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Thread: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

  1. #1
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    Default Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    We wanted to build a small sailboat, looked at some images and liked the lines of Arch Davis' Penobscot 14. So we ordered the plans, pattern, guidebook and DVD. Bought some pine for the jig and stem. Plugged in the saws. Got the stem, jig together so far, working on the forward bulkhead.

    We will build the gunter rig, with centerboard.

    Full story on our blog: http://smallboatrestoration.blogspot.com/

    Have a great New Year!

    Kent

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    That's a lot of progress in a few days!

    A little worried about the knots in the stem pieces...May be hard to work with down the line...
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogeniac View Post
    That's a lot of progress in a few days!

    A little worried about the knots in the stem pieces...May be hard to work with down the line...
    that IS a lot of work

    i would, also, be concerned about the knots

    they are hard to drill, nail a/o screw thru

    not to mention they are a bit of a WILD CARD, when stress is applied to them

    good luck on your build

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogeniac View Post
    That's a lot of progress in a few days!

    A little worried about the knots in the stem pieces...May be hard to work with down the line...
    Thanks! That knot is what I get for being excited about getting the stem together, didn't notice it and this being my first build, didn't think to look for it. I think I'll get a scrap and see how much it will affect the keel.

    Pros and cons of cutting a chunk out and scarfing in a new chunk?

    kent

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Don't want to rain on your parade, but I'd be concerned with using common white pine for any part of the boat no matter how much epoxy you apply. Do the plans recommend what woods are acceptable? I haven't seen one of these boats go together, so I'm looking forward to your progress.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    If it were me, I'd go find some white oak, sapele or clear DF, and use that in place of any of the pine. especially for anything that is going to see any abuse (like the keel, stem and gunwales).

    Also, it doesn't look to me that the plans show a laminated stem. I am thus assuming that you developed the joining lines for the pieces...The straight across joint on the outside pieces worries me a lot, since the stem at that point will basically have only the strength of the inner piece. You can expect with time temperature variations and stresses, that those joints will open up creating leaks and impairing the overall integrity of the boat. If you are going to make joints for the pieces they should probably be much longer (so the stresses are spread out) and stepped, so they are sort of aligning, and so you avoid any feathered joint edges. Something like this:


    Look through some of the builds on this forum. You will see numerous different ways to do stems, including Jim Ledger's Legendary (ha ha) laminated catboat stem.. all 500 Lb of it. By far the best way to do this that I have seen is either to steam it (which is difficult on that small a piece with that tight a bend) or to laminate it from strips, possibly with a little steaming on the strips.

    Cheers,

    S
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Please don't take our critic of your work the wrong way. Many on this Forum, Cogeniac and myself included, are very experienced with wooden boat construction. We've seen what works and what doesn't. We've made a lot of mistakes ourselves over the years and have learned to consider the advice of others. We've seen builders on this Forum post pictures of something, only to have them throw it in the woodstove when they realized what they were doing just wasn't going to work. It's better to make the adjustment now and end up with a well built boat.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Please don't take our critic of your work the wrong way. Many on this Forum, Cogeniac and myself included, are very experienced with wooden boat construction. We've seen what works and what doesn't. We've made a lot of mistakes ourselves over the years and have learned to consider the advice of others. We've seen builders on this Forum post pictures of something, only to have them throw it in the woodstove when they realized what they were doing just wasn't going to work. It's better to make the adjustment now and end up with a well built boat.
    I do not have a wood stove, (so I never make mistakes )

    I do however have a large investment in scrapped teak from work that I did, that I decided to, ahem, redo...

    Absolutely agree with Rich.

    This forum is a great place to learn, to share and to now and then have the error of your ways pointed out to you, so please take our comments as friendly advice, and not criticism.

    As a case in point, if you go find my thread, you will see that I spent a lot of money and a lot more time on a wooden grab rail system.. all the while getting a lot of advice about using bronze stanchions instead of teak.. In the end, I now realize I should have taken that advice..and next year I plan to remove about $700 worth of teak grab rail stuff and replace it all with about $1000 worth of bronze parts..

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-Cruiser/page7 around post #300-310

    Mistakes and mis-aprehensions are so common here on the forum we have a term for it.. it is called the "Moaning Chair..."

    Love the boat.. Good luck on your build.

