Review from Amazon - The good review - This is a great book. Ferenc Mate has a very enaging style of writing, and he weaves nuts and bolts information and construction techniques into an excellent reference book. He has strong opinions on most matters, and lets the reader know why he believes things should be done a certain way. I found the book very useful not only for boatbuilding reference, but also as a guide to good construction techniques for existing boats. I have learned how to look at a boat's construction with a critical eye-- How would Ferenc Mate have built that? If you are considering building a boat, get this book first.
The bad review - To start with, the book was written in the early 80's and much of the technical details are outdated and quoted prices unfortunately rather unrealistic. Measurements are only imperial and not metric.
The structure leaves much to be desired. He starts with a chapter on reinforcing hulls and then moves on to hull selection criteria. There is nothing on fiberglass and epoxy production itself, it is assumed that those parts are purchased ready to be used. There is nothing whatsoever on hull production. Mr Mate endorses internal lead keels (cough) but suggest to purchase the keel rather than DIY.
Throughout the whole book are suggested solutions to remedy problems related to heeling yet the one solution that addresses all of them (a multihull!) is done away with as unsafe! I fail to see how a mono that can sink within minutes is safer.
Then there are suggestions like "lower the saw blade on a table saw to prevent injury while sitting on it"!!! Sure, he should've added to switch off a hydraulic press before taking a nap inside of it. He also recommends to deliberately damage plywood and then haggle down the price.
Also rather annoying is his permanent use of the same phrase, testament to his rather poor writing skills. I am half way through this book now and have to push myself to pick it up again. What a waste of money!!!