Herring fishing the traditional way our of Clovelly: ‘We either sail or row.’
We haven’t heard from Devonian boat builder Nick Smith for quite a while, so I was very pleased the other day when he sent over these photos of a carvel-built picarooner he built earlier this year, modelled on a boat from five decades before.
Here’s what he says about it:
‘My customer saw the old hull in Clovelly and wanted me to restore it. It was too far gone but in good fair shape, so I took five sections off the hull and transom, sweetened them up by eye, and didn’t need to reloft.
‘I think the origianl boat started out with a sailing rig, but latterly had an old style heavy diesel. I guess she was 50 of more years old.
‘I shan’t build another carvel boat in a hurry – the job really needs two good blokes and a boy, not one bloke – and planking took twice as long as the equivalent clinker-built boat.
‘Being 17ft 6in with a square bilge, it required a lot of internal hollowing of the planks.
‘This is the most carvel work I have done since being apprenticed – since then it’s been mostly replacing one or two planks or, occasionally, replanking one side following an accident in which a boat has been T-boned.
‘However 7/8in douglas fir is solid and strong, and will be great with a dipping lug and/or an old diesel thunker. It will be very sea worthy and stable.
‘Things didn’t work out as planned for the customer, and I have bought the picarooner from them. It’s now for sale, fitted out as the buyer wishes – if I fit her out I will likely fit deep bilge keels for stability and to enable her stay upright when taking the ground.
‘She has heavy steam,bent oak frames , bigger scantlings than I use for my clinker launches. They are also overlapped across the hog by three or four planks, tying her strongly in the bottom of the boat – so she’s as solid as a brick outhouse.
‘I had the unheard of luxury of turning the boat upside down to “scuff off”, I had rounded the outside of the planks when planking up so that all I needed was to run the belt sander over the hull – no planing was needed.
Down in Italy, Peter Radclyffe is making progress on a gozzo, as these photos show. Thanks Peter, and good luck with project!
Just from these images it’s Peter’s an able boatbuilder, but readers might be interested to see this Clovelly picarooner he built some time ago.
Peter Radclyffe’s picarooner
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