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)