Ends of the house set into position with bar clamps

Fitting the house ends and cornerposts

First, cut out and fit the two ends. (I assume that you have boards wide enough, or that you have glued two pieces together to get the necessary width.) The construction drawing should give you the height, at the corners; your deck-beam pattern should give you a fairly accurate line for the bottom edge of each end; and the housetop beam pattern should give you the top edge of each end (allowing for the thickness of the decking to lap over the beams and yet enough extra to allow for trimming and beveling). The ends will, of course, be cut with the correct amount of tumblehome, as shown in the construction section through the middle of the house. If the designer leaves such a detail to your judgment, which seems unlikely, and if you want my advice, slope them in 1 inch to the foot of height, or thereabouts. (Forty years ago we always set them plumb, and they looked horrible.) Make the ends square, and about lA inch short of the corners of the opening in the deck. Leave the bottom edges (which sit on the deck) square to start with. The after end will likely be plumb in profile view, and should need very little beveling after you have scribed and dressed it to a light-tight fit to make it stand. Unless the designer goes for a rakish look, the fonvard end of the house will very likely stand at about 90 degrees to the centerline of the forward deck—and therefore will need only scribing and trimming to get that, perfect fit against the deck.

Cut the opening for the companionway in the after end, and set up both ends in position

Reamer for bolt holes made by flattening the end of a 3/a" rod

Counterbored for bolt head: W bit, 1" deep

Machine-bored halfway through with W bit figure 15-7

Edge-drilling the house ends

Forward cornerpost

After cornerposi

Cutting and fitting the cornerposts

Forward cornerpost

After cornerposi with two bar clamps on each, as shown in Figure 15-5. (Their inner faces will, of course, be exactly flush with the trimmed-off deck opening.) Mark for the bolts that will tie the ends to the deck frame—at least four in each. The outer bolts should be not more than 6 inches from the corners; put two through the sill in the after end, and perhaps two more 3 inches clear of the companionway opening. All these bolts should be plumb in the athwart-ships plane, and you might take a quick look to make sure none of them lands on a deck fastening. Now unclamp the ends, square across from the lines on the top and bottom edges, mark the exact center with a prick-punch, and get ready to drill for those bolts.

This drilling process may appear to be extremely difficult, if not hazardous, with the chance—nay, likelihood—of ruining a very expensive piece of wood. I once thought so, and felt smugly thankful that I was endowed with the skill to drill these all day long and never miss one—until I lent the gear and described the technique to a thickheaded, brash amateur, and sat back in ghoulish glee to await his report on wayward drills—only to have my pride fall in the shavings when he came back the next day, frankly puzzled that I should have had any doubts. What's supposed to be difficult about that? He did it just the way I told him. Since then Fve advised a dozen more young boatbuilders, and only one needed to be threatened with the ancient and traditional aid of a pig turd hung on a string from the end of his nose, so he'd know for sure which way was straight down.

Take a scrap of 1 - by 12-inch board, mark a half dozen straight lines on one side of it, clamp it on edge on the floor, and practice the business of edge-drilling. You need a Vs-inch drill, 18 inches long. You can get one, labeled "bell-hanger's drill," from an electrician's supply store, or you can weld a 5/i 6-inch shank to a "jobber's length" machinist's drill. (You will, of course, call this a bit, because you'll use it in a V^-inch electric drill, and you don't want to confuse the terms.) Start the bit exactly on center, where marked with a prick-punch; line it up by eye with the line on the side of the board, and proceed to bore down a little more than half the width of the board. Turn it over, aim as before, and bore down until your bit enters exactly into the hole vou bored from the other y /

edge, or almost exactly.

You'd best make a reamer by flattening with a hammer one end of a piece of Va-inch rod and then filing it (see Figure 15-6). Spin this up and down the hole, and you'll know for sure that the bolts will go through without binding. Practice with three or four holes, and you'll gain the necessary confidence and faith to tackle those that count. (Note, in passing, that this skill will be needed when you build an edge-bolted rudder, centerboard, mast step, or footwell.)

