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”

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”

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 Next Planks Using the Router

Cutting plank edges
The Router Method makes cutting plank edges an efficient process.

Last month, I described in detail the process of scribing, cutting, and fitting the first strake of final planking on our Palm Beach 22 mahogany runabout.  If you missed it, I suggest you go back and take a look.  It’s a necessary precursor to the process I’m about to discuss.

Laying up each plank and fitting it is a time consuming, although satisfying process.  Refining your skill in creating light-tight seams between planks is a worthwhile pursuit.  The better you are at scribing the previous plank edge onto your new blank, the quicker it goes.  It’s a time-honored skill among boat builders.  But let’s take a look at a more efficient method. Continue reading “Fitting the Next Planks Using the Router”

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”

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”

Fairing the Hull Before the Final Layer

Fairing compound on the hull
Low spots have been filled, and the entire hull has been scrape-filled with fairing compound.

After three layers of 1/8″ planking, it’s time to fair the hull.  In some builds, particularly those with a painted hull, you might wait until after the final layer is on.  But with only 3/16″ thickness in the final layer of mahogany, you can see how it’s advantageous to get the hull nice and fair before it goes on.  Sanding through the mahogany to get a hump out would be disastrous. Continue reading “Fairing the Hull Before the Final Layer”