Boatbuilding in action - Deck Boat 1


Boatbuilding in action - Deck Boat 1

Learning to build boats is a very hands on enterprise. Successive classes of students have been working on a pair of 9ft Deck Boats, using them to learn lofting (the raising of a boat from a scale plan), mould building and clinker (also known as lapstrake) planking. 

The design of these boats comes from original WW2 Royal Navy plans. Their short, wide shape means that they can carry up to 6 people but still fit on the deck of a relatively small motor boat. 

In November, the project reached an exciting new phase as Deck Boat 1 had its final plank nailed in place. The moulds could then be removed in preparation for work beginning on the interior. First job, the fitting of thin oak timbers inside around the inside of the hull to strengthen the boat's sides.

To make the oak pliable it is heated in a steam box. This is a long, internally waterproofed, wooden box attached to a water heater that provides a steady supply of steam. Once the timbers are ready, all the students of Boatbuilding Class 14 (BB14) worked together quickly to bend the timbers to the correct shape inside the boat and clamp them in place. Once they have cooled, they can be secured using copper nails. 

Work can now continue on the rest of the boats internal and external fittings including breast hook, thwarts, bottom boards and rubbing strake.