Based on the Thames, most of my work has been with traditional Thames boats from the 1880’s to the 1960’s where carvel planked launches and fine clinker skiffs predominate. I have also re-built more esoteric construction forms, such as the Saunders patent “Consuta” construction with multi-layered copper stitched planking; double or treble planked hulls and Canadian canoe half-lapped planking. Although most of the new builds have been traditional carvel construction I have built using more modern strip planking and plywood techniques.
Whether I am building a new launch or re-building a wonderful vintage boat, my first concern are the materials I am going to use, in particular, the timber. Timber is not a regular and predictable commodity. Steel and plastic, for instance, can be sourced and ordered remotely, but timber needs to be found, and then selected with care and knowledge. The approach to producing a high-quality boat you need to start the project with an attention to detail that continues until the job is completed. A well-built or well restored boat will require less maintenance, retain its value, and become a great source of pleasure for the owner.