from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Nautical Built with the hull planks lying flush or edge to edge rather than overlapping: a carvel-built ship.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. (of a wooden vessel) Having the planks of the hull laid flush and caulked to make a smooth finish.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It was one of the crew, peering through a poorly-tarred gap in the carvel-built hull.

    Archive 2010-06-01

  • They were framed from naturally curved oak and planked with very thin oak strakes, clinker-built above the waterline and carvel-built below to reduce drag and increase speed.

    Champlain's Dream

  • Its stout ribs, curving outwards and downwards from this magnificent balk, supported the carvel-built roof, so that the upper half of the building appeared -- and indeed was -- a large inverted hull, decorated with dormer windows, brick chimneys, and a round pigeon-house surmounted by a gilded vane.

    Wandering Heath

  • Those who had seen the Yankee's crew at work in their snaky carvel-built boat said that no one else was in it.

    Great Sea Stories

  • Now, the boat which I had been fortunate enough to find -- and which, by the way, seemed to be the only one that had not been carried down with the ship -- was Number 5, a craft thirty-two feet long by eight feet beam, carvel-built, double-ended, fitted with air-chambers fore and aft and along each side, with a keel six inches deep to enable her to work to windward under sail.

    The Strange Adventures of Eric Blackburn

  • Ten years ago all the bawleys were clinker-built -- that is, with the streaks overlapping each other, as in boats; but the new bawleys are now all carvel-built, the planks being placed edge to edge, so as to give a smooth surface, as in yachts and large vessels.

    A Chapter of Adventures

  • "This is a carvel-built boat; that is, her planking runs fore and aft,"

    The Boat Club or, The Bunkers of Rippleton

  • They are carvel-built -- that is, the planks are placed as in a ship.

    Peter the Whaler


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  • A ship-building term for the Wordnik listers of all things nautical.

    April 8, 2011