The Coracle, A boat for all millenia

Arguably the oldest sort of boat because it could have been built by the immediate post ice-age people of Northern Europe before trees grew big enough to be hewn into logboats. All you need for a coracle or othe skin boat is willow or hazel or similar and some sort of skin, be it seal, walrus, deer or cow (in the case of my coracle which is why I call it Bluebell).

If you want to be sure that you have paddled a boat from the past then you must try a coracle but listen to Isaac Walton of "The Compleat Angler", "There is great difficulty getting into one of those Truckles (coracles) for the instant you touch it with your foot , it flies away from you. And when you are in, the least inclination of the body oversets it." Or you could take heart from watching these two proper coracle men laying out a net:


The Boyne coracle or curragh in the clip is the same as mine which was made for me by Peter Faulkner of Leintwardine.

Edwin Deady's coracle Edwin Deady's coracle


Another project is to build a double-ended currach of white canvas or calico and paint it with clear paint of varnish. The cloth covering will go translucent so that the water outside cabe seen inside, as with a skin boat. Spoken of in legends, to sail a Ship of Glass!!!


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