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Building a boat.



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Nick Barberton

Because of Covid lockdowns I have had reduced chances to sell my work. I was given a Walnut tree and when we could travel again last year had it planked and stacked up in my wood shed. The logs that were too small to plank were beautiful and I could turn bowls from them and carve the surface through the light sapwood into the dark heartwood. I found them magical and made several through the summer and autumn.

In the winter Tennis elbow caught me. Doctors orders, stop carving till it goes away. I had been thinking about building another boat. I had even drawn one, but decided to follow the plans and build a “Seil 18” designed by Francois Vivier. Alec Jordan cut out the plywood components with his CNC machine. I bought a polytunnel to build it in. When I am finished I can sell it or we can use it as an outside gallery for our open studios. Covid restrictions make us use a lot more space than before.

Firstly I cut out all the plywood components from the kit. Assemble the building frame and start fixing components to the frame. This is like a kit from Ikea, only it is not foolproof and I can customise it to suit me. When I finished the outside of the hull, I sanded it, coated it with epoxy and sanded it again and again. Then I sprayed it with three coats of undercoat, more sanding and three coats of colour. I am lucky in that I have all the tools, but do not have as much skill in all aspects of the build as I would like.I commandeered some neighbours to help me pick it off the building frame, carry it outside and turn it over. I stripped down the frame and we put it back on the frame and I started assembling the inside. a bit more work assembling plywood and I will paint the inside and sort out planks for Thwarts (seats) and floorboards. I have ordered my sail with a large star sewn onto it and a lot of the hardware, but not the Sitka Spruce for the mast. I suspect I can launch in late June. The boat is due to be called “Aldebaran”

Nick Barberton
The Cottage, Woodgreen, Fordingbridge, Hants. SP62AR
Phone: 01725 510364


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