Category Archives: Traditional clinker

Clinker plans and boatbuilding

Nick Smith motor launch Mona Louise emerges glistening into the light

The pretty 16ft West Country-style motor launch Mona Louise has emerged from Salcombe-trained traditional boat builder Nick Smith’s workshop.

Intheboatshed.net has been following her progress  as she’s been built over the past few weeks.

He hasn’t got much more to say just now – after 1088 man-hours working on one boat and especially all that varnishing I’d guess he’s likely been near speechless for the last couple of daysHowever, Mona Louise will be on show at Wooden Boatbuilders Trade Association stand at the the Southampton International Boat Show, and no doubt he will be very pleased to talk with anyone interested in discussing the boat.

BBA students build 12ft Paul Gartside traditional style clinker dinghy

The Boat Building Academy celebrated the launch of six boats and seventeen new boat builders at Lyme a few weeks ago.

The boats were built by the BBA’s class of September 2013, who had completed its 38-week course. Although new to woodworking and boat building, the students built six boats and a paddle board using modern and traditional methods, completing every step from lofting board to launch in just nine months.

Some three hundred well-wishers gathered in the sunshine to celebrate the students’ achievements and give a resounding cheer as the champagne popped and each boat went into the water.

First in was the 12ft traditional clinker dinghy above, built by David Rainbow and Adam Smith to Paul Gartside’s 2001 design, #130 design, and planked in west African mahogany on oak ribs and backbone. (The photos are by Liz Griffiths, Becky Joseph, Jenny Steer, and John Pritchard.)

David, from Middlesex, worked at Heathrow Airport for 20 years in a variety of roles, most recently as baggage operational assurance manager, and first came to the BBA to do a three-day introductory course, and then decided it was time for a change of career and booked a place on the 38-week course last year.

David chose to build this row and sail boat as he felt the traditional clinker method would make a good test of skills, and felt the style and size of this particular Paul Gartside design was just right for him.

He made a couple of changes to the original design – he planked it in West African mahogany rather than western red cedar for aesthetic reasons, and chose a boomless standing lug rig designed by Paul Gartside specifically for David’s boat, rather than the original boomed rig.

Named Enfys – the Welsh word for ‘rainbow’ after David’s surname and his wife’s welsh roots - the boat is to be sailed on a lake at Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre, which is close to where David lives.

Adam Smith, originally from Canada, was David’s main build partner.

He was working with computers, but built a Selway Fisher dinghy in his spare time and enjoyed the process so much he decided to train for a new career. Adam made the most of the academy’s facilities and in his spare time on the course he made a cabinet, trestle table and chest. His latest spare-time project now that the course has finished is a strip-planked canoe.

Both David and Adam are start work in jobs on the Thames after a short break.

Handsome 16ft Nick Smith West Country motor launch for sale

Louise is for sale - she’s one of Salcombe-trained traditional boat builder Nick Smith’s traditional motor launches, and is fitted with an 11hp Vetus.

She’s four years old but has only been used for two seasons, and Nick says she’s immacculate and effectively as new. She’s lying in Devon and I think she would be a great boat for families, for picnicking, fishing, watching wildlife and so on.

If you’re interested, ring Nick on 07827 644223.

Scottish Traditional Boat Festival to see launch of youth training boatshed project

The boatshed, and photos from previous Scottish Traditional Boat Festivals at Portsoy

This year’s Scottish Traditional Boat Festival at Portsoy is to see the launch of a project to create a new home for Portsoy Organisation for Restoration and Training (PORT), an organisation that teaches youngsters traditional boat building and restoration skills.

PORT is to refurbish Portsoy’s 18th century boatshed, currently a derelict harbour building, and turn it into a community centre to teaches traditional skills and boat restoration.

The foundation stone for the revamped shed is to be laid during the annual festival, which takes place this coming weekend.

Festival vice chairman and PORT founder James Crombie says that in teaching traditional skills to young people PORT provides a bridge between the old and the new, and that the festival provides a particularly good platform for the launch of the project, not least because it includes the inaugural North Sea Ring meeting, which sees countries from around the North Sea come together to share maritime traditions.

The rebuilt boatshed will give the local community a spacious workshop that will allow work on boats to be undertaken in full view of the public.

The PORT training programme takes participants from the initial stages of boat building right through to learning to sail the boats they have helped to create – which no doubt brings something special to the trainees.

As well as providing an outlet for training and restoration it is hoped that the boatshed will become an attraction for visitors to the area.

PORT was given the boatshed by the Portsoy Maritime Heritage Society in 2009; the renovation is a £420,000 project funded by Aberdeenshire Council, CARS (a collaboration between Aberdeenshire Council and Historic Scotland) and AEFF Axis 4 funding.