And here they are, those that count, to be drilled as follows: Clamp each house end to something so that it stands top edge up, lower edge on the shop floor (see Figure 15-7). Coun-terbore 1 inch deep with a Winch bit for the bolt heads (which will be Vs-inch hex nuts) and stand astraddle of the victim with drill in hand and mind serene. Sight down the pencil line and both sides of the board (it helps if you can wall your eyes at will) and press the trigger. Don't bear down hard. Think of a hummingbird hovering over a blossom. Haul out the bit ever and anon to clear the clogged shavings. As in your practice sessions, bore halfway and a little more; tip the board over, clamp, and bore 'til the bit breaks joyfully into the tunnel you started from the other side of the mountain. Comfort yourself with the thought that there remain but 23 of these to be done ere the house is finished, and proceed, with no further help from me, until you have these ends all bored and reamed.

Clamp the house ends back in place, and run the long bit down each hole in turn through the deck and deckbeam. Measure for all the bolts—from the top of the nut at the top end to the underside of the beam, plus l/4 inch. Counterbore in the beam Vs inch up, to take a standard Vifi-inch washer, which will spin up the thread on your Va-inch bolt. Make up the bolts, start them in their respective holes, unclamp again, ream holes through the deck and beam, lay a good bead of sticky stuff (butyl rubber, for instance) and maybe a half-strand of caulking cotton, looped cautiously around the bolt holes—and pick her up tenderly, lift, her with care, and tap the bolts home. Put on the washers and nuts, but don't try to squeeze the hell out of the assembly just yet. You want the goo to harden a bit and adjust itself, so some of it will stay in the joint when you tighten up all around. Saw out and clamp a piece of scrap across the companion way opening to reproduce the crown vou cut out of it. If vou're

satisfied with the way these ends stand in profile (and you'd better be, because you aren't going to change them much), brace each with a

Junction systems—house sides to deck


No bolt

House side Caulk

Vb" bolt

English system (also suited to cockpit coaming in an open boat)

Lobsterboat system

Crocker's Fomaihaut (and in large vessels)

Vb" bolt

House side—sided Vh"

Deck: Vi" plywood

Vb" bolt

House side—sided Vh"

Deck: Vi" plywood

System described here

Face piece added VW

System described here

Face piece added VW

Carlin: 17/a x 2Va"

Short beam: VA x 2"

^ Temporary uprights set to the tumblehome of the house sides ^

Framework for the house sides

Beam-crown mold

Straightedge defining profile of the house along the centerline

Top of the house side slat from the deck, and prepare to put in the cornerposts.

I differ from most yacht designers. They draw a perfectly fitted, one-piece rabbeted corner post. I make it in two pieces, for the following reasons: (1) It's much easier that way; (2) where the hell am I going to find a piece of mahogany that thick? (3) if a leak develops, I can always remove, resmear, and replace the outer piece, just as I would a beat-up outer stem on a dory; and (4) it's easier my way.

With that point settled, saw out a piece of mahogany, locust, black walnut, or whatever, about 2 by 5 inches and long enough to make the two forward corners, with a little extra to spare. Set your bevel square to the angle between t he end of the house and the side-to-be. Mark this angle on the end of your two-by-five (see Figure 15-8), and cut each of those corners with a bandsaw or a til ting-arbor table saw (or even by hand, if all else fails). Now cut the piece in two, and fit each half to its corner—tapering from the deckline down on the outside and forward faces—until it is snug to the deck frame and fits tightly against and follows the tumblehome of the house end. Finish shaping the post to your heart's desire. I always run a groove down the inner face, and cut the edges square, so the face pieces and beam ledges can butt against them, as shown in Figure 15-8. Glue and screw-fasten the post to the house end, but do not fasten the lower end to the deck frame.

