New Boat Part 9

The last two sets of planks.

The last six weeks of this project have been very satisfying.  Each session brings the hull closer to completion.

The seventh and eighth sets of planks presented no new challenges, save that as we move further from the keel we are trying to check the symmetry of the boat more frequently.

Seventh set of planks in place: project supervisor in foreground.

The other challenge is making sure that the gains are even and smooth in the bow, and that the planks run out at the transom in the correct places so that what we end up with is a perfectly symmetrical and balanced transom. This boat will be asked to do a lot of work, move a lot of people and cargo, and land on many rocky beaches, the finish on the boat will be mostly paint, the transom might be the one varnished part of the boat, so it is important that it is eye-catching in a good way, and not because it is asymmetrical. The pattern for the transom represents the interior surface. As each plank runs out aft, we need to figure out the angle that the transom is cut to in order to allow the plank to run cleanly and evenly off the stern. This is not particularly hard, but again it is time consuming and it requires checking the distance from the center-line of the transom to the laps to both port and starboard.

Transom with skeg

While we have been hanging the last of the planks we have also been laying out the keel and dressing the surface of the bottom of the boat so that the keel has a flat place to attach. This is one of those tasks that sounds really easy and is actually quite challenging. Part of the problem is excess epoxy that oozed out between the garboards dulls the planes rapidly and they require constant sharpening.  And part of the problem is simply that this is a hard area of the boat to reach and work on. Now that I look back I realize that this would have been easier to do if we had done it before we got so much of the planking done, oh well live and learn. The keel is in three sections, the first section will be an outer stem made of multiple layers of white oak laminated to the correct curve with epoxy, the second section is a flat piece of white oak bedded horizontally, and forked at the aft end to bracket the centerboard well, the third section is also white oak but of thicker stock mounted vertically between the end forks of the second section and that runs out aft to form a skeg.

You can see the skeg from the side here

We have the skeg mounted, the flat middle section of the keel is shaped and ready to attach, and we will make up the outer stem as soon as we finish the planking. We are hoping to hang the sheer planks this weekend…with any luck we will roll the hull by the end of March….

Last planks in place, only the sheer-strake to go.

If you would like to read all the posts related to this project together, go to the category at the right called “Penny Fee” and click on it. It will pull all the posts on the penny fee onto one page for you.


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