Midstation marks

Right now, with the deck plan in hand, you need a benchmark from which to plot your boundary stakes. Lay a straightedge across the hull from sheer to sheer, with one edge exactly centered above the 'midship station mark on the top of the keel. As shown in Figure 13-3, stretch a string from the center of the stem to the center of the sternpost to get the a thwart-ships center of the straightedge. Measure from this point, port and starboard, to the outside of the planking, and be properly proud...

Figure d

Scribing the length of a tapered spar stave Marking gauge set for 8 faces at the stave's widest girth Proportional narrowing of faces is maintained if the legs of the gauge hug the sides of the timbe Twisting the gauge as the spar stave narrows retains the same proportional distance between the scribed edges and the sides. The marvelous spar-finishing machine Pipe nipple, or loosely bored wooden handle We made scarfing jigs and spar clamps, and convinced ourselves that the glued joints were the...

Figure

Scarfing jig 1 12 slope for all spar-stave scarfs Wedge of plank-butt to be off, then planed clean Clamp prevents slipping of the stock in the jig Plane rides diagonally on the wedge-shaped runners of the jig. than the scarfs, exactly the width of the stave, and with waxed paper between caul and scarf (see Figure 18-8). And we'll use plenty of clamps four C-clamps on each scarf to hold the joint in line, and four of your special spar clamps to spread the load. Leave them for now. You can do no...

Sides sides

(Plane off all corners to obtain 32 sides.) Marking gauge for lining 8 and 16 sides on a tapered spar stave The next move is to mark for the cuts that will make this stick 8- and then 16-sided. Figure 18-2 shows the process clearly You draw a circle the exact diameter of your square stick (preferably on the side of the stick itself), and confine it with lines tangent to it and square across the timber. Then mark tangents at 45 degrees, to intersect those 90-degree tangents, as shown in the...

Centerboards and Trunks

Certain crafty old boatmen will greet the word centerboard with bitter derision, and a cynical scorn thev'd otherwise reserve toward a proposal of a good buy on the Brooklyn Bridge. They've had experience with centerboards. Thev know mavbe not all of the troubles vou can have with that foolish invention, but thev Centerboards and trunks can have problems, as you'll probably be told at length, with heal, and in lurid detail. Your informant, wise in the ways of boats, will list a few of the...

Laying the Deck

Sometimes I think that life must have been much simpler in days of yore Life, of course, meaning Boatbuilding, which includes deck-laying, which was (and still is) the most important problem we have to face. Everything you needed was at hand, with no searching of soul or advertising pages. You would have saved out, for extra under-cover drying, enough of your best planking stock to do the whole deck. You'd decide, on the basis of size, form, function, and cost, which of two inevitable, classic...

The Rudder

You mav find it hard to believe that there are hundreds of ways to make and hang a rudder, and about as many ways it can go wrong to bind, or break, or jam, or fall off, or twist the stern of the boat out of shape. In some ways, the rudder is the most complicated and important part of your new vessel. I'll attempt to describe, with the help of Sam's drawings, how I have made and installed j ust two types of rudder, as I have done them dozens of times. (T11 skip the pop-ups, the balanced spades,...

Finishing up

Fit, fasten, and fair off the small chunk of dead wood at the forward end of the casting. Then fair off the sides of the wood keel, between the rabbet and the top of the casting. Use a quick-turn adze here, and expect to re-grind it every time you hit the iron. Finish with round-sole plane and disc sander. Clean the iron with the disc grinder and a wire brush, and build up a surface with whatever anti-rust and barrier coats you believe in. We have tried everything from red lead to super-epoxy...

Building the

So you have the deck on, with two openings in it. The big one is to be covered with a structure (labeled, variously, trunk cabin, coach roof, deckhouse) that will provide headroom, admit air and light, keep out water, wind, and mosquitoes, and not detract unduly from the grace and elegance of the vessel, Mr. Rudyard Kipling once remarked that there are nine-and-60 ways of writing tribal lays, and every single one of them is right. So it is with this structure. I've tried most of them in the...

Fitting Bulkheads

You won't believe it, but you'll have to go through this bulkhead-fitting routine exactly 11 times as often as you now think likely therefore, you'd better learn how to do it right now. I can think of four major systems, or techniques, for fitting a bulkhead. I'll end up trying to describe, with the help of Sam Manning's drawings, the method I use. It works well for me and can be twisted 90 degrees to do bunk flats and dish shelves. But before I get to this last one, I'd like to touch upon the...

Ceilings

Wooden Boat Ceiling

You have, I'm sure, lost that innocence which would direct your eyes Heavenward (toward the underside of the overhead, that is) at the mention of the word ceiling. You know as well as I do that we're talking about the lining of the hull, the planking on the inside of the frames that stiffens, protects, covers up some rough work and complicates my life with questions and uncertainties. My trouble is, I have suddenly realized that the inside planking occurs in far greater variety and purpose than...

Chapter

Our title would at first glance appear to suggest a confusion of bad grammar and bad taste. In truth it is an old, proper, and excellent definition of the first task in the art and craft of boatbuilding the lofting process. In simple terms, the operation consists of drawing (laying down) an accurate, full-sized picture on the floor, from which patterns are taken off. The process is neither mysterious nor difficult, but there are some simple and essential truths. In the learning process, there...

