Did The Irish Really Make Leather Boats?

That is what many people wondered. There is an Irish legend that has been around for 1,400 years.

It says that an Irish monk explorer named St. Brendan sailed over 2,600 miles of open sea and through all sorts of stormy weather in a leather boat.

Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, recently, Timothy Severin, a teacher, thought it might be true and decided to test it out. With the help and advice of others, he built a 34-foot boat that was made of a wood frame and covered with rawhide.

The leather was tanned and made stronger with oak stain. After that, grease was rubbed into it. Five men, including Timothy, sailed from Ireland to America in this boat. They went through huge waves with only one-fourth of an inch of rawhide between them and the rough seas.

They made the journey successfully, proving that the voyage of St. Brendan could actually have taken place. Timothy and his friends had made the same trip in the same type of boat the Irish monk would have used.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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