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A priori
01-30-2011, 01:23 PM
Okay, I've actually built one boat and helped to build another, so I'm not spanking brand new to this, but this is my first boat plan. So, I've spent three weeks figuring out how to read the plans, what they mean and how to loft. Am I ready? TBD.

I've noted that the plans call for four layers of planking 1 at 3/16" and 3 layers at 1/16". Do I need to cross plank each layer on her (ie, 1st layer the next layer going at 45 degrees, next at 90 degrees to that one and then finally finish it off in the same as the first layer) similar to a plywood? Can I mix wood types if I keep the planks narrow enough, say 1 to 2 inches wide from layer to layer? Can I make the inner layers wider and then finish with a narrow planking? Do I really need complete with four layers? Can I use two layers of 3/16" instead maybe substituting ply?

Plans call for pine, spruce or cedar. Pine is readily available in this area of central NC and cheap as woods go, but it's not the prettiest wood when finished with a natural/clear finish (yes, I want beauty and some lightness to this craft). I'd like to finish it with a hardwood like maple or walnut (also readily available) and an underlayment of pine, but am not familiar with what types of wood can/should be used in boat building and how much disparity there may be between wood types. I could spend the money on cedar if I need similar density wood for the final layer, but it's way too expensive to do in all layers. Marine ply is actually less expensive at these prices (with most landing as saw dust on the floor to boot). At least okoume has a pretty finish.

I hope someone's experiences out there can help me out... What has been successful or more importantly, catastrophic?

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-30-2011, 08:53 PM
If you want to prepare yourself for cold-molding a boat hull get Hub Miller's book on the subject.
"The Laminated Wood Boatbuilder" ISBN0-87742-386-5 International Marine.
It's the most complete how-to book on a style of boatbuilding I have ever seen . There are so many illustrations you could almost build a boat without reading the text.

A priori
02-05-2011, 11:13 AM
Thanks for the recommendation.

James McMullen
02-05-2011, 11:36 AM
I think the book is a great recommendation, and I'd also recommend the Gougeon Brother's book. But here's a few short and quick answers to get you started.


Do I need to cross plank each layer on her

yes.



Can I mix wood types?

yes.


Can I make the inner layers wider and then finish with a narrow planking?

Yes, but the practical width of your planks really depends on whether you can spile them to conform to the shape.



Do I really need complete with four layers?

Oh my god, yes! Don't fiddle with the recipe until you know how to cook better than the author of the cookbook. The quickest path to failure here would be to leave the marked trail.


Plans call for pine, spruce or cedar.

I suggest you use pine, spruce or cedar. Neither maple nor walnut are boat timber. You should finish with your outermost layer fore and aft with plank seams carefully spiled if you want to finish her bright.



I hope someone's experiences out there can help me out...

My best advice is don't change anything from the plans until you have as much or more experience as Charles Wittholz in designing catboats. It would be very easy to wreck the careful balance on this design. But stick to the plans and you'll have a real gem.

JimD
02-05-2011, 11:40 AM
I have plans for that boat and got as far as lofting it before deciding not to proceed. I recall one of the diagonals from the offsets was out a bit but otherwise it was very easy to loft. I also bought the sail kit from sailrite which will soon end up on another boat, with a little luck and elbow grease.