The boat
Building the boat

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Building the boat, Chapter 2: The hull

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Basement and setting up the bulkheads

Before the bulkheads can be set up a special basement has to be built. It is made out of cheep spruce timbers and bolted against the floor. A wire stretched from bow to transom and centered exactly is a very important help to set up the bulkheads exactly.

Some bulkheads are set up already. It's useful to do this work with two persons.

The picture shows how a spirit level (using a transparent tube) is used to position the bulkheads: The ends of the tube stick inside a piece of wood calmped against the bulkhead. The piece of wood has somethind like a window to control the levels. The level of the waterplane inside both ends of the tube (fixed at different bulkeads or different sides of the same bulkhead) has to coincide exactly with the drawing water line. For this reason it is strongly recommended to draw the waterline on the bulkeads. 

The bulheads have to be set upt very exactly - a good oportunity to use what you learned at school about geometry :-)

Now the longitudinals are placed. Firstly it's done in a provisional manner to measure the angle between the longitudinal and the bulkheads. Especially near the bow this angle is not 90 degree.

Preparing the bulkeads for the stringers (longitudinals)

Here you can see how to prepare the bulkheads for the longitudinals. To cut the wood I use a multi-tool.  I work on with a broach carving out both sides of the bulkhead before the piece of wood is resected completely.

These pictures provide an example how to remove ugly bulges of epoxi. The Fein Mulitmaster  once again proving as a very helpful tool.

The bulkheads are prepared for putting the longitudinals. I use more stringers than depicted in the original drawings to avoid bulges inside the hull when fixing the veneers of larch.

Due to the increasing weight of all parts to be fitted to the hull the framing has to be reinforced by several braces.

The shelf

The shelf is made out of oak wood. It can be bent without any special preparation of the wood, but be aware of the forces exerted on the bulkheads. Bulkhead A and B have to be reinforced by temporary additional timbers clamped horizontally against the bulkheads.

The shelf is prepared. On the right hand side a detai is shown: Each bulkhead has to be fitted to the shelf.

The stringers (longitudinals)

The stringers are cutted out of a huge plank of larch. 

A "sideboard" like this is helpful when working with long pieces of wood. It is fixed on the wall.

Normally you won't get wood longer than 5 or 6 meters. This means that the stringers have to be mounted by at least two parts. This work is not difficult but has to be done carefully. The stringers must not differ in their bending strength along their length - otherwise their natural spline will differ. An uneven shape of the hull follows.

The picture shows how two pieces are mounted in the classical way: The two ends are positioned forming a stair. Than an inclined plane is made.  

You can use electrical devices for this work - I prefer this plane. The blade can be adjusted very exactly, it is a pleasure to work with such hand tools.

The plane has to be checked - in this case the work is not yet finished.

Now the tow parts fit well and are ready to be mounted.

A few examples of mounted stringers. They have to be sanded now.

The stringers are sanded. Than they have been placed provisional in the finally position to determine where  the edges can be shaped round. 

In the near of the bow the stringers have to be fitted to the keel For this work a hand plane and a japanese razor saw a recommended.

The japanese razor saw (beyond other tools): A very good tool.

The stringers are fitted and ready to be glued.

Fastening the stringers.

Now the stringers on both sides of the vessel are fastened.

These pictures illustrate an easy method for detecting buckles or lumps: Two straight strips are connected with a felxible one. The flexible one has to cling to the stringers easily. The picture on the left (below) shows that the stringer has to faired a little bit. On the right the amount of wood shavings can be seen.

The shape of the bow is finished.

The bottom of the box for an ancor is installed. A hole for water draining is drilled using a simple pattern made out of a hard wood timber.

The Tramsom

The transom is fastened. It is made out of five layers of larch veneer.

The hull of plywood

Finally I can start to fix the veneers...

Many small pieces of wood are used to protect the skin of plywood.

The following pictures are turned around so as if theboat was floating ;-)

This pictures shows the bow (inside). You can see bulkhead A and the I-Beam (part of the keel).

The following pictures show how to adjust the veneers. 

Two veneers A and B are fixed. The distance between A and B is a little bit smaller than that of a third veneer which has to be adjusted to fill exactly the space between A and B. Then the third veneer is fixed provisional (not shown), overlapping a little bit with A and B.

The third veneer, overlapping with B and A. Its final shape aligning with the edges of B and A is determined using a simple pencil.

The third veneer is adjusted (see picture above) using first the multi-tool, then a plane.

The third veneer is fixed between A and B. It fits very well!

These pictures show how to get rid of the cramps:  The cramps are staved through a pp-band. Afterwards this band will be broke off so that the cramps get partially out of the wood.

Now I decide to build a special staircase to facilitate the procedure.

The following video shows how difficult and toilsome it is to remove the cramps in case that an unsuitable pp-band is used. For this reason we decide to use a better band out of polyester.

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The first layer is almost completed.

The first layer is almost completed.

Bulkhead A with a hutch.

This video gives an impression how to laminate the veneers.

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During this toilsome period of work it becomes more and more obvious that using european wood means  developing new strategies in laminating the veneers. Due to their inhomogeneity resulting from the fact that european trees experience different seasons with different grow rates, they bend not all the same way. Therefore, it is difficult to laminate the veneers in a way resulting in a straight surface.
For this reason we decide to stabilize the surface with a thin layer of glass.

This picture shows the veneers. The surface is not yet absolute straight.

The clamps are used to stabilize the veneers from inside the boat while laminating the thin layer of glass.

The first layer is completed, the first part of the second layer is already mounted.

These pictures show laminating th thin layer of glass (163g/qm).

The second layer is finished. One side of the hull is coated with a thin layer of epoxi. This will be done one the other side as well. It seems neceswsary because the whole dockyard will be moved to another town some hundred kilometers far away. For this reason the hull shall be protected against dust and water.

To get the boat to the new dockyard, it has to be turned around. Many friends are the most important help...

This is the first time the filigree inner parts of the hull can be seen.

The fist journey of the boat...

The hull has to be turned around a second time.

The following video shows how we try to turn around the hull. Much time is needed to discuss how the job is to be done and meanwhile the crane almost falls down. But in the end everything is done very well!

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A new basement has been built. It is designed like a cradle. The hull can be leaned to one side so that there is no ladder or staircase  needed any longer. This will accelerate the ongoing work.

The last layer of veneers is going to be completed. In the middle a belt-like area can be seen - in this area there are five layers of veneer, behind and in the front there will be four layers when the hull is completed.

After having been busy four years for building the boat there must be something already completed: A small boat for our child to play with in summer time...

The little boat at the beach of croatia. With a slight breeze its speed is already respectable. A center board of aluminium allows sailing into the wind. A swimmer has to make an effort to keep up with the boat.

Thousands of staples have to be removed out of the wood.

The boat on its craddle-like basement at late night after having finished the work for today. The hull seems to be completed - but there are still some veneers left - see the following images.

The shoulder plane is fitting best for this task: trimming the veneers to fit exactly.

The area below the drawing waterline is coated by a layer of glass and serveral layers of epoxi. The coating is limited to the area below dwl because above dwl another sort of epoxi will be used: Above dwl a more UV-resistant and more expensive hardener will be used. The bright spots are caused by relections of the lamps in the ceiling.

The three pictures above show the hull after coating is finished. About five layers of epoxi, later two layers of PU-varnish after having sanded and polished serveral times the surface.

Turning around the hull may be turn out to be tricky if the ceiling is quite low...

This is the result after seven years of building the boat.