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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Ian Baird’s replica of a Dorset crab and lobster boat in the workshop

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Ian Baird's Dorset crab and lobster boat at the Boat Building Academy

Boat Building Academy student Ian Baird’s project to build a replica of the rare Dorset crab and lobster boat known as Witch of Worbarrow during his course is continuing apace, as it must to be be ready for the big launch on the 9th December.

For more posts relating to Witch and Worbarrow, click here.

Ian, who was a novice woodworker at the beginning of his nine month course at the BBA, has been commissioned to write three articles on his experiences for Watercraft Magazine. The first of his articles will be published in January 2011.

“The centreline structure went together reasonably simply, but the first three planks on either side were really difficult for a fledgling boat builder,’ he reports. ‘The garboard and plank above both return onto the keel and the stern post at an awkward angle and there was a good deal of steaming, rabbet altering and scratching of heads, but we got it right in the end. The third plank was a bit of trouble too, with a tight curve onto the transom, but we are now banging on a plank a day.’

Ian says there has been a lot of interest in Ian’s project: ‘We originally put out a press release to try and winkle out any information we could about the original boat’s life and times, but the response has been more than I could have hoped for.

‘Interest from Intheboatshed.net, local television news and local papers has reached an extraordinarily wide audience and many people have come forward with information and pictures for which I am extremely grateful.’

A pictorial diary of Ian’s project is available at the BBA website.

The launch of the BBA’s March 2010 project boats will take place in the harbour at Lyme Regis, Dorset, at 9am on Wednesday 9th December 2010.

Want to learn more about boatbuilding using the clinker technique? Try John  Leather’s book Clinker boatbuilding at the revived intheboatshed.net A-store.