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...)

Monday, 8 December 2014

Bob Begins: Two on the Go

While the Ilur is all but finished and awaits her rig, a Paul Gartside 16ft skiff is in ther making, with moulds lofted and erected on the strongback and a start made on the stems.

The planking is a bit of a departure: 6mm Vendia, which is a very superior pine-faced ply from Finland, but with grain and figure that looks natural as it is not roto cut from logs but milled through and through. It comes either crown cut or quarter sawn, both of which look like the real thing and thus can be varnished without looking odd. It's a halfway house between solid timber and plywood; a compromise, perhaps but will make for a light and strong boat. In larch the planking would need to be 8 or maybe 9mm as opposed to 6mm. And no rivets.

I have gone for 225mm wide, 3m planks, 35 of them which is probably over the top for just the eight strakes a side planned. The rest will be put to good use, perhaps as floorboards, thwarts, risers and possibly some traditional bent timbers.

The stem patterns give an early indication of shape. The stems themselves have been laminated thwart-wise rather than ripped and glued to shape round a jig. It may take a little longer but is more controllable, less wasteful and messy. The inner laminate will be solid oak, sandwiched between 9mm plywood with the end grain on the inside face capped with larch. A further laminate of oak will add strength to the forefoot, provide a wider face for the garboard and reinforce the scarph.

The boat is for an old friend and customer Jan KS, so I can expect a lively email conversation and lots of discussion, which is what I enjoy about building boats, especially when the owners are more knowledgable than I (which is mostly).

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