Currachs and Baltimore Wooden Boat festival.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! And boy are they right. I eventually had a couple of days that I was able to leave workshop. If you look at the last post you can see there’s a good bit of work to be done on  the Cape Henry 21′ and just over an month and a half to do it. The reason I managed to escape was the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival which takes place each May.


I thought I would show you some of the details of a couple of Currachs that were at the festival. The one on the left is what would be most familiar type of Currach that would carry four rowers and is made using laths to create the framework of the boat. Over which is then stretched canvas that is treated with tar.

The boat on the right is a Dunfanaghy Currach. It’s much smaller and would be rowed by one or two rowers. It is also “cruder” than the larger one as you can see it is framed with willow sallies and doesn’t have the doubling of the gunwale framing that the larger boat has. The knees are also much less refined and before galvanised strapping was used no doubt grown crooks would have been employed.


The photos above give a few more details of typical construction used in Currachs. On the right we see a large knee holding the thwart and to the right of that at the edge of the photo are the wearin pieces for the thole pin and oar. The photo on the right shows how some of the frames are pinned in place but most are held by friction alone.



the two fine vessels above are both regular visitors to the festival. On the left is the Peel Castle and the Julia, a McGruer built ketch. Both look very handsome and unfortunately I manage to take all of my photos on the dull, when in fact this years festival had the best weather in many many years. I was glad to get out of the workshop for a couple of days as from here on in it was fullon to get the Cape Henry 21′ finished for July.

Why not contact Tiernan Roe, about having your dream boat built phone +353 (0)86 1586937 or email

Roeboats, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, t:+353 (0)28 38973 m: +353 (0)86 158 69 37


I’m back. More info to follow.

In the meantime I’m in the middle of redesigning the blog/website. So please bear with me, it might get very ugly before I’m finished. Hopefully it’ll be better than ever when I’m done. Here’s a picture of the Hardanger Fartøyvern Senter in the snow.

Hardanger ship preservation centre in the snow during visit of Tiernan Roe of Roeboats

And yes it was as cool as it looks both literally and figuratively.

Roeboats, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, t:+353 (0)28 38973 m: +353 (0)86 158 69 37


Roeboats goes to Norway

For those of you who haven’t signed up for the Newsletter you won’t have heard that I have been chosen by the Crafts Council of Ireland to travel to Norway for two weeks on work placement at the Hardanger Boat Museum in Norheimsund south east of Bergen on the shores of the Hardanger Fjord . (It’s the third largest fjord in the world.)

M/Y Faun

Here’s one of the vessels at the museum the M/Y Faun built in 1916. What a beauty and below is the MS Paddy also from 1916 another good looking boat.

I’ll be involved with all aspects of work at the museum and will be starting at the rope walk which sounds knd of like hard work. There will of course more pictures of my trip and by the time I’m finished you’ll probably be sick of hearing about it. If you wish to contact me over the next two weeks to discuss having you own boat built I will be checking my e-mails but it will be sporadic so don’t be disappointed with a slow reply.

Fitting masts on 16 foot Sharpie Yawl

Well it’s time to roll the 16 foot sharpie lug-sail yawl outside to fit the masts. It was easy enough to jack the boat up on to some wheeled dollies that I use a lot as I work mostly alone.16 foot wooden sharpie lugsail yawl moving outsideAnd then all she needed was a bit of a shove out the door.

16 foot sharpie wooden boat moving outsideI stopped just before the ramp down out of the workshop just to make sure she was lined up right and wouldn’t run away from me.

Almost outHere she is ready for levelling and the fitting of the masts.

Here she is with the masts stepped. She still needs her final sanding and floor boards fitted but she’s pretty much done at this stage. I’m just waiting on the sails now to do a final test rigging and the owner will be picking her up. If you would like your own boat built for you why not give me a ring on +353 86 158 69 37 or +353 28 38973 to discuss your project. Or by e-mail

Masts in sharpie lugsail yawl.

