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Discussion in 'DIY and Traditional crafts' started by Dreadhead, Apr 25, 2019.
"The Brendan Voyage"?
As I recall it was Oak tanned cow hides proofed with fat and wax... years since I read it though...
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see the images you posted last night Hamish....?
I recall the wax+fat proofing lasted incredibly well. My memory tells me the mix went hard, but still kept the flexibility ( and water proofness)?
Maybe something like this could be done on your 'skins', Hamish!
That book is well worth reading.
i'll have to read into that, though i would guess tar.
To be frank, I have not read that book since late 70’s or early 80’, but I think he descrived well ’how and why”.
I recall he was not sure about the longevity of the w. proofing, but that it worked better than expected.
If you create more than one boat you could always try both techniques.
I need to try to find an online version of the book, would love to read it again!
excellent the leather boat i build a few years ago in norway was in the sea for 4 years with just tar on it, and when we finally had a look for maintenance it could have lasted another year or two but be re-tarred it anyway. So i think you have a few years with tar, with some maintenance every few years the same as any boat
That is a fantastic ’life’.
Did you read that book, mr Hamish?
My local community here in Mayo, west of Ireland and Kilmartin museum, west of Scotland were involved in a large corricle building project back in 97. There is a long connection between here and Iona. The corricle was build here, and sailed to Scotland from Antrim, I went over for its arrival on Iona.
Often wondered where that boat ended up. Must ask around. It was 22 foot long, took eight cow hides, and carried a team of six rowers and had a sail.
A little bit of googling I found, not much info, but this newspaper story for anyone that might be interested. No photos sadly, but I did be able to track a few down.
Brilliant stuff, thanks
That could be the one that ended up in Archaeolink in Aberdeen? Which is sadly now closed so no idea where it could have ended up
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With the scouts we built a couple over the summer, used an old advertising banner for the skin but worked really well for the scouts to use.
Can't believe I missed this thread, excellent stuff Hamish, thanks for sharing it. Here in west Wales there's a fair bit of Coracle history and we see them around quite regularly. Any other projects in the pipeline?
What could have been the sources of the water proofing materials?
Rendered animal fats, I can understand but wax (bee's wax?) and the tar?
From all your accounts, the needed quantities must have been substantial.
Tar was one of the most profitable exports from Scandinavia since early history.
Nobody knows how far back
Sheep cultivating for wool goes back a long time in the British Isles, and one byproduct is Lanolin.
Excellent leather preserver and water proofer, as all of us know.
Fat from other domestic animals, including the body fat from sheep, was too valuable as a food source to use on a boat.most was eaten, tallow was made into candles.
Wax? I do not know in Britain, but bee keeping- every farm had bees. Honey was the only sweetener for Millenia, the wax was used for luxury candles, and usually paid as tax to the church, chieftain or overlord.
I doubt bees wax would be used on boats.
That is amazing, thank you for sharing. Having seen the replica of the Brendan Voyage ship its well worth the visit to see the craftsmanship