    S
    Last edited by Cogeniac; 12-30-2013 at 09:50 PM.
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    I built a Penobscot 14 that has seen eight seasons so far of very active use (almost every weekend between March and November), and survived being tossed around by a hurricane. I used white pine for my stem so it will serve the purpose. That being said, if I were to build it over again I'd use doug fir for the simple reason that I used a lot of fir on the remainder of my boat (stringers, spars, and oars). The knots are a legitimate concern, you'll pay the devil working around those knots when you shape the stem. I used rather long joints as Congeniac shows, but didn't step them as I didn't know any better at the time and that was probably also above my level of wood-butchery. It wouldn't be a bad idea to make a "practice" stepped joint out of the pine, then make a new stem from clear pine or doug fir.
    Good luck with the build. Arch's instructions and plans are very well written - my previous boatbuilding experience was a 6-hour canoe, so the Penobscot can be built by someone with little previous boatbuilding experience. Construction is not quick, but when you're done you're going to have a very pretty boat that will draw lots of compliments.
    Al Meyer
    "Wee Lass"

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    I completed a P14 this past summer in June, started using it in July.

    I used eastern white pine for the stem, though it was clear. I also used it for the thwarts and side seats, framing for the bulkheads and transom frame. Can't seem to find pics of my bulkheads... strange indeed.

    A suggestion: good idea to cut out the opening for the hatches in the bulkheads now. I also put in a ring of plywood on the inside of the bulkhead, surrounding the opening, to give something for the screws to go into since the bulkhead itself is only 6 mm.

    Here are a couple of pics of the stem. I went with what Arch shows, which is to let one board "run past" the other. The outer layers are identical, and the inner layer is opposite.






    Another thing: don't forget there will be an outer stem going on after planking is complete. Here is when I was laminating after all the stringers were on. Edit: laminations are ash.



    Also, here is the transom frame (half lap joints) before and after routing with the template:


    Last edited by RowAndSail; 12-31-2013 at 12:04 AM.

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Wow that sure is a pretty transom!
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    So far I'm going with what the designer suggests and uses, pine for cost and weight savings. I do need to redo the piece with the knot though, I missed that.
    Thanks for all of the tips, and Rowandsail thanks for the pictures!

    we have several moaning chairs, the chair for the stem was an Arne Vodder danish modern made of teak.
    Happy New Year

    Kent

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by signalcharlie View Post
    So far I'm going with what the designer suggests and uses, pine for cost and weight savings. I do need to redo the piece with the knot though, I missed that.
    Thanks for all of the tips, and Rowandsail thanks for the pictures!

    we have several moaning chairs, the chair for the stem was an Arne Vodder danish modern made of teak.
    Happy New Year

    Kent
    That's a pretty fancy moaning chair! Mine is a beaten-up old rocking chair which resides in my shop. Many a time I've sat in it, staring at the boat, trying to figure out this or that.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    I'd never heard of a moaning chair before reading this forum. I sure could have used it during my build and other woodworking projects! Mostly I would look at something and realize it wasn't right and say "Oh $&*# what the $#@& is that?", this would lead to pacing back and forth (no chair to sit in).

    Anyway, I'm thinking of putting together a build thread of my P14. I think it'll be short compared to most other build threads. I took pictures throughout the build, but not in anticipation of putting together a blog, and there are a few things I missed altogether. Any interest in this?

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by RowAndSail View Post
    Anyway, I'm thinking of putting together a build thread of my P14. I think it'll be short compared to most other build threads. I took pictures throughout the build, but not in anticipation of putting together a blog, and there are a few things I missed altogether. Any interest in this?
    Interest? for sure. I'm personally interested in the P14, but always interested to read the experiences, stories, and lessons of others.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by signalcharlie View Post

    we have several moaning chairs, the chair for the stem was an Arne Vodder danish modern made of teak.
    Happy New Year

    Kent

    ... and nice ones too!! It's a good thing. Trust me, you will need them!!

    All this aside though, the Penobscot boats (14 and 17) are some of the prettiest around.. great choice, and godspeed!

    If the designer says Pine is OK, then it is probably fine. No sense in complicating things. You should be wary, however, that, just and with people, there are all sorts of woods out there masquerading as more than they really are...

    Not sure where you are located, but you should try to find a good source of boat building wood. Lowe's and Home Depot are not that..You can get nice construction grade Doug Fir, and pine for crates and lash-ups at HD (that's what I built my steam box out of...), but it is light and generally inadequate for a boat. Good boat wood will have high ring count and will generally be denser. You will generally want to avoid knots altogether...

    Here are some resources:

    http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Articles/Methods.html

    http://www.wood-database.com/wood-identification/ It is interesting to look at the end grain photos in the database.

    They list eastern white pine as a boatbuilding wood. I would be more inclined to use something harder and denser, such as longleaf pine or slash pine.
    see also

    http://www.wood-database.com/wood-ar...overall-guide/

    These are from the Macbeath Lumber site...






    Cheers,

    S
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    I used clear white pine also for my transom frame. One word of caution - you'll need to find straight-grained, knot-free stock for the stringers. They are required to make not only a pretty good bend, but also a twist, particularly for the garboard. I couldn't get that in white pine, so used doug fir. The problem I encountered is that when I installed the garboard stringer, the force from the twist was enough to split the transom frame. I got around that problem by installing a plywood doubler on the transom frame either side of the transom knee.
    Al


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by RowAndSail View Post
    I'd never heard of a moaning chair before reading this forum. I sure could have used it during my build and other woodworking projects! Mostly I would look at something and realize it wasn't right and say "Oh $&*# what the $#@& is that?", this would lead to pacing back and forth (no chair to sit in).

