With Twigs and an Animal Hide You Too Can Build a Boat

Forget the megayacht of yesterday.  I am sure I can afford a megayacht timeshare…unless you can rent by the minute and I start saving now.  Despite my lack of cash, I do have access to some willow rods.  If I could just find the a large animal hide, I’d be set.  I guess it’s time to get scudding.  With these supplies and some tar, I could presumably make an Irish coracle, a flat-bottomed-walnut-shell-shaped boat constructed of  interwoven rods, bound by twine, and covered in an animal skin, used on rivers, tidal flats, and other waterways.

The video above demonstrates how masters build the coracle, so nothing should stand in your way.  You can order a hide here or better yet McMaster-Carr has canvas.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

5 Replies to “With Twigs and an Animal Hide You Too Can Build a Boat”

  1. With a couple fine coracles and crews of grant thirsty marine scientists armed with pipettes and CTD’s I’m sure we could strike fear into the hearts of the mega-yacht owners and convince them to “grant” us use of their ships for the 340 dys of the year they don’t use them.

  2. Fascinating piece of footage. But a sea-going coracle made of willow and 30 ox hides? Hmmm. What could possibly go wrong?

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