About the Workshop

In this 6-9 day workshop, students will work together to build one boat, based on a traditional 21-foot Japanese river boat design. The course will provide a thorough introduction to traditional Japanese boatbuilding, introducing students to unique techniques, including fitting planks with handsaws, and edge-fastening planks using both nails and wooden dovetail keys. Other topics include design, sharpening with waterstones, and the adjustment and tuning of Japanese wooden planes.

The boat design is from the Shinano River, Niigata and is a hard chine, canoe-like craft used in the lagoons and estuaries of the river mouth. They are called, locally, honryousen (“typical fishing boat”). Workshop boats are about twenty-one feet long and suitable for paddling by one or two people.

Once the boat has been crafted, it will be transported to Hobart Waterfront (the Noisy Boatyard) for light finishing and display at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival.

The workshop ends on the Sunday with a traditional Shinto launching ceremony at the festival. Please see below for workshop details.

About Douglas Brooks

Douglas Brooks is a boat builder, writer, researcher and teacher. He specialises in small boats built to traditional designs and he has taught boatbuilding across the United States and Japan. 

Japanese Riverboat Build with Douglas Brooks