A long cold plank.

For those who are interested, a new Facebook page for backyard boatbuilders : https://www.facebook.com/groups/892923134689307

Blog time : it’s late October 2021 and it felt very autumnal today in a dank and cold kind of way, grey and overcast all day as well until the light gave up at around 1730. By that time i’d been working on the planking all day so i was cold and tired : i packed it in, got inside and threw some of the many plywood scraps in the woodburner to get warmed up. I feel that i’m really running out of main construction time – time that is that i spend outside doing hull construction which is still at planking stage . It seems to be taking for ever to pattern, dry fit and then glue and screw the longer planks on but then there are 3 planks per side for every run , 4 runs of planking then and a total of 24 separate pieces to make and fit …..and of course the plank and stringer bevel to plane each time.

I’m getting to the point now where i just want to finish the planking and call it quits for this year – i wanted to get the hull built and i’m mostly there with it except that i don’t think i’m going to turn the hull over and glass the underside this year. I think that what i’m going to do is take a break from main construction now and only work on the nicer days and/or just do small jobs on the build….my main work time now really has to be on other things like the house and garden.

I’m really getting through the materials now as most of my stock of wood was the plywood for making the frames , the skin and the large boards that comprise the bunk flat and cockpit seats ; iv’e used all of the original plywood except the thinner boards which will make the deck and soon i’ll be on the second of the extra 2 boards that i had to buy. I’m really getting through glue (epoxy resin) the various powders and fillers too….gloves by the box and this morning i had to stop to come inside and order more screws before the weekend.

Plank run 4 starboard side dry-fit.

On the bench.

As you can see from above iv’e got the 4th run of planking on the starboard side on to dry fit stage but i didn’t take the job any further that day because it was cold and damp feeling and i didn’t fancy my chances with the epoxy. With those planks fitted and all of the holes piloted it would be the work of 2-3 hours to glue and fillet the planks…..a nice day and i’ll do that if it’s reasonably warm and put the tent straight over and the fan heater on. All of the planks for the port side are also ready to go on but i haven’t done the long job of planing the bevels on the previous plank and the top stringer ; a bit more of a difficult job because the boat changes shape a lot in the top plank.

On the really wet days that we had this week i switched my attention to the inside structure of the boat – i fitted the bearers that will support the bunk flat area forward and iv’e just been making a similar bearer for the big compartment in the center. In the plans those bearers are specified as 40mm x 20mm Douglas fir but iv’e made mine from the 70 x 20 stock that was intended for the bilge/chine stringer ; if you go back a bit one of the stringers shattered while i was trying to bend it in but there are big enough pieces to make the bearers from.

Iv’e also made and dry fitted the 4 long boards that make the bunk flat/sole boards forward plus the big locker covers in the center that will be the main storage compartments. As smaller jobs , once iv’e finished the planking, i’ll treat each compartment as a mini project because there’s lots of detail to put in….right now as an example iv’e just started ordering and buying in the many inspection and access hatches that i’ll need.

Well, it’s the end of my main boatbuilding time for this year, as i write it’s pouring with rain and the boat is all tucked in underneath it’s tent. I’m happy to say that all of the planking is on and today i even finished all of the ‘tingles’ that form the butt-straps….even done some interior sanding. Here then is a couple of pictures of the build as it is now – a complete hull all planked up but nowhere near finished.

Last planks on and bow cut to shape.

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