Irish Logboat – Seamus na Coille Aosda

East Kingdom Wiki:

The goal of this project was to create a functional logboat appropriate to early Medieval Ireland using period materials and tools (or functionally equivalent substitutes when necessary) and using techniques and following a sequence of operations seen in period examples.

It is a simple logboat of the canoe type made from a single sugar maple log (Acer saccharum) substituting for Irish oak (Quercus petraea). It is 2.14m long, 53cm wide and 31cm deep. It falls within the size range of known examples but is at the extreme short end of the length range.

It was made with hand tools (axe, adze, wedges, mallet, brace, spoon bits, string, chalk, charcoal, and knife), taking 30 hours of labor to complete.

Additional documentation for this project may be found on my blog at:

39 thoughts on “Irish Logboat – Seamus na Coille Aosda

    1. Thank you for your kind words. It is particularly gratifying to hear that my documentation is effective.

  1. I was following along via the blog, which really developed my appreciation for the craftsmanship, labor, and the full span of time from start to finish!

    1. Thank you. While I certainly had a material goal, this project was really about the process for me. I’m glad that you found the process interesting as well.

    1. Thank you. It was fun to share the process as I discovered it, and I’m glad that you enjoyed following my halting progress.

    1. Thank you. I’m very pleased my blog post was effective. I am an inexperienced blogger and cramming that much information into one blog post was almost as much of a challenge for me as building the boat itself.

    1. You are most welcome! And thank you for sharing your time and expertise with me, and all the work you have done to make this online competition format work so well.

    1. Thank you. It was fun getting it on the water, and a great relief that it was large enough (just!) to keep me afloat.

    1. Thank you. I have heard of the Voyage of the Ant but never read the book. Thank you for sharing the link with me.

    1. Thank you Your Majesty! It has been a great pleasure and an honor to display my logboat to you, to the kingdom and in the same company as all these other great artisans and craft persons.

  2. This is an incredibly cool project. Thank you for sharing your artistry, research, and for the video. It was fun to experience it all.

    1. You are welcome. I’m very pleased that you found my project interesting and enjoyable. Thank you for your kind words.

  3. Thank you for sharing your process through your blog. I especially appreciate the progress photos of your 6 steps.

    1. You are welcome. I’m glad the photos were an effective way to communicate the process.

    1. Brother Alric, thank you. We’ll play with it until it falls apart! It will certainly be at the next Endewearde Hunt and maybe at the next Panteria.

  4. my word, man what an incredible project! how much does the finished boat weigh? really great to see the period repairs, and the winter storage method! I hope it floats come spring, and isnt’ too full of water itself. Brilliant project, thank you for sharing it!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I do not know how much the finished boat weighs. It would be interesting to know. I can say that even fairly well waterlogged that I could dragged it up a three foot stream bank and that four “stout fellows” were able to easily lift it and carrying up a steep ten foot high gravel stream bank.

  5. A thorough delight. So much admiration, both at your process & learning in building this craft, and at the meticulous, clear, and quite beautiful photo presentation.
    How genius and crucial, submerging one’s logboat. Surely bardic tales were told of the woes of naive builders of the time… Glad weaknesses didn’t keep you from your ‘workout’ festive group day on the water.

    I hope to watch, even help, at your build 2 at Endewearde Hunt if the idea comes to pass.

    1. Thank you for your generous words. If I manage to find a good log and build another boat at the Endewearde Hunt you will be most welcome to join the team.

  6. Fantastic work, Seamus!! I can’t wait to see it in action at the Hunt (hopefully) next year!!!

  7. This is such an amazing piece of A&S! I really love seeing what the Foresters Guild is doing. It’s so different from anything I do in the A&S world, and it’s so inspiring and immersive. Thank you for sharing

  8. Congratulations, Brother Seamus! I have been following your blog on this project. It’s so fascinating! I hope that I can see it in person, soon!

  9. This is incredible, Brother Seamus! I love seeing the process from start to finish, and the result is amazing. You put so much work into this boat — it’s hard to fathom (sorry, not sorry for the boat pun…but the sentiment still stands). Someday I’d love to see it in person at an event.

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