The curach project is underway. Yesterday Edward, Ian and I spent a terrific day working together at Sprint Mill to build the frame from spruce. A local carpenter had machined the pieces to size for us and Edward’s son kindly cut the curved shoulder pieces with his bandsaw though in future we could easily do that with a turning saw.
As this is our first curach there was plenty of time spent scratching heads, discussing details and double, triple-checking measurements. There’s pleasure in the making so no need to hurry and the day flew past. It’s a very simple construction with bolted lap joints though getting the angle between the shoulders and the gunwales took some thought. The next one will be easier and we’re definitely planning a ‘next one’.
After lunch we took a trip over to Edward’s woods to make the most of the daylight and with Paul & Kirsten’s help cut 50 hazel rods 6ft long and ‘light & fine’ for the hull ribs, called ‘couples’. This will give us a few extra for while we’re learning to bend them into place.
Back in the workshop we used a string line to check the alignment of the frame, kerfing the joints in the bow for the fine adjustment.
Rightly pleased with our day’s work we settled by the fire for a celebratory drink. Ian brought out the ‘tasting kit’ and led us through a sampling of some excellent Islay malts. If only every day was like this.