PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewGornall, a romantic, chooses the classic, ancient clinker [boat] design, about which the reader learns far more than we do about his wife and children. But then again, the book is not titled \'How to Build a Family.\' Gornall loves to sail the seas of history. He traces each aspect of the design back to its origins ... For a landlubber, the nomenclature is dizzying ... Gornall has an eye for detail—essential for a boatbuilder, but for the readers, the details can become a distraction ... there are times while reading How to Build a Boat that one thinks Melville had a gift for brevity by comparison ... From countless mistakes, ounces of spilled blood and gallons of sweat comes something simple and enduring; practical yet elegant. Per aspera ad astra. This is where Gornall shines ... It is when he directly addresses Phoebe that Gornall truly sets sail. He explains his quixotic, idiosyncratic, obsessive-compulsive decision to build her a boat with life lessons that are simply beautiful ... After reading How to Build a Boat I still don’t know a dinghy from a dory. But as a father I am grateful that a dad has put into words and wood the fathomless love a parent has for a child.