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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction
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  #1  
Old 04-03-2008
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Boatbuilders

Are boatbuilders in the USA called Shipwrights ?
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Old 04-03-2008
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Shipwrights is an archaic term, don't think it's used much anymore to describe builders of large commercial ships - been replaced by shipbuilders. But, if you're referring to craftsmen who are skilled at building boats-such as recreational sailboats, then, boatbuilders would be correct.

Why do you ask - thinking of building a ship? (g)
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Old 04-03-2008
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I believe you are correct if the boat is being built of wood. Shipwright would apply.

Steel boats require; welders, steamfitters, crane operators, etc.
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Yea I'd love to give it a go I’ve wanted to for years but have no really need. I guess if I knew someone who was building a boat and needed help I’d be up for the challenge.
I'm a carpenter by trade, done three years at Randwich Institute of Technology Sydney, Carpentry & Joinery and worked as a sheet metal worker in my youth, I guess you guys would call that a metal fabricator.
If I had the right gear plus drawings why not, if I can build a house a boat or ship couldn’t be any harder.
Here in Au their still called shipwrights no matter what material is used in the construction, as long as you got a certificate from a similar Institute which I attended. But mostly the term shipwright would lead you to think they work with timber.
Cheers Q_C
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Old 04-03-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuakeCity View Post
if I can build a house a boat or ship couldnít be any harder. Cheers Q_C
It's a lot harder. Think about fitting ceiling mouldings without being able to use sawdust & glue to fill the gaps. Add the idea that not only the end joint has to be watertight, but the whole length of each board does too. Then consider that practically no angles in a boat are square, and that unlike rainwater which tends to only go downwards, the water you're dealing with is capable of pushing up from underneath as well. If boats were as easy to build as houses, more of them would be as big as houses are.
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Old 04-03-2008
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If you want to see what shipwrights do....go to

Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-op

They're very good at it.

When you consider the difference between 'boats' and 'ships' and the difference between 'boat builders' and 'shipwrights' becomes more apparent.

Last edited by billyruffn; 04-03-2008 at 07:49 PM.
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I'd put money on it my friend, not all house are square and if I did something I wasn't happy with it, I’d do it until I get it right or think of another way to do it that would best suit my skills.
In my work life I've made and or build;
In this workshop where I started working in my teens I mainly made parts to be fitted to Cooking equipment like this  shoves some which would have hotplates to cook burgers and alike, steam ovens, fish fry’s like you’d cook fry’s I, stock pots like you’d use in commercial kitchens then when on to another workshop.
Refrigerators all from stainless steel, sandwich bar like you’d buy a sandwich in a shop with the glass canopy, Uprights like you get drinks from a shop, Bar types you get a beer out of under the counter of a bar, cool rooms where you’d store provisions for shops and alike, where I build from scratch or reconditioned them.
Then I changed industries and started working in construction and found that the skills I acquired from metal fabrication was more than useful in that industry so I went to trade school!
I built houses which entailed  setout, excavation, tying steel for the footings, sub-framing for the floor. Wall framing, cutting roofs, hanging windows and doors, laying floors, installing cladding, installing fixtures, hanging both domestic and commercial ceils, fixed metal roofing, building stairs, desk, timber awnings and ramps for the disable to mention some of what I’ve done!
And I can’t really see where I said it would be easy, in fact I called it a challenge I doubt if I would have called it a challenge if I believed it to be easy. But the skills I have gained in my life lead me to believe I’d be able to do if not all most of the job! And I’ve read that people with no trade experience at all have built boats, so what are you trying to say! That some dude out of an office could do it but I couldn’t?
And what have you ever made and or build?
Billy…
I have a better than most idea what shipwright do, I have more than just a passing interest in the craft of working with timber. In fact one of my childhood friends was an indentured apprentice shipwright.
Cheers Q_C

Last edited by QuakeCity; 04-03-2008 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 04-03-2008
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I worked in a shipyard for a few years. Shipwrights were those who worked in wood. Those who worked with metal were shipfitters. Plus that there were numerous other trades, welders, machinists, electricians and so on.

I suppose that people who build boats of wood could properly be called shipwrights, but today the more generic term is boatbuilder. Whereas in a shipyard, where there are specific trades, (with unions) then the term shipwright would be used.
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Old 04-03-2008
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Here in AU the term shipwright is still used because itís taught in a few trade schools, using all materials as you can see in this site, but Iíve met very few shipwright in the general community other than my friend as stated and in that sort of environment.
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Cheers Q_C
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Old 04-04-2008
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Shipwrights around here are the cabinet makers of the boatbuilding industry. They typically do all the fine finishing inside a boat and build wooden boats. Building ships is done by a large variety of marine trades of which shipwrights are one. You can apprentice as a shipwright in many places around Vancouver Island. We tend to call them Chippys.
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