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VIDEO: Cow Hair What?

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Shipwrights at the Hardanger Maritime Museum in Norheismund, Norway, always have an interesting project or two going on in the boat shop, but their latest project — a gorgeous church boat — caught our attention on YouTube this week.

Instead of using oakum (a hemp-based product) or cotton to seal up the gaps between the wooden planks, shipwrights visited a local dairy farm to harvest some bovine fur. This video shows how they twist the hair into caulking before setting it in pitch between the wood planks.

History tells us that animal fur has been used in boatbuilding since Medieval times. 

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Handcrafting Pellew

Working Sail is a British organization that is working to keep the art and craftsmanship of traditional wooden boatbuilding alive. Their latest project is Pellew, a recreation of a 68-foot Falmouth Pilot Cutter named Vincent, which was launched in 1852. This video shows some of the methods and materials being used to build her.