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Boats are made from wood everywhere that people live by the water. The Brecht are easily the greatest boat builders of Cerilia, although many Khinasi have continued ancient Masetian practices and build very fine boats. The Anuireans, in the great back-handed compliment of Count Danigau of Brechtur "build very badly designed boats very well". The Rjurik generally lack large boat building facilities but build a number of small raiding ships. The Vos of Yeninskiy and Velenoye build boats for raiding but otherwise the Vos build boats only for fishing or hunting whales.


Clinker-built boats are built of overlapping planks (called strakes) which are riveted by copper together, the ribs of the ship (called frames) are then added later for strength and riveted in place. The strakes are steamed and bent to the desired shape, as are the frames. The Rjurik and Vos generally build ships in using the clinker-method.

[top]Carval built

Carval built ships are built frame first and then the strakes are added. The strakes in these ships do not overlap, and are instead butted edge to edge. Once the strakes are placed they must be caulked ? the 'u' shapes gaps between the planks must have hemp rope hammered into them to seal them against the water. The Anuireans, Brecht and Khinasi all build using the carval-method.
Whether clinker or carvel built, the embryonic ship pieces must be held in place by a frame of some sort. For smaller ships this framework is often a rope frame tied to a single overhead beam called a donkey, larger ships require scaffolding.


Paint is used to thickly cover all the upper wood (the wood that will be above the water), the lower wood is covered in tar. The paint acts to seal the wood against water and so painting and tarring the hull is a key part of boat maintenance. A skilled mariner can tell where every boat in sight comes from by the colour shceme of their paint for each village has its own distinct traditions.


Larger ships require curved oak as larger pieces cannot be bent, and even smaller pieces are weakened by bending. Shipwrights look for wood from grown crooks ? oaks which have grown apart from other large trees and so sent out long boughs that twist about. Lighter wood such as larch may be used for planking that does not need to bear loads.


Most boats and all ships have a keel ? a deeper section in the middle to make them more stable. The exceptions are barges which have flat bottoms and so can travel in very shallow water, but cannot take rough seas.


Most boats have a pointed front to cut through water and a flatter often deeper rear, this combination allows the boat to be steered more easily. Ships with semi-circular bottoms tend to be less stable than those with the traditional heart shape (strictly the void between the two tops of a heart).

[top]Leather and bark

As an alternative to planking, the frame may be covered by leather, or even by bark. These boats tend to be far more fragile than 'proper' ships but are often easier to make and found in tribal regions. The people of Thaele and northern Rjurik sometimes make small kayaks of whale-bone and seal-skin

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