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Thread: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

  1. #1
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    Default Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    I am trying to make some decisions about planking choices and would love some input from ya'll

    I posted in the thread for the build but so far have not gotten many responses. Maybe a thread of it's own will be more effective.

    The vessel is an Atkin Ingrid, 38' on deck, 11'4" beam, displaces 25,000 pounds empty and dry.

    The plans call for 1-1/4" thick by 2-1/2" wide bent frames doubled to finish 2-1/2" by 2-1/2". The planking specified is 1-1/4" cedar fastened with galvanized boat nails.

    I have plenty of high quality White Oak and White Pine on hand for pennies a BF but I do not have the cedar. Buying the cedar planking and the copper rivets (going to upgrade from galvanized boat nails) at the same time is going to be an expensive order. Not impossible for us to swing but still a very big pill to swallow at once. The rivets and roves are looking to be at least $6,000 to get, then a big shipment of timber on top of that.

    I know oak is heavier and shrinks a lot more than cedar but it is commonly used as planking, alibi on a bit bigger vessels. The other option is to go with White Pine which a few folks have suggested. Trying to decide if it's worth shelling out the cash for cedar or if I should go with the oak and or pine on hand. It's all forest grown, tight grained and most is beautifully clear, we milled it to 2-7/8" thick so we could get two identical planks from each board. If for some reason we run out it's just a matter of starting the chainsaw and borrowing the skidder/ sawmill again.

    Another option is to trade if anyone is in need of white oak, white pine or black locust and has cedar to trade. I can get my mitts on all three, we just milled at least 10,000 BF worth of the stuff, the trees were all 24-36" at the butt end. It does not have to be milled cedar either, we have friends with mills and can come mill the logs if need be.

    Any thoughts, opinions, suggestions would greatly be appreciated!

    Thanks!!

    Steve
    ACORN TO ARABELLA
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    I would use the oak. If well seasoned shrinkage should not be a problem. Compare the strength properties with the cedar, you may be able to mill it slightly thinner than the 1 1/4 thus saving a bit of weight.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Just as a question, where have you inquired for cedar?

    I would suggest at lest giving Shairer Brothers saw mill in Egg Harbor city N.J. a call. http://www.schairerbros.com/
    They mill mostly Jersey white cedar (Atlantic White cedar). They generally don’t charge the ‘boutique’ pricing of boat building stock.
    It is an excellent planking material. It tends to be smaller trees, so it generally is not clear, but once you get past that stigma you’ll understand how good it is. It was the premier planking stock for 200 years of Jersey sea skiffs.
    Just a thought.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    I would use the oak. If well seasoned shrinkage should not be a problem. Compare the strength properties with the cedar, you may be able to mill it slightly thinner than the 1 1/4 thus saving a bit of weight.

    We have some oak that is well seasoned but the stuff we just milled is green, we don't have enough dry oak to fully plank her but we can probably put on a dry plank or two then fit the floor timbers, overhaul and install the diesel and that should buy the oak at least a year to air dry before we start hanging it as planks. It won't be fully seasoned but hopefully seasoned enough. It's stickered well under a roof so there is a lot of good airflow. I assume any cedar we get would also be green.

    We have a good supply of dry white pine on hand.
    ACORN TO ARABELLA
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by sdenette View Post
    We have some oak that is well seasoned but the stuff we just milled is green, we don't have enough dry oak to fully plank her but we can probably put on a dry plank or two then fit the floor timbers, overhaul and install the diesel and that should buy the oak at least a year to air dry before we start hanging it as planks. It won't be fully seasoned but hopefully seasoned enough. It's stickered well under a roof so there is a lot of good airflow. I assume any cedar we get would also be green.

    We have a good supply of dry white pine on hand.
    You could hang every alternate plank. Then when all is seasoned go back and spile and fit the shutter planks. A benefit of this method is that the first lot of planks hung do not need accurate spiling. You can also get on with deck and so on whilst waiting for the final seasoning to finish.

