HOWB 007 – Interview with Nordic Boat builder Jay Smith

by admin on November 3, 2011



Listener Questions and Other
Josh Mattson called the listener hotline with a question: “What’s the difference between Carvel and Clinker boat building methods, and when did these methods start?”  Answer: Carvel planking runs the length of the boat, is reinforced by heavy internal frames and is butted together (ends and sides) to produce a smooth outside hull profile.  Clinker planking also runs the length of the boat, but each plank has a slight overlap with the long side of the previous plank (strake), and the strakes are attached to each other with either mechanical fasteners or glues. Since the strakes are attached to each other, the internal framework of a Clinker boat can be much lighter.  Carvel planking dates back to the 14th century and was believed to be invented in the Iberian peninsula and first sailed by the Spanish and Portugese.  Clinker (or lapstrake) planking dates back to about 1,000 AD and is generally attributed to the Vikings.  Thanks for the question Josh!

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Preview of Next Weeks Podcast – Eric Harman, Wood Canvas Canoe Builder
Next week we will feature an interview with Eric Harman of Harman Canoes of Oso, WA.  Eric builds wood canvas canoes following North American methods developed in the late 1800’s.  Don’t miss the interview!  Here’s a picture of one of Eric’s canoes:

1960 Huron Canoe - restored to original by Eric.

This Weeks’ Interview with Nordic Builder Jay Smith – Aspoya Boats
I had a great interview with Jay at his shop in Anacortes, WA.  Jay tells the story of how he visited Norway while in college, connected with his cousins, fell in love with their hand built wooden boats, and spent several years studying Nordic boat building under a master.  Jay’s big project now is a 56′ Viking Ship he is building for the organization Wild Expeditions .  You can contact Jay at 360 293-2034. Don’t miss this intriguing interview – click on the green player button above.  Here’s some pics to enjoy (click on picture to enlarge):

Viking Ship being planked under cover.

Strake to stem inset detail.

Jay working on his masterpiece!

Nordic sailing vessel Jay is building.

Inside the Aspoya Boat Shop.

Want to help?  Please leave feedback!

My goal is to build a community of folks who want to connect, learn, and have fun with wooden boats.  Your valuable feedback will help me do just that.  Please tell us about a wooden boat you have built or owned and why it was so special.  You can answer this question on my website comment section, email me:, or call our feedback hotline at 424 261-2360.


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