View Full Version : Carvel Planking design limitations
08-01-2009, 03:39 PM
Are traditional, carvel planked boats designed to live continuously and exclusively in the water? I like the idea of building without resort to epoxies and resins, but I do not like the prospect—which I think I’ve gleaned from my research—of ruining such a hull by hauling it in the Fall and storing in on the hard for the Winter. I must have gotten the wrong impression. Did the lobsterman of, say, the 1930’s moor his fishing sloop in the water year round? Do I simply need to accept this limitation and deal with the chemistry?
08-01-2009, 08:28 PM
Talisman is fifty years old this year and has been stored on the hard each of those 50 winters.
She's mahogany on oak, bronze fastened.
08-01-2009, 08:43 PM
She really is a beautiful boat! You must feel awfully good after all of the work to get her that way.
OOPs, thread drift.
Almost everything gets hauled for the winter here, otherwise it might not be there in the spring. A few hundred years of doing it with carvel planked boats would seem like it works.
08-02-2009, 03:21 PM
A lovely boat, Mr. Bauer, and thanks for the reassurance. It's a comfort not to have to cross carvel off my list (not yet, anyway).
08-02-2009, 03:42 PM
While I'm prejudiced in favor of keeping the boat in year round, the further north and the damper your winters, the less it's even challenging.
Mainly don't store in dry place, especially with a floor.
Canvass cover is best but you can make polytarp work. Encapsulating in shrinkwrap is a good way to over-dry.
I you need to add a little surfacing seam compound below the waterline, get the brown stuff and mix it with roofing asphalt 50-50. The swelling will harmelss squeeze out any excess.
Let her take up a week before rigging or at least set up the rig just taught enough that the mast doesn't slop about stressing the hull. If a power boat, don't go roaring about till she swells.
A boat that's dried out in the winter should have a bilge plug both so you can really purge the bilge of any water but also to keep any from standing there causing rot or (rarely) freeze damage. Also, the plug makes really cleaning the bilge in the fall, last splash being antifreeze even though most of that should drain away, that you'll always have sweet bilges. Just remember to put the plug in in the spring.
I once helped an ower take a boat from the yard that commissioned her home in very early March of a remarkably cold winter. We were about ten miles from our goal when it seemed we were sinking. A nice round hole, like fitting failure. And despite the owner's assurance, he had no soft wood tapered plugs. Jammed the hole with a slightly whittled ice pick handle. It turned out that water coming in through a deck leak (no cover) had puddled and frozen at the drain hole. That was not noticed when the hull was quick sanded and bottom paint applied right over the ice plug.
If you don't want to spend on a bronze threaded plug and attendant fitting, just drill a hole, by hand give it the slightest taper large end out, and make a plug each year to fit. Saw off flush and bottom paint. If the plut goes a little into the bilge, you'll always see it in the fall to knock it out. No muss. No fuss. You won't live long enough that the little bit of yearly work is harder than whatever you do to earn the money for the bronze fitting.
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