Back to the Palm Beach 22

Making a pattern for the irregular shape of the engine compartment platform.

It’s been a long time since I posted anything about the Palm Beach.  I haven’t forgotten it, and I haven’t stopped working on it.  But there have been some intervening projects like the Riva, shoulder surgery, a trip or two… Continue reading “Back to the Palm Beach 22”

Final Topsides Plank and a Patch

Topsides planking finished
The topsides planking is finished. Next will be the transom and then the bottom planks.

The final topsides plank is fit and glued in place.  Huzzah!  It took a long time to get here because I elected to vacuum bag each plank individually.  I wanted the tightest seams I could get.  And in order to do that, you need to know the plank you’re fitting against isn’t going to move, even slightly.  Without locator screws, which you can use in traditional boat building, you don’t know things will go back together exactly as they did during the dry fit.  The topsides gets a lot of scrutiny on any boat–perhaps not as much as the deck, but it’s what people notice first. Continue reading “Final Topsides Plank and a Patch”

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”

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”

Just When You Think You Know What You’re Doing…

Awlwood Red stain bleed results in dark bumps that must be sanded away.

You find out there’s more to know.

Well, that’s often the case here at Ashley River Boatworks, anyway.  In my last post, I talked about making a test strip to decide what stain and finish options to use in the Palm Beach 22 runabout we’re building.  I wanted to test some conventional oil based stains next to a new staining system by Awlgrip that I used on a previous project–a restoration of a 1949 Chris Craft runabout. Continue reading “Just When You Think You Know What You’re Doing…”

Staining the boat

Applying filler stain to the 1949 Chris Craft 17 ft. Deluxe Runabout
Applying filler stain to the 1949 Chris Craft 17 ft. Deluxe Runabout

With all the interior work finished, it’s time to focus on the pretty part.  It’s time to finish stripping the hull, repair holes and dings, and stain the hull.  All this precedes the varnishing phase.  I use the most aggressive chemical stripper I can find (Jasco brand) and let it do the work for me.  I slap it on liberally and let it sit there awhile and eat away the old varnish.  You can actually hear and see it doing this if you watch closely. Continue reading “Staining the boat”

Finishing the Dashboard

It’s easier to populate the dash and do preliminary wiring on the bench than in the boat.  I’m all about easier!
It’s easier to populate the dash and do preliminary wiring on the bench than in the boat. I’m all about easier!

We talked about patching some rotten wood in the dashboard of a 1949 Chris Craft 17 ft. Deluxe Runabout in an earlier post here.  Once we got the staining done, the next step was to lay on a bunch of varnish.  In our case, it took about 5 coats of Interlux Schooner 96 to seal in the stain.  Then we added about 8 coats of AwlWood MA urethane on top of that to get a really nice, deep gloss.  This is the scheme I plan to use for finishing the topsides of the boat as well.  The AwlWood is a new product for the U.S.  It’s been available in New Zealand for a few seasons, and has held up well there. Continue reading “Finishing the Dashboard”