The New Boat Part 4

In the last post I mentioned cutting out the planks for the new boat. The simplest way to do this looks like it would be to cut the tabs with a handsaw and then plane the remaining tab smooth. Because the tabs are less than full thickness, and because I already own a good router, we opted to use the router with a 3/8” flush trimming bit. The cutting out of the planks went very fast.

Router with flush trimming bit

We have started the process of scarfing the ends of planks that will be joined. For that task hand-planes seem to work very well.  We use several sizes and angles of plane to first rough out the scarf and then finish it off. The only things they have in common is that we keep them all very sharp.

Cutting the scarf on the plank ends.

Once the scarfs are cut the pieces are lined up and glued together. It is better to take off too much wood on the scarf than to take off too little. Too much wood removed will easily fill with a mix of epoxy and filleting compound. Too little wood removed and you either distort the shape of the plank by elongating it, or you end up with a ridge at the joint.

The scarf joint

One of the big advantages to a kit is that the pieces of the planks are not only cut and measured to shape, which save enormous amounts of time, but the pieces of each plank are designed so that the joints can be aligned for gluing using a process that involves a string and some finish nails. I won’t describe the process here, save to say that it is relatively easy to do, and again saves time.

Even though the kit has saved us a lot of time, and we are moving along on the process of scarfing and gluing planks. We lost the week that I had set aside to work on this project because the kit was late. Now mid April, and even though it is snowing outside at the moment, we have been shifting gears away from the new boat to the friendship sloop.

The biggest job this year relates to the engine. It was time for the four-year overhaul. I have things set up so that it is relatively easy to pull the 300 pound engine and bring it into the shop where it is mounded on a dolly so that it is easy to move around and work on. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that the engine mounts have become so worn that the need to be replaced. The second is that the systems that surround the engine and are part of the layout of the drive shaft/engine room arrangement have always been a concern of mine. Issues like major hoses and wires that drape over the spinning propeller shaft keep me up at night. For example, the placement of the raw water strainer and hoses, the muffler, and some of the control cables for the motor make it virtually impossible to put a wrench on the stuffing box.

The engine out of the boat for overhaul.

Work in the engine compartment.

We have been spending time addressing these issues because the needs of the friendship take precedence over working on the new boat. It might seem as though the amount of effort to move a water strainer an inch and a half would not be worth the time and energy, but these little adjustment make the difference between an engine room where it is easy to gain access to the different parts and systems, and one where every job is a nightmare. It also gives me a chance to get at, check, and perform maintenance on the parts of the boat that are not normally accessible when the engine is sitting on it’s mounts.

When we have the engine back in place and running, there will be time enough to work on the new boat.


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