The purpose of the 10-foot dinghy project was two-fold; to work with volunteers to build a traditional wooden dinghy, which could then be displayed on The Tall Ship Glenlee. The dinghy was designed by Paul Gartside (a Canadian naval architect) and built using entirely traditional techniques ( i.e. steam bending larch planking and copper riveting).
It was also an opportunity for the volunteers to learn technical drawing skills as the dinghy was lofted out full size before the build began. The volunteers came from a variety of backgrounds through our network of charity partners, some being school leavers looking to gain experience of woodworking, some coming from backgrounds of poor mental health who were looking to build their self-confidence and self-efficacy whilst learning a new skill set, and some retirees who wanted to be involved in a practical project and have a chance to meet new people and avoid social isolation. The project began in September 2019 and was completed in May 2021. There were some significant delays to the work, due to lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The project has been a great success, engaging 20 volunteers throughout the build and training one of our in-house apprentices. The dinghy is now on display onboard the Glenlee, it has been turned into an interactive display that uses LED light strips to display how a 2-dimensional line from the lofting board is represented in the 3-dimensional dinghy. Interpretation panels explain the history of boatbuilding on the Clyde and explain the building process used. It is hoped the display will engage and inspire visitors to Glenlee for years to come.
We would like to thank Glasgow City Heritage Trust, whose funding and support made this project possible.