The cornerpost. at the after end will be treated in just the same fashion, but will come out of a narrower piece of stock.

The house sides

You now have, with these cornerposts, a bearing surface for anchoring your clamps when you are springing the house sides around the temporary framework. This last, which you are about to install, is the key to the entire business of shaping, fitting, clamping, and fastening the house sides. Here is how you make the framework:

Saw out about a quarter of a mile of 1- by 4-inch straightedge stock. Climb aboard, pick likely spots that are roughly one-fourth, one-half, and three-fourths of the distance along the length of the house. Tack a piece of your one-

by-four to the under edges of the fore-and-aft rarlins (and exactly square across the centerline of the vessel) at each of these spois. Clamp a vertical piece, its bottom resting on the inside of the hull planking, sloped inward to match, roughly, the tumblehome showing in the already installed after end of the house. Scribe and cut the bottom end so it can be lacked to the planking; fit it in the way of the carlin to bring its outer edge to the deck edge; set it exactly at the right amount of tumblehome; and nail it to the crosspiece and the carlin. Fit and fasten the identical twin on the other side, cross-brace the two as shown in Figure 15-10, and go on to install the other three sets.

You will notice that the actual tumblehome on the forward end of the house is greater than at the after end—this effect, is the result of the slight rake aft. in the profile view. So split the difference when you set. up the framework at the three-quarter distance—that is, give the framework a bit more tumblehome than the middle one shows and a bit less than is apparent when you sight past it to the forward cor-nerposts. Don't worry too much about this, but try to make the two sides alike.

Now you need only a centerline (profile) along the middle of the house, and you'll be ready to mark the exact shape of the house sides. This centerline may, in your construc-

lion profile, show as an old-fashioned swav-back dip, the look-of-tomorrow hump, or a straight line parallel to the waterline. The last, I think, usually looks right and is certainly the easiest to work with, especially if you plan to deck with plywood. (The dipped or humped profiles inevitably generate compound curves, which plywood abhors.)

Stand, therefore, on edge, from the mid-crown of the aft end to the mid-crown of the forward, a 1- by 6-inch straightedge, clamped solidly in place. (You can obtain the same ref-

figure 15-11

Measurements on the spiling board that determine the whole shape of the house side (the interior face)

(b) Top edge-by a set distance marked down to the spiling batten with rule or dividers

(c) Bottom edge—with arcs swung at arbitrary spots by a compass set to a single radius

(a) Length-marked at both ends

Spiling batten tacked along the supports in a relaxed bend

Top marks established with the beam-crown pattern

Top bevel given by the beam-crown mark across the side of the upright

Bottom bevel taken directly or left square for scribing down erence line with a tight string, but. you'll be forever pushing it out of true and waiting for it to stop humming.)

The next operation is the payoff for all the effort described above. Take your beam-crown pattern, lay it against one of your temporary uprights, with its top edge against the bottom of the fore-and-aft straightedge. Adjust the pattern ends up or down (above the deck edge, on the outside of the vertical uprights) until the heights are exactly the same both port and starboard. Mark a fine, bold line on the athwart-ships face and the outboard edge of each upright (see Figure 15-11)—and go on to do likewise on the other two sets. As surely as night must follow day, these points (five in all, counting the ends) must delineate the inner top edge of the house side, at the under surface of the housetop.

You must now mark for the lower edge of the house side, which is to fit the deck with a watertight joint. This line is most easily obtained by scribing the line on a spiling board and then transferring it to the board that will form the house sides, as shown in Figures 15-11 and 15-12.(1 assume that you know how to take and transfer a spiling; my only warning in this case is that you take special pains to assure that your spiling board is comfortable and relaxed before you mark it.) Now, while the spiling board is in place, mark each of your five height-reference points, and lay off the respective heights above the line of the lower edge. Run a batten through the points for a fair line. These heights are for the inside of the house side, and must be increased at the top by the amount you'll lose when you bevel the bottom edge to fit the crown of the deck.

