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Thread: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

  1. #1
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    Default 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    The shop has been swept out and the lofting floor laid down. It's time to build another boat! This will be build number 17 for me. One of these days, I'll slow down...

    In another thread last winter, I deliberated over this plan, going over the pros and cons. To me, it's the perfect example of this type of boat. I also considered a Whitehall and a Rangeley with an electric trolling motor pod on the rudder. But, as beautiful and functional as those boats are, they would just be rowboats with a motor slapped on the back, not the fantail launch that I envision.

    The plans are from Mystic Seaport and are from the 17' Palmer launch "Bluebird". It was built in the early 1900's and the lines taken off by Robert (Bob) Baker in 1967.
    The plans only contain the lines and offsets. No construction plan or specs. So, I'll be spending a lot of time in my "thinking chair" (pictured there in the back of the shop).

    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Here's the plans and the rough model I built last year to study the shape. The cockpit seating is my own idea since nothing shows on the plans. That will be up for further study.





    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    And what does the good wife think of this new boat, you might ask? After spending the summer building her the 10'x48' deck with 10'x16' screened porch that she wanted, how could she refuse? She's wholeheartedly endorsed the project. She knows how much I love tinkering with and building boats. However, if I had started building the boat before finishing the deck, I believe severe sanctions would have been imposed!



    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Nice tidy work Rich !

    Happy wife , happy ......

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    A few more details.
    The boat was originally plank on frame, but I'll be going with strip planking. 3/8"x 3/4" western red cedar. Glassed on the outside and sealed and possibly glassed on the inside. The interior will have supporting bulkheads and some laminated ribs. Decks and other woodwork to be of undecided wood and probably oiled as opposed to endless coats of varnish.
    This past Spring, I had the chance to see a 23' Palmer launch that was in storage. I took a lot of notes and measurements about it's woodwork, etc. so I hope to copy a lot of that on this vessel.
    Progress will be fairly slow with a projected launch date of Spring 2017. It usually takes me about two years to build a boat.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Forgot to mention power! At this time, I'm planning on using a 80lb. thrust trolling motor. It will be placed where the rudder is with the shaft running up through the deck and hooked up to some sort of steering. I will put in the propeller shaft tube in the skeg, so if I repower with an electric inboard in the future, I'll be all set to go. At this time, I can't justify the thousands of dollars an inboard electric would cost. The 80 lb. thrust trolling motor is just sitting here, begging to be used and should push the boat along at something approaching 5mph.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Cool!

    I am getting ready to start also, although mine will be more traditional construction with a gas motor in it.
    Fish and ships or is that chips

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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    I've been ignoring my outside autumn clean up chores and plotting out my station molds instead. All eight are now plotted. Next is to deduct the planking thickness (since the offsets are to the outside of the planking) and redraw the lines to their final shape. There's a note on the plans stating that the offsets were taken off the lines plan and are "uncorrected", meaning that there might be some fairing of the molds to do once they're up on the strongback.
    After lofting the final shape of the station molds, I'll be grubbing around on the floor lofting the rest of the boat.
    Maybe I'd better get to some of those outside chores first...

    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    This will be totally boring to some, but others might like to see how the station molds go together.
    Shown in the first photo are the heads of drywall nails driven into the lines representing the inside of the planking.
    Next, a piece of wood is laid over the boards and smacked with a hammer. Flip the board over and connect the dots with a pencil. Cut out on the bandsaw. Screw the pieces down on the drawing, carefully aligning everything with waterlines, centerlines, etc. Screw together with drywall screws. Finish up by drawing waterlines, sheer and centerline on the mold. Unscrew from drawing and stack against wall. Repeat eight times.







    Last edited by Rich Jones; 10-17-2015 at 09:45 PM.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Why molds made of pine, you might ask? With strip planking, each plank is temporarily nailed/screwed to the form while the glue dries. Particle board and plywood have really lousy holding power on the endgrain with lots of splitting. The pine will afford me plenty of holding power, especially when I need it where there's lots of twist in a strip.
    The secondary reason is disposal. Plywood/particle board is environmentally unfriendly to burn and expensive to take to the dump. The pine, I can cut up and it will provide me with kindling for the woodstove that heats my house all winter.
    Speaking of winter.... it's snowing right now. First snow of the season. Just a coating, but still snow. It might be time to put away the patio furniture...

    Another decision was made last night. Following the sage advice of Todd Bradshaw, I'll be glassing the inside. It'll make for a stronger and less flexible boat and I can also use TiteBond glue instead of messy expensive epoxy. It will also make fairing the hull easier.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Wow! Almost made a major mistake.
    In the decision making process on this build, over a 8-9 month period, I kept going back and forth on whether to make this a 17' or 18' boat. Argument for the 17' was to keep it original. Argument for the 18' was to stretch out the waterline to make the hull more slippery for the low power electric motor. I decided on the 18' version and built a model of that.
    I'd forgotten this and started lofting to the 17' length. Luckily, the model was sitting next to the plans this morning and I noticed that it was longer then the plans! A quick measurement and going back to my model building thread confirmed it all.
    So, I've just put down a fresh coat of paint on the lofting floor and will start over. Hadn't gotten too far anyway.
    Going with advice given on the model building thread, I'll be adding length to the midsection, adding 4' between the three widest station molds.
    I'll also change the title of this thread if I can figure out how.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Wow !

    Lucky you caught that early Rich .

