Thuyền thúng Coracle -- the first sod is turned

Today I marked out the preferred circumference of the Thuyền thúng Coracle: 1.3 metres

< Coracle in situ and in drydock, showing marker width. A virtual coracle.

Why 1.3 metres? That's the width I can comfortably fit on top of a car or drag behind a bicycle on a trailer. It is -- I hope -- big enough to support me, my weight and my fishing gear.

I wonder if it's wide enough...but given my projected use -- inlet fishing, so long as it floats, I reckon I can remain buoyant and seaworthy.

Vietnamese coracles don't have seats, but I was thinking I'd prefer somewhere to put my bum for  a few hours each trip and had planned to simply tie on a milk crate. But when I sampled that option, I found that I'd have little room for my feet between the crate and the sides of the craft. So I tried the simple plastic pedestal. Works fine -- if I want to carry a seat. With this seat in place, in the water the coracle  will be like a floating mushroom.

Seated I got a feeling for the lie of the land/water and recognize that with my limited diameter I'd need to take care how far my lip rose above the water line. This is a factor of how steep the hull and how broad the underbelly.

Once I get my measurements sorted the construction process will begin  at  the very spot photographed.
  1. I build up a plug from old bricks and stuff, such as milk crates.
  2. I cover this with supermarket plastic bags filled with soil or sand.
  3. To sculpt the final shape over this I think my best bet is  to throw down a layer of plaster and cloth.
  4. Once smoothed and modelled  I can then begin to use the shape as my (upside down) coracle (male) mould
I'm still exploring my material options -- but a recent suggestion of Cascamite, Extramite, Polymite, Wood Glue looks exciting.

Either that or Acrylic house  paint -- Dulux Weathershield. The draw back with  the acrylic paint is cost (as well as a nagging suspicion that the process won't work).
This product may have changed its name over the years but its still the same powdered urea/formaldehyde resin glue, for cabinet and dinghy building. It is afully gap-filling, water resistant (when tested against DIN Spec. 68602/3 Section B3), mould resistant and non-staining, and is approved by Lloyds Register of shipping (Certificate No. YSC/QA 115) under the Society`s Quality Approval Scheme. 
This adhesive produces a bond stronger than the timber.
By Weight
Use 2 parts of Cascamite powder to 1 part of cold water.
By Volume
Use 3.1/2 parts of Cascamite powder to 1 part of cold water.
So given that my building material is Kraft paper the glue may suit. My initial objection to resin coatings was that they were one layer between me  sinking and I wanted to be able to recoat as required, even strip back -- preferably annually. So now I'm thinking that I'll combine what ever depth I can with this glue as a paper-mache mix then use the Acrylic and  paper as an external overlay coating. The solidity of the glue -- no  flex? -- will give me a firm base.

Coracle sailing? Source: The (English)Coracle Society


Post a Comment