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Thread: Clinker Launch

  1. #1
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    Smile Clinker Launch

    I have landed with this 16ft Clyde Built launch, actually from Dunoon. It has been on Loch Lomond since built. Inboard engine. It needs new stem new keel, new apron, deadwood and quite a few planks. It is Larch on Oak. The Stem has been a two piece mahogany affair clamped side to side and treenailed and maybe glued. It has split and rot, forcing the Geralds apart. Keel hog and Stem Knee look like Larch and all gone. They are intact enough for templates. Garboards gone and one plank above them too.
    I have removed the deadwood and the nail going through ribs onto the apron. The ribs are good except for a few broken ( may find more).

    Where to start? I thought to keep ribs intact for the moment and take keel, apron and garboard planks off with boat turned upside down.

    New to this scale of work on a clinker boat, but keen to learn. Anything that can be pointed out on tips or caveats most grateful. Need to start searching for timber.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Clinker constructed, the planks hold the hull shape. As you've removed much of the centerline, you might as well find those timbers and replace them before replacing what ribs need replacing, not fastening to the rotten planks which you can then replace. Fine looking little launch.

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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Thanks for you thoughts Thad.

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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    When you start replacing the rotten planks remember to go up one gauge in nail size so that they grip and seal the old holes.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Point taken Nick.

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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Gilmour & Aitken in Alexandria are good for the timber you'll need.
    Come and meet like minded people at Clydebuilt Festival, Riverside Museum next weekend.
    Good Luck, John

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnlanark View Post
    Gilmour & Aitken in Alexandria are good for the timber you'll need.
    Come and meet like minded people at Clydebuilt Festival, Riverside Museum next weekend.
    Good Luck, John
    Thanks John. Have bought from GA before and also Galgael. Will check that gig out too.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    I removed the Apron/Keelson today. It is a 4x1 Oak batten which will be renewed. Is it an Apron or a Keelson? I drove it through the bow and out after removing every nail and screw. It received screws through the garboard and then 50 mm copper nails in between the brass screws. Are these fastenings ok to be repeated on renewal, or can I nail and rove for better results? Freshwater boat only.
    I did not want to cut the ribs to draw that board out. The keel has been made up in two layers. I was going to just do a 4x2 keel in oak? ..........rather than 2 of 2x2 sections.
    Any thought welcome.
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    I'd call it a keel unless there is an inner and an outer piece, in which case I'd call the outer the keel and the inner the apron. Don't take too much apart without putting pieces back, so as not to lose the shape.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by lexi View Post
    I removed the Apron/Keelson today. It is a 4x1 Oak batten which will be renewed. Is it an Apron or a Keelson? I drove it through the bow and out after removing every nail and screw. It received screws through the garboard and then 50 mm copper nails in between the brass screws. Are these fastenings ok to be repeated on renewal, or can I nail and rove for better results? Freshwater boat only.
    I did not want to cut the ribs to draw that board out. The keel has been made up in two layers. I was going to just do a 4x2 keel in oak? ..........rather than 2 of 2x2 sections.
    Any thought welcome.
    Naming of parts.
    The keel is the 2x4 member on the outside. The "plank" forming the "T" on the inside of the keel that the garboards are fastened to is the hog. The apron is a piece at the back of the stem similar to the hog where the boat fills out so that the stem cannot provide enough landing for the hood ends.
    If you can get the 2x4 in one clear piece it will be better than building it up of 2x2x2.
    As there are screw holes in the garboard you will have to put screws back in unless the garboards are shot and due for total replacement. It may be that the screws were put in as a repair rather than renailing.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Naming of parts.
    The keel is the 2x4 member on the outside. The "plank" forming the "T" on the inside of the keel that the garboards are fastened to is the hog. The apron is a piece at the back of the stem similar to the hog where the boat fills out so that the stem cannot provide enough landing for the hood ends.
    If you can get the 2x4 in one clear piece it will be better than building it up of 2x2x2.
    As there are screw holes in the garboard you will have to put screws back in unless the garboards are shot and due for total replacement. It may be that the screws were put in as a repair rather than renailing.
    Thanks Nick. Garboards and planks above garboard, including the Broadstakes are gone. Three planks up each side of keel will need done, just for starters. There were stainless angle plates nailed along the full length of garboard/keel to keep caulking together and water out. Total mess with butyl mastic bedded under the steel.
    So, best fixings for new Garboard plank to Hog?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by lexi View Post
    Thanks Nick. Garboards and planks above garboard, including the Broadstakes are gone. Three planks up each side of keel will need done, just for starters. There were stainless angle plates nailed along the full length of garboard/keel to keep caulking together and water out. Total mess with butyl mastic bedded under the steel.
    So, best fixings for new Garboard plank to Hog?
    Copper nails clenched over roves until the garboard twists to upright at the forefoot when you will have to go over to silicon bronze screws.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Duly noted..........and appreciated.

