clinker boat under construction, dragon with new cedar deck, solid cherry unit, large solid cherry

clinker boat under construction, dragon with new cedar deck, solid cherry unit, large solid cherry
We handcraft beautiful wooden boats and furniture.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Getting ready for the season!

With four Castletownshend Ettes being revarnished as well as the new project coming up (see moulds and backbone on the left) there is barely any room left to walk in our workshop!
It's exciting to see the boats like this and to look forward to the months of sailing ahead...
See "Sailing the Ettes" on facebook to see what the ette sailors are up to for the season.
We've been experimenting with various varnishes. For several years we've been using Le Tonkinois, which is pleasant to apply, but seems to require meticulous sanding between coats - a lot of work! We've also tried Deks Olje - the penetrating characteristics of the D1 appealed to us. But we found it really difficult to get D2 to dry in our workshop. D1 seems to be an excellent product to use in the interior of our clinker boats - we clean and dry them carefully before saturating them in the oil.
 For the exterior, we are now using Epifanes. The great thing about this varnish is that it finishes well and that one can apply several coats without sanding between them

In the foreground, you can see Sagette's deck, Roulette in the centre, and Minuette and Muckette behind. To the left is the backbone structure of the 16ft fishing boat which we are building with our students in an ongoing series of workshops.
Visit for info on our series of boatbuilding workshops.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Gardboards are fitted!

Our students have returned to start planking the boat we started lofting back in October.
Look at the amazing twist on that gardboard! We had to steam both ends of it to get the shape right.

We managed to get our hands on some Irish Douglas Fir - freshly cut near Kaelkill, West Cork.
It steamed beautifully. We used our localised steaming method, which is much more effective and economical than traditional methods. Come to our next Clinker Planking Workshop to find out how it's done!

If you would like to learn the secrets and tricks of Clinker planking, contact us. We will continue to run planking workshops until the boat is planked. Our upcoming session will be on March 30th up to April 1st. For more info visit: