View Full Version : Strip plank vs plywood

01-14-2005, 05:33 PM

I am considering two designs. Selway Fisher Baltic Lugger and Welsford 6M whaler.
They seem very similar to my inexperienced eye, but they are built using very different techniques.

The Lugger is strip planked and the whaler is plywood/epoxy (Better name for tech?)

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each building technique?

Cost, time, results, durability, trailering, handling, maintenance ... ?

I trust both of these designers and love both designs, but for a first shot I would like to tackle the easier one.

Any opinions on the two boats would be great too. These two don't seem to get much press and I am puzzled as to why?


imported_Steven Bauer
01-14-2005, 05:51 PM
I think the whaler would be much easier to build. Very nice boat, too.

01-14-2005, 06:03 PM
One way to look at it is to ask yourself would you prefer to fit, fasten and glue 100 narrow planks or a dozen wider ones?

01-15-2005, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by JimD:
One way to look at it is to ask yourself would you prefer to fit, fasten and glue 100 narrow planks or a dozen wider ones?Or fewer planks depending on the design chosen. The other question to ask is if you like filling/fairing/sanding/fairing/filling/sanding those 100 narrow planks or lightly sanding/sealing/painting the 8 to 12 wider planks.

We haven't even gotten to the cloth inside and out yet. Or the strip ripping.

All of that aside, planking a boat this size probably only amounts to 20%-25% of the total labor involved. That's what my invoices for Elisabeth Grace would indicate.

In the Swamp. :D

[ 01-15-2005, 04:47 PM: Message edited by: Venchka ]

01-16-2005, 06:59 PM
Given your location, you need to find out the cost & availability of materials first. Viturally everything will have to be "imported". Find out what you can get at what price first. WRC and doug-fir for the strip built boat might be easy to get. On the other hand, having marine plywood shipped in isn't too hard but the price may put you off. Select a design based on what you can get and afford in the way of materials.

The Forum is full of posts from folks who are knee deep in a project and hit a dead end on materials.

In the Swamp. :D

Captain Pre-Capsize
01-16-2005, 07:43 PM
I'm hopelessly pragmatic here but either one of those are a major project for a first time builder. My eleven foot skiff was my first and took six months. Either of these you are considering would represent a couple years (seriously!) of work. As long as you are not in a hurry that is fine and there would be much gratification in completing such a craft. Just make sure you have the staying power for such an undertaking.

Edited to add: Besides if you build a smaller craft first and then a larger one you have more total boats. And isn't that the goal of us all?!!! :D

[ 01-16-2005, 08:42 PM: Message edited by: Captain Pre-Capsize ]