The blog will now be devoted not to boat building but to my 82-year-old Vertue, Sally II, now undergoing a well needed refit at Johnson & Loftus in Ullapool (and gliding...)

Monday, 30 May 2011

Have I Arrived?

Can't say yet if it will make any difference to the level of enquiries received for wooden boats, but membership of the Wooden Boatbuilders Trade Association is at least recognition after 10 years that I am a boat builder.

I reckon to have the basics of a certain type of boat building, in my case plywood... NO! What am I saying? Traditional clinker is what I meant to say. Just that if you were to drop by my air-conditioned, purpose built workshop you would see a couple of plywood boats on the go. And the sooner they've gone the better,  as I have a 14ft clinker boat next up, thank goodness.

The Nutshell pram has been satisfying, and mercifully quick. If nothing else you can build a boat in no time with plywood. And yet, and yet...

But I have set my sights higher, and I do believe solid timber is higher, for which reason I am very proud to be a member now of the WBTA, whose membership includes some of my boat building heroes. So, thanks those who felt I had earned my stripes. Trouble is my mentor Tom Whitfield in Australia knows full well that I haven't even scratched the surface of knowledge, and time is running out.


  1. Congratulations, Adrian!
    Once again you prove your mettle.

    An aside. I am trying to sell my favorite clinker skiff, planked with world famous, indigenous locally Port Orford cedar and cross planked on her bottom with African mahogany.
    A couple fellows have balked because they couldn't stand the concept of her leaking every time she's launched. I told one of them that she took up within an hour and that was the last I heard of him!

    She's never taken on more than a half pint, which is more than we can say about her skipper.


  2. More congratulations.

    despite having "nailed" a couple of plywood boats together in no time I'm inexorably drawn to the real thing. Every time I pick up a piece of real timber I take another step, it's a delight to work with - I'm even looking at that 18" day boat in the classic boat listings thinking I could....

  3. Nice article, thanks for the information.

    Solid Timber