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Shipbuilding, and the related activity boatbuilding, is the Arts and Sciences discipline that studies period water vessels, their styles, construction methods, materials, and the tools used to make them.

Scholars study period descriptions and depictions as well as archaeological finds and publications in attempts to understand and even recreate vessels of the period.

This discipline requires selected knowledge of Woodworking, Blacksmithing, Spinning, Weaving, cordage and rope making, Leatherworking, tar making, Woodcarving, and many other skills. It also requires knowledge of buoyancy, displacement, the flow of water around the vessel’s hull, and the various propulsion methods used such as poles, oars, and sails.