Boat in a box: How computer-aided design could introduce boat building to a new generation – CBC. ca

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A man stands in between two wooden boats. His hands are resting on each of the boats.
Boat builder Jerome Canning stands next to two wooden punts. He built the one on his right by hand, while the boat on the left is a recreation of the boat on the right made through computer-aided design. (Alex Kennedy/CBC)

The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador is injecting new technology into its traditional boat-building ways, developing a project that will allow builders to get all the pieces they need cut out by a computer.

The project, dubbed the particular kit boat or the boat in a box, is created by computer-aided design.

Boat builder Jerome Canning constructed a 16-foot punt, which was then deconstructed into its core parts and scanned into computer software.

Using the software, Canning  is able to reproduce an exact copy of the pieces on  sheets of plywood  — which can be cut and put together like a puzzle to form a functional punt.

“I came away of traditional boat-building, for the most part, and this whole business with computer-generated design and cutting in particular is a brand new thing for me, ” Canning told CBC News earlier this month.

“It’s excellent. It’s unbelievable how well it fits together. ”

A wooden boat sits in a workshop.
The pieces for this boat were created and reduce by a computer program using the blueprints of another boat. The pieces are cut from plywood and glued together to create a punt in a method called stitch and glue. (Alex Kennedy/CBC)

Jim Dempsey, president of the Wooden Boat Museum in Winterton, said the kit will be aimed at people who may not have the knowledge, time or resources in order to build a boat associated with their own.

The project is still in development — plus the  cost haven’t been decided yet — but  it has garnered attention from boat builders across North America through trade shows and visits to Winterton.

“Not everybody has the skill or the time or the resources to build a traditional boat like this 16-foot rodney, ” Dempsey said, referring to the local name for a style of punt.

“This type of boat will give them all of the heritage, tradition and some of the skills, ” Canning added.

There’s something about this vessel that has all kinds of appeal. And we’d like to be the people that provide that for them. – Jerome Canning

It’s keeping the tradition aspect of the building process that is most important to the particular pair, who have over five decades of experience between them.

“I’m a Newfoundlander. … It would be against everything we believe in to take the boat shape from some other place and starting pushing it for people to build.   We want people to know our boats and our heritage, so we’re going to stick to that will philosophy, ” Canning said.

“There’s something about this boat that has all kinds associated with appeal, and we’d such as to be the people that provide that with regard to them. ”

Dempsey said he doesn’t know when the product will hit the market. Other projects could also come out of it like smaller scale models or paper boat designs.

A photo of the inside of a traditional Newfoundland punt. Planks of wood sit across the inside as a support measure.
The particular traditional Newfoundland punt has been a staple of boat building in the province for decades. (Alex Kennedy/CBC)

There are also other issues that need to be looked at, including  how the particular punts will float in the water and how to ship the large pieces associated with plywood needed to build  boat.

The museum hopes to hold a series of test builds to see how people of different skill levels handle the process, with Dempsey saying he’d like in order to see the project go outside of the museum  — like a high school wood shop  — which could help keep traditional boat building alive regarding future generations.

A man smiles at the camera, leaning on the side of a wooden boat.
Jim Dempsey, president from the Wooden Boat Art gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, hopes the project will make boat building more accessible for future generations. (Alex Kennedy/CBC)

“One of the issues we have within heritage boat building is usually there just aren’t that many heritage boat builders. A number of people are trying to hang upon to it, but compared to what it was 10, 15 years ago, there are much, much fewer boat builders, inch Dempsey said.

“So in order to keep the punt history alive, we need in order to find builders and facilitators who are capable of taking the kit and turning it into a boat. ”

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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