Thursday, 26 May 2011


At the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis, graduation day is approaching. A record twelve boats are being launched on June 12, including this lovely and interesting Spitzl by Uli Killer from Germany.
The Spitzl is a lake boat, very much like a Thames skiff designed for larger waters with a more angled stem and a bigger transom while keeping the wineglass shape. Uli has based his design on boats from Tegernsee in Bavaria.
He has done a wonderful job. Almost the last process was to oil the hull rather than varnish it. Oil has to be applied every half an hour or so, apparently, until the wood can take up no more, so Uli started work at 7 in the morning and religiously applied oil every 30 minutes until it just flowed off - 26 coats later. The day of incredibly hard work paid off, as the wood then had to be left for a week for the oil to impregnate properly. Uli took his family to Cornwall for a well-deserved break. There is lots more on his blog (it's in German but if you load it in Google Chrome it will translate it for you automatically. It won't translate it very well, but for non-German speakers like me it gives the gist).
Tegernsee has its own traditional rowing boat, with a long beak-like bow and a flat bottom. All the illustrations show one man rowing and a load of passengers doing nothing but admiring each others' dirndls or lederhosen, so it it is obviously designed as a ferry rather than a pleasure boat (pleasure for the oarsman, that is).

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