Exactly big enough for two people to snuggle.
The supermodels in the boat are Arwen and Saul.
This boat is part umiak, part currach, part coracle, part papasan chair.
Here's how to make a tougher skin for it from truck tarp material.
The book "Umiak" by Skip Snaith will fill in any construction details that aren't clear here.
Now on Know How!
Check out episodes one, two, three, four, six, and
Step 1: Stems
The first step was making the stems.
I sketched them out freehand and cut them from 3/8" marine okoume plywood.
To beef up and widen the outer edge I glued on some more plywood using epoxy thickened with wood dust as seen here.
White flour works just as well, whole wheat flour doesn't. Don't use 5 minute epoxy for anything, it's not waterproof.
If I did it again I'd make the stems taller and not nearly as beefy.
Step 2: Set Up the Frame
Fiddle around and change things now when it's easy.
The stem-headboard lashings are nylon string soaked with epoxy afterwards because I was confident those parts wouldn't need to change. It turns out this boat wants to turn around and go the other direction regardless of which direction it's going. So I'd make the next keel with less or no rocker. Water sometimes splashes over the bows, so I'd make the bows higher.
Put those two facts together and the stems will have to be taller too.
Step 3: Peel Some Ribs
It's rattan, which is strong light stuff.
The other ribs are much thinner, willow shoots 6 or 7 feet long cut from a thicket. If they grow in the dark they get tall before branching. Then I tied them as seen here and let them dry for a bit. Danielle Smith is peeling the bark off these ribs with a vegetable peeler. "PLUR" written on her hand stands for "peace, love, unity, respect". You'll have to ask her why. The veggie peeler is the best way to take the bark off. If you wait too long the bark will get hard. If you do it too soon and don't oil the ribs enough they'll crack, which isn't really a problem.
The other lumber came from a company that makes wine racks. The lumber bundles they buy come wrapped with same-species tropical wood 20 feet long. I grabbed a bunch of that, ripped it thinner with a tablesaw and a thin-kerf blade, and rounded the edges off with router, plane, rounding plane, spokeshave, sandpaper, basically every tool I had. Router with quarter-round bit followed by hand sanding was fastest. Splinters while hand sanding were a major hazard.
Step 4: Lash on the Ribs and Stringers
16 ribs times 13 longitudinals equals 208 lashings. I should have used string instead of innertube. It takes a bit longer, but after it's soaked with epoxy it lasts longer too. There's nothing temporary or easy to change about 200 lashings.
Step 5: Frame Details
Step 6: More Frame Details
It's also good to rest a seat on, if you wanted seats.
When the thing was all together I soaked it with linseed oil. I could have done that first and it would have been less work, but at the time it always seems like a pain in the neck.
Step 7: Closed-Cell Foam
I glued the closed-cell foam layer together using contact cement following the directions on the can. It's DAP Weldwood original earthwrecking contact cement. Fabulous stuff unless you're a brain cell.
Step 8: The Skin
I used an outer skin of denim, regular jeans material, painted with black rubber roof paint (Sun Roof Systems brand). I used an inner skin of red taffeta to protect the foam from heels etc. and to make the boat more festive.
Here I am fitting the denim skin. There's a seam over each stem and a hem around the edge with a piece of cord in it. The cloth stretches enough to fit tightly over this boat's shape without any other gussets or seams.
When lacing the skin tight over the frame, the lacing cord is just poked through holes punched through the hem. The cord in the hem keeps it from ripping out.
Step 9: On the Water
The wheels at the stern are from a bicycle baby wagon. The wheels come off easily but it's no problem leaving them on. To move this boat by bicycle I shove the oar blades under a rib, tie them to the bow with an innertube, turn the boat over, lash an oar handle to my bike rack or seat post with innertubes, and ride away.
Step 10: And In the Water
Now floating nice and high with all that closed-cell foam, a little bailing and the boat is back bobbing on the water like before.