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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Changing the title is done by moving the thread to another sub-forum and then move it back. Doing that gives you the choice of a new name. Easy to do. It is done by using a menu called (IIRC) Administrative Tools or something like that.
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post
    Changing the title is done by moving the thread to another sub-forum and then move it back. Doing that gives you the choice of a new name. Easy to do. It is done by using a menu called (IIRC) Administrative Tools or something like that.
    Done. Thanks! Well... thought I was done. It changed in the original post but remains 17' launch in the rest...
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 14th Star: A 17' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Done. Thanks! Well... thought I was done. It changed in the original post but remains 17' launch in the rest...
    Title shows as 18' to me! But - the post titles say 17'

    Purty boat - looking forward to seeing how it goes!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    You could loft the whole thing at 17' like you started and then space the molds a bit farther apart on the jig. Nothing else will change, no harm done.

    I guess if you pick up the keel length from the lofting it would be wrong...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    The fog in my brain is starting to clear. I now remember that, when building the model, I simply made two copies of station #5 and spread them out one foot. This lengthened the boat and everything looked OK.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    You can verify it on the lofting, but you will get a fairer curve by just spreading the stations out a bit. A flat spot might develop in the middle with the doubled station method when full size. Unless you want the increased displacement of only adding to the middle I would avoid that method.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    You can verify it on the lofting, but you will get a fairer curve by just spreading the stations out a bit. A flat spot might develop in the middle with the doubled station method when full size. Unless you want the increased displacement of only adding to the middle I would avoid that method.
    You're right about that flat spot. So instead, I'll be adding 4" between the three fullest stations.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Lovely project. Love those fantails. Should be some fun framing in the stern.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by BBSebens View Post
    Lovely project. Love those fantails. Should be some fun framing in the stern.
    I've spent a lot of time mulling that one over. I think the solution is to laminate two horseshoe shaped pieces and prop them in place. Around the fantail curve, I'll glue short vertical staves instead of trying to bend the 3/8" planking around them. I believe this is what's been done on other similar fantails I've seen.
    Lofting the fantail is today's project.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default

    Ought be a sweet hull for electric power. You will find a significant increase of efficiency by using a 10 or 12" dia model airplane prop instead of the weedless one that comes with the trolling motor. Now would be a good time to be sure you have the room to swing the prop. You would also want a 12" dia prop if you later install a more powerful inboard electric motor. Be sure the prop clears the hull by at least a couple of inches. It will create noise if it's too close.

    Trolling motors are a great choice for easily driven hulls. They are obviously a lot less $ than an inboard but also a lot quieter.

    Inboard components are coming down in price though with the proliferation of electric scooters, etc. The mechanical bits still cost a lot though. A prop, shaft and stuffing box would likely cost more than the motor and controller.
    Denny Wolfe
    www.wolfEboats.com

  23. #23
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    It's been a few days... I got distracted with my volunteer work and a little project my wife came up with. Seems that she felt that one of the bathrooms needed "freshening up". Usually that means gutting the room down to the studs. This time I was lucky and it only entailed some spackle, repaint the ceiling and walls, re-stain the woodwork, replace the vanity mirror, replace the electrical outlet and switch and install a new toilet.

    So, back to the boat. It's been lofted full size and I'm now working on the templates for the inner stem. It will be made from three layers of 3/4" thick cherry. All the cedar for planking is here as well as epoxy. All settled in for a fun filled winter in my shop!

    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    It's been a few days... I got distracted with my volunteer work and a little project my wife came up with. Seems that she felt that one of the bathrooms needed "freshening up". Usually that means gutting the room down to the studs. This time I was lucky and it only entailed some spackle, repaint the ceiling and walls, re-stain the woodwork, replace the vanity mirror, replace the electrical outlet and switch and install a new toilet.
    Doesn't that sound familiar!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    I'd say she owes you some boat time now

  26. #26
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewpatrol View Post
    I'd say she owes you some boat time now
    You must know different women than I do...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  27. #27
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Happy wife, happy life.
    There was something weird about the old toilet, anyway. The silly thing flushed twice every time you flushed. Never could figure it out. Didn't do that when I first installed it over 12 years ago, but somewhere along the way it learned that annoying habit.
    I've a bit of painting to finish up but, come Monday, I'll be fiddling with the boat once again.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Rhyming slang, trouble and strife

  29. #29
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Glued up the inner stem today. Not much to look at, but it's always exciting when I produce the first piece of structural wood for a new boat.



    This week will see the laminated pieces for the fantail stern. Then, I'll have the front/back and will just have to fill in the empty space between!!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Then, I'll have the front/back and will just have to fill in the empty space between!!
    I've been saying that about my head for years! Congrats on the start sir.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  31. #31
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Here's one of the fantail arches being laminated. I'll need two, one at deck level and one about 7" below. The arch (for want of a better term) is made of 10 layers of clear WRC totaling one inch thickness by one and a half inch high. What a gooey mess to deal with!!!
    The finished inner stem is in the backround.

    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Dude, like slow down man, I've been so busy I haven't even started yet....
    Fish and ships or is that chips

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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Oh, and I have been mulling over the stern also. Since I won't be using any laminations its a bit of a quandary. I wish I could see one in person....
    Fish and ships or is that chips

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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by shade of knucklehead View Post
    Oh, and I have been mulling over the stern also. Since I won't be using any laminations its a bit of a quandary. I wish I could see one in person....
    Yeah, without a construction plan, it's all guesswork. I'm just coming up with what I think will work for cedar strip construction.
    Too bad that Palmer launch I saw this past spring had a square stern.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Finished up the strongback and all the station molds are mounted. I've yet to brace them, but that's minor stuff. After that, I'll install the keel/inner stem assembly and fantail arches. Then those things, along with the molds, have to be faired. I'll have to rip and scarf together some planking to do that. I figure I'll need about 100 3/8"X3/4" strips to do the hull. That ought to be a nice tedious job!

    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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