Boat Building History

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by graywolf, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It's not a carvel if there's no frames, as the planks wouldn't have anything to hold them in place. This said, strip planking was once considered "narrow plank carvel" but it had frames back then and was mechanically fastened to frames and each plank edge set fastened to each other.
  2. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Plank-on-frame construction, such as carvel and lap streak, appear to relatively recent forms of boat (ship) construction, which probably appeared during the late first millennium. what they both have in common is that they are both frame-first methods, where a frame is built first, then the hull planking is added.

    For most of the history of wooden boat building, and this is going back some 5,000 years, boat and ships were built shell first, like stitch-and-glue and glass fiber boats today, with the framing as re-enforcement added later.

    There were two prevalent methods of joining the planks together.

    One was hole-and-lashing method, which was used from the Egyptian to the Byzantine empire eras. In this case the planks had holes, perpendicular to their surfaces, along their joining edges and were lashed together, using these holes

    the other was the mortise-tenon-peg construction, which may have been even older. Here, the planks were much thicker and had mortises cut into their edges. These mortises lined up with those of the adjoining plank and had tenons inserted into them. Once one plank was joined to the other, holes were then drilled through the planks and the tenons, perpendicular to their surfaces, for pegs which held the tenons in.

    I can imagine both of these methods were stronger than they seem, as the swelling up of the immersed wood would pull the seams tightly together.

    I could imagine one of these ancient boat builders hearing of the plank-on-frame construction and scoffing at the idea, probably saying it would be a crude, lazy man's method, then asking how on Earth would the seams be kept tight.

    I'm sure much of this scoffing would come to a quick end as soon as these ancient boat builders saw a plank-on-frame boat, and saw how well it works.

  3. Waterwitch
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Waterwitch Senior Member

    Seems the Scandinavian way of lap strake construction is plank first, then the frames are jogged and beveled to fit the hull
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