Richard Nissen really didn’t need another boat. At the beginning of the year, he already had a small fleet of at least eight small boats, not counting the houseboat he lives aboard on the River Thames. We have seen two of his boats in previous Reader Built Boat features—a skin-on-frame Walrus kayak and a Venetian s’ciopon. Nonetheless, in the spring he decided to build another boat, not so much to get afloat, but to occupy the time at home during the pandemic.

George Nissen

George has gone into business designing and building a new peacetime version of his great-grandfather's invention. The lumber left over from building this hut was what made it possible for his father to build the skiff.

He started the project in March at the beginning of a three-month lockdown in England. Under the restrictions imposed, “no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse,” so anything Richard chose to build would have to use the materials he had on hand. He happened to have a lot of 1/2″ tongue-and-groove pine that his son George had left over after building a prototype for a new kind of Nissen hut, or Quonset hut as it is called in North America.

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