Share your boatbuilding and restoration stories

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Some recent boatbuilding posts at, including making a moustache, boats built to plans by Iain Oughtred and Tad Roberts, a birch bark canoe and photos from Newlyn. Click on the images above to see them all

Amateurs and professionals If you’ve got a restoration or boatbuilding project you’d like the world to know about, why not send us something about it we can post? We will of course link back to your website or weblog, if you have one, or include contact details if that’s what you’d like. It’s a great way to get a project weblog or new website known to the tens of thousands of visitors who drop in at each month* – and it’s entirely free.

All we need from you are photos and some interesting words – the background to the the project, perhaps a little history about the boat type or the boat itself, something about the interest the boat holds for its owner and builder.

Of course there’s more to boating than boats, and more to the sea than water, and ranges broadly in its boating-related topics. However, the beating heart of it is its interest in old boats, boat restorations, and boatbuilding projects with just a little of the traditional about them – and so that’s what we’d love to hear about from you.

*As of this morning, Statcounter reports that has received 13,596 visitors in the last 30 days. Send us a story at and some of them could be coming your way.

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Making a moustache fender using manila

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Michelle makes a moustache

I was pleased to find a post including some nice photos of the making of a ropework moustache fender over at Scott B Williams’ weblog Scott’s Boat Pages.

There’s a lot of interest in old-fashioned rope fenders and moustaches, not least because modern plastic types look so out of place on an old-fashioned hull, but also because there aren’t too many suppliers around to make them up. What’s more, they look as if they could be a lot of fun to make during the winter. See the links to earlier posts on ropework fenders at the bottom of this post.

The story Scott tells is of how his ropework specialist girlfriend Michelle made a moustache fender for a rowing boat being built to Iain Oughtred’s Guillemot design. The new boat is to spend its life as a tender to a 1929 John Alden schooner, Summerwind, and its new owner wanted a fender that would was just right for the job.

Made from 1/2in manila, the fender has a protective section 36in long, with 3in eyes at each end. The central section is 5in thick, tapering down to 3in at the ends;  the taper was achieved by adding varying lengths of the 1/2in  manila, and binding them in position with smaller cord. Shorter lengths were bound into the aft side to create the bent shape.

Michelle covered the whole thing with a series of continuous half-hitches, using 1/4in manila. There are a lot of half-hitches and a lot of line in a fender like this – this small one swallowed up over 200 feet of the 1/4in stuff, and Scott says that it takes a lot of patience to pull all that through a half hitch hundreds of times over.

I’ll bet it does – and I’d guess that you need to physically quite fit to be able to do it from a cross-legged position and keep smiling!

Earlier posts about ropework fenders:
A question of puddings and moustaches
How a moustache is made
Almost certainly not the final word on puddings, fenders or whiskers…

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