How to Make a Phoenician Boat

Written by thomas edward
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How to Make a Phoenician Boat
Ancient Phoenician Trade Ship (ancient Greek ship image by Goran Bogicevic from

Building a Phoenician boat begins with a a set of plans that describes in detail the design of the boat and the materials used. Fortunately a high quality set of plans is available for a Phoenician trade ship model from the period following 1200 BC. These early Mediterranean sailors traded with the Hebrews and that perhaps is the source of the secondary meaning of the Hebrew word "kena'ani ("Canaaite") which means "merchant". The construction of a real vessel requires ship building skills. Sunken Phoenician boats have been found and studied. In 2004 an actual Phoenician boat built using the old ways launched a new Phoenician ship from Lebanon.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Detailed Phoenician 14 BC model trade ship plans
  • Assembled model (above)
  • Boat master and tradesmen who constructed the Phoenician boat replica (Tyre,Lebanon) and
  • Local Marine architects, shipyards, ship builders bidding the project and materials
  • Cedar wood, sail canvas, mast, deck planking, assorted ropes, and finish items

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    Building a Phoenician boat

  1. 1

    Obtain detailed plans for a model Phoenician trader ship. Build the model with a complete list of materials. The model parts like the full size boat are hand of Lebanon cedar. Decide on the scale up for overall size. The model for example may be 1/32 scale and full ship size would be thirty-two times larger and materials needed at least that amount more for the full build out. The actual size of the ship can be larger than the full model or rescaled to any size specified in the final boat design plans.

  2. 2

    Write a bid specification for your Phoenician boat including labour and material. The full boat design and construction detailed prints should be completed. This can be done for you by a professional marine ship building company. They will then solicit bids from qualified bidders and work with you in the bid selection process. Normally the top three low bidders will be short listed. The low bidder will present their bid package and appear in person to answer questions and explain their package. Along with their low bid they must defend their ability to perform and submit past experience. key personnel and skills. A time schedule for completion is normal along with bonuses for performance and penalties for nonperformance.

  3. 3

    Solicit and enlist specialists for hand building Phoenician boats. Include Lebanese ship masters and other qualified masters and their firms world wide. The bid solicitation should include wording that clearly specifies the use of expertise familiar with ancient hand made Phoenician boat building. In this manner larger marine shipbuilding firms can "team" with smaller firms possessing special knowledge and craftsmanship to complete the job in the manner specified.

  4. 4

    Test and inspect finished boat with a three day "shake down" cruise to ascertain the use of correct materials, conformance of hand building methods, existence of leak or other ship failures, stability, etc as specified in the original contract. The ship's final performance should be based on an agreement between the buyer and the builder prior to construction and on previously built sailing ship replicas.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose your marine builder engineering firm carefully. Make sure they understand your major concerns and how much money you anticipate spending on the project. Use marine varnish to protect the boat from sea water, and ocean growth, barnacles. Cover the boat inside and out.
  • Consult with the USCG regarding boat safety and the "shake down" cruise. The need for communications gear, life preservers, etc and the licensing required for the boat and the pilot and crew must be flfilled..

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