For the economical do-it-yourselfer who wants to build his or her own skiff, this instruction manual relies on simple techniques and hand-powered tools and shows how to make a boat in a minimum amount of time. Start your flatiron skiff in the spring and be on the water by summer. Boat-building instructor K.D. Jones explains his 'Thoreau Approach', which involves learning to trust your instincts like craftsmen of centuries past as you use your eyes and hands to build simple, elegant, functional boats. The book includes lists of recommended tools and accessories, design variations, instructional photographs and drawings, and a little history about this under-appreciated type of boat, named for its resemblance in shape to an antique cast-iron press. The use of these traditional methods and of local materials not only reduces construction costs but also prevents exposure to toxic adhesives and solvents.