Position spiling batten on the stock taking care to avoid imperfections and looking for a good sweep of grain over the entire plank.
Using this plank as a pattern draw a mirror image on another piece of stock for the opposite side of the boat that way steps 1 through 12 only have to be done once for each pair of planks. Boat building is all about the short term goals, the ones between the drawing of plans and the sailing of a complete vessel. After college, John went to work for a boatshop in Maryland where among other things he cut out boat parts for Chris Kulczycki’s fledgling kit company, Chesapeake Light Craft. Other local builders also built Fowey Rivers, Percy Mitchell at Portmellon, Watty in Fowey, and by 1965 the fleet had reached 36 boats. However, there was an underlying interest in the boats, they could be used for racing, rowing, taking the family to the beach for a picnic, put an little outboard on the back and motor up the river on the evening tide to Golant or Lerryn, a multi purpose little boat. We have just launched numbers 63 and 64, our ninth and tenth dinghy of this class, with another on order, and are pleased to have nearly all our boats return to us annually for their re-varnishing and fitting out.
Boat Building Academy students Mike Tyler, Jon Bicknell and Andy Blundy built this strip-built South Bay-style catboat to a design worked up by the students with the help of instructor Mike Broome. Mike Tyler is now at Pangbourne, Reading, and involved in setting up the new Beale Park Maritime Museum.
Jon comes from a background in information technology design and Jon worked predominantly with Mike on Lucie – although did spend an hour here and there on other builds. Having finished the course is now busy finding his feet in the boat building industry. I am part of a team of volunteers at the Long Island Marine Museum where a full size Gil Smith Catboat was newly built several years ago. Have you got news for us?If what you're doing is like the things you read about here - please write and tell us what you're up to.
Classic Sailor is a new magazine about traditional and classic boats from ex-Classic Boat editor Dan Houston and colleagues that promises rather more coverage of the traditional craft around our coast. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
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Our Faversham-based friend Alan Thorne can help with boatbuilding projects - constructing to plans in very tidy stitch-and-glue or more traditional techniques. While there are thirty steps or so to the making of each strake, it is a task that settles into a smooth rhythm. Since we were unable to find Atlantic White Cedar of sufficient quality for such a treatment Western Red Cedar is being used.
Click HERE to subscribe to my email news list for the latest and greatest fun stuff and click on one of the buttons below to subscribe to my show. The Fowey River class dinghy is based on the Yachting World 15′ knockabout dinghy designed by Reg Freeman in the late 40s and the plans were published in Yachting Monthly to try and encourage people to build their own boats. Second Hand Fowey Rivers do come on the market – contact us for latest information and advice, and arrange a trial sail. However, he seems to be a man of many interests: previously he had studied sculpture at art college, where he frequently worked with driftwood, and dreamed of becoming a boat builder. Try scrolling down, clicking on the 'older posts' button at the bottom of this page - or try the search gadget! On a carvel boat the work starts at sheer and keel so there are four places to work at any given time until the shutter planks are reached.A  Work never stops while waiting for a steamed plank to set or for a glued scarph to dry.
Scarphs in adjacent planks will be 5 frames apart and no joint shall happen on the same frame for three planks.
When a boat is fully planked there is a sense of wholeness to her, she is a potential vessel for the first time. I want to build a community of people from all over the world who want to connect, learn, share stories and photos, and have fun with wooden boats. In the 1950’s, Hunkins Boatyard at Polruan built one for the local dentist, and others soon followed, with 15 boats in the fleet by 1957.
At the moment of this writing there the fourth plank from the sheer on the port side is spiled.
The garboards and broad strakes are full length and the rest of the planks will have one joint each rather than the two or three the shorter white cedar might require.


To save time and produce rivet heads of even quality a pneumatic hammer is used to head over the rivets. But after the shutter is in there is fairing with hand planes, then fairing with the aptly named torture boards, long sanding boards.
I would REALLY appreciate you sending me wooden boats pics, stories, or projects you are working on. We don’t see a lot of Catboats but I reckon they suit our sailing grounds remarkably well. We are scarphing the planks together partly to offer a better appearance when varnished and partly to get all the rigidity we can out of each strake. When done this way it only takes a little longer to rivet than to screw fasten, rivets inaccessible to a ball peen hammer can be done, and the framing is not marked up with the missed hits of a ball peen hammer. The third plank from the keel on starboard is being final fitted, soon to receive a caulking bevel, and the third plank from the keel on port has just been steamed to take the twist in the forward end and is about to be scarphed. More full length planks might be gotten out of this wood pile but as we move away from the sheer and keel the strakes develop more curvature and joints are preferable to the cross grain that would result from a full length plank.
In between the initial planing and the torture boards all those thousands of fasteners are bunged. As the shutter goes in there is a bit of a party atmosphere but it takes character to push through all the work that was finished in the minds eye on the day the last plank was fastened in.
It is a long haul across a dusty desert between the shutter plank and turning the finished hull upright but damn that hull looks good.



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