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Carvel built or carvel planking is a method of boat building in which hull planks are laid edge to edge and fastened to a robust frame, thereby forming a smooth surface. Traditionally the planks are neither attached to, nor slotted into, each other, having only a caulking sealant between the planks to keep water out. Modern carvel builders may attach the planks to each other with glues and fixings.It is a "frame first" method of hull construction, where the shape is determined by the framework onto which the planks are fixed. This is in contrast to "plank first" or "shell first" methods, where the outer skin of the hull is made and then reinforced by the insertion of timbers that are fitted to that shape. The most common modern "plank first" method is clinker construction; in the classical period "plank first" involved joining the edges of planks with mortise and tenon joints within the thickness of the timbers, superficially giving the smooth-hull appearance of carvel construction, but achieved by entirely different means.
Compared to clinker-built hulls, carvel construction allowed larger ships to be built. This is because the fastenings of a clinker hull took all the hogging and sagging forces imposed by the ship moving through large waves. In carvel construction, these forces are also taken by the edge-to-edge contact of the hull planks.
From Middle English carvel, carvelle, carvile, kervel (“small ship; caravel”); from Old French caruelle, carvelle, kirvelle. 1440 onwards, and the method of hull construction took the name of the first vessel type made in that way in English and European shipyards.The term was used in English when caravels became popular in Northern European waters from c.
Carvel construction originated in the Mediterranean during the first millennium CE. It gradually replaced the edge-to-edge joining of hull plank by mortises and tenons – a "planking first" technique – which had been used by ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians and for much of the classical period. Archaeological evidence for this transition suggests it took place from c. 500 CE to the 9th century. Its slow adoption involved some variation and experimentation. Some ships were built using "framing-first", as opposed to the full "frame-first" system. In "framing-first", some of the framing is installed in the lower part of the hull, followed by the planking of that area, more framing is added to increase the height of the hull, and then more planking added to that. (The Romano-Celtic ship-building tradition of Northern Europe used "framing-first", but this part of Europe did not adopt the full "frame-first" method until much later, as discussed below.) : 101
The changeover from planking-first to frame-first happened over the same period that the Mediterranean Square Sail rig was being replaced by lateen rig. That change has been suggested to save building, fitting out and maintenance costs (though previously it was thought to be to achieve better sailing performance – something which, against the presumptions of many maritime historians, can be shown not to have happened). The move to carvel construction is believed to be another cost-saving measure (though it is felt that this is not well understood by marine archaeologists). turn of the bilges) is avoided. Carvel construction allows hull shape to be determined by design, whilst planking-first relies on the "eye" of the builder. Therefore fewer very highly skilled personnel are needed. : 101The difficult skill of mortising planks at precisely the right angle (where the hull is curved at the
One of the transitional ships is the Yassi Ada ship (7th century CE), which was excavated between 1960 and 1965. This had the lower strakes of planking fastened edge-to-edge with mortises and tenons, then the floors were added, followed by more planking joined with tenons. This brought the planking up to the waterline. Further frames were added to this next set of planking, but these continued up to the height of the intended sheerline. The strakes from the waterline up were then fastened on as carvel planking (with some wales interspersed with the regular strakes). : 61
Northern Europe used clinker construction for the period discussed above, and into the 15th century (and continued to do so for many small craft into the present day). The different methods were known of by mariners in both places, but when, for instance, Mediterranean galleys were employed by the French and English during the Hundred Years' War, shipwrights familiar with carvel work had to be recruited to carry out maintenance and repairs. : 51 In the 1440s interest in the caravel grew in northern waters and shipyards there started building caravels in carvel construction.
Clinker was the predominant method of ship construction used in Northern Europe before the carvel. In clinker built hulls, the planked edges overlap; carvel construction with its strong framing gives a heavier but more rigid hull, capable of taking a variety of sail rigs. Clinker (lapstrake) construction involves longitudinal overlapping "riven timber" (split wood) planks that are fixed together over very light scantlings. A carvel boat has a smoother surface which gives the impression that it is more hydrodynamically efficient since the exposed edges of the clinker planking appear to disturb the streamline and cause drag. A clinker certainly has a slightly larger wetted area, but a carvel hull is not necessarily more efficient: for given hull strength, the clinker boat is overall lighter, and displaces less water than a heavily-framed carvel hull.
As cargo vessels became bigger, the vessel's weight becomes small in comparison with total displacement; and for a given external volume, there is greater internal hull space available. A clinker vessel whose ribs occupy less space than a carvel vessel's is more suitable for cargo which is bulky rather than dense.