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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Thank you, Nick.

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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    These are the fashioned pieces and the keel and hog. Any thoughts on the design? I am probably stuck with the way it was built?
    I have got a full length piece of Iroko for the keel as no oak that size available ATM. I got an oak Batten full length for the hog. I think I may have to Laminate the stem. You cannot get stuff here easily. I have built 3 moulds inside boat hull and proper braced them, to keep shape.
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by lexi View Post
    These are the fashioned pieces and the keel and hog. Any thoughts on the design? I am probably stuck with the way it was built?
    I have got a full length piece of Iroko for the keel as no oak that size available ATM. I got an oak Batten full length for the hog. I think I may have to Laminate the stem. You cannot get stuff here easily. I have built 3 moulds inside boat hull and proper braced them, to keep shape.
    Is there anything wrong with the stem and stem knee? Don't look too bad in that picture.
    I do not like the way they cut so much out of the sternknee for the stern tube, but you are probably stuck with that now unless you can make the stern tube longer.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Yes, that stern knee has little stiffening support with such a large area chopped out. You could replace it and drill a longer tube hole as Nick suggests, which will at least provide support each side of the tube's hole.

    Nice boat, great project, following with interest.

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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Wondering why the stern knee was cut back as far as it was, hard to believe the engine might have been so far aft to require it? Notching a flat to take a shaft bearing is quite normal, but cutting away like that is something else. Perhaps someone had a short sterntube and fittings they wanted to use is the only reason i can think of, and still not a good reason to chop that much away.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Nick; The stem and it's knee are toast. That cut out was the first thing I noticed. There is no real neck left on the wood.
    Scaraborgcraft: Using what they had as in a short tube seems likely, or they only had a short drill As it happens, I damaged the tube on removal. I turned a piece of ash to drive it out and when it finally came, the threads were compressed, and 1/4" of tube mangled. A new tube was in order, so I could get a bigger one and beef up that log. The deadwood all looks like mahogany. Not great in freshwater, but easier to work than oak.

    This is a piece of oak I have. Would it be suitable for any of these pieces? It is 4" thick and pieces are 3" dressed. Would grain run out be a problem? Maybe not for the stern knee as I don't fancy drilling it.

    Thanks Lupassonic for you comments. Plenty time to do this and no schedule. I will whittle away............the jug fills one drop at a time
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by lexi View Post
    Nick; The stem and it's knee are toast. That cut out was the first thing I noticed. There is no real neck left on the wood.
    Scaraborgcraft: Using what they had as in a short tube seems likely, or they only had a short drill As it happens, I damaged the tube on removal. I turned a piece of ash to drive it out and when it finally came, the threads were compressed, and 1/4" of tube mangled. A new tube was in order, so I could get a bigger one and beef up that log. The deadwood all looks like mahogany. Not great in freshwater, but easier to work than oak.

    This is a piece of oak I have. Would it be suitable for any of these pieces? It is 4" thick and pieces are 3" dressed. Would grain run out be a problem? Maybe not for the stern knee as I don't fancy drilling it.

    Thanks Lupassonic for you comments. Plenty time to do this and no schedule. I will whittle away............the jug fills one drop at a time

    Shift it towards the waney edge, there is some curve in the grain there that you can use.


    If you are procuring a longer stern tube, lengthen the arm along the keel so that you can still get three bolts through it. As you are replacing the hog as well that should not be an issue.
    How was the horn timber (the "keel" of the counter stern) joined to that stern knee?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    I have seen worse timber in boats. I have not had trouble gluing oak that a few comment on, should you want to laminate up the parts, but i would be happy to go with what you have there.