Proceed now to saw it out and bevel the bottom edge of the side to fit the slope of the deck. Clamp the side in place, around your uprights and to the cornerposts. If your spiling was accurate, the side should lie comfortably, with its lower edge touching the deck all the way. Snug it down with three bar clamps, note that the top edge is high enough, mark for trimming the lower edge for fit, mark for the end cuts at. the cornerposts, and climb aboard.

Now is the time to mark for the edge bolts. (See Figure 15-13.) As in the house ends, there should be one bolt not more than 6 inches from the corner. For the rest, you need only to bear in mind that they should be roughly at right angles to the carlin, and they must not land where a deckbeam ends, nor where a tie-rod comes through the carlin, nor less than 2 inches from a portlight hole, nor more than 20 inches apart, nor in the way of fastenings in the deck, nor on a strength-bulkhead at the mast, partners. You may make two false starts and squander several minutes before you arrive at the perfect pattern.

Anyway, unclamp, correct the fit on the bottom edge, cut the ends where marked from the cornerposts, and mark oat an identical twin, complete with the bolt locations and a little extra length on one end (you'd be surprised to know how many boats are a bit longer on one side than the other; and it's always the shorter side you measure first). Now set 'er up on edge, and counterbore the holes through the carlin; smear with Wonder Cement; drive the bolts and screwr-fasten to the cornerposts. Pluck out all that temporary framework, and prepare to install the beams.

(a) Length

(a) Length

Bevel taken from beam-crown pattern marks on sides of the temporary uprights

Bevel between deck-beams and temporary uprights (leave some wood for scribing down)

This is a square cut. Make final marks for length when the piece is clamped in place.

Spiling batten tacked down where top and bottom marks will fit within the width of the plank stock

Marks faired through with a batten

Bottom edge reversed {same setting) on the arcs drawn earlier will accurately locate the centers from which the compass had swung arcs onto the spiling board.

This line of centers is the line of the bottom edge obtained by ''spiling/'

As usual with any job you start in a boat, there are a half dozen things to be done before you begin the serious business. Right now you have to fair off the tops of the house sides (to the exact heights obtained from that temporary framework) and install a beam ledge. Use the concave edge of your beam pattern, or one of the beams themselves, laid across, to give you the angle...and be very glad, indeed, that you countersunk the bolt heads deep enough. The beam ledge, probably made from the same stock as the house sides, and V2 inch deeper than the beams, can be sawn to the correct bevel (the same on both the top and bottom edge) and sprung into place inside the top of the house side. When you fasten the ledge (with glue in the joint, and screws from the ledge into the house side), try to keep the screws clear of the spots where the beam ends will land. This beam ledge, or a reasonable facsimile of it, sawed to shape, will of course be carried across the tops of the house ends.

By the lime you have fitted all the above, and the beams, and the companionway frame, and the mast partners, and the face pieces, you may think back with sadly won wisdom to the day when you were fitting planks, and foolishly thought that, the hull was the big problem.

So what type of joint do we make where beam meets ledge? Your designer very likely shows exquisitely fitted dovetails (Figure 15-14), the mark of the master craftsman who Really Cares. (We are probably safe in assuming that the man who calls for full dovetails is at least twice as conscientious as the slipshod fellow who is content with the half version. In my youth, I encountered three designers, whose awesome talents enabled them, respectively, to draw a full-sized toilet in a sailboat not much bigger than said fixture, to draw quarter-beam buttocks straight as a string, and even to specify Philippine mahogany for planking—on a lobsterboat, mind you. Needless to say, each of these giants of the trade could have drawn full dovetails with absolute precision wherever wood met wood.) I say, to hell with dovetails, except in the corners of a sea chest, or any other place where they're fully exposed and will draw oohs and aahs. I think (hey are holdovers, in a very conservative trade, from the davs when

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How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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