Clinker Boat Building

Clinker boat building is a form or technique of building boats that is amongst the oldest forms of boat building invented by man. Referring to the way planks were used when building the hull of a boat or ship, clinker boat building is an art form that is still as prevalent today as it was before. When building small boats in your workshop, clinker boat building is one of the more interesting ways of building boats that one can try their hand at.

Clinker Boat building is an old Craft

Clinker boat building is an old technique and the oldest known clinker boat was built around 190 AD. The technique of building clinker boats was devised in northern Europe, with the Vikings being the most famous exponents of this technique. The Chinese had also, almost simultaneously, come up with their form of clinker boat building technique, known as the Lapstrake. Over the years, the technique has been handed down through generations and while the materials changed from wood to iron, clinker boat building has lived on and can even be seen today, in those traditional round-bottomed Thames Skiffs that ply around the River Thames in London, England.

Clinker boat building involves a disciplined procedure of placing planks of overlapping wood, to form the hull of the boat. After creating the initial frame, these planks are mounted such that they overlap another plank along their length. While in traditional clinker boat building, the builders would join the planks end to end as well, for smaller boats being designed today, changes have been brought about to allow beginners to use the technique successfully, without worrying too much about the finer details.

Copper and iron rivets were normally used as fasteners for these planks, along with being nailed and glued to each other. Screws also come into play and understanding the plan is extremely important when you are undertaking clinker boat building. While in the olden times, there was no epoxy and the boats never needed it, if you are using clinker boat building techniques, it is advisable to use boat-building epoxy to ensure that there is absolutely no chance of leakage or seepage when in use.

Clinker boat building is a specialized form and is only meant for those who are already familiar with building boats on their own. However, if you are a newbie and are not afraid of treading too far, then go ahead and give clinker boat building a shot.

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