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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    I can only assume a coach bolt or heavy screw as I cannot see how it could be through bolted? I mean some of the keel and knee were rotted away.....gone. I need to check if shortening the hog and lengthening the foot of that knee will affect my plank lands. The hog is 4" wide but my knee will only be 3". Will look at it as I am not visualising the detail of the mod.

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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    I have seen worse timber in boats. I have not had trouble gluing oak that a few comment on, should you want to laminate up the parts, but i would be happy to go with what you have there.
    Is that you just gluing with the standard West system? I have always degreased with Acetone on Iroko and had no probs.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by lexi View Post
    I can only assume a coach bolt or heavy screw as I cannot see how it could be through bolted? I mean some of the keel and knee were rotted away.....gone. I need to check if shortening the hog and lengthening the foot of that knee will affect my plank lands. The hog is 4" wide but my knee will only be 3". Will look at it as I am not visualising the detail of the mod.
    I can see two bolt holes in the knee. Three is best practice. If the knee is not wide enough to replace the hog, then cut a joggle so that it can extend over the top of the hog and bolt through all three.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Thanks Nick, that sounds like a a good plan.

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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    The stern knee only had the 2 bolts showing, but now that I remember there was a captive nut and a bolt going up through the keel, into the knee. Think it was notched in. You can see the witness mark in the wood in picture. The lugs of the flange are stealing the space. If I get a stern tube 1 " longer, I will gain 3/4" more meat on the bearding line.
    Some clamps made from Pallet trees.

    Cut out a rough stem knee from the oak slab. With a small chainsaw and sharp blade, 5 year air dried oak is like flippin' iron!
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by lexi View Post
    The stern knee only had the 2 bolts showing, but now that I remember there was a captive nut and a bolt going up through the keel, into the knee. Think it was notched in. You can see the witness mark in the wood in picture. The lugs of the flange are stealing the space. If I get a stern tube 1 " longer, I will gain 3/4" more meat on the bearding line.
    Some clamps made from Pallet trees.

    Cut out a rough stem knee from the oak slab. With a small chainsaw and sharp blade, 5 year air dried oak is like flippin' iron!
    Good news indeed. The captive square nut covered by a dutchman is a typical solution when a stern tube is in the way.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    While working away on deadwood etc, I have made some enquiries on Larch planking. My local supplier wants me to take a log cut through and through, ie I take and pay for it all at the price per cu, metre. Obviously there will only be so much quarter sawn. Is this a normal practice? Will it be feasible to take the good QS and use on lower planks and then use rift sawn as we get above water line? I suppose whats left could be used on other parts of boat. I mean, it just seems that nobody will sell you quarter sawn only up here!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    It’s a lot more work! Through and through is standard.
    if you can find a small operation like MAC timbers you might be able to persuade them but it will cost you.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Through and through is fine. You need the width of the entire trunk any way. Be sure to ask him to saw it belly up so that you benefit from any sweep in the trunk. Makes it easier to get the curved planks out with less grain run out and in longer lengths.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Thanks guys. Is the heart or centre of any use on European Larch?

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    I would avoid the pith, otherwise go for it.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    I would avoid the pith, otherwise go for it.
    Thanks Nick. Can I assume that the planks on the boat will have shrunk somewhat in thickness?( 50 years) I am just trying to gauge what thickness to get him to saw them. They are not quite half inch. Is there a special spot on the boat to take a mean thickness sample?

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by lexi View Post
    Thanks Nick. Can I assume that the planks on the boat will have shrunk somewhat in thickness?( 50 years) I am just trying to gauge what thickness to get him to saw them. They are not quite half inch. Is there a special spot on the boat to take a mean thickness sample?
    Shrinkage will be minimal. More wood will have been lost to sand paper if and when she was wooded for a repaint.
    Do not ask for a specific thickness off the saw, as saw mills usually set the saw so that each plank is thinner by the kerf of the saw blade. If they can put them through the thickness planer, ask them to saw and then plane to a finished thickness. If they cannot plane the planks ask them to set the saw so that when you plane the timber you get what you need, and discuss the "off the saw" thickness with them so that you have confidence in the finished dimension.
    I would guess that your not quite 1/2 inch is 7/16ths. Measure along the splits or other available edges and go for the thickest measure that you find.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Clinker Launch

    Cheers Nick for so much detail..........very grateful.

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