Small sailing and rowing boats

Building in wood to sailing_html_452e5106The project involves 12 pupils who, under the guidance of boat designer and shipwright Matteo Tamassia, will create two wooden boats measuring 2.70 meters each, in ten days’ time.

Didactic program

All the theoretical and practical subjects will be explained in 10 meetings which will develop from a Friday to the second following Sunday, when the launch will take place.
The pupils will be engaged for six hours each day: in the morning from 9.00 to 12.00 am and in the afternoon from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm. This way they will have the last part of the day free to dedicate, for example, to tourist excursions.

Technical drawing of small sailing boat


1st meeting: introduction to the different wooden boat planning and building systems; how to design the pram from zero; cutting of the first building elements; lay down of the building slips; application of the central strakes.

2nd meeting: nomenclature of the wooden hull’s building elements; shaping and adaptation of the strakes; preparation of the centreboard cases.

3rd meeting: shaping and adaptation of the strakes; preparation of the centreboard cases.

4th meeting: adaptation and implementation of the strakes; processing of the dagger boards.

5th meeting: adaptation and implementation of the strakes; processing of the saddle tanks and of the helms.

6th meeting: removal of the screws and closure of the holes of the hulls; removal of the excess rubber; grouting of the hulls; processing of the masts, booms and peaks.

7th meeting: (turnover of the hulls); adaptation and implementation of the internal and external saddle tanks, of the (central bank ) and of the stern and head brackets.

8th meeting: adaptation and implementation of the centreboard cases, of the wood rowlock point and for the stern and head.

9th meeting: finishing of the boats and of all the mobile elements; application of the first coat of paint.

10th meeting: application of the accessories, riggings and sails. Launch. Practical lessons of sailing and rowing navigation.


Small sailing boat on land with sail setA sizeable part of the work will be prepared and arranged outside the meeting hours, so that during the latter the building of the boats will be smooth, easily learnable and accidents with machinery will be avoided.

The hours dedicated to preparation guarantee the quality of the finished product and it’s completion in the pre-set times, so that the vessels will be able to be used for the navigation during the last part of the project.

The preparation will occur before the course starts and between one meeting and the next.

All the salient moments of the building phases will be anyway reserved to the hours within the course.

Targets of the project

The participating pupils, without any particular qualification, will be involved in a group experience that will confront them with planning, wood technology and building techniques, with the great final satisfaction of being able to learn to navigate in a boat built by themselves.

The project’s main aim is to deepen one’s own practical sense which, in the creation of a boat, will come up against the need for a strong commitment: lines, shapes and measures drawn on paper will be actually verified onto a three dimensional object. Given it’s physically dynamic function, this object will have to possess certain requirements like resistance, stability, lightness, balance and buoyancy.

Practice and theory will be therefore alternated so that pupils will be able to acquire familiarity with the manual tools for working wood as well as with planning and building techniques, which can also be useful for other types of hulls.

The theory of sailing and rowing navigation will be compared in practice when directly using the boats during the last part of the project.

The group dynamics, an essential feature of this project, could give the motivation for a mutual bonding between participants belonging to other nations.

This experience could moreover be the basis for a future development of a deeper professional knowledge.