View Full Version : Modifying sheer

07-01-2006, 03:40 PM
I know it is near sacrilege to mess with a designer's sheer profile, but when I look at the sheer of my Fulmar, it looks a bit too flat. It almost seems to reverse as it approaches the bow. That, and the sheer plank seems to be a bit wide.


If I clamp on a batten flush with the top at the ends and about 3/8" low in the middle, it wants to lay about 3/4" low around station #3.



Would lowering the sheer by this much be a problem?


Lazy Jack
07-01-2006, 03:54 PM
Not at all. Its YOUR boat

capt jake
07-01-2006, 04:09 PM
My first thought (on the first picture) "Wow, what an odd looking cabin!" ;) I guess it isn't so bad for a van. :) :)

Bob Smalser
07-01-2006, 04:09 PM
Nicely done.

If there's a problem, and I don't really believe there is...in my eyes it ain't the sheer at all, it's the shape and color of the sheer strake....high-contrast dark and a bit fat in the belly compared to the strakes beneath.

As the boat has no guard, and can use one for protection, simply fashion a guard of a contrasting color like ash or oak and you'll solve both problems for a whole lot less trouble than hacking on finished work. Such a guard has no belly, and is simply tapered at the ends....you can spring it in place to give the hull all the apparent sheer you think it needs, although my bet is a contrasting guard alone will show off the boat's existing sheer better than the dark sheerstrake alone, and you'll find it needs nothing else.

07-01-2006, 04:28 PM
Thanks for the replies.

I am planning on installing narrow side decks and a guard to cover the egde and reduce the apparent width of the sheerplank. The exposed width of the sheerplank will then be similar to the plank below.

07-01-2006, 04:39 PM
What Bob said. I'd try a couple of different things before actually cutting the sheer plank. A pair of rub rails on the sheer plank, one at the top, one a bit below, that "eat" a little of the belly in the sheer plank, may also do the trick.

Paul Scheuer
07-01-2006, 05:11 PM
I'll confirm the above comments. It's your boat., if something's out of fair, you'll be the one that notices it the most. Nice building job, by the way.

Before getting out the saw, I'd try to work with the trim and colors on the sheer strake. An accent stripe at the lower edge of the sheer strake could be tried with various colors of tape. I suggest a 1 inch red stripe (same width as the outwale/rub strake) on the mahogany sheer strake over white or light planking.

07-01-2006, 05:33 PM
I think it looks just right.

One thing I learned was to take the designer's number and shape a bit lightly. When it got to the shear, spring a batten and follow your eye. It's not often much away from what the designer saw, but that line is important, and you can't count on lofted lines to establish it. You need to stare it down to make a small boat look right. Fair, not so, in the eye.

I'd say you've done first rate! By guess or by god it looks okay to me. Remember, nothing is perfect.

P.S. In an open skiff like this an apparent powderhorn, an upward bend, can appear in the shear at some perspectives. Don't be fooled by that, it's a natural part of the shape. It only happens at one viewpoint, is a little odd. The profile pic you show looks first rate.

07-01-2006, 05:48 PM
It's a beautiful boat! Beautifully designed, and beautifully built. I'd put the tools down and go sail it, if it were me...

07-01-2006, 06:47 PM
I like your plan. It will be an improvement to my eye, too. Give her a little more sheer making sure the final shape of shear strake looks right, meaning the lower edge of the shear strake can't be changed so the upper edge (meaning the actual line of the shear) has to work with the lower edge.

07-01-2006, 09:35 PM
I'm with Bob,

I think a tapered guard will fit in best with the strake shape as well as reducing the width of the sheer.



07-02-2006, 12:03 PM
Try getting the van out of the way and see how she looks

07-02-2006, 01:24 PM
The sheer line is always the builder’s interpretation of the designer’s intent.
Because the plans are two-dimensional it is very difficult to project the sheer on paper. It almost always appears “flatter” if built as designed because on the plans you cannot see the difference in distance from the eye at the ends of the boat. This is a subtle thing and it improves with experience. It is a tragedy to build a boat with an “unfortunate” sheer and it is better in my opinion to have a stronger sheer than a weak one... I like the profile better with the sprung batten in place.
It’s your boat, keep looking at it and fair the sheer carefully until you like it!

