Boat building how-to

The boat is rapidly progressing and should be done within a week (or two.) In the meantime I record the steps as instructions for readers and future me.

boat Amazon

current boat

boat tools

scoopy object

The sides of the boat are fully on. Sides are nailed on evenly by marking a line using a nail nailed into a wood block. Run the edge of the woodblock along the edge of the plank. The head of the nail scaws a straight line at an even interval from the edge. Then nail two or three nails along this line. Rest the potruding nails along the plank below. This needs two people so the plank-to-be-nailed is propped up nicely, and it is angled outwards so that it touches the plank below. Then nail together at the top end, nail together half way, bending the plank round so it touches the plank below, send nails through at intervals. The bottom falca is the most difficult because you have to aim the nail precisely into the thickness (an inch or so) of the floor planks. Send it in at an an angle and the tip of the nail shards out above or below.

boat amazon

Arm. Takes me a long time and much distress to carve out one of these. Despair! its never going to touch all three falcas

Sides are leveled out using a ‘cepillo’ that shaves wood and leaves edges smooth, and a scoopy object that is a cross between a spade and a hammer.

(Aside: scoopy object is also used to carve a canoe out of a log. Mark the shape of the canoe on your half log using string and the red dust that turns into a dye, dip the string into the liquid, tie it to nails, pull string up and release it so it pings back and marks the wood. Then use a hatchet to hack out the beginnings, then use scoopy object to scoop out canoe.)

Closing up the back of the boat. Cut the pieces to shape.

The ‘arms’ that hold the planks that compose the sides together. The same hard wood that holds the floor planks together. With machete chisel out a sorta zigzag shape so that the listones are shunted right up against each of the ‘falcas.’

The magic words are ‘brea y estopa.’ The stopper and sticky substance will plug the holes, fissures, the results of wobbly machete work. The technique reminds me of when I helped build a wall in Ecuador. We carried rocks from the river, then stacked them on top of one another, then, with our hands, splatted a cement mix in the gaps so it all stuck together. The technique is-arrange bits of solid material in the general shape you want. Fill in the gaps with sticky stuff to hold it all together.

Plug tight the gaps between the planks with ‘estopa,’ which is cordage braided from plant fibres.

estopa boat amazon

Plugging gaps with rope fibres

boat working

Plugging the estopa in firmly









Smear gaps over with brea. Brea is boiled down in a pot and applied when liquidy and hot. Surfaces should be dry so that the brea sticks well. Protect from rain until it dries.

brea boat building

boiling down the brea chunks

boat modern art

modern art



Posted on April 27, 2014, in Boat building, Preparation. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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