Stirling & Son’s latest clinker dinghy

Stirling & Son 9ft clinker dinghy

Stirling & Son 9ft clinker dinghy Stirling & Son 9ft clinker dinghy Stirling & Son 9ft clinker dinghy


Boat builder and historian Will Stirling has sent in these shots of his latest beautiful 9ft clinker dinghy – Will has a great eye for a photograph and these shots are up to his usual standard, even if it was a miserable day.

These dinghies are a regular product line for Devon-based Stirling & Son and should be better known. This particular example is mahogany on oak with copper and bronze fastenings, spoon oars, with the name relief-cut with gold leaf.

Will also sent over a photo of half a whole mahogany butt sawn at 1/2in. ‘Dinghies in kit form’, he says wryly… There should be enough for seven to ten dinghies worth of timber in this part of the log – the rest arrived in a second delivery on the same trailer.

Will and his workmates had to cut hundreds of softwood sticks to place between the planks to allow the timber to season – softwood is chosen for the job because it does not stain. I gather teabreak at the Stirling & Son shed was dominated by question of how to calculate the optimum size of spacing stick to provide effective airflow and drying while using the least timber – and Will has asked whether any readers can advise?

By the way, Stirling & Son run twice-yearly courses during which students build their own 9ft traditional dinghy under the guidance of a skilled shipwright. The courses are part-time, running for three days a week for sixteen weeks, and cost £3,500 including materials.

For more posts relating to Stirling & Son boatbuilding projects and boat design work, click here.

Mahogany log for building clinker dinghy

2 thoughts on “Stirling & Son’s latest clinker dinghy”

  1. £3500 a bargain, and an ideal retraining course? Can someone persuade the SHMBO please!

    How does it compare to the IBTC or the Weymouth college course in contents and fees?

    Would make a good blog post to have a snapshot of all the colleges with their different emphases?

    Also could the 9ft be lengthened to say 12ft as this would IMHO make a much more useful boat?

    Your Jesus.

    PS great blog keep it up.

    1. Comparisons? I'd be nervous about pitching one against the other – someone might get cross with me and I don't really want to fall out with anyone!

      I think the Stirling's option would be interesting and would give you a very good idea about your aptitude for traditional boatbuilding, but I doubt it would amount to a re-training. A single clinker dinghy presumably includes only the experiences involved in making that dinghy, whereas I know the courses include experience of a wider range of boat building techniques.

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