    Anyway, I'm thinking of putting together a build thread of my P14. I think it'll be short compared to most other build threads. I took pictures throughout the build, but not in anticipation of putting together a blog, and there are a few things I missed altogether. Any interest in this?
    I'd definitely be interested in it!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by signalcharlie View Post
    I'd definitely be interested in it!

    Yes yes!!
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Allright then. It'll take me a few days to sort through the photos and I'll start a new thread.

    Happy New Year to everyone

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    More progress. Working on temporary frames.

    http://smallboatrestoration.blogspot...t-jacques.html

    I tried to upload pics, but I get a message saying image is too big. What's the secret?

    KB

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    I made one of these a few years back with materials as outlined by Arch Davis. Only issue has been that centerboard warped. It was replaced with plywood.

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by signalcharlie View Post
    More progress. Working on temporary frames.

    http://smallboatrestoration.blogspot...t-jacques.html

    I tried to upload pics, but I get a message saying image is too big. What's the secret?

    KB

    Took a pass through your blog. Many you are unstoppable!

    Nice to see you did your research on the moaning chair, and it has been put to good use too!



    Boat is looking really nice!

    You should try again to post pics here. There are a couple of FAQs on it. It is really easy. You can, however only post 6 pics per post.

    Here is what the photo insert looked like for the above pic:



    Keep up this rate and you might be done by summer!

    Cheers,

    S
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Wow, great progress and very encouraging. Received the P14 plans for Christmas and am gathering up materials, rearranging the shop, and putting together a router table. Start the stem this weekend. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by PReynolds View Post
    Wow, great progress and very encouraging. Received the P14 plans for Christmas and am gathering up materials, rearranging the shop, and putting together a router table. Start the stem this weekend. Thanks for sharing your adventure.
    Thanks, it's fun. I have 2 weeks vacation, good timing, I joke that I got to go my own Wooden Boat school and I already know who wins the raffle, my wife! My advice is read and reread the guide and your life will be easy. I have jumped around a bit and had to redo a few things.

    Fair winds
    kent

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Uh oh, I figures out the images...kind of...one at a time... We finished the frames, got them installed, installed the diagonal brace on the wrong frame, moved it to the correct frame, dry fit the keel, cut the keel, found out the forward end of the keel wasn't square (oh well) and added the offset centerboard keel strip. Along the way I burnt up a bandsaw, broke a countersink drill bit (that white oak is tough!) and the bearing on a flush bit router came loose, which buggered up part of the 11-4 bulkhead face (cue epoxy filler music).



    Full story: Small Boat Restoration

    Thanks for all the help!
    Kent
    Last edited by signalcharlie; 05-28-2017 at 10:00 PM.

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Sounds like it was two steps forward, one step back! I've had plenty of those days. Just yesterday, I was making thwart knees. Wasn't satisfied with how the grain ran on four of them and chucked them in the woodstove.

    Can I inquire about why white oak for the keel? Many here will say (I've never dealt with it myself) that oak and epoxy don't work well together. Others say there is no problem. To be safe, I'd use epoxy with mechanical fasteners for the garboard to keel joint.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Sounds like it was two steps forward, one step back! I've had plenty of those days. Just yesterday, I was making thwart knees. Wasn't satisfied with how the grain ran on four of them and chucked them in the woodstove.

    Can I inquire about why white oak for the keel? Many here will say (I've never dealt with it myself) that oak and epoxy don't work well together. Others say there is no problem. To be safe, I'd use epoxy with mechanical fasteners for the garboard to keel joint.
    The stove has been fired up quite a bit and there is still a big pile

    No special reason for white oak, other than it was an acceptable material listed by the builder and that's what my local hardwood shop had. The garboard gets screwed to the keel as well as epoxy, if that is what you are referring to...

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by signalcharlie View Post
    The stove has been fired up quite a bit and there is still a big pile
    No special reason for white oak, other than it was an acceptable material listed by the builder and that's what my local hardwood shop had. The garboard gets screwed to the keel as well as epoxy, if that is what you are referring to...
    Careful with screws to hold the garboard to the keel. When you are putting the garboards on, you will have bevelled the keel first. If you put the screws near the centreline of the keel, they will have to be removed since you will be planing a 1" wide flat there for the deadwood. The tricky part is that it's hard to guess where the edges of the flat will end up because the garboards are at a shallow angle. Put them too far away from the centreline and the screws may stick through the other face of the keel (inside the boat). I suppose if that happens you could sand/grind them down.

