Preview: Båtbygge med Hemming Forsell

Building a boat doesn’t get anymore down-to-earth than this. No glue; no plywood. It takes place in Perna, Finland, in 1972, and covers the construction of a riveted lapstrake row-and-sailboat by Hemming Forsell. He uses only hand tools and is set up outdoors. His tools? An axe, hand plane, handsaw, chisel, hammer, and a Stanley “Yankee” screwdriver. For the hull shape (and it#8217;s a very shapely hull), there’s but a single ‘midship mold, along with the transom and stem, around which to bend the planks. Perna is at the head of an inlet fifty miles or so east of Helsinki. The video is in two parts of 8 or 9 minutes each, and narrated in Finnish [Correction: Swedish]. Translation would be welcome, but even without it, this is a terrific glimpse of basic traditional boatbuilding by an experienced builder. Don’t miss it!

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10 Responses So Far to “Båtbygge med Hemming Forsell

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    Denis Noble says:

    Many thanks Maynard for introducing me to in May this year, and for making these beautiful movies available, and all the other videos too. My late dad was overjoyed when finally he got one of those pump-action screwdrivers. Clearly this Finnish man had the knack of keeping the bit in the straight-slotted screws. We’re spoiled today with Phillips heads.

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    Steve Cormack says:

    This is reminiscent of Dick Proenneke and his Alone in the Wilderness…great stuff!

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    William Boulden says:

    I hope that there are still a few who can keep such things alive. A simpler life has more room for joy.

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    Wyatt Lawrence says:

    Inspiring – this is definitely my kind of boatbuilding!

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    Hank Kennedy says:

    GREAT!! This sort of thing is just what I was expecting from you guys. I know I’ll never build a boat this way, but it is good to see how it is/was done.


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    Stephen McGhee says:

    Thanks for digging these videos up! The narrative is in swedish, by the way, the language of a not inconsiderable (275,000) minority mostly in the south and southwest of Finland. Your text is Swedish. Batbygge means boatbuilding

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      Maynard Bray says:

      Hi Steve,
      Thanks for the correction, and I’m glad you enjoyed the video.