Expert Advice

What is the difference between Clinker and Carvel construction?

Carvel built wooden boats and tall ships are made by fixing planks to a frame so the planks butt up against one another. In Clinker building (or lapstrake) hulls the planks overlap along their edges. In a Carvel construction a smooth hull is created, that is stronger than a clinker built hull. However more caulking is required between the joints in carvel than in a clinker construction. The framing gives a carvel construction a stronger hull, meaning it can carry a full sail plan, and can have a longer and broader hull. 

Clinker built vessels are lighter because they have less internal framing, meaning they move faster because they displace less water. Clinker vessels are less rigid then carvel constructions; this limits the type of sailing rigs the vessel can take.

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