.

I give it a Netflix rating of 3 out of 5 stars.  I liked it!

Check it out at my Amazon Book Store.  (Yes Erick, I’m following  your lead)

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: “Fix it and Sail” by Brian Gilbert

    • I think your project may be way beyond the level of this book, but I always think that if I get one really good idea from a book it was worth reading. I’m ready for more progress reports from you!

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