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Thread: Planking for a Sharpie skiff

  1. #1

    Default Planking for a Sharpie skiff

    Should planking for an 18' Sharpie skiff have caulking in it? or can I just butt the boards edge to edge tight and count on the planking to swell enough to keep out the water? I thought about edge gluing them but I'm worried they'd split. This boat will spend a lot of time out of the water. I do want to use the traditional 3/4" planking shown in the boat sections. Evidently, a lot of the older sharpies were built with a single plank used for the sides. That's where I thought about using edge glued planks and then bending the whole thing onto the molds. But, planks are used for the bottom so I have to think about that too.

    I also need to know what needs to be bedded on a boat design like this. And what folks recommend.

    For painting, I'm going to use two coats of primer on the top, three on the bottom, and three coats of oil based finish paint on top of that. I was worried about the wood worms I've heard are in the Gulf of Mexico waters but I don't know what to use for protection against that. The most the boat will set in salt water is 3-4 months at a time.

    All advise is welcome.

    Also, the entire boat will be southern yellow pine, if that makes a difference to anyone's recommendation.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Planking for a Sharpie skiff

    All the southern yellow pines are rather hard, so I'd think to caulk. There used to be beautiful wide boards hard to find today. I'd straight lap the sides but a caulked seam flush would be fine. You need to caulk around the bottom between the side and bottom planks. Many cross planked bottoms have been done with jointed planks fastened tight from each end with the last having a slight wedge shape to be driven in, tightening the lot. Bottom paint against worms and growth.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Planking for a Sharpie skiff

    Yeah, I'd calk. I've heard of tongue and groove being used in the stern overhang, which tends to dry out in the summer and leak when you're sailing.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Planking for a Sharpie skiff

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    All the southern yellow pines are rather hard, so I'd think to caulk. There used to be beautiful wide boards hard to find today. I'd straight lap the sides but a caulked seam flush would be fine. You need to caulk around the bottom between the side and bottom planks. Many cross planked bottoms have been done with jointed planks fastened tight from each end with the last having a slight wedge shape to be driven in, tightening the lot. Bottom paint against worms and growth.
    The cross planked bottoms of canal narrow boats was done this way, using elm, which is a hard wood.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Planking for a Sharpie skiff

    teredos/salt worms/ship worms ARE invasive and can wreak havoc w/ wooden craft in warm gulf waters... so i hear

    IMG_1113.jpg

    they enter thru a pin prick sized hole and eat their way thru the wood

    IIRC they sunk a couple of columbus' ships way back when

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

    steve

  6. #6

    Default Re: Planking for a Sharpie skiff

    Quote Originally Posted by swoody126 View Post
    teredos/salt worms/ship worms ARE invasive and can wreak havoc w/ wooden craft in warm gulf waters... so i hear

    IMG_1113.jpg

    they enter thru a pin prick sized hole and eat their way thru the wood

    IIRC they sunk a couple of columbus' ships way back when

    sw

    What do you think I should do to prevent them from getting into the boat then? I'd read somewhere that applying creosote was the way to protect them but I recently found out that just anyone can't buy creosote. Also, I don't know how this will affect the paint I use. Or is there some sort of paint I can buy that will protect from that worm?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Planking for a Sharpie skiff

    Quote Originally Posted by George Ferguson View Post
    What do you think I should do to prevent them from getting into the boat then? I'd read somewhere that applying creosote was the way to protect them but I recently found out that just anyone can't buy creosote. Also, I don't know how this will affect the paint I use. Or is there some sort of paint I can buy that will protect from that worm?
    Bottom paint should do it, but I'd give it more than one coat.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Planking for a Sharpie skiff

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Bottom paint should do it, but I'd give it more than one coat.
    Bottom paint with biocides and a high copper content.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Planking for a Sharpie skiff

    It was common to spline the bottom boards on flat skiffs that were kept on deck, river boats and etc.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Planking for a Sharpie skiff

    The more caulk the better! Mine would open up while in the shed and when I would take it to the lake the water would seep through the seams. One time it filled up with water so fast I couldnít bail it out fast enough. I started filling it with five gallons of water before I went out. Alternatively I could leave it out in the rain and the gaps would tighten up considerably. Finally I covered the bottom with polyester cloth and epoxy. That worked great.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Planking for a Sharpie skiff

    I watched Louis Sauzedde, from Tips from a Shipwright, on Youtube last night, and he used a polysulfide bedding compound between the seams on the sides, and nothing between the planks on the bottom. I think I'm going to start with that, and if that doesn't work, I'll replank it.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Planking for a Sharpie skiff

    I think maybe youíre asking the wrong questions here. Might I suggest that the question should be; ď Will wife be on boat or not?Ē If wife on boat, then boat should probably be dry and you should go ahead and do everything you can to make it so. I was very meticulous with my joints, and when I first tested the boat there were very small leaks, but after some time in and out of the water, swelling and shrinking, she leaked pretty good. Now I never minded getting my feet wet, or the rest of me either, I get wet every night, but my wife would threaten me and make demands if she had to bail. Therefore, cloth on the bottom with epoxy and she hasnít leaked since. I think strict selection of species could help the situation, and Iíve read that cedar is the choice for bottom planks. Iím very interested to hear how yours goes as Iím planning another one, same construction.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Planking for a Sharpie skiff

    My first choice for planking is marine grade Plywood, second choice a tongue and groove, Epoxy edge glued planking. For a boat that is stored on land and in water a complete Epoxy sheeting ist best. Worm problems are also obsolete.with Epoxy

    Have Fun, Michel

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