Flipping the Boat

The boat is at rest in a sideways position. Notice the cradles under it ready to receive it.

I’ve done all I can to the hull from the outside.  So it’s time to flip the boat upright so I can start working from the inside.  To prepare for this, I’ve made 3 cradles to hold the boat in position once its upright.  I used the patterns for some of the frames with one placed directly under where the engine will be mounted.  Using the waterlines on the patterns, I was able to set up the cradles so the boat will sit level and plumb. Continue reading “Flipping the Boat”

Bummer Dude!–Redoing the Topsides Again

Fiberglass print through
You can see the fiberglass print through here. I’ll have to take a class in this to learn how to get it right.

I never did get the fiberglass to work to my satisfaction on the topsides.  I tried again with smaller batches in cooler weather, but still got the fiberglass veil I spoke of in my earlier post.  So I stripped it off again, decided not to stain the boat but just let the natural woodgrain show, and moved on.

A man’s got to know his limitations.
                                                                                           –Dirty Harry



Fiberglass Setback

Peeling fiberglass off wooden boat
Peeling 6 oz. fiberglass cloth off the boat with a heat gun

I have not failed.  I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.                 — Thomas Edison

Adding a layer of fiberglass cloth to any wooden boat will add an enormous amount of toughness to it.  And if you do it right, the fiberglass is invisible.  That’s right — invisible.  The problem is in the “doing it right” part.

Okay, let’s step back a bit. Continue reading “Fiberglass Setback”

Cutting the Flat

You can see the exposed end grain in this picture of the flat cut most of the way with a power plane.

Last time, I talked a little about cutting the flat along the keel so I could put a cap over it to keep from having exposed end grain there.  My friend Steve asks, “Well, exactly how did you do that?” (or words to that effect).  It did, in fact, take a little bit of doing.  So I decided to explain myself a little better in a follow-up post. Continue reading “Cutting the Flat”

Steaming the Bottom Plank Blanks

Here’s a good look at the steaming bag and the clamps I used to hold the blank in place while steaming and then cooling.

The twist in the bottom planks at the bow is pretty extreme.  When it becomes impractical to clamp enough twist or curve into a plank to fit it properly, it helps to be able to get it closer to the final shape before you pop a blood vessel in the struggle. Continue reading “Steaming the Bottom Plank Blanks”

Fitting the Mahogany Layer on the Palm Beach 22

Gluing mahogany planking on the Palm Beach 22
You’ll use every clamp in the shop to hold that mahogany in place while the glue sets.

Our final layer of planking will run longitudinally to look like traditional carvel planking in this build.  That’s where the longitudinal mahogany planks are laid edge to edge and screwed to the underlying frames.  When it’s complete, you end up with a very smooth, fair hull with seams so tight you can’t even feel the transition from one plank to the adjacent one.  Well, that’s the ideal, anyway.  These boats worked because the seams tightened up after the boat was in the water a few days–tight enough to keep most of the water out.  And while it’s helpful to remember we’re building a boat and not a Steinway piano, with a little know-how and patience, we can get reasonably close to that ideal.  We’re going deep into the weeds in the next couple of posts so bear with me. Continue reading “Fitting the Mahogany Layer on the Palm Beach 22”

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”

Laminating the Sheer Clamp

Sheer clamp of Palm Beach 22
The laminated sheer clamp in place. Notice the packing tape in the frame notch so the piece can be separated from the frames and faired before permanent installation.

First, what is the sheer clamp?  It’s the longitudinal piece to which the deck and topsides are clamped to make the hull-deck joint.  As you might imagine, it’s position is at the sheer line of the boat.  The finished dimension called for in the plan is 5/8 x 2-1/2 inches.  Continue reading “Laminating the Sheer Clamp”

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”