Generally, a coracle is oval in shape with a frame made out of any light wood. The frame consists of many interwoven wooden rods that are tied together using a rope. The light wood used in the making is generally hazel or willow. In the earlier days, the frame of the coracle was covered with animal’s skin and was coated with tar to provide water resistance. However, the present day coracles have the frame coated with a coarse cloth such as calico or a heavy, closely woven fabric like canvas.
The design of coracle is made keeping in mind the water condition of river or any water body it will be used in. As most of the coracles have a very small keel, measuring only a few inches, they are generally suited for river water. Moreover, depending on the condition of the waves, the bottom of the coracle is designed. This means that if the water of the river is usually calm, the coracle has a flat bottom where as if the river water has effect of tides, the coracle bottom is round and deep.
Coracles are also provided with a sitting arrangement for one person. This is done with the help of a wooden plank, which is attached to the opposite sides of the coracle. The person can propel the coracle sitting on it, using ores. Coracles are supposed to be known as the most efficient fishing vessels, mainly because they are extremely light in weight and they can move without disturbing the water or the fish. Moreover being light is weight, coracle can be maneuvered even by using hands.