The blog will now be devoted not to boat building but to my 82-year-old Vertue, Sally II, now undergoing a well needed refit at Johnson & Loftus in Ullapool (and gliding...)

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Another Day, another Plank or three

The garboards went on a day or so back and today the first strake. It would have been two, but there are not enough clamps and besides it would mean using screws to keep the hood ends down. The other side will go on tomorrow, when the decision will be taken whether to turn the boat over.

Before that I intend to fit the outer keel, which will probably be a laminate of two 1/2in pieces so I can take it further into the ends than the plans which show it at 11ft 6in but at 1in thick, it could not be bent to take up the curve of the forefoot. By laminating I should be able to clamp it further up the curve of the stems, for strength and, as I intend to fit solid outer stems, it will make that bit of spiling a little easier. We will see. It's good to try things a different way, whilst sticking as slavishly as possible to the essentials of Iain's design ie shape.

The first strake was fixed using Collano and a row of Gripfast nails. It went well, although I could not bring myself to totally trust the nails, hence the clamps. Maybe the further up the boat, the less of a twist and the more secure the nails will be, which will mean I can take off the clamps and maybe gtet a second plank up the same day (as I would have in a conventional build.) See what I mean about being slower than a traditional build?

But there are undoubted benefits in having the planks cut, albeit the scarphing takes time and if you get it wrong, it won't fit. Very little wriggle room, unlike traditional clinker where you make the plank the shape you want by spiling. More like painting by numbers. I shall grow to like the method, I am sure.

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