Newfoundland boatbuilding terms

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Little boats of Newfoundland

Newfoundland Boatbuilding Terms

Newfoundland is a small island off the eastern coast of Canada that was once a colony of Britain, and for a while a country of its own. Though it has been a part of Canada for 60 years it still has it own vernacular easily distinguishable from anywhere else in Canada. Newfoundland has a rich boatbuilding culture thats has been honed over the last 500 years. Along with the unique skills come unique terminology, some of which are variations of common terms, but others that have been lost in other cultures over the years. (terms may vary from community to community in Newfoundland)

List of Terms

  • Dildos: Wooden pegs inserted in the gunwale of a dory used as an oarlock
  • Starn knee: a knee shaped bracket used to secure the counter to the stern of the boat
  • Counter: This is also known as the transom in most places. The
  • Chinching: To take okem or twine and chinch the seems of a plank boat to creat a watertight seal.
  • Kilick: Home made anchor made from wood and stones
  • Gaff: A long stick with a hook attached to it. Used to navigate around docks and piers. Also small sharper gaffs used to hook fish when bringing them into the boat
  • Punt: Small open plank boat with the engine midships running a tailshaft aft and out the stern. Used primarily for fishing.
  • Newfoundland dory
  • Sculling ores: ore used on the back of a punt used as a rudder
  • Tots: Plank seats running the breadth of a small open boat.
  • Risens:long planks of wood running half way up the inside of a small open boat
  • Painter: Fore peak moring line
  • Grabble (Variation of the word grapple): A small anchor
  • Gunnles (variation of the word gunwales): Upper most strake on a boat
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