Skinning the Curach

The day finally arrived last week to skin the curach. To be honest, this is one of the parts we’ve had some trepidation about; the instructions we’re working with get a bit vague at this stage and sewing isn’t a key skill within the team. Nevertheless we set to and, as you’ll see from the photos, did a pretty good job.
tacking on the curach skinBetween this and the last meeting, Edward had fitted the fixed seat so there was nothing to stop us. We’ve chosen a single layer of 12oz canvas for this 10ft curach. Many craft use a heavier canvas or double skin but we want to keep it as light as possible and, as a boat for the Lake District, it will never have the beating that a true sea-going curach would. Fortunately, the canvas is available in wide enough pieces to go right across our hull without seams. Starting from the centre we stretched the canvas across the hull and tacked it in place using roofing nails. It’s tough on your hands trying to pull a 6ft wide sheet tight but tapping the skin afterwards we got a very satisfying sound which we took to mean it was good enough.
Sewing the tucksFrom there it’s a case of sewing in some tucks at bow and stern to fit the skin around the curved shape. A perusal of Edward’s little curach made by Jack Robinson revealed that he’d somehow fitted the skin without a single tuck but we were definitely going to need them. Even Ian was drafted in to do some sewing and gradually it all came together – we can each identify our own tucks from ten paces.
Everything will be coated with several coats of bitumen paint to waterproof it then there’s a few bits and pieces still to fit but otherwise it’s all there. The excitement is mounting, especially as we’ve now set a date for an official launch and rashly invited the local press to attend.
Can’t finish without an ‘admiring’ photo of Ian and Edward with our handiwork.
Admiring the curach

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