Our class decided to build a little boat. We needed a boat to help us return some lobsters to the sea. We were growing the lobsters in an aquarium in our class. Unfortunately for unknown reasons the lobsters didn't survive but we decided to carry on building the boat.

We researched the boat on the Internet. We found a lightweight boat that was suitable. It was designed by Platt Montford and he sent us a plan and partial kit for building the Sweet Pea II.

First of all we made the moulds. We pasted the plan onto some heavy cardboard and cut it out to shape.

We got two planks of mahogany and Caoimhe's dad cut them to the right measurements.

 

 


 

We assembled a strongback. It looks like a long rectangular box and you build the boat on top of it.

Next we put the moulds in position. We had to be very careful to line them up properly and we used a line and square to help us.

We glued the keel to the stem post and sternpost in position. That was easy.

 

When that was ready an experienced boat builder, Mr. Michael Kennedy from Dunmore East came in to help us. He showed us how to cut and glue the gunnels in place. He also showed us some pictures of other boats he had worked on e.g. Dunbrody, James Caird II, a Galway hooker and the Susan Constance, they were very interesting.

We cut and glued the stringers in place. There are four pairs of stringers. It was a little tricky to get the correct angle for cutting but we did it.

What's next?

In September we plan to complete the boat. We will put the ribs in place. Then we will cover the boat with heat shrink Dacron and glue the final few pieces in place.

When the boat is ready we test it in the sea. Everyone is looking forward to that day. It's a very different and exciting project to work on.

Ms. O'Connell's Fifth Class,
St. Mary's National School,
Ballygunner,
Waterford.