Visit to a boat building site
We went to visit this boat being built some 7 kilometers away from where we stay now. It is a race boat called the ‘Ayiroor’. They started building this in January and will finish it by end of August. The launching ceremony will be on the 1st september and this boat also will participate in the annual boat race of Aranmula.
The boat is being built by the traditional carpenters. They have the design and measurements in their minds. A few lines on a wooden plank is their ‘model’. There are no detailed drawings that we see for any construction these days. One string is tied from one end of the temporary shed to the other end. That is the basic ‘xl line’ which keeps the construction in balanace. The main carpenter, Mr.Venu Changankari is confident that the measurements will never go wrong. He has built more than 12 new similar boats on his own.
In the olden days, women were not allowed to enter the worksite. But things must have changed. The main carpenter was very friendly in welcoming all of us, explainging things and clearing our doubts.
Near the 110 feet temporary shed where the work is progressing, there were people sawing log to make necessary planks for the boat, also blacksmiths who make different types of nails for the boat.
See the pictures of nail making below.