Myself and quite a few others out there are building themselves a boat, we call ourselves boatbuilders. It struck me recently that although technically correct, we build boats therefore………. It’s actually a bit misleading and is doing those that practice the art of boatbuilding an injustice. I should have checked this out before I started writing but I’m going to talk about shipwrights in a minute, are they boatbuilders or shipbuilders or just shipwrights? I’m confused.
Anyway the thing is that although we Wharram boatbuilders need to be reasonably handy with the wood working tools we all know that you can get away with murder when you’ve got a good epoxy mix on hand to hide your sins! Skilled shipwrights would quite rightly look down their noses at us because they’ve taken years to acquire the skills necessary to work huge pieces of oak and elm into shapes that fit together perfectly and go to make up a beautiful and strong vessel.
Rather than me rabbit on about this I’d urge you to go and check out this THREAD on THE WOODEN BOAT FORUM
Its a fascinating record of the work of one volunteer working on the restoration of the ‘Charles W Morgan‘ the last remaining wooden whaling ship from the great days of sail. She was built in 1841 and made 37 voyages during her 80 years in service and is now being restored in Mystic Seaport.
Thanks to Thomas Armstrong and his 70.8% Blog for bringing this story to my attention, here are a few photos to wet your appetite. All courtesy of Carl Swebilius , Mystic Seaport and the WoodenBoat Forum