Figure a

Layout of 8 and 16 sides on a tapered spar stave Bevel square set at 45 to obtain 8 sides (Resulting points A are 8-sided corners.) (Inscribed circle is girth of spar at that place.) Boxed circles are drawn to the limit of the squared stave's width. These provide points A through which the edges of the 8 sides may be faired with a batten. Bevel square set to 671 2 to obtain the sides (Resulting points B are 16-side corners.) Layout of the circle to 8 and 16 sides at the butt provides a...

And Devices

Long years ago, we built a boat for a designer who yearned to be Poet and Artist at once and in his search for the eternal verities, and any other justification for his 35-a-week-and-found, he once propounded as in a vision his concept (that's an unfortunate choice of words) of our separate roles his and ours, that is. He was the father of this lovely thing that we were creating. Guess where that left the boatbuilders. We thought about it and thought about it. As good red-blooded Republicans,...

Figure a Flat hatch

Before we tackle the sliding cover, let's finish around the vertical part of the companion-way opening in the after end of the house. Start with the sill. This is a piece of teak, locust, or dense oak, rabbeted as shown in Figure 16-lb, notched ai both ends to extend inches bevond the opening. Fit vertical pieces, stepped on these sill ends. The after (outside) ones will reach exactly flush with the top of the rails the forward ones will be shortened by the depth of t he beam-to-come at the...

Deck Joinery

We once built a big clipper-bowed cutter, designed by Sam Crocker, and handsome beyond words to describe. It was a painful job from start to finish. The owner had haunted the great yacht yards on City Island, and had arrived at some standards of excellence (mainly in matters of fine teak-and-mahoganv bright-work on deck) that were beyond our experience and, I regret to say, talents. They were especially beyond the contract price. The really important thing, he felt, was this You tie up...

Figure B

Boat Plans Popular Mechanics

Skeleton pattern (or template) fitted tightly into the area to be Pattern scribed from the underside of the keel (matches the top face of the slab beneath) Outline of top face, from the keel pattern Bottom face is pattern for the slab below. Side bevel cut from section drawn into the loft plan, or dubbed directly on the boat After edges parallel to receive the sternpost Shores, to ram the slabs together for fairing of the side bevel Chain crusher-an effective device for exerting a crushing pull...

Deck Framing

Sheer Clamp Boat

It's a great day indeed when you remove the molds. But don't, be in too great a hurry a few things need doing before you break them loose. I assume that you've been properly cautious, with ties across from sheer to sheer in the middle third of the hull (to prevent spreading) and braces between frames below the future location of the sheer clamp in the ends of the vessel, wrhere she'll try to come together. You should mark a true, pure line, representing the underside of the covering board,...

Beveling Boat Transoms

Backbone Assembly And Parts Boat

The Backbone Tail Feather and Transom, Molds, and Sheer Let's assume that this keel is on its side, with stem and sternpost in place, and with ballast keel bolted on. Chain a timber to the exposed side and stand it upright to rest on two wide 10-inch blocks one way aft, and the forward one at the toe of the ballast casting. The vessel is obviously down by the head. Secure it at the after block so that it cannot possibly slide backward or tip sideways. Now clamp a straightedge from the side of...

Boat Wooden Grab Rail Plans

Bulwark, in a West-country merchant schooner (c. 1880) (Drawing courtesy of Basil Greenhill, The Woodshipbuilders) Bulwark stanchions may or may not be top timbers of the hull frame, depending upon their location for bulwark support. It is customary to fasten bulwark stanchions through planking, beam shelf, and ceiling, independently of the hull frames, to ensure their easy removal for repairs or replacement. Grips cut deep enough to pass a line through Screwed or bolted through housetop beams...

Straightlaid decking

Pine Grove Iron Works

As you undoubtedly know, you can lay this deck straight fore-and-aft, parallel to centerlinc and nibbed into covering board and margin planks (see Figure 14-1). With no edge-bending involved, the strips can be wide enough to take two good fastenings at each beam. The nibbing need not start until the angle between the deck plank and the covering board gets to be less than 20 degrees. I like to leave the absolute minimum of blocking under the joints if the rain from heaven breaches the first...

Foreword

When I was very young, I built for myself the best boat in all the world. It was a fat dory, designed to fit a secondhand sail, and not very impressive to other eyes. What matter It was a brave thing and, to me, beautiful and I have never si nee lost my vision of the Best Boat in the World always just a bit beyond the present one, and always there to strive toward. Maybe this background will help explain the chapters that follow. I hope they convey some of the feeling of joy I have had from a...

Wooden Boat Spars

When we were very young, and wished to give wings and magic to our skiffs, we'd go deep into a spruce swamp to find a tree that had died standing. Trim off the small dead limbs, smooth it with a drawknife, keep the taper that came naturally, maybe fi t a sheave at the top for a halyard, step it in a hole in the forward thwart, fit it with some kind of sail (made from a discarded bedsheet or a painter's drop cloth) and the winds of Heaven were our companions in a glorious voyage to the...

