25 January, '06

A heavy box turned up in the mail today, Charlie haunts Ebay looking for the boats deck fittings, winches, portholes and so on. He got a bargain recently with a pair of bronze winches. Whoever built the box in which they were shipped did an excellent job, no way were they ever going to be damaged!

click to enlarge

The first plank! Yeehah ! Note too the height of the stem, the gunwale at the stem is only about 100mm off the concrete floor, so you can get an idea here just how tall that stem is, this is a big boat, for a little boat, if you know what I mean.

Also visible, just! Are the inner breasthooks that we have put across the stringer pairs to reinforce the stringer to stem joint, if this boat hits something, I don't want the stringers and planking being sprung off the stem and leaking so we have built in a bit of insurance here.

(click images for larger views)

All of the boat's stringers are now in place, big hunky ones. Even the small intermediate stringers are 25mm x 45mm and only about 200mm apart maximum. The framework is stiffening up a lot, and it now takes a really big heave to detect any movement at all. As the skin goes on even that will disappear.

Today we (that’s Charlie with me looking over his shoulder) are fitting the first plank. An exciting day: a major move toward a “real” boat shape appears and of course it’s the planking that keeps the water outside where it belongs.

Note that the boat will have two layers of 8.5mm Fijiian Kauri (Agathis Vitensis), most planks about 150mm or 200mm wide and laid at a slight angle across the stringers. This angle is set to fit the curve of the stems forefoot where the entry is hollow just below the waterline, a tricky area to get fair and even so we are fitting that first on the basis that it gets easier from here.

Charlie will be planking an area around the bow, and then when the glue is setting will move aft to the stern and work forward, by doing this both sides he has four work areas going at the same time and does not have to wait for the glue to go off.

I’ve made the point many times about working clean, and this is a really important thing to do at this stage in the boats construction, it really does pay to clean up very carefully after fitting each planking piece or the cleanup inside will be a really major job. While its not easy top reach inside and wipe, it pays off long term.

Back next week with another progress report.
In the meantime, back to the drawing board,

John Welsford.
Designer, solver of puzzles, sharpener of tools and maker of cups of tea.