 

Nick Smith’s boats at this year’s Beale Park Boat and Outdoor Show

Salcombe-trained traditional boat builder Nick Smith has sent over a few photographs of two of his West Country style motor launches that he built, and one constructed to his lines that appeared at this year’s Beale Park Boat and Outdoor Show.

The collection above are of Moiety (1992, finished bright) and Puffin (2008, steam launch with a white hull), which were brought to the show by their owners.

Also, Richard Pease, who took early retirement to build boats exhibited his 17ft 6in larch motor launch built to my lines plans as used for Moiety in the amateur boatbuilders competition – and won the ‘Most professional home build’ with his boat Curlew.

Nick points out that the photo shows clearly that Richard’s sheer and fit out are quite different to his own.

Thanks Nick, and congratulations Richard!

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Boat Building Academy students launch their boats in broad sunshine – and entertaining winds

Brilliant sun shone on the Boat Building Academy’s  Class of September 2013 big launch day at Lyme Regis’s harbour last week.

The students launched six boats and a paddle board built as part of their 38-week course, while a crowd of around three hundred including previous graduates, students’ families and friends, boating enthusiasts and other well-wishers gathered at the harbour.

The boats entered the water following a few words from BBA director Tim Gedge and Lyme Regis’s Mayor, Sally Holman.

Champagne corks popped as the students launched their boats, which were:

  • a 12ft traditional clinker dinghy designed by Paul Gartside
  • a Selway Fisher-designed 12ft 6in Northumbrian Coble
  • a 14ft 6in Rock Pipet composite sailing canoe designed by Richard Lyford in partnership with Solway Dory
  • a Don Kurylko-designed 18ft 1in Alaska  yawl-rigged beach cruiser
  • a Richard Dongray-designed 20ft Golant Ketch with cabin and twin masts
  • a 16ft  F16 composite-built catamaran
  • 14ft paddle board designed by Chesapeake Light Craft

A brisk breeze meant that sailing was a little challenging, I’m told, although a ducking that the Northumbrian Coble sailors received seems to have owed more to human error than to the wind or the boat.

The graduating students joined the course from the UK, Jersey and Norway. Their backgrounds are equally diverse. Some start work almost as soon as the course ends:

  • Reuben Thompson is going to Cockwells
  • Tony Corke is going to Mussett Engineering in Norfolk
  • David Rotheram returns to Liverpool after a career away from home in the RAF, to work for Douglas Marine Ltd
  • Richard Lyford’s sailing canoe will become part of the Solway Dory range when Richard returns to designing submarine systems
  • Keith McIlwain, who built the Golant Ketch, will return to Bristol where he will soon start his own boat building/restoration/repair business, Daydream Boats

Student Ask Serck-Hanssen is to go to Brunel University to study engineering.

More information about the students who make up the Class of September 2013 can be found here, while photographic diaries of the build of the boat projects can be found here.

Nick Smith makes more progress on his latest 16ft West Country style clinker motor launch

Salcombe-trained traditional boat builder Nick Smith has sent over more photos of his progress on his increasingly pretty current project, a 16ft clinker motor launch named Mona Louise. Here’s what he says:

‘The sole boards are finished and are now being coated up, Douglas fir with grey Danboline paint. Aft locker shelves have been fitted, and as you see old style bow sheet inside the for’ard locker. It’s NOT plywood but khaya planks and ledges copper nailed, and then on the underside is ‘layed over’ (this is Devon-speak – it’s also colloquially known as ‘clenched’ in some places) .

‘I collected the custom-made stainless skeg this morning, so fitted that. It takes the bottom rudder hanging in way of the propeller thrust, and also allows any submerged rope to run past the keel and not get snagged on the prop - that’s the theory anyway.

‘Then I fitted the top pintle , dropped-in the rudder straps and offered up my standard rudder template and transferred the information from boat to template.

‘Then I faked up the tiller length and position too. Happy with that, I machined up the sapele for the blade and cheeks, lined out the blade and glued it up. Tomorrow I’ll release it, work it up, fit the straps and cheeks and start the tiller.

‘The khaya engine box sides have been glued up , so that’s another imminent job too. I’ve also fitted the exhaust and waterlock, and the control cables and built the gear lever panel.

‘After that, the next task is to remove all bits so that I can access the painting of the bilge and varnishing of the inside. The side benches are fitted and will be removed for varnishing also.

‘I’ll remove the bracing this week and cut off the ears on the transom, so that I can then fit the rubbing strakes and whiskers, screw on the keel band and the stem band.

‘The fuel tank is yet to go in, but the sea cock is done.

‘On other jobs; the forward davit lifting eye and strut are yet tio be fitted as is the foredeck cleat and fairleads, the float pump and all wiring, battery box, and another five coats of varnish! It won’t take five minutes… ‘

For more posts relating to Nick Smith’s boat building work, click here.