Video: hot-nailing a traditional crab and lobster boat’s timbers into place

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Over at the Boat Building Academy at Lyme, Ian Baird has been making progress on his replica of the Dorset crab and lobster boat Witch of Worbarrow. The timbers of the new boat named Witch of Weymouth have gone in, the gunwales are now in place and the spars almost completely made.

He also gave me the link to this splendid Youtube film clip of the process of hot-nailing her steamed timbers into place. It looks wonderfully frantic to me!

On the boat herself, what’s left to complete are the knees, thwarts and finishing, which must all be in place by the time of the grand student launch on the morning of the 9th December. If you’re in the area and are interested in boats and craftsmanship, do get along!

For more posts in this interesting boat and its origins, click here. Also, look out for a series of three articles describing the build, the first of which is scheduled to appear in the magazine Water Craft in January.

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4 thoughts on “Video: hot-nailing a traditional crab and lobster boat’s timbers into place”

  1. Great film guys. Many hands make light work, how long did the whole job take in real time? Also how are the nails finished inside the boat it is not possible to see in the video I don’t see any roves lying about?

  2. Duncan, the nails are probably rivited the following day. The timbers will shrink a tad as they dry so leaving them a day or so will allow that shrinkage to take place before rivitting.

    Oh the joy of new construction! We have just refurbished a Scow, replacing most of the timbers. The stringers and gunwhaleswere still in so we had to work the timbers down one side and up the other.

    Many years ago I worked on the old HISC mooring barge when at Combes. The steamed timbers were 2" x 1", and they had to be worked into position, driven from the centreline under two stringers up to the gunwhale, before cooling. This was done with a 4lb lump hammer and a lot of energy!!

  3. Hi Duncan,

    The hot-nailing process took about 1.5hrs in total. And yes, as Nick says, the many nails were rivetted with roves the following day – and didn't we know it up here in the office!

    The video was filmed and edited by young September 2010 student Sean Quail.

    Emma

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