    Another thing, in looking at the photo at your 11-8 bulkhead, you could probably trim back the support arms a bit, or at least cover them in plastic packing tape or food wrap. When you glue the planking on it will be tight access for cleaning up the squeeze out. On my front bulkhead I ended up having to cut away at the legs with a handsaw. Believe me, it is easier to do before the stringers and planking go on.

    On my keel widening strip I angled the ends a bit and also rounded the corners. This doesn't show up in my photos but I thought I'd mention it. I tried to avoid leaving any square corners inside the boat as they easily get damaged when things bump around. On the other hand, the first ding/dent is most painful. After a while, you stop noticing.
    Last edited by RowAndSail; 01-20-2014 at 08:27 AM.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Staring at stringer number 1 now, how much twist/bevel? I am having a hard time visualizing how the plywood will fit over it and the stem bevel. Anyone got any good photos?




    We did get the sheer clamps notched in and beveled, attached the keel to the stem, bulkheads and transom. Kept the fire going...

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    My first pair of stringers was pretty much just touching on edge. Not to worry, the plank will lay down just fine. After you bevel the keel, you will check the adjacent stringer with a straightedge. Checking of the stringer has to be done all the way to the stem. Where the stringer is only touching the straightedge on one corner rather than all the way across, you plane it a little bit off that corner.

    The stringers closest to the keel will end up with a slightly trapezoidal cross section.

    Here's a closeup of my stringers prior to bevelling of the keel and adjusting the stringers. When you adjust the stringer, it's the upper edge (which is on the bottom in the photo) which gets planed off, and that ends up removing the "horns" that stick out past the stem.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Still here, busy Spring and Summer. Bought, restored and sold 2 Minifish, 5 Sunfish and a Drascombe Lugger and a Capri 18. Then found a 1959 Sorg Runabout. Did some sailing.

    For the full update visit out Small Boat Restoration blog.
    Last edited by signalcharlie; 05-28-2017 at 10:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Good stuff. Looking forward to seeing the completion. I had my second season this past summer and experienced my first capsize. Like others who have built the P14, I have found that the built-in flotation is not enough. After capsize the top of the centreboard case was about 1" or so below the water, so bailing was ineffective. After my incident I spent some time fitting blocks of foam wrapped in fabric. These are located under the thwarts and side seats. I fit them as close as I could, but there is still some space between the foam and the hull, but it's the best I could do. If I could redo things I would enclose the space under the side seats, maybe even extend them further inboard. Also enclosing the space under the thwarts. Of course it can't be changed now, but having the forward bulkhead further aft would help too. Anything to reduce the volume inside helps. If you haven't built your centrecase and centreboard yet, look into taking an idea from the Phoenix III. The P14 has the top of centreboard case under the centre thwart. The Phoenix III centrecase is under the thwart at the aft end but is extended upward several inches at the front end. To do this the shape of the centreboard itself has to be modified too but if you're doing it from the start it should be ok. Those few inches will make the difference between being able to bail the boat out and not being able to. Believe me, finding out that you cannot bail the boat when you are out on the water is no fun. Was lucky that we were in a relatively busy area and was offered a tow within 5 minutes by the crew of a nearby keelboat. Was towed closer to shore where I could row the rest of the way and could bail it out from the dock.

    One last thing: I went with the lug rig. I'm 5'9" and if I'm at the helm, the boom height is ok. If I am sitting forward as crew, it is a bit low. There is another builder who built a new mast before his second season and made it 1 foot longer than the plans show and it is much better for headroom and according to him, no noticeable difference in how the boat handles. Definitely worth considering building the mast taller the first time around.
    Last edited by RowAndSail; 11-20-2014 at 09:02 AM.

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Thanks for the info, Rowandsail. That sort of issue with small open boats is another reason why I like solid top CB cases, with a large cork in a hole big enough to take the handle of the boat hook for shoving the CB down if / when it gets jammed with weed, mud or gravel. And building the mast a bit tall is always an excellent idea, as it also gives you the option to raise the whole rig temporarily in light air if you use a gaff-jaw boom.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Default Re: Penobscot 14 St Jacques New Build

    Chipped away at a few more pieces, second row of planks getting cut. The second row befuddled me, how wide to cut the blank. So I got some painter's paper and laid it over the stringers to pick up a pattern. Transferred pattern to plywood, cut it, screwed it on, threw it away because I forgot to add 3/4 inch lap. Cut another one, screwed it on, marked it, pulled it off, added lap, trimmed it, put it back on, trimmed to fit. Final fairing next then use it as pattern for starboard side.

    FMI: http://smallboatrestoration.blogspot.com/2013/12/penobscot-14-new-build-st-jacques.html








    Last edited by signalcharlie; 12-02-2015 at 07:11 AM.

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