96 Art of Travel.
cut ; these are to be bent, and have both ends stuck in the ground, in such a way as to form the framework of the required boat, bottom upwards, much like half a walnut-shell in shape, but flatter. Where these wands cross, they should be lashed ; and sticks should be wattled in, to fill up gaps. A raw hide is then thrown over the framework, sewn in place, and left to dry. Finally, the projecting ends of the osiers have to be cut off. Should this boat, by any chance, prove a failure, the hide is not wasted, but can be removed, soaked till soft, and used again.
A skin punt requires two bullocks' or other hides, and also about ten small willow-trees, or other tough flexible wood, 14 feet long. Captain Palliser says that a couple of days is sufficient for two people to complete an entire punt of this description. He has been so good as to furnish me with the following minute description of the way of making this very useful boat.
1. The keel, stem, and stern might Win one ; but, because the stem and stern ought to be strong, this whole line is made
of two small trees
s lashed together with
K K a the thick ends out
Fig. 1. wards, as in fig. 1, where A B is a lithe clean little willow-tree, and a b another similar one. They are lashed together at ',heir taper ends.
2. Cut notches half-way through K K, at about 20 to 25
inches from each end ; then turn up the notched portions, and you have stem, keel and
Fig. 2. stern, all in one piece, as in fig.2.
3. Stake out the ground, according to the size your boat will cover, by driving eight strong pointed stakes of wood into the ground ; to these lash four cross (willow-tree) sticks, notched in two places, so that each of these four willows shall form two knees, as well as run across the bottom of the boat.
4. Bend two more main willows for gunwales for the boat, and two more for bottom rails. Each separate stick, as will be perceived by fig. 3, is lashed in five different places, and the keel in eight places.
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