The Making of Molds

Following the lofting process, you'll no doubt -_> e anxious to set tools to wood and begin to -hape your dream. Heaven knows you've anticipated it long enough Well, the making of molds is as critical to the success of the project as lofting, since the molds are but perfect reproductions (in three dimensions) of the stations we've laid out on the body plan. Station number 1 becomes station mold number l,and so on. When the molds are all set up, and especially when the ribbands are bent over...

Ribbands and Timbering

Composite Sandwich Construction

We always use clear fir, 1 Vs inches thick and a bit wider than that. Half of these we leave solid (at least while they are young, green, and flexible) the others are cut with a saw, flat, right up the middle, stopping a foot short of the other end. They recuperate between boats, in the darkness under the shop floor, and last for years. You can use two layers of green spruce, and consider them expendable, if the fir is hard to come by but watch them with...

Power tools

Power tools are much like governmental bureaus, in one respect Once you've got the power, it's fatally easy to add another but you'll never do away with one. When I built my first big boat, I had one small circular saw, driven by a Vs-horsepower motor. This was a great luxury, after years of building skiffs entirely with hand tools. Two years later, having decided that I was about ready to revolutionize the boatbuilding industry, I acquired a good Stanley Winch drill, and a very small bandsaw....

The Ballast Keel

Sailboat Lofting

C gt ne of the most fascinating and heartwarming ihuigs about the boatbuilding business is the niversally friendly helpfulness of the many .-itors we have. They are not, for the most . rt, people with, as you might say, an axe to _ nd or a plane to be adjusted, or even a heck to press into our embarrassed hand as gt wn payment on a new design. Not at all. i hey come because they like us, and they like ihe smells around the shop that speak of cedar havings, wood preservatives, and certain little...

The Backbone Keel and Sternpost

Wooden Boat Outline Image

Your designer probably calls for a white oak .eel, properly air dried. This is good he could nave been much more specific, and gotten us -.11 in trouble. He might have inherited from iis Naval Construction days one of those little -lectric moisture-content indicators, and got-en all excited about what it told him. Although, confidentially, I've watched him read the shielded dial, nod with satisfaction, md mark OK on a timber that had been swaying to the summer breezes three weeks gt efore. He...

The Backbone Stem Rabbet and Frame Sockets

Sailboat Lofting Line Drawings

I'd like to read from my Ode to the Black Locust, but fortunately it's still all in the head, and hazy at that. The subject is the Stem. Out front every time first to take the brunt, whatever that is symbol of Man's conquest of the unknown stark in the cresting seas, the boiling sun, the creaking frosts of high latitudes. And not always up to facing these responsibilities, either, unless it's a pretty good piece to start with, and capped at the top to keep fresh water out of the end grain. So,...

Smooth and Fair Hull

Smoothing Wooden Boat Hull

This will be a short chapter for me, and a long-two weeks for you. You are going to plank the transom, bung the fastenings, smooth the hull, caulk, smooth some more, and mark the water -1 ine and you're going to do these things before you take the molds out, or you'll be sorry. I always reverse the procedure, and have all these things to do with shores and staging in the way. But I assume that you have a flawless character, and neither postpone the tedious nor reach greedily for the next...

Figure e

40d galvanized common, or Y16 x 5 galvanized lag, or continuous-threaded bronze rod drop board. I like to fit and fasten three beams, as shown in Figure 16-1 c, across the top one at the after end, to support theoverhangand provide a hand grip one in the middle, to give strength where needed one over the forward beam, for chafing gear and symmetry. And if you are wise you'll install drifts 30-penny spikes. 6 inches apart to stiffen the edge grain against the splitting effect of weight on top....

The Planking Process From the Garboard Up

Keel Rabbet Bit

Now that the upper pari of the hull is planked, it's time to plank up the bottom, starting with the lowermost plank called the garboard. Put aside the diminish board, grab a batten, flex your knees, and get down where you can contemplate that section of boat below the tuck ribband. Now, you could close in this section with planks that run thus narrow enough so that they can easily be shaped to fit the hollow of the wineglass, and not too hard to fit see Figure 10-1 . It's perhaps worth noting...

The Planking Process From the Sheer Down

Wooden Sailing Boat Hull Planking

So there she is, set up, timbered out, rabbet faired, ready for planking. This is the biggest single job, and probably the most difficult for the beginner not because there's anything very complicated about it, but because much of it depends on j udgment, eye, and the unconscious skill of hand that you gradually acquire without knowing it. The old pro loves to fit planks because he can do it without thinking, and it's his great talent, with a sort of timeless rhythm to it, which clothes and...

Floor Timbers

Framed Woodenboats

The glossary will say something like this Floor timber an athwartships member, usually of wood, used to lie the heels of the frames to the keel. This definition comes close to being the ultimate in oversimplification. The floor timbers provide a base for the engine bed, intermediate shaft bearings, and a mast step. They tie the two halves of the boat together down where it really counts. They take in hand the enormous wringing strains of the ballast keel, and transfer these loads smoothly and...