Roeboats, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, t:+353 (0)28 38973 m: +353 (0)86 158 69 37


Decking and Cockpit coaming on Sharpie Yawl.

We’re getting down to the final stages of construction now with the decking going on the boat. All of the blocking and mast partners were fixed into the boat before the deck went on. So the next stage is putting the cockpit coaming on.Deck on catbird 16 foot wooden lugsail yawl sharpie built by Roeboats, West Cork Ireland for sale

Below you can see the forward section of the coaming being glued into place and the first section of the aft section going on. I’ll cut the top of the coaming to match the deck sheer when the glue is set.Start of coaming on catbird 16 foot wooden sharpeis dayboat built by roeboats Ballydehob, Ireland for sale

Here you can see that the top has been cut to match the deck sheer and the next pieces will be the transom section of the coaming, the oak edging strip for the ply and a small bow piece . There’s a few other pieces of news in the pipeline here at Roeboats. If you’re subscribed to the newsletter you already know. So if you want to be on the inside track of what’s happening at Roeboats sign up by clicking on the link in the right hand sidebar.Finishing coaming on catbird 16 foot wooden sharpie dayboat lugsail built by Roeboats West Cork Ireland for sale

Roeboats, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, t:+353 (0)28 38973 m: +353 (0)86 158 69 37


Starting the interior of Catbird 16

Now the slow work starts with the fitting out of the hull. You can see here in the picture below that I’m attaching the seat supports and deck beam for the aft deck. I used brackets as intermediary supports for the seats instead of cleats and legs so that the  cockpit sole would be clear. Making it easier to clean and giving more room to lie down in the forward section underneath the spray hood.Fitting out the interior of a 16 foot sharpei lug sail yawl by Roeboats, Ballydehob, Ireland, for saleHere the seats are being fitted to the hull curvature and will be fixed down to the supports with the required doublers for taking the strain of the fittings that will be attached.

Fitting the seats on a sixteen foot sharpie lugsail yawl by Roeboats, West Cork Ireland, For sale

Here the deck carlin is going in. It’s white oak so I had to rip the forward end so that it would take the bend . The pile of stuff on the foredeck are parts of the rudder.Interior fit out of 16 foot sharpie yawl by Roeboats, West Cork Ireland For Sale

Once the carlin was in place I was able to begin work on laying the deck; but before that I had to make a template for the cockpit coaming. This is the forward section been marked out. You can just see the deck doublers at the fore deck. I decided to infill the whole deck as there are a lot of fittings in this area which would otherwise require lots of separate pads. This should make the bow strong and stiff to take the forces exerted by the unstayed mast.

Coaming template on 16 foot lugsail sharpie yawl by Roeboats West Cork Ireland

If you would like your own custom built boat either sail or power why not give me a ring or drop me an e-mail to discuss your project at +353 86 158 69 37 or

Roeboats, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, t:+353 (0)28 38973 m: +353 (0)86 158 69 37


Rolling a 16′ sharpie Lug sail Yawl.

Well the hull is finally ready for rolling over. There are just a few small jobs to be done to make this happen.Preparing to roll a 16' sharpie lug sail yawl by Roeboats, West Cork Ireland For sale

First I have to remove the strongback and the support that are holding the boat up. I had to get in under the boat and unscrew all of this and make sure it didn’t fall on me.

Removing strongback from 16' lugsail yawl by Roeboats West Cork Ireland for sale

Starting the roll of 16' Lugsail sharpie by Roeboats Ireland for saleThen I dropped down one side.

Rolling 16' sharpie lugsail yawl boat by Roeboats, West Cork Ireland for saleFlexed my massive muscles and rolled the boat. Well it was pretty light and once on its side I was really controlling the fall.

Here she is right side up and the real work can start fitting the decks and interior seating etc.

Roeboats, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, t:+353 (0)28 38973 m: +353 (0)86 158 69 37


Glassing and Fairing a Catbird 16 Lugsail Yawl.