A structural benefit of clinker construction is that it produces a vessel that can safely twist and flex around its long axis (running from bow to stern). This is an advantage in North Atlantic rollers provided the vessel has a small overall displacement. Due to the light nature of the construction method, increasing the beam did not commensurately increase the vessel's survivability under the twisting forces arising if, for example, when sailing downwind, the wave-train impinges on the quarter rather than dead astern.[ clarification needed ] In these conditions greater beam widths may have made vessels[ which? ] more vulnerable. As torsional forces increased in proportion to displaced (or cargo) weight, the forces incident on the hull imposed an upper limit on the size of clinker-built vessels. The greater rigidity of carvel construction became necessary for larger offshore cargo vessels. Later carvel-built sailing vessels exceeded the maximum size of clinker-built ships several times over.
A further clinker limitation is that it does not readily support the point loads associated with lateen or sloop sailing rigs. At least some fore-and-aft sails are desirable for manoeuvrability. The same problem in providing for concentrated loads makes for difficulties siting and supporting a centerboard or deep keel, much needed when sailing across or close to the wind. Timbers can be added as necessary compromise but always with some loss of the fundamental benefits of the construction method. Clinker construction remains a useful method of construction for small wooden vessels, especially sea-going dinghies which need to be light enough to be readily moved and stored when out of the water.
Traditional carvel methods leave a small gap between each plank that is caulked with any suitable soft, flexible, fibrous material, sometimes combined with a thick binding substance, which would gradually wear out and the hull would leak. When the boat was beached for a length of time, the planks would dry and shrink, so when first refloated, the hull would leak badly unless re-caulked, a time-consuming and physically demanding job. The modern variation is to use much narrower planks that are edge-glued instead of being caulked. With modern power sanders a much smoother hull is produced, as all the small ridges between the planks can be removed. This method started to become more common in the 1960s with the more widespread availability of waterproof glues, such as resorcinol (red glue) and then epoxy resin.Modern waterproof glues, especially epoxy resin, have caused revolutionary changes in carvel and clinker construction. Traditionally, nails provided the fastening strength; now it is the glue. It has become quite common since the 1980s for carvel and clinker construction to rely almost completely on glue for fastening. Many small boats, especially light plywood skiffs, are built without any mechanical fasteners such as nails and lag screws at all, as the glue is far stronger.
Galleons were large, multi-decked sailing ships first used as armed cargo carriers by European states from the 16th to 18th centuries during the age of sail and were the principal vessels drafted for use as warships until the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the mid-1600s. Galleons generally carried three or more masts with a lateen fore-and-aft rig on the rear masts, were carvel built with a prominent squared off raised stern, and used square-rigged sail plans on their fore-mast and main-masts.
A mortiseand tenon joint connects two pieces of wood or other material. Woodworkers around the world have used it for thousands of years to join pieces of wood, mainly when the adjoining pieces connect at right angles.
The caravel is a small maneuverable sailing ship developed in the 15th century by the Portuguese to explore along the West African coast and into the Atlantic Ocean. The lateen sails gave it speed and the capacity for sailing windward (beating). Caravels were used by the Portuguese and Castilians for the oceanic exploration voyages during the 15th and 16th centuries, during the Age of Discovery.
The koch was a special type of small one or two mast wooden sailing ships designed and used in Russia for transpolar voyages in ice conditions of the Arctic seas, popular among the Pomors.
A cog is a type of ship that first appeared in the 10th century, and was widely used from around the 12th century on. Cogs were clinker-built, generally of oak. These vessels were fitted with a single mast and a square-rigged single sail. They were mostly associated with seagoing trade in north-west medieval Europe, especially the Hanseatic League. Typical seagoing cogs ranged from about 15 to 25 meters in length, with a beam of 5 to 8 meters and were 30–200 tons burthen. Cogs were rarely as large as 300 tons although a few were considerably larger, over 1,000 tons.
Boat building is the design and construction of boats and their systems. This includes at a minimum a hull, with propulsion, mechanical, navigation, safety and other systems as a craft requires.
Strip-built, or "strip-plank epoxy", is a method of boat building. Also known as cold molding, the strip-built method is commonly used for canoes and kayaks, but also suitable for larger boats. The process involves securing narrow, flexible strips of wood edge-to-edge around temporary formers. The temporary formers are usually created via a process called "lofting" whereby a set of tables is used to generate the shapes of the formers. The strips are glued edge-to-edge with epoxy. It is effectively a modern form of carvel which needs no caulking and which is both stiffer and more watertight. In a small boat, there will be just one layer of strip-planking, but larger vessels may have two or three layers which,, forms a light, strong, and torsionally stiff monococque.