    Dunno what species you call white pine, but here in the UK white pine is not boatbuilding stock, but is used in house building and carcase work.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Pfft. Here in the US Oak is not boatbuilding stock.
    I'm half kidding with Nick. I think there is a dna difference between oak on each side of the sea.
    But I'm half serious too. Oak is what I take OUT of boats...but y'all have heard my oak rants before.
    I would'a built the whole boat of cedar..Alaskan Yellow.
    Contact Fredd Tebbs in Tacoma. They have warehouses full of red and yellow. (especially red).They made me a great deal on weird size cedar that was going to go back to the planer for re sizing years ago.
    If Leo can ricochet rabbit around the country for his boat timber,so can you.
    Of course, It's not too late to strip plank her.
    I'd plank her quite a bit thicker and heavier too.

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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    You could hang every alternate plank. Then when all is seasoned go back and spile and fit the shutter planks. A benefit of this method is that the first lot of planks hung do not need accurate spiling. You can also get on with deck and so on whilst waiting for the final seasoning to finish.

    Dunno what species you call white pine, but here in the UK white pine is not boatbuilding stock, but is used in house building and carcase work.
    Nick, just curious on the alternate plank method, wouldn’t you need to be accurate with both sides of the shutters whereas doing the planks one-by-one only the lower edge would have to be accurate and th en fair the second?
    Please enlighten me.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Go with white cedar. You will have a longer lasting boat with less problems. Drill the knots out and plug them with cedar tapers hammered in. 30 years from now the planking will still be solid, anything else and you will be replanking rotten ends in 10.

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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Alternate suggestion: Plank with oak below water and either pine or cedar above. If you are worried about the durability of the pine, treat it with preservative. I have a white pine dory that is 30 years old and sound, but it has not lived on a mooring.
    As for fasteners, I think rivets are great, maybe the best. My ketch is built with bronze screws which are just starting to need replacement after fifty years. Screws are easier to install, requiring only one person. Right now on ebay, there's a guy selling US made Navy surplus bronze #14 2-1/2 wood screws for $49/100 delivered. That's half of retail, and could save you money on fastening.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/100-Reed-Pr...pe!11778!US!-1
    Last edited by johngsandusky; 06-12-2018 at 07:05 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewpatrol View Post
    Nick, just curious on the alternate plank method, wouldn’t you need to be accurate with both sides of the shutters whereas doing the planks one-by-one only the lower edge would have to be accurate and th en fair the second?
    Please enlighten me.
    Just as you say. Half of the planking can be thrown on. The other half will not take much longer spiling than just spiling one edge, and the shaping to the lines no longer at all at all. It will not work if you have to edge set the planks though.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Just as you say. Half of the planking can be thrown on. The other half will not take much longer spiling than just spiling one edge, and the shaping to the lines no longer at all at all.

    Seriously, Nick? Every other plank a shutter without being able to use clamps? What a f**kin' nightmare.


    Nobody planks small boats with white oak and for good reason

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    Seriously, Nick? Every other plank a shutter without being able to use clamps? .
    Just so, use strong backs and wedges.

    Nobody planks small boats with white oak and for good reason
    So, apart from live oak is all other US oak crap?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    I'm with Bruce, strip plank with AYC. Sell the oak (unstable as hell and rot prone) and white pine (rot prone) to help pay for it. The AYC may have been in the yard for a while and therefore dried some. Saw the strips out square as soon as possible and put them on stickers so they can dry more, square so you can apply them vertical grained. Use bronze below the waterline and stainless above. Laminate your frames from it too.

    With strip planking you'll spend more time sawing out strips but less time spiling and no time caulking, ever.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Pfft. Here in the US Oak is not boatbuilding stock.
    I'm half kidding with Nick. I think there is a dna difference between oak on each side of the sea.
    But I'm half serious too. Oak is what I take OUT of boats...but y'all have heard my oak rants before.
    I would'a built the whole boat of cedar..Alaskan Yellow.
    Contact Fredd Tebbs in Tacoma. They have warehouses full of red and yellow. (especially red).They made me a great deal on weird size cedar that was going to go back to the planer for re sizing years ago.
    If Leo can ricochet rabbit around the country for his boat timber,so can you.
    Of course, It's not too late to strip plank her.
    I'd plank her quite a bit thicker and heavier too.