07-03-2006, 09:32 AM
Yea, I agree. The big purple cabin has to go. :eek:

But then, I just couldn't help myself. I had to keep going, so I did trim down the profile. I think it does look better. We'll see more as the decks go on.

Thanks for all the input.



Robert W. Long
07-03-2006, 09:58 AM
Hi DJTIL: beautiful work. Could you tell me the colour and brand of paint you used on hull. It is the best I have yet seen , and I would like to use it on my Caledonia when ready. thanks.

07-03-2006, 10:27 AM

Thanks. The paint is Pratt & Lambert Moss Green.

I started with their two-part Palgard Industrial Exopy. Sprayed it on. Horrible orange peel. :mad: Spent the next year sanding to smooth it out. I then switched to their Urethane Modified Enamel. It's only available in gloss, and I didn't want to go above a semi-gloss, so I added some flattening agent. Still got some orange peel, but minimal.

Wooden Boat Fittings
07-03-2006, 08:12 PM
What Bob said. I'd try a couple of different things before actually cutting the sheer plank. A pair of rub rails on the sheer plank, one at the top, one a bit below, that "eat" a little of the belly in the sheer plank, may also do the trick.

I agree entirely with Tom. Here's what such a set-up can look like --



07-04-2006, 12:38 AM
That's a fine looking Fulmar you've built. It must be thrilling to get her turned and start on the interior. Are you building the decked version or the open layout? Have you decided which sailplan to go with?
We launched ours without a rub guard on the top strake. That was a mistake for us and I put one on last year. I slightly altered the sheer as well.
Building a Fulmar is rewarding both during construction and after the completion. Yesterday at the lake:


07-04-2006, 08:51 AM

I'm jealous. I'm anxious to get out on the water too. If I get the interior done in time, I may hang on a motor and take her out yet this year. No chance of getting masts & sails done before the snow flies.

I have decided to go with the cat yawl rig. Something about the look, and I like the idea of mast out of the cockpit.

I have been working on my own interior arrangement. From reading Iain's book, it seems that he has a fairly flexible approach to the arrangement and fitting out of the interiors of his boats. What I am planning is quite similar to the decked version shown for the gunter rig. It has side benches, and small recessed decked storage for & aft. I have increased the width of the benches, and brought them inboard slightly to accomodate narrow side decks and coaming that will be flush with the sheer. The decks will widen out going forward, with the coaming curving in to meet at the mast.

I will definitely have a rub rail at the top of the sheer. I'm still undecided about putting one at the bottom edge of the plank as Mike shows. That decision can wait until I have the rest in place, and I can see how it looks.


07-04-2006, 12:18 PM
Your interior ideas sound promising. Increasing the width of the benches and "side decks" make sense to me. I made the gunwales a bit wider and wish I'd gone wider still (a la Diaz' "Small"). I remain conflicted about the fore and aft decks. The security of the sealed floatation is comforting as well as providing dry storage. Crew enjoy the large fore deck, particularily in light airs. However, the storage underneath is not immediately accessable. I made the hatches quite large, but it takes some futzing to stuff the spinnaker, sleeping bags and tent, cooler, etc. If I had it to do over, I might keep both decks, but cut away the bulkheads and not have hatches to leave the under-deck areas open and unsealed. Floatation could be provided with secured bouyancy bags.

07-04-2006, 12:57 PM
I might keep both decks, but cut away the bulkheads and not have hatches to leave the under-deck areas open and unsealed. Floatation could be provided with secured bouyancy bags.

I have been thinking about doing this also. I am thinking of carrying a porta-potti (bucket & bag type?) under a hatch in the for deck just aft the main mast. Not a lot of privacy, but something could be improvised, and it would be better than the alternatives, especially for the wife.

07-05-2006, 01:23 PM
For what it's worth, I have read several articles or chapters on the idea of "shear correction". I think Greg Rossel mentions it and I think it's also mentioned in the book "lofting". The idea is that often a good looking shear in the plans has the illusion of falling flat near the bow after building full size. The solution is to add a little extra height to the shear at the stem while lofting.