The following gives an easy method of making a light and serviceable bateau, which any boy, with moderate ingenuity or skill, could easily construct:—
Select two boards, about three-quarters of an inch in thickness, eighteen or twenty inches in width, and twelve feet in length, which we will consider the required length of the boat. These boards should be well seasoned, and free from knots, and at least one of the sides should be straight.
Next, with the aid of a draw-shave, proceed to shape the ends of one of the boards, as seen on our diagram, (e) representing the forward, (g) the stern. The curve of the bow should commence at about four feet from the end, and take a rounded slope upward, leaving about ten inches of width at the end of the board (e). The stern should be cut at the angle shown at (g), commencing at about two and a half feet from the extremity of the board and continuing upward to about ten inches from the upper edge. The board thus shaped should now be laid evenly on the other, and the outline of the cut portions carefully scratched upon it, after which the second board should be cut in a similar manner as the first, so as to form an exact duplicate.
This being accomplished, the two should be laid evenly, one over the other, and the exact center of their long edges ascertained. Marking off about five inches on each side of this centre on both boards.
Next procure another board about ten inches in width, three feet in length, and perfectly squared at the ends. Nail each end of this piece securely and squarely in the space marked on each of the long boards. Then turn the pieces carefully over and [Page 265] nail another board across the bottom, directly opposite the first. We will now leave them and give our attention to the bow piece, which is the next requisite. This is shown at (a), and consists of a solid piece of oak, or other hard wood, well seasoned, and hewn out in the arrow shape, indicated in our illustration. It should first be cut three-cornered, the inside face being about eight inches, and the other two ten inches. Its length should be about eleven inches, and its under side should be sloped off on a line with the under curve of the bows. At about five inches from the inner face, and on each side, a piece should be sawn out, one inch in thickness, thus leaving on each side a notch which will exactly receive the side-boards of the boat, as seen at (a).
The piece being thus ready, the bow ends of the boards should be drawn together, fitted in the notches and securely spiked with large nails. A bow piece of this kind adds greatly to the strength of a boat, and will stand much rough usage. The board for the stem should next be prepared. This should be ten inches in width and two feet in length, and should be securely nailed between the ends of the boards at the stem, as shown at (g), being afterwards