View Full Version : Spiling Help

Chadd Hamilton
08-13-2001, 01:57 PM
Hello- I am in the process of building an Acorn Tender and I want to learn how to spile. Does anyone recommend a good book/website where I can learn this technique?


Hugh Paterson
08-13-2001, 02:14 PM
Try the designers own book, the Clinker Plywood boat building manual, by Iain Oughtred. Its an absolute gem of a book, works for me but I have read others. A hint that you may wish to try. When u are cutting the stock use a cheap n nasty ply to make templates for all the planks, saves u destroying good and expensive material if u get it wrong. Ya cant stick it back when u cut too much off. There a hell of a twist in the bottom planks at the bow take your time and get it right first time, and make lots n lots of cheap wooden clamps, they save ur life when the epoxy goes off if u are using a quick mix.(not a good idea), Have fun.

regards Shuggie.

08-14-2001, 09:14 AM
Blue, the usual references if you don't already have them such as "HOW TO BUILD A WOODEN BOAT" by Bud McIntosh, Steward's "BOATBUILDING MANUAL", and Larry Pardey's book "DETAILS OF CLASSIC BOAT CONSTRUCTION". There are more but are the ones that come to mind. Use a mahogany ply material referred to as "door skin" as template stock for small/light work. Figure on making some mistakes. Spiling planks and getting them to fit correctly simply takes practice. If possible try to work along side someone who is already accomplished at it. If not, just jump into it. In the words of an Austrian ski instructor that I had as a child (apply Schwartzeneggar accent here) "Yooou've got to haav ze mileage". Good luck and have fun.

Rich VanValkenburg
08-19-2001, 07:58 PM
I just spent a week's vacation re-reading a random stack of WoodenBoat that I took along in case of bad weather (I got it), and the clearest instruction with photos that I saw was on spiling planks for 'Ellen' in WoodenBoat #157. The fun starts on page 78. It's also a comparable boat, I think. If you don't pick it up there, that particular issue has an imbedded WoodenBoat Store catalog listing the books mentioned. I never really understood spiling, but I sure get it now!

08-19-2001, 09:24 PM
How thick is the hull layer? If it is thin you might try something like the following. I lacked the requisite skill to manually spile our 20' sailboat so we fabricated an automated spiler of sorts. It worked really well and the planks fit pretty nicely when we were done. As an interesting aside... our boat has 3 layers of Oakume. On our last layer, we tried an experiment and spiled all the plans for the port side. We then removed them and used them as templates for the starbord side. It seemed to work pretty well. Good luck!