Building Traditional Boats

in Crystal River, Florida

The Crystal River Boat Builders have, since 2008, been reviving lost boatbuilding, ship rigging, and woodworking skills. We have been practicing the arts needed to take a hull design from a table of offsets (measurements of an actual boat) expanding those numbers to full size drawings (lofting) and then to the actual framing and building of a hull.

We have completed - using only hand tools – six small craft. The first was a 14 foot Chesapeake Sharpie - the fishing boat most often found on this part of the coast.

Next we built a "flat-iron" skiff, a small rowing boat, which would have been the common boat used by folks living on the shore of the gulf or nearby lakes.

Then we built a 16 foot pram. Prams were the "pickup truck" of the waterfront community. They carried a lot of different loads and performed many tasks - such as nets and traps and boxes and baskets for fishermen and crabbers. They were a very stable platform for the tong wielding oystermen.

In between working on these chapter-built craft some members found time to buildt a pirogue, a small plywood skiff, and to refurbish a 1928 Old Town canoe.

In the spring of 2014 the CRBB finished the building the SPIRIT a replica of a 36x12 sailing scow. SPIRIT qualifies as a "Tall Ship."

More information on these craft can be found by following the links at the bottom of the page.