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...)

Saturday, 20 December 2014

On the Third Day of Christmas (or was it fourth)...

... I had 35 boards of 6mm Vendia arrive, and what lovely stuff it is. Works nicely, planes beautifully, smells great (there are little pockets of resin occasionally which really bring out the sense of being in a Finnish forest), looks great and conforms to the moulds without needing to be steamed. I think I may have found the perfect compromise between solid timber and common marine plywood.

I have missed out, perhaps for the time being only, moulds 4, 5, 7 and 8 as there's not much happening that mould 6 can't handle. It makes it easier to work underneath. But if there's any hollowing or distortion liable to creep in I will add more moulds as seems fit. Either that or support the strakes using sticks from the shop floor.

As for Vendia as a material, when planing the lands on the garboards you could forget for a moment that this was a laminate; until you hit the middle layer, which is an excellent guide to the accuracy of the bevel.

Anyway, enough of this peaon of praise for Vendia, how about progress? Well, the garboards are on and spiling board strapped on to get the top edge of the next strake. So far so good. The skiff is designed for strip plank, so the moulds will have to be taken with a small pinch of salt. The smaller the better, but the other nice thing about Vendia is its flexibility. It takes compound curves to a degree without complaint, something to do with its relative softness compared to okume or hardwood marine plies.

Once the garboards were glued and the ends planed to the stems, I clear primed them to prevent them getting marked by grubby hands. glue or bird pooh (there's a little robin that occasionally takes refuge inside the shed).

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