Remember the rowboat race this summer?  Of course you do.  Well, I foolishly purchased three half-completed Norwegian faerings (traditional rowboats) last year and it’s time to get down to business and fix these up.  You can see  one of three faerings just beyond the Onkel Ole (blue boat).

Here is the sail that came with the boats–also one square traditional sail.  This is a dipping lug.  With this sail and the half finished hulls, our local shipwrights and I begin to piece together the missing parts…..

The above photo is the second hull filled with all sorts of sailing stuff–masts, yards, rudder parts, and what is normally regarded as ‘furniture.’   All the lighter wood is yellow cedar and represents our continuation of this project, started by a Port Townsend boat building school about 10 years ago.

These seats fit passively over the thwarts and are carved on the underside as to placement…..

We’ve three boats, with four oars each so Petersburg’s premier shipwright Andy cuts out these 13′ masterpieces and begins to shape them perfectly.  Andy is the “Stradivari of spruce.”

Here is Andy storing the masts and oars he’s built– what craftsmanship!

Remember Michael from this past summer’s Katahdin refit?   Here he and I are forging nails, rivets and roves out of iron to fasten the rest of these faerings.  Ho ho ho!

Here are the nails, rivets and roves…..

And here I’m backing the rivet while Michael peens the rove into place–drawing the plank into the frame.  We make many sizes–some 2-3″ which fasten the thwarts as well–making this faering sturdy enough for coastal plundering.

Here’s the rudder design and execution–all hand forged.  The gudgeon is designed to slip down on the long pintle while underway.  The top of the pintel is visible above the waterline and is  a perfect curve so the rudder  can be removed/engaged while converting from sail to rowing.  Another elegant Norwegian design!

Many of the fasteners are not iron, but oak tree-nails or “trunnels” as they are pronounced.  Here, Andy is hand carving slightly tapered (at the head) oak drifts that are driven through the hull into frames and then wedged on the opposite side.  This is all that holds them and when they are wet, they swell slightly making the faering stronger.  Most ships in the early viking age and beyond were entirely fastened with such “trunnels.”  OK–time for launch….

Only one leak–we left out a nail but a quick knife sharpened plug and it’s good to go.

I’m ready to leave the dock like a fearless Viking on the maiden voyage.   This boat is very ‘tender’ meaning it’s tippy.  I clearly need more ballast especially if I’m going to sail this.  Here’s a movie of the maiden voyage:

Here is the faering’s new home–The South Kupreanof Yacht Club located here at Totland.  This is the newest addition of our fleet of 13 boats!  Can’t wait to rig her sails and pillage and plunder the coast like a good Norwegian…..  Stay tuned.


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