The New Boat Part 3

The kit arrived, and the delivery was a little more complicated than I thought it would be. Here in northern New England we have a period each year where roads are posted and large trucks above a certain tonnage are not allowed to drive on them because of the damage that will be done to those roads as the frost leaves the ground. This is referred to as the “road bans”. Where I live, the road bans typically effect a couple to three weeks in April, however, this year we had some freak warm weather last week that led to some early thawing, and early road bans. The long and short of it was that the trucking company could not get to my shop. Instead we met the truck at the parking lot of a nearby American legion Post and offloaded the kit onto my spar trailer and towed the kit the last mile to the shop.

So, with the kit here I will elaborate a bit on the contents; there are eleven sheets to the kit, four of high-density particleboard and seven of high-grade marine plywood. Each sheet has been routed using CNC technology, which is basically a router controlled by a computer. Each sheet has the parts cut 90% with tabs left to lightly hold the part in place in the sheet. Cut the tabs and you have the part.

Kit Parts

Moulds for the boat from the kit

The boat is built upside down over forms that come as part of the kit, so the first part of the process is building a “builder’s frame” on which to secure the forms. Basically, this is a tried and true approach to building a smaller boat that was perfected by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company of Rhode Island in the early part of the twentieth century. The builder’s frame needs to be flat, level and square, or the boat built on it could end up having a twist permanently built into it.  Over the years I have found that I prefer a low platform to an open frame. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods. The open frame makes it easier to get inside the boat and wipe up epoxy drips, the low platform makes a nice long table to scarf and glue the strakes and makes the setting up on the form a little faster. It is just a matter of preference.

Some of the planks cut out and placed on top of the builder's frame. The cut out moulds are in the background.

At the moment we have been cutting out the moulds and disposing of the waste wood. Since we are going to paint our boat inside and out, I have also taken the time to label all of the pieces with a soft pencil before we start cutting them out so there is no confusion later on.

That is about as far as we have gotten at the moment. More on cutting out the parts and scarfing the planks next time.

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