New Boat Part 10

Sheer Planks and The Keel:

In the last post we saw that the skeg had been set and glued in place. I wanted to point out that we are not relying on glue alone to secure the skeg, there is also a large eight-inch by three-eighths bronze lag-bolt buried in the skeg at the aft end; and an assortment of  bronze screws that span the skeg, the laps between the garboards, and the keelson.

Transom with shop crew

Since the last post we hung the sheer planks and got the rest of the boat ready for the center keel and outer stem.

Sheerstrakes in place.

In many ways the center section of the keel is the easiest to shape and attach since it is basically a piece of quarter-sawn white oak laid flat. It, like the skeg is bedded in epoxy, but also backed up with bronze fastenings.

The center keel in place.

The outer stem is really more about gluing a laminated curve than anything else. The inner stem, or “apron” of our boat was made in a more traditional way with three pieces of heavy white-oak stock, cut and splined together. The combination of this inner stem with the outer stem should result in a bow that is virtually unbreakable—not that we intend to ram anything; my service in the Greek Trireme cured me of that.

Laminates of white oak bent around a form bolted to a backing-board.

You can see the smooth curve from this angle.

There is a scarf joint between the stem and the center section of the keel, and the aft end of the center section of the keel brackets the skeg. The result is a strong backbone to the boat made of multiple layers of wood laminated and fastened together.

Skeg, keel, and stem in place.

There is still plenty of fussing to do on the hull before we roll it over (in terms of the whole project I would say we are only about half-way there), but this has been a productive two months. At the beginning of February we had a transom and stem linked by a keelson suspended over the molds. Here it is the end of March and we have a hull just about ready to be primed, painted, rolled, and finished out.

This is where we are now.

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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