    Well if the oak is junk then I might as well keep with junk so it will all implode at once =)

    Also, let's not start comparing Leo and I. Life is not a competition and if it were he would have me licked in just about every way. What Leo can do and afford to do is very different than what I can do or afford to do, I never could have swung 20+k for oak for framing like he did. Finding the planking somewhat locally will probably be a must for us.



    Appreciate the thoughts and suggestions brought forth so far!

    I should probably figure out a rough BF need for the planking and start calling some cedar sources to get a idea of the cost. It might not be as bad as I think to get the cedar or it could be much much worse! I usually cut the trees and mill the boards, I am not used to paying more than a few cents and some sweat per BF. hahaha

    Any recommendations on how to figure out the rough BF needed to plank and any other leads on cedar would be much appreciated!
    ACORN TO ARABELLA
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    I would beg borrow or steal some cedar before going with oak planking. Its a fine-lined hull and won't be happy with that much extra weight. The oak is also worth more than the cedar, around here at least. So maybe you could trade somebody?

    You don't need the perfect quarter sawn old growth, just decent grain and few knots.


    Maybe buy half the rivets at first, just to get through the first year. Make it easier to swallow. (Sounds like bronze screws might be cheaper, and much faster to put in)

    I would estimate about 1000 bf without sitting down with a pencil.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    EWC (eastern white cedar) is taller than NJ cedar, Seems like trading WO for EWC is the way.
    But... are y'all set on traditional planking? More than a few older builds of the same pedigree have been cold molded.

    http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/ind...-they-held-up/
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    1000 bf for strip planking.
    3000 bf for carvel
    Boat is roughly 40 feet by 10 feet times 2.
    Steve , I 'm not trying to compare you to Leo , just sayin ..the US is an organized place. Compared to the Caribbean islands , fer instance, where progress can stop for 2 months for lack of a drill bit, coming west for a u haul of AYC ,be a good project.
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 06-11-2018 at 10:58 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    There is a company near me in VT that has a lot of clear white cedar for $2-$3/ bf. Only in 4/4 and 5/4. Not terribly long boards. They’re willing saw to order as well. PM me if you want details.

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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    I think a carbon fiber/Kevlar matrix planking system and depleted uranium bulb keel is really what you need.
    Sell all that wood and all those tools and by Tyvek suits and Nitrile gloves.


    It seems to me you are a quarter the way across the stream and thinking about changing horses.
    Not impossible but changing to oak instead of cedar or strip plank instead of carvel or many of the suggestions here is the domain of architects and engineers.
    Nothing wrong with strip built or cold molded or steel or aluminum or GRP construction, but they each have their own discipline.
    Atkin knew what he was up to with carvel boats. Deviate at your own peril.
    IMHO
    Last edited by jackster; 06-11-2018 at 01:24 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    I have nothing against cold molding or strip planking but I personally HATE working with adhesives, it's just not something I enjoy. I would enjoy building and working on a cold molded or strip planked hull much less than a carvel or lapstrake hull. So I would much rather stick with the carvel even if it is more expensive and more time consuming to built and maintain, I'll enjoy it so much more and because of that will do a better job building and maintaining her.

    The rivets and roves are going to be a custom run so it will be cheaper if we get them all in one shot. The split frames with screws make me a little nervous since there is not that much screw in the second half of the frame. I like that the rivets essentially thru bolt it all.
    I'm very content slowly chiseling away at the build, the extra time to rivet is of little concern. Building her well and enjoying the build are the biggest priorities to me.

    So if we split the difference between Bruce and James's estimates for bf and we can get cedar for $3 a bf that ain't terrible. I could probably offload some of our oak to help rally the funds if need be. We have been stacking lumber for the last two days and have a stupid amount of oak, would just have to find someone who needs thick, green, oak slabs.

