A Visual History
The Building of Aslan
Books of Interest
A listing of the books I've found useful,
with links to reader reviews at Amazon.com
Revised 10/07/00

Here's the list of books I can recommend to those seeking more information on building boats, or on the ins and outs of sailing.  I've found each one very useful, but then, I am sort of a book nut.  Clicking the link takes you to BN.com's listing for the book, with no obligation to buy, of course. Barnes and Noble was kind enough to enroll my little amature web page in their Associates Program, which means they hope to sell you books I recommend, and they'll support this page in return.  The reader reviews there are worthwhile, so even if you prefer to buy from the old-style, "brick and mortar" bookstore, the link is useful.  Write down the ISBN number given in the listing, and your bookstore can order it (having to do this so often with books on sailing is why I now order them on-line ... I get them faster!)

The Gaff Rig Handbook by John Leather.  This was suggested as the best resource out there on the gaff rig, and after a long wait while BN.com obtained this book from England, I can report that it is everything people say it is.  Great text, clear illustrations, and quite a bit of information not found elsewhere makes this my favorite of the books listed.  It was pricey, however, at about $32, but now it is available here at BN.com at discounted prices. I've included several of the illustrations on the Gaff Rig Page Detail Pages for your browsing pleasure.  A scan of the table of contents is here.  If you are serious about gaff rigs, this is the book to have.  If you can only afford one, this is the one.

Hand, Reef and Steer:Traditional Sailing Skills for Classic Boats , by Tom Cunliffe.  When looking for this book, make sure you note the author, and the subtitle, which should read "Traditional Sailing Skills for Classic Boats."  An out of print book with the same name is not gaff-rig specific. Click on the link to go to Amazon.com's entry for the correct Hand Reef and Steer.  I purchased this one from Amazon.com, and find it full of useful information.  At first glance, there seems to be a lot of historical information, but what Cunliffe has done is describe nearly every imaginable type of craft using a gaff rig.  Then, selecting the gaff cutter, he continues on to describe the rigging details of every aspect of that sail plan. Because the cutter has every rigging feature the other types  have, you immediately identify those rigging features you need to consider if you are planning on using a gaff rig.  This deals with the gaff rig exclusively, and contains many details not found in Knowing the Ropes.  Cunliffe also includes sail trimming and sailing tips, with a dose of humor.

The Complete Rigger's Apprentice, by Brion Toss, falls into the category of general knowledge about all rigging (and knots, and ropes, and ...) with some information on the gaff rig just because Brion seems to like it.  Brion is a master rigger, author, public speaker and a pretty nice guy.  His web bulletin board, Spar Talk. is a great resource when you're trying to come up with rigging details.  Along with Brion's home page, www.briontoss.com,  this book and Spar Talk make a powerful resource.