Saturday, March 28, 2009

Getting Started

A few weeks ago I began work on a rowing skiff designed by Paul Fisher of Selway Fisher Design.
The design is called Port Sorell and can be seen here . The skiff is 15'-6" long with a beam of 4'-4". The boat pictured in the website is built in the clinker/ply method, but I am building the stitch and glue version, as my intent is to sheath the entire hull with fiberglass, and this will be easier without the lap joints of the clinker hull.
The plans for the skiff were ordered on 2/9 and arrived in about a week.
A tent was erected in the backyard as a temporary workshop, and materials were ordered, okuome plywood from Chesapeake Light Craft, fiberglass and epoxy from Boat Builder Central (Bateau) and hardware from Jamestown Distributors. On a rainy 3/14 my brother and I built several sawhorses and a 16' x 4' frame for a large table made of MDF board. The following day, still raining, I cut 3 temporary frames from more MDF board, but could do nothing else until the plywood arrived.
The next day the freight company called and said they would be delivering plywood that morning and that the driver needed help to get it off the truck. I left work, helped him unload it, and returned to work. I transferred the plywood from the carport to the table in the tent after work but did nothing more as the mud floor in the tent was sloppy after the rain. Tuesday and Wednesday were dry and breezy so I allowed the ground under tent to solidify again. On the 3/19 I aligned 4 sheets of the plywood and began cutting a scarf joint with a low angle block plane. On Friday (I work a 4-10 work week) I spent several more hours cutting the scarf joint, and completed it Saturday morning. That evening I glued on the scarf joints with System Three's Gel Magic and glued the second joint Sunday morning. On Sunday afternoon the glue was rock hard, but I gave it through Tuesday to allowe the glue to fully cure. On Wednesday evening I removed the weights from the plywood along with the split trash bags I used between the plywood layers and under the weights to keep the glue where it belonged. I then layed out 16 stations 1 foot apart on the plywood. These station are reference lines for drawing the hull panels of the boat but they do not relate to any stations on the boat itself. I also laid out the measurements for the first hull panel that night and quit, planning to do a few mor
e the following night. Three days and nine inches of rain later, I was finally able to get back inside the building tent today. I finished laying out the other six hull panels and drove finishing nails at the layout points so that the hull panels
 could be drawn.

This photo shows the finishing nails being driven to allow the hull panels to be drawn. Ignore the dates on the pictures, I haven't reset the camera since the last recharge. 

The next photo shows all of the nails in place. Almost a full one pound box of nails were used.

The final photo shows the batten being used to draw the hull panels. The batten is too short to draw the panels in one step so they are drawn in stages. I completed three of the panels today and removed some of the nails. Tomorrow I plan to finish drawing the panels, bolt the two long sheets of plywood together, and if there is time I will begin cutting the hull panels.

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