    We will be at Mystic in a couple weeks for the Wooden Boat Show and will try to pick as many brains as we can while we are there. Maybe we will get lucky and someone will want to trade or buy some oak off of us.

    Thanks for the thoughts and insights!
    ACORN TO ARABELLA
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Hard to read about people trashing oak, it must be real different over there. I dismantled a 75 year old oak boat a few years back, and some of that old planking, less than an inch thick, went into building a new tender. I also have around 15kg of bronze rivets each removed by grinding the heads off. Seasoned oak is a great timber, incredibly strong and crush resistant. Odd that the planking was 95% ok, but the entire keel backbone and floors was completely rotten internally. I would not complain about a 70 year life span, will see me out.....and some.....

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    You might want to contact tree lots and forests. I just googled "Maine Forestry Association" and came up with a bunch of suggestions. If you could fell the trees yourself, you might save some money.

    You could try tree service people too. https://www.chainsawsteve.com/ is a really nice guy in Wells /N. Berwick

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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    I dont know your local timbers. But good decision upgrading to copper fastenings. I don't understand why anyone would specify or use galv. Let's say you are going to put in 2 years work full time building this thing. Call your wage $50,000 a year. That's $100,000 sunk right there. And you'd want to save a few thousand using galv, which is going to rust away? Just doesn't make sense to me. Same for timber. The stuff you can cut and mill yourself seems attractive, but not if its not good boatbuilding timber. Whether it is or not, I can't say. But don't be sucked in by false economy.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    IMHO, WO for the garboard, broadstrake, sheer plank perhaps, but I'd go with cedar everywhere else, unless doing a clinker Frederikssund dinghy.
    Cedar is lighter, easy as pie to work, stable, & rot resistant. I have a love-hate relationship with WO - the checking and dimensional (in)stability sometimes drives me crazy, but then I encounter a stable piece and fall in love all over again. Framing, keels, floors - sure WO. Carvel planked WO Ingrid? It would be a battleship for sure!
    Call Bruce Tweedie up in Maine for cedar - be prepared to repair knots and such. I've heard great things about Newport Nautical Timbers but haven't used them.
    Last edited by DoctorB; 06-11-2018 at 05:42 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Eastern Cedar is a lot smaller than our wet coast red cedar...If you strip plank as has been suggested Eastern Cedar could do it well....I'd definitely strip plank in stead of carvel....

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by sdenette View Post
    I have nothing against cold molding or strip planking but I personally HATE working with adhesives, it's just not something I enjoy. I would enjoy building and working on a cold molded or strip planked hull much less than a carvel or lapstrake hull.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    You want to know who needs oak, you're going to mystic. To my mind, ask around when you're there. They use tons of it but maybe in bigger slabs than you have available. Worth checking out since you'll be there anyway.
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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    By the way, I have my Ingrid hauled out this week, and have had two separate people come over to talk about the boat and tell me about this guy on the internet who is building one. You're famous!

    For what's its worth, I would also be happy with oak for the garboard, broadstrake, and shearstrake. That's three rounds of planking you already have, plus the bilge stringers, clamps etc..

    The oak will come in handy for sure.

    PS don't be seduced by the strip plank crowd. They mean well, but...

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    I would be very cautious about using oak for planking. It holds fasteners well, but it moves a lot.

    A durable softwood should do better.
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    By the way, I have my Ingrid hauled out this week, and have had two separate people come over to talk about the boat and tell me about this guy on the internet who is building one. You're famous!

    For what's its worth, I would also be happy with oak for the garboard, broadstrake, and shearstrake. That's three rounds of planking you already have, plus the bilge stringers, clamps etc..

    The oak will come in handy for sure.

    PS don't be seduced by the strip plank crowd. They mean well, but...


