Clinker building is a method of constructing hulls of boats and ships by fixing wooden planks and plates to each other so that the planks overlap along their edges. Carvel construction was probably invented earlier than clinker but in other parts of the world. In Europe carvel was the method of the south probably having spread though the Mediterranean from the Middle East. Clinker was the method of north Europe having developed, apparently, in the Baltic. Local boat-builders constructed boats as required, without the use of plans. The craftsmanship on many boats gave them a long working life. They had a reputation as dangerous to sail for an inexperienced crew, but in the hands of experts could move both safely and speedily.