1958 HiLiner – Reshaping the bottom

1958 HiLiner
The HiLiner was built in Massachusetts. It’s a light, fast boat that’s a lot of fun.
1958 HiLiner is a fast, light boat.
This boat is so light, it’s very easy to wheel around the shop. It’s a molded plywood boat–lightweight ant beautiful.

We recently got a new project in the boat shop.  A 1958 HiLiner came in with the complaint that it leaks badly.  I took a look and found the bottom had lost its original shape over the years.  The keel had compressed up into the boat, and some of the frames had separated.  It’s not unusual for this kind of thing to happen to these classic boats over the years.  After all, this boat is 63 years old.  That’s older than I am (not by much, but still). Continue reading “1958 HiLiner – Reshaping the bottom”

Laminating the Intermediate Frames

Intermediate frames
Intermediate frames ready for epoxy coating before permanent installation.
Laminating intermediate frames
The 1/8″ strips are clamped in place using the boat as a form.

Mr. Zimmer called for steam bent intermediate topside frames in his plans to join up with the intermediate floors.  We could steam bend these, but I’m more inclined to laminate them.  So off to the table saw we go to start cutting strips!  I found that I could get the curve I needed at the chine with a 1/8″ thick strip of Douglas Fir.  These frames are 1″ wide and need to be 1/2″ deep with 1/2″ blocking added between battens.  I milled my strips a little oversize so I could clean them up and plane them to final width after gluing. Continue reading “Laminating the Intermediate Frames”

Bevelling the frames

Bevelling a batten notch in frame 1
You can see the notch in this frame for the batten is sloped at an angle to match the angle at which the batten crosses the frame.

After my last post, I had a few questions about how to handle the joint where pieces like the chine cross the frames.  The chine, battens and sheer clamp are notched into all the frames.  The notches are pre-cut at 90 degrees to the face of the frames.  But in certain areas, particularly forward of say, frame 4, these pieces cross the frames at an angle that is increasingly far from 90 degrees.  Ultimately, these pieces (chine, battens, sheer clamp) all need to be securely fastened to the frames.  A little old edge like the corner between the face and the thickness of a frame hardly makes for good construction.  So what to do? Continue reading “Bevelling the frames”

Using the boat as a form–Laminating the chine

Laminating the chine
Laminating the forward portion of the chine using the frames of the boat as a form.

I’m back at work on the Palm Beach 22 mahogany runabout and glad to be making progress again.   Today I want to talk a little about using the boat itself (or what we have of it at this point) as a form to make more parts for the boat.  We’ve got all the frames in place, so now we can use that to make some of the parts for the boat.

The chine is a continuous piece that runs the length of the boat.  It has curve and twist to it, so it used to be made to fit in a wooden boat by steam bending.  But we’re laminating pieces together to make that curved chine log.  The forward section presents a particular problem in that it has considerable curve and twist. Continue reading “Using the boat as a form–Laminating the chine”

Laminating the Stem

Laminating the stem of the Palm Beach 22 to a very tight curve requires many layers.
You can never have too many clamps!  Laminating the stem of the Palm Beach 22.  Notice the plastic sheet over the lofting board to keep glue from dropping on it.

In my last post I said I would tell you more about making the hatch in the waterproof bulkhead, and finishing it.  Well, I’m still waiting for some of the hardware, so it’s time to move on and we’ll come back to the hatch later.

Time to build the Stem of the boat!  I decided to laminate this stem because it’s easier and stronger than the traditional method of sawing it out of solid lumber pieces and bolting them together.  Laminating is just gluing together multiple layers to produce a larger piece.  It’s also used as an alternative to steam bending wood.  We’re going to do a lot of laminating on this boat.  So let’s get started.

Continue reading “Laminating the Stem”

Building a Hatch Opening

Framed hatch and opening, almost ready to be installed.

The water-tight bulkhead forward of the engine compartment needs a hatch opening so you can access the area forward of frame 3.  We have to cut an opening and frame it and the hatch.  We’ll have to design the frame for both pieces, determine proper placement of the hinges and opening hardware, and make it waterproof. Continue reading “Building a Hatch Opening”

Assembling the Transom Frame

Aft view
Assembled transom frame viewed from aft.

We’ve been talking about making all the pieces for the transom of our Palm Beach 22.  If you missed that part of the discussion, you can check it out at making the Transom Cheeks and Making the Transom Bows.  Now it’s time to put these parts together into a unified whole.  We need some guideposts, something to tell us how this piece should look when we’ve put it together successfully. Continue reading “Assembling the Transom Frame”

Making the Transom Bows

Shaving to the line
Shaving the upper transom bow to the line of the deck camber.

The transom bows are the curved top and bottom pieces that give you the shape of that beautiful transom you see on classic runabouts.  Nelson Zimmer’s plan calls for a 5 foot radius curve.  He also calls for a deck crown or “camber” of 2-1/2 inches at the transom.

So we’ve got two pieces to make, bent to a 5 foot radius.  And the top one has to have a curve cut on top of it to support the crown of the deck as well. Continue reading “Making the Transom Bows”

Cutting the Transom Cheeks on the Palm Beach 22

Palm Beach 22 transom cheek
The profile view of the transom cheek.

It seems like forever since I talked about working on the Palm Beach 22 in this space.  Intervening boat repairs do have a way of taking up time here at the boatworks!  Anyway, when we left off I was talking about the plan for framing the transom.  I had made up 2 blanks with the curve of the transom cheeks.  You can read about it here.

Transom cheek blank
I checked the curve of the blanks to the lofting board. If you look closely you can see the line for station 10 hugging the piece, just inside the line for station 9.

You can see the blank laminated to the curve here.  Now it’s time to cut the compound curve out of this blank.  Remember this piece not only curves inboard, it also curves aft when you look at it from the side.  Take a look at Zimmer’s drawing again.  It’s at the top of this post. Continue reading “Cutting the Transom Cheeks on the Palm Beach 22”

Framing the Transom of the Palm Beach 22

Transom framing for Palm Beach 22
Transom framing view from the front. The red arrow points to the transom “cheek” we’re going to build.

We’ve got all the frames built and set up.  But we’ve still got to frame the transom of the Palm Beach 22.  We’ll build the framework and add it to our setup so we can begin planking.  The picture above is a rendering of what our framework should look like.  Note that I’ve pointed out a particular piece I call the transom “cheek”.  You can see the transom curves inward at the top (called “Tumblehome”).  This is part of the signature look of a mahogany runabout. Continue reading “Framing the Transom of the Palm Beach 22”