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Thread: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

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    Default 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    All,

    There have been several previous threads chronicaling the construction of my 25' Hooper Island draketail. At the end of the last thread, construction had reached the stage of the keel, molds, frames, shear strakes, chines, and draketail stern all ready to accept planking. Details can be found in the following threads:

    http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/show...ight=draketail

    http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/show...ight=draketail

    http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/show...ight=draketail

    Here is a picture of where things stood at the end of the last thread.



    The draketail