Take to the Water! Flax Boats
The leaves of our native Harakeke or bush flax are perfect for weaving and its seed branch is soft inside and hard outside making it perfect for boat making.
Here’s what you’ll need
- A flax leaf
- A length of flax wood
- 6 wooden skewers
- Pocket knife
- A piece of sand paper
Using your knife cut two 25 cm flax wood lengths – about 3 to 4 cm thick. These are the hulls of the boat. Now sandpaper the ends till smooth.
Using meat skewers, make three holes along the inside of each flax wood hull. Join them across to make the strong bottom part of the boat.
Next strengthen the boat further by putting two more skewers diagonally across the corners of the bottom. You will find they crisscross in the middle of the boat – the perfect place for the mast to stand.
For the mast, cut two small pieces – or plugs – of spare flax wood. Push one a little way up a spare skewer. Sit your mast in the crisscross hole made in the middle bottom of your boat. Place the other plug under the boat to hold the mast tightly in place from both sides.
Now the boat frame is complete, start on your sail. Taking your flax leaf, cut it into short pieces that can be threaded through your mast pole.