Well I’ve trimmed back the bottom planking and Attached the white oak keel. In the photo below you can see me trimming the opening of the centreboard slot with a router and pattern bit so that it will match the centreboard case exactly. This was followed by a pass with a 9mm round-over bit to give the opening an nice rounded edge. If there is one thing you don’t want on a boat it is a sharp edge. Well maybe on the trailing edge of a rudder or centreboard and of course your knife. Rapier sharp wits are optional. Cutting the centre board slot in th ekeel of a Catbird 16 lugsail sharpie, by Roeboats, West Cork, Ireland, For sale.Once the hull was sanded and all the edges are nicely rounded it was time to sheathe the hull in fibreglass and epoxy resin. This was a time consuming but undifficult operation. I left the skeg off until the hull was sheathed to make it a bit easier to sheath around this area. You can also see that I have added the outer stem piece before sheathing.Catbird 16 lugsail sharpie hull sheathed in epoxy and fiberglass, by Roeboats, West Cork, Ireland, For sale.The next step was to apply a thin layer of fairing compound to help fill the weave of the cloth and smooth out any wrinkles (there were none of course). I emphasise a thin layer because most if not all of the fairing was done to the framework before the planking was applied. Like hanging doors where he who makes the frame should hang the door the same applies to fairing, he who applies the fairing compound should be the one to sand it off. Fairing the hull of a Catbird 16 lugsail yawl sharpie by Roeboats, West Cork Ireland, For sale

Check back next week for further progress or why not subscribe to the blog using your preferred method e.g. feedburner RSS feed or use the email subscription to the right of the screen. Or better yet subscribe to the Roeboats Quarterly Newsletter

Roeboats, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, t:+353 (0)28 38973 m: +353 (0)86 158 69 37


Planking of 16 foot Lugsail Yawl Sharpie

Well progress continues with the building of the 16 foot Catbird lugsail Yawl. As you can see I started with the side planking which I had already cut out to shape. This was provided with the plans so I didn’t have to do any spiling. I decided to butt strap the side planking and scarf the bottom. Scarphing the bottom ensured that there was no obstruction for water to gather behind in the bilge.Planking wooden 16 foot lugsail yawl sharpie Catbird 16 by Roeboats, cork Ireland, for sale

All of the planking was coated in three coats of epoxy resin and sanded before assembly. It was easier to do it now than when assembled. I would have liked to have six foot long arms when I was putting the bottom sheets on or at least a helper. It was a little tricky lifting the forward sheet clear of the glue spread on the frames and chines and placing it square to the centreline. The aft sheet was easier. You can now get a good impression of the boats size. She’s a pretty voluminous boat for here modest length and beam.Bottom planking of wooden 16 foot lugsail yawl sharpie by Roeboats Cork Ireland , For Sale

Anyway here she is planked up. I didn’t cut the bottom planks before glueing them down. I’ll trim back to the side planking when the epoxy has dried. Next step is the filling of all the screw hole etc. prior to attaching the keel and glassing the hull. If you’d like to get more info from Roeboats about upcoming projects and news why not subscribe to Roeboats Quarterly Newsletter by clicking here. Or if you would like your own custom boat built why not give me ring or send me an e-mail at the contact below. I’m always interested in talking about boats.

Roeboats, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, t:+353 (0)28 38973 m: +353 (0)86 158 69 37


Setting up Frames of Catbird 16 lugsail yawl sharpie

Here are a few photos of setting up the frames for the Karl Stambaugh Catbird 16 lug sail yawl sharpie. Each frame has to be centred, levelled and plumbed. They are then all brace together so they won’t move during the planking of the boat.

Setting up frames for wooden sharpie lug sail yawl boat

Setting up frames for wooden sharpie 16 foot lug sail yawl

Setting up frames for wooden 16 foot sharpie lug sail yawl by Roeboats

Roeboats, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, t:+353 (0)28 38973 m: +353 (0)86 158 69 37