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Easy-to-follow instructions, sketches and photos that cover every step of the process so you can actually see how it's done.
Insider tips and tricks I've discovered over my lifetime as a master boat builder and Naval Architect that will help you solve complicated problems the easy way! And included in this exclusive printed version of the Master Course is 3 full sets of boat plans. In this 25-page booklet, I’ll reveal the 12 most-useful professional tips for gluing and using adhesives during boat building.
Over 70 sketches and photos that cover every step of the process so you can actually see how it's done. Thorough information about every phase of boat building: lofting, assembly, laminating and epoxy. Insider tips and tricks I've discovered over my lifetime as a master builder and Naval Architect that will help you solve complicated problems the easy way!
With the boat plans (complete with thorough instructions and materials list), the free 3D model and the boat building course for beginners, there's really no reason you can't learn how to build a boat. Boat Building Master Course This book is one of the clearest and most concise explanations of the stitch and glue method of boatbuilding that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. There's a comprehensive section on the use and handling of epoxy resins and a very useful section on the meaning and process of lofting - which completely demystifies this sometimes 'scary' process. The three boat plans at the end of the book are an ideal choice and size for a first time builder, and come as an added bonus to this superb volume. I've personally had a lifetime of experience in boatbuilding - constructing plywood boats from 8' to 28' - and I've also worked in a boat yard doing boat maintenance.
I've built one of Morten's designs and can vouch for his personal commitment and helpfulness to all of his clients. With this book at your fingertips you could be absolutely confident of achieving a first class outcome during the building process - building a boat you could be proud to own. After the pleasure of having read Morten Olsens book "Boat Building Master Course" I will be happy to share my opinion about the book.
The Boat Building Master Course is a great and inspiring book written in a language easy to understand. The author manages to encourage you to believe that you can really build a boat on your own and with good results. After reading the book you know everything you need to know about, choosing a boat, materials, tools, workshop and security measures. If I ever doubted that I could build a boat myself, the doubts disappeared completely after reading the Boat Building Master Course. If you have a dream about building your own boat, I would recommend you read the Boat Building Master Course by Morten Olesen and I am sure your dream will come true. Almost 300 years stand between Daniele, the last descendent, and his great-grandfather Giovanni the “sepultun” and the founder of the boatyard! Their story goes back over a hundred years, with many tales of exciting adventures involving the boatyard, as it continued to build and refit wooden hulls.
The ledgers from the late nineteenth century are still jealously preserved at the boatyard today, authentic vestiges  of its past containing the details of all the orders and types of boats built by the ‘sepultun’ (boat builder in local dialect), the sizes, technical details and correspondence.


Ernesto’s son, Daniele Riva was born in 1967 and has always preferred building boats to being a manager sitting behind a desk. Over the decades, Cantiere Ernesto Riva has built a long series of boats alongside the classic Dinghy 12’, that can be built and customised completely to satisfy the specific demands of the future owner. Another small hull is the Arrow, similar to a launch but built to a design based on a rowing boat. The Zeus is top of the list of small cabin cruisers, a replica of a typical English “cutter pilot”. The Ernesto Riva Daysailer 25’, the Jetto 5.3 and the Inseparable 398 are just some of the most representative boats in the recent history of the boatyard.
The first is a sailing hull approximately 7 metres long, made with a self-supporting shell in mahogany strip-planking, with sandwich bulkheads. The Jetto 5.3 is a modern-classic motor yacht, inspired by the lines of 1930’s American runabouts. And then there is the Inseparable 398, a sailing hull in marine plywood that is just 3.98 metres long.
But over and above these unique gems, the authentic values of a family of true Master Boat builders are worth understanding, admiring and preserving.
Words that are inevitably echoed by those of his son, Daniele: “For me, my family has always been a sort of treasure chest, capable of caring about the past and preserving our memories.
Cesare Attolini’s timeless elegance meets the refined and romantic atmosphere of a fascinating historic residence, on the shores of Lake Como. You will find 10 articles about different boat-building topics, plus three extra bonus articles about designing your very own boat. Gluing and using adhesives is essential to building stitch’n glue boats; therefore, it’s an important skill to acquire. Written by a master of his subject I can highly recommend it to anyone contemplating building a boat by this method - especially first time boat builders.
Included in the book is also how you prepare for each step in the boat building process and even a little historical background. That’s a long time, marked by an enduring philosophy: to never build a boat that is the same as any other, because every client dreams about their boat and how they would look, and this never would be the same as any other.
And that’s not a flippant catchphrase; it’s a genuine belief, the driving force behind the work he does, day after day, at the boatyard. Looking into them demands a step back in time, back to 1771, the year when this ‘sciostra’ – or workshop in the local dialect – was set up, today run by Daniele Riva, the sixth generation of the family.
The measurements in the ledgers are in the system used before the metric system was introduced! In the 1920s, Canottieri Timavo of Monfalcone and Reale Societa Canottieri Querini of Venice also ordered some of its rowing boats for two or four oarsmen. He was the one who introduced the family business to the world of pleasure craft, mainly by reworking and building the 12′ Dinghy, the famous English keelboat built in clinker mahogany. He likes getting his hands dirty, and the glue, the nails and the sawdust are the tools of his trade. This compact boat has a removable keel and can easily be towed on a trailer so that it can become the mini-cabin cruiser for short trips in lagoons or archipelagos.


Almost 300 years stand between my great grandfather Giovanni, the founder of the boatyard, and me. Information is the key to getting the building process right the first time, and here you get tips and tricks I’ve discovered through my years as a Master Boat Builder and Naval Architect. The author has a disarming and relaxed way of taking the prospective builder through the process step by step - leaving nothing to chance. Then there is the Fedro, a replica of a small, 4.04 metre long American sandbagger rigged with a fore and aft sail.
The transom, the vertical bow, the low coach roof, the bowsprit and the cutter rigging with mainsail, staysail with boom and jib, puts it straight into the new classics category. Its features include a removable keel, a generous cockpit, four berths, a galley and concealed WC below deck. 300 years during which we were guided by an ambition, to guarantee a future for the history of our fathers and grandfathers. Here, you receive proven tips and tricks I’ve discovered firsthand through my years as a Master Boat Builder and Naval Architect. As time has gone by, another fifteen boats have joined it, with different hulls, from 2.50 m to 10 metres long, including rowing boats, yachts and motor yachts.
As he grew up, he learnt the traditional techniques and secrets behind the construction of wooden boats, starting with the delicate cambering stage. The Istar is a 5.70 metre motor launch and then there is the Eos, Lancia, Inglesina and the Juju, the latter a small 2,70 metre tender. The auxiliary propulsion system, inboard or outboard in the pit, is powered by electricity for zero emission sailing.
Powered by outboard engines providing between 25 and 60 horsepower, it can reach speeds between 18 and 30 knots. I have always loved drawing, I studied to become a draughtsman but after seven years working outside the family firm, doing repetitive work, I realised I wanted to spend my life carrying the family tradition. Even if there were times when despair overcame me, and a voice inside me was screaming at me to stop, to shut up shop and go away. They are then placed inside a long wooden parallelepiped-shaped box, which is filled with steam produced by heating water in a barrel. The steam softens each individual plank, which is then taken out, bent and inserted quickly into the hull, before it can cool down and become stiff. I breathed in the smell of the sawdust, listening to the cracking of the wooden planks as they were being bent.
I saw the amazed look on my son’s face, the one who would take over after me, and I realised that all of this, everything I have done and built, would not be lost. Even if life becomes a little wearisome, something you have done properly will last forever”, words spoken by Ernesto Riva in an interview about ten years ago.



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