I know where I can get a ton of free upholstery fabric, nice and thick and tough enough to build furniture out of.
I personally never built or sailed curraghs but I saw big part of the building process couple of years ago in Amsterdam of all places. I guess I should paint the wood too, as I most probably will not be using oak like they recomend. I figure I can use it for the fine ribs and stuff, and then bend and laminate peices together into thicker beams. I have found a variety of new waterbased tar and latex products, but I think they will be out of my price range, even if they are suitable.
I will have to try to find companies that build roads and see if they will throw me a sack or two of bitumen. I am seriously considering offering half a case of beer to the next council team that I see working on a road for a couple of buckets of tar.
The guy who has the upholstery has had to dump it at his parents because he has no room for it, thus if I go round there and have a look depending on what I take it will be very cheap or free. I am wondering though if some sort of artificial fabric, that had a very strong quality like canvass, might be better?


On my boat for a fair few non vital things we used a newish cheap 'marine' glue that you get from hardware stores.
I am thinking of doing some sort of double ender with curved raised stern and bow- something like the boat in the very back of the picture. The double gunwhales are constructed as with all currachs using the inverted method, starting from the top down, 35 ribs are wedged in the lower (or false gunwhale) and clenched to 13 laths with copper nails. An interesting feature of this currach is the way the ribs and laths are held together, rather than using copper nails, the entire basket is bound with a rope fibre, nowadays nylon string or similar. When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals.
Ancient Irish boat type made from light wooden frame and covered with few layers of rough fabrics soaked with tar. Rot is not really a problem because everything is soaked in tar and boats are taken out of the water when not used.
If you take a good look at the photographs, and find some line plans for Norwegian prams you will have enough informations.
That was during international sailing ships meeting, Irish team just built one right there on the spot in two or three days.


It is clear and yellow like honey and uses water (in the wood or added to dampen the wood) as the catalyst- which makes it foam to fill any gaps. The ribs are of unbarked hazel, whereas laths are sawn and as they run into the bow they are bound in a clump, thus the currach retains its distinctive roundness from stem to stern.
Eventual damages are patched with fabric and tar, but these boats are quite resilient to damage, as they are quite elastic. Their stand was one of the best, aside from boat builders and sail makers in action, there was nice Irish live music and Guinness of course…so, some boat details got a bit blurred for me.
Later, wood prevailed for bigger size boats but smaller currags continued to be build to this day. They come in different shapes and sizes, from the smallest that are completely circular in form in sheltered waters to the quite seaworthy surfboats for 4 or more rowers.



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