    HAHA,

    I don't know about famous but infamous maybe. We are starting to get recognized at places like the bank, last week the teller got all excited because her dad follows us. In the last two weeks we have had a chap fly over from Ireland, a guy drive 14 hours from Ohio to come help and a fellow from Tennessee is here for this whole week lending a hand, he also drove over 12 hours to get here! It's beyond comprehension to me but I certainly won't turn away help! It's made stacking all that oak a bit easier =)

    An oak garboard was the plan even if we go with cedar, must have forgot to mention it. I also have some black locust for the sheer strake and hopefully the plank below, a couple locust planks and a locust rub rail should help out for when we bump into something. Had not considered the broadstrake, but those three do put a little bit of a dent in the cedar we have to buy.

    Atkin specifies White Pine for the bilge stringers and Fir for the clamp and shelf, do you think I should use Oak instead?




    Mystic is one of the few places that I am pretty sure does not need oak, the logs they have rival the stuff that we milled. Big oak is not super easy to find but Mystic certainly has the hookup. In any event we will ask around, might have better luck with a boat yard that has a good cedar supplier but maybe has a tougher time finding framing stock. Most likely we will just be extra frugal and sell some stuff that won't make it aboard Arabella and rally the funds for the cedar. I would hate to sell off a bunch of oak and then need it, at the same time it seems we have way more than enough for framing, floors and deck beams.


    Today is day 3 of stacking lumber, I think all the oak is done, there might be some hiding in the pile but I think we fished most of it out. If that is the case then it's the locust, spruce, a big pile of pine and a small mountain of hemlock 2x8 and 4x4 for work lumber (staging, bracing...) Once it's all stacked I am going to celebrate! Hoping to finish the aft deadwood and get the keel assembly right side up before we head to Mystic. July should be spent putting the bow and stern assemblies together, bout damn time!!! Looking forward to the rest of the summer being spent in the boathouse making sawdust and curvy timbers.

    The Tennessee lad riding some oak up to the house. We could only take 4-7 boards at a time otherwise the tractor would start spinning it's wheels on the hill leaving the wood yard. Green oak is some heavy stuff!!!!

    ACORN TO ARABELLA
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Speaking of oak for stringers... Re-read McIntosh's chapter(12) on ceilings.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by jackster View Post
    Speaking of oak for stringers... Re-read McIntosh's chapter(12) on ceilings.

    You could have made that a bit easier and at least given me a specific page. It was like being back in school! ha! =)

    I assume you were referring to his caution of hard bilge stringers and creating a hard edge of sorts where the planks/frames cannot move or pant as he put it?

    It is a solid caution against oak bilge stringers I guess.

    We will see how Victoria's planking is but the tentative hope is it will be solid enough to plane down and use as Arabella's ceiling instead of white pine. If a couple of the planks are real solid they might go in full thickness as the bilge stringers or maybe we will use white pine or maybe we will buy too much planking stock and put in new cedar bilge stringers. So much to think about, so many decisions to make! =)
    ACORN TO ARABELLA
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  33. #33
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by sdenette View Post
    ... It was like being back in school! ha! =)
    Well, it will be on the test....clawing off a lee shore in a heavy sea!!

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    My bilge stringers, clamp, shelf, backbone, and most of the planking is all fir. That is because it is a BC boat, and that is what they have. You have oak, which I would use for all those parts except the planking.

    I don't remember what the plan shows, but I have five heavy bilge stringers, all together in a band about 18" wide. Its massively strong, and there are no cracked frames. I also don't have any other ceiling planking. These are steamed oak frames in two pieces like what I assume you are doing. The shape of the hull is very easy, the frames are not under large stresses from bending, especially when in two pieces. It will also plank up very nicely due to the easy shape, except maybe aft down low where there is twist.

    I would want strong (oak) bilge stringers, as they take the bending load if/when you ever dry out on a sandbank.

    Light ceiling is lovely along the bunks, or everywhere if you don't mind never being able to inspect the planking for the next 50 years. I think its a good reuse of the other boat's planking.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    2,474

    Default Re: Planking material for a 38' cruiser

    I think the wide band was what McIntosh was looking for, as opposed to one really big stringer.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

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