Image Courtesy of John Cork
Building a Clinker Dinghy

This sequence of photographs shows a boat being built in the traditional way by Boat Builder John Cork (pictured in the photograph above). John is a local of the Rame Peninsula who learnt his trade at Mashfords Boat Yard. He also worked at Eton College building their boats and rowing skiffs. Now retired he has returned to the Rame Peninsula. Building 'clinker' boats was one of the key traditional boatbuilding skills of numerous small boatyards on the Rame Peninsula in years gone bye but is rapidly becoming a lost art.

The traditional clinker boat builder had a defined procedure in his skilled craft and plans were a late development. Keel, stem and transom were made and assembled upright on stocks at a convenient working height. Bevels and rebates were cut as necessary and a midship section mould or shadow mould may be prepared. After a final check with a level and plumbob and with everything shored and braced, the boat was ready to plank. This was done largely by eye, from the garboard upwards, working the planks in pairs, so that both sides were planked with equal pressure and were clenched as the planks were fitted. When the planking was completed the bent frames were fitted followed by the gunwales, risings, thwarts, knees, floors and othe finishing items.

We are most grateful to John for supplying this sequence of photographs which shows outstanding workmanship on a boat he built for the Head Master of Eton College.

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