A carrack is a three- or four-masted ocean-going sailing ship that was developed in the 14th to 15th centuries in Europe, most notably in Portugal. Evolved from the single-masted cog, the carrack was first used for European trade from the Mediterranean to the Baltic and quickly found use with the newly found wealth of the trade between Europe and Africa and then the trans-Atlantic trade with the Americas. In their most advanced forms, they were used by the Portuguese for trade between Europe and Asia starting in the late 15th century, before eventually being superseded in the 17th century by the galleon, introduced in the 16th century.
Clinker built is a method of boat building where the edges of hull planks overlap each other. Where necessary in larger craft, shorter planks can be joined end to end, creating a longer strake or hull plank. The technique originated in Scandinavia, and was successfully used by the Anglo-Saxons, Frisians, Scandinavians, typically in the vessels known as cogs employed by the Hanseatic League. Carvel construction, where plank edges are butted smoothly, seam to seam, supplanted clinker construction in large vessels as the demand for capacity surpassed the limits of clinker construction..
On a vessel's hull, a strake is a longitudinal course of planking or plating which runs from the boat's stempost to the sternpost or transom. The garboard strakes are the two immediately adjacent to the keel on each side.
A chine in boat design is a sharp change in angle in the cross section of a hull. The chine typically arises from the use of sheet materials as the mode of construction.
The ships of Medieval Europe were powered by sail, oar, or both. There was a large variety, mostly based on much older, conservative designs. Although wider and more frequent communications within Europe meant exposure to a variety of improvements, experimental failures were costly and rarely attempted. Ships in the north were influenced by Viking vessels, while those in the south by classical or Roman vessels. However, there was technological change. The different traditions used different construction methods; clinker in the north, carvel in the south. By the end of the period, carvel construction would come to dominate the building of large ships. The period would also see a shift from the steering oar or side rudder to the stern rudder and the development from single-masted to multi-masted ships. As the area is connected by water, people in the Mediterranean built different kinds of ships to accommodate different sea levels and climates. Within the Mediterranean area during the Medieval times ships were used for a multitude of reasons, like war, trade, and exploration.
The Humber keel was a type of single-masted, square-rigged sailing craft used for inshore and inland cargo transport around Hull and the Humber Estuary, in the United Kingdom, particularly through the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Ancient Boat building methods can be categorized as one of hide, log, sewn, lashed-plank, clinker, shell-first, and frame-first. While the frame-first technique dominates the modern ship construction industry, the ancients relied primarily on the other techniques to build their watercraft. In many cases, these techniques were very labor-intensive and/or inefficient in their use of raw materials. Regardless of differences in ship construction techniques, the vessels of the ancient world, particularly those that plied the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the islands of Southeast Asia were seaworthy craft, capable of allowing people to engage in large-scale maritime trade.
A hulk was a type of medieval sea craft, a technological predecessor of the carrack and caravel. The hulk appears to have remained a relatively minor type of sailing ship apparently peculiar to the Low Countries of Europe where it was probably used primarily as a river or canal boat, with limited potential for coastal cruising. The only evidence of hulks is from legal documents and iconography.
The Sparrow-Hawk was a 'small pinnace' similar to the full-rigged pinnace Virginia that sailed for the English Colonies in June 1626. She is the earliest ship to participate in the first decades of English settlement in the New World to have survived to the present day.
Maritime travel experienced a large leap in the capabilities of seafaring vessels thanks to technological improvements in shipbuilding in the early modern era. Europe, Asia, and the Middle East all saw improvements on prior construction techniques, contributing to the Age of Discovery. As a result, the introduction of these technologies in the production of naval vessels was critical as they allowed nations that utilized these advancements to ascend to a state that could expand its influence at a far greater range. In military engagements, the exploration of new lands and potential colonies, or the transportation of goods for trade, better shipbuilding techniques coincided with prosperity. It is during this time that the practice of naval architecture appeared, as skilled designers could produce designs that had an enormous impact in ship performance and capabilities.
Lashed-lug boats are ancient boat-building techniques of the Austronesian peoples. It is characterized by the use of sewn holes and later dowels ("treenails") to stitch planks edge-to-edge onto a dugout keel and solid carved wood pieces that form the caps for the prow and stern. The planks are further lashed together and to ribs with fiber ropes wrapped around protruding carved lugs on the inside surfaces. Unlike carvel construction, the shell of the boat is created first, prior to being fastened to the ribs. The seams between planks are also sealed with absorbent tapa bark and fiber that expands when wet or caulked with resin-based preparations.
Phoenician joints is a locked mortise and tenon wood joinery technique used in shipbuilding to fasten watercraft hulls. The locked mortise and tenon technique consists of cutting a mortise, or socket, into the edges of two planks and fastening them together with a rectangular wooden knob. The assembly is then locked in place by driving a dowel through one or more holes drilled through the mortise side wall and tenon.