Build a sailing canoe for $15

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How to build the $15 canoe, 1876-style

The $15 figure is at 1876 prices, I’m sorry to say. In this excerpt from a Scientific American Supplement dated that year, Victorian-era writer Paddlefast provides offsets and the rest for a canoe with a simple hull that looks eminently buildable by  either clinker or strip-planking methods.

In our time, we’d build it with water-tight compartments fore and aft, but many details could easily remain the same. For example, clever details here including halliards that are led forward through a block to provide forestays, and the drawings include outriggers for rowing.

Thanks here go to Craig O’Donnell, proprieter of the always-intriguing Cheap Pages.

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Alone and forsaken but with an intriguing stern – or is it bows?

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Punt with striking stern - or bows

There’s something very affecting about this engraving, which Craig O’Donnell of the splendid The Cheap Pages emailed over a few days ago. I know several old songs that seem to apply, and I gather Craig spotted this engraving in an antique shop.

From a practical point of view, I wonder why that stern – or bows, if you prefer – is as it is? Why would anyone build the end of a punt this way? My suggestion is that it’s a chain or rope ferry boat, but if you agree or disagree, please feel free say so in the comment link below!

Back to the songs: I think the Waters of Tyne seems particularly appropriate:

I cannot get tae my love if I would dee
For the waters of Tyne run between him and me
And here I maun stand wi a tear in my ee
All sighin and sobbin, my true love to see

Oh where is the boatman, my bonny hinney
Oh where is the boatman, go bring him to me
For to ferry me over the Tyne to my honey
Or speed him across the rough waters to me

For a fuller, singable set of lyrics and a sample of the tune, go here.

Thanks Craig!

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