Projects at Stirling and Son, autumn 2011

Stirling and Son 14ft dinghy ashore in the mud Stirling and Son 14ft dinghy with one reef

Stirling and Son Victorian Yacht Hull Planking Complete and Faired Stirling and Son 14ft dinghy with All Plain Sail Stirling and Son 14ft dinghy Sailing Twice Reefed Down

Stirling and Son Mast Making Stirling and Son Lock Gate - Tenon Measuring Stirling and son Lock Gate Timbers

Click on the thumbnails for bigger images

Those busy folks at Stirling and Son have been getting on with an amazing range of projects. Building and marketing beautiful small traditional clinker-built dinghies is one thing, rowing to Magnetic North Pole is another, but how about building lock gates or appearing in adverts for soap? All this and a regular round of repair and restoration jobs are all in a day’s work for those Stirlings…

  • As the photo above shows (click on the thumbnail for a much larger image) the hull of the Stirling & Son Victorian yacht named Integrity is complete, and the rudder has been hung. The mast has also been hewn from a tree selected in a local forest. I say Integrity looks amazing and I believe she is available for sale.
  • Will has taken the 14ft sailing dinghy out for a trial. It was fairly windy, so he began with two reefs, and later shook them out as the wind fell and sailed under all plain sail. He reports that it was so much fun they kept sailing on past high tide – and it was a pretty muddy business getting her back out…
  • In a surprise non-boat project, Stirling and Son are building a new lock gate and cantilever bridge in oak for the Tavistock Canal. Due to the size of the timbers and the poor access, both have to be assembled in the shed, dismantled and then taken to the site in order to rebuild them in position. I guess it makes sense, for there’s no doubt that anyone who can build a Victorian-style yacht knows something about working with oak.
  • And what about the soap? From the Stirling & Son newsletter I gather the makers of Dove soap products decided that Will should be the subject of a shower product advert, and so their ad agency visited with a film crew.

Stirling & Son is based at TavistockDevon and can be contacted via the website at www.stirlingandson.co.uk or by ‘phone on 01822 614259.

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Photos of Stirling & Son Victorian cutter build

Stirling & Son Victorian cutter Integrity housed dovetail on companion (never to be seen again!)

Difficult-looking housed dovetail joint

Stirling & Son Victorian cutter Integrity ash and copper fastened blocks Stirling & Son Victorian cutter Integrity bronze bound bowsprit roller Stirling & Son Victorian cutter Integrity finishing the 24ft bowsprit

Ash and copper fastened blocks; bronze-bound bowsprit roller; finishing the 24ft bowsprit

Will Stirling of Stirling & Son has sent in some more photographs from the building of the Victorian-style cutter Integrity. Here’s what he has to say:

Integrity is coming on well. We are putting on her deck which has been an exercise in higher mathematics. It is tapered and swept so that the outboard planks follow the covering board yet the planks midships are on the centreline. A typically Victorian attitude of seeking the aesthetic with little regard for labour!

‘To us it seems relatively complicated; as one of the shipwrights wryly commented, perhaps that is why it died out! I shall send a photo of the sequence once it is all on.

‘Hope all continues well, best wishes,

‘Will’

 

Will and his colleagues are always up to something interesting, and he has a very interesting range of plans for traditional craft for sale. For more posts about Stirling & Son, click here.

Stirling & Son traditional yacht building and wooden boat repair is based at Tavistock, Devon. For more information see www.stirlingandson.co.uk.

 

12ft rowing dinghy built by Stirling & Son of Tavistock

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Rowing Will Stirling 12ft Dinghy

Rowing Will Stirling 12ft Dinghy boat Bow and Fairlead Rowing Will Stirling 12ft Dinghy  boat Stirling and Son - transom Rowing Will Stirling 12ft Dinghy  boat Thwarts Aft sternsheets and transom

Stern of 12ft Dinghy Rowing Will Stirling 12ft Dinghy  boat

A recent 12ft rowing dinghy by Stirling & Son

These delicious photos come from regular contributor, boat builder, historian and designer Will Stirling of Stirling & Son. The plans for this boat are available to buy, as his letter below explains:

‘Dear Gavin,

‘Attached photos of the most recent dinghy, a 12ft pulling boat. She is built of mahogany and oak with copper and bronze fastenings.

‘The clocks have gone back now so it is time to string up some lights otherwise the working day is too short.

‘I now have plans available in the following format:

  • two sheets of A2 tracing paper
  • two sheets of A1 tracing paper, a scantlings list
  • a list of materials
  • a CD with photographs of various stages and details of dinghy building

‘The A2 sheets contain the lines draught and consrtuctional detail, the A1 sheets have templates of the moulds and transom with the planking marked out and templates of the backbone members (stem, sternpost, stern knee etc).

‘Plans in this format are now available for a 9ft general purposes dinghy and an 11ft pilot’s punt of circa 1900 and a 17ft salmon boat. These plans cost £50 plus postage and packaging of £2.50 in the UK.

‘Plans without templates are available for a 21ft frigate’s longboat of 1757, a 37ft smuggling lugger of 1835 and a 43ft gentleman’s cutter of 1880.

‘I hope you are well. The Intheboatshed website is going from strength to strength; it is very popular with Google.

‘Best wishes,

‘Will’

Many thanks Will! I do hope your plans go as well as they deserve – it’s only a shame that there aren’t more professional and home builders of these kinds of boats in the world.

Stirling & Son is based near Tavistock, Devon. See the company’s website  www.stirlingandson.co.uk
tel 01822 614259.