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Thread: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

  1. #1
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    Default Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    This is very interesting to me. I haven't heard of this being done. Although I'm not ready to do anything, I'm casually looking around for a wood boat a little more conducive to cruising than my Concordia. I saw a very nice-looking Italian-built Swan for sale. A wooden Swan 48!

    I was curious as to the hull construction. It sure looked cold-molded to me but this is what the broker said:

    Dear Mr Thompson

    many thanks for your answer.
    The bottom and topsides are built by individual planks as per the pics you find included.
    As all wooden boats, there is a keelson on mid lower part, then there are a lot of floors and frames connected to the keelson, the planks are screwed to frames (as per pic 35 with copper bolts) and each plank glued over the others and bent as per the waterlines of the designer with long time wet in hot water and steams, three or four months.
    The bottom is teak planking, topsides mahogany planking which is lighter.
    Hypothetically, if you dismount the frames, the hull of planking remains perfectly solid.

    The outer and inner surfaces of the bottom and topsides are perfectly smooth as a gelcoated boat.
    It is good and normal work, every 5 or 6 years the outer painting (which is painted every year as annual works) must be burned off and the wood stay one months to breathe normal air.

    From the beginning of the yachting, wooden boats are the best way to built, but if the planking has been built by not expert builders, then every two years the bottom and topsides must have caulk the seams. But never with boats built by Sangermani, or Carlini, or Walsted, or Abeking & Rasmussen, etc. etc. the best yards as some Americans.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me for any request you may have.
    All best

    Pino Ferlini



    unnamed-2.jpg

    unnamed.jpg
    Last edited by chuckt; 12-01-2017 at 08:22 PM.
    Chuck Thompson

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    another pic

    unnamed-3.jpg
    Chuck Thompson

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Looks to be strip planked.

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Yes, you could say that but those aren't small strips, they are regular carvel plank-size--several inches wide. And, if I understand correctly, she is not glassed.
    Chuck Thompson

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    That is not strip planking for sure. That is tight seam construction, quite common in the Scandinavian and German yards, and I do not doubt in the best Italian yards as well. The carvel planks are fit to cabinet joinery specs, and instead of a caulking outage planed the mating edges of the planks are crushed with a tool and something akin to wicking is laid on top of the plank and then they are fastened to the frames while being clamped and wedged up tight. This requires well seasoned stock, expert planking crew, and a client willing to pay for this most excellent system. Even in your picture it looks like African Mahogany/Khaya Stock.
    If the boat is out of the water for an extended time, a seam might open up, but do not put anything but maybe sift soap as it will swell up tight back in the water.
    Itís called the Float-Switch-via-a-naked foot in the bilge launch system if worried. Trust me, been there done that, was not going to let a valued customers heirloom yawl sink on my watch.

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Paul--that seems to be part of what the broker is saying. My own boat (a Concordia) was constructed tight seamed. However, the plank edges are not glued. The broker is saying the planks are glued. I haven't heard of gluing the edges of wide planks. I'm certainly no expert however and have no idea if this might be common in Europe. Doesn't seem to me that it would hold up over time.
    Chuck Thompson

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    The Italians are masters at this form of construction. Many times the planking is rolled on the edge with a tool that depresses the center of the plank and forms a groove in the edge. Once this is accomplished, the plank is then planed down to the center of the depression. Mind you this is only done on one edge of the plank which, when hung, will end up with the depressed section swelling. The result is a hull that is as tight as if it were actually caulked with cotton. I would be inclined to launch and closely watch this hull. Why has it been wooded in the area shown in the photo. I have a friend who who owns a yard in Venice Italy who could advise you if you wish. But, I would be inclined to contact the builder.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    She's built by Sangermani ("S" in Morse on the cove stripe), they're still in business, call them. They are superb builders.

    If it's a copy of a Swan 48, Olin Stephens told me it's his favorite design, but may have meant favorite Swan design.

    The Nautor Swan 48's are fairly inexpensive (by Swan standards).

    I worked on a Sangermani schooner (Julie Mother) for a while, she was built the same way, except the frames were stainless steel, the planks were edge glued with a flexible glue/sealant. Superlative boat.

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    The boat looks crazy well built. Maybe a bit lost in translation.

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Jay’s description of the wheel and planing is what I was after. If the boat has been kept in good maintenance the seams would appear to be glued, the fitting required is that close.
    Tight seam construction is wonderful...wonderfully effective, wonderfully expensive, wonderfully long lasting given a bit of care.
    If you are looking for a vessel to steal your heart...and maybe part of your pocketbook... go for it. How does one set a price on an affair of the heart?
    But the pedigree here appears impeccable.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Chuck's contactee states "each plank glued over the others and bent as per the waterlines of the designer with long time wet in hot water and steams". This sure sounds like they are edge gluing. I'd sure like to hear more about this method of construction.

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    The Italians are masters at this form of construction. Many times the planking is rolled on the edge with a tool that depresses the center of the plank and forms a groove in the edge. Once this is accomplished, the plank is then planed down to the center of the depression. Mind you this is only done on one edge of the plank which, when hung, will end up with the depressed section swelling. The result is a hull that is as tight as if it were actually caulked with cotton. I would be inclined to launch and closely watch this hull. Why has it been wooded in the area shown in the photo. I have a friend who who owns a yard in Venice Italy who could advise you if you wish. But, I would be inclined to contact the builder.
    Jay
    Jay--I would like to know more. As I said, I've heard about tight seaming but not gluing the edges. There is a bit of translation issue but he clearly says the planks are glued and that one could remove the ribs and the shape would remain as if it were cold-molded. If you know somebody who can tell me more I would love to talk to them.

    The Concordias were tight seamed and it is widely thought this method didn't work well in New England. All the early boats broke their frames. A switch to laminated ribs solved the issue (I think).
    Last edited by chuckt; 12-02-2017 at 08:22 AM.
    Chuck Thompson

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    There was a you-tube series done on a 100 ft boat in California being fully renovated called “Restoring Susanna” I think. They edge glued all the topside planking on her and trad seams below waterline. Excellent series.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TdAqQ0agYRs

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckt View Post


    Hypothetically, if you dismount the frames, the hull of planking remains perfectly solid.


    every 5 or 6 years the outer painting (which is painted every year as annual works) must be burned off and the wood stay one months to breathe normal air.


    I find these two snippets particularly interesting. They are regularly wooded so the planking can breath?! I don't understand that. The first statement clearly indicates all the planking is epoxied together. The planking cannot move along the seams. I would not think this would work.
    Chuck Thompson

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewpatrol View Post
    There was a you-tube series done on a 100 ft boat in California being fully renovated called “Restoring Susanna” I think. They edge glued all the topside planking on her and trad seams below waterline. Excellent series.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TdAqQ0agYRs
    That makes more sense. I would guess you could do it above the waterline.
    Chuck Thompson

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckt View Post
    I find these two snippets particularly interesting. They are regularly wooded so the planking can breath?! I don't understand that. The first statement clearly indicates all the planking is epoxied together. The planking cannot move along the seams. I would not think this would work.[/INDENT]
    Do you re-paint when humidity is high or low

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    The Sangermani I worked on was glued together with a flexible glue, it had not been cleaned off the inside of the seams. She.must have been built about the same time. ( late 70’s)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Chuck Artisan Boatworks done glued seam carvel. They do state that it only works up to a certain sized and thickness plank, and only with a fairly soft cedar or similar wood.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    I must say again that before you make a move that you might regret later, that you contact the builder! This is too fine a boat to take a chance with!
    Jay

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I must say again that before you make a move that you might regret later, that you contact the builder! This is too fine a boat to take a chance with!
    Jay
    Oh, rather unlikely I would get serious. But I would love to talk to someone with a lot of experience with these. I notice there are several Italian-built boats for sale that fit my criteria for a fast wood cruiser. A couple are triple planked with the layers glued. Pretty thick layers.
    Chuck Thompson

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Used to be common in Sweden. My friends mahogany Tumlaren was tight seam.....no glue though.

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Tight seam planking is very common in Sweden. My first connection with it was the six meter "Rapsody" that my father owned for a while. She was bronze machine screw fastened and was a beautiful example of the boat builders art. I believe Hank Thayer has restored the boat and racing it. "Rapsody" never leaked during the time we owned her. She did not have glued planking either.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckt View Post
    Oh, rather unlikely I would get serious. But I would love to talk to someone with a lot of experience with these. I notice there are several Italian-built boats for sale that fit my criteria for a fast wood cruiser. A couple are triple planked with the layers glued. Pretty thick layers.
    The boats built by Sacro Serrinella in Venice are made of single course book matched tight seam planking. This is the yard I mentioned to you. This boat is one of the boats that my friend had imported to the US. No cracks in the seams! No glue either!
    Jay

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    I didn't look closely enough, yes, tight seam carvel. I used to have a Tumlaren built that way in Huon pine.

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Bumping this because it's such a cool boat. Sailboatdata says "At least one Swan 48 built of teak in Italy"

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    Bumping this because it's such a cool boat. Sailboatdata says "At least one Swan 48 built of teak in Italy"
    Must be the same boat. I'm just leery of this construction technique although the boat appears to be fine. If anyone knows of someone I can talk to in the Carlini or Sangerman (sp?) yards in Italy, I'd love to talk to them. Woodenboat mag should do an article on these Italian builders because what they are doing is very different than what I'm aware of in North America.
    Chuck Thompson

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    This is the yard http://www.cantierisangermani.it/ I'm sure they speak English.


    CANTIERI SANGERMANI s.r.l. - Via dei Devoto 235 - 16033 Lavagna - GE (Italy) Tel.: +39 0185 307679 - Fax: +39 0185 330787 - e-mail: info@cantierisangermani.com - P.IVA 01396660993

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    Default Re: Edge Glued Planking on Italian-built Swan

    We were dealing with Riva and importing their boats. In truth I would think contacting the builder of your boat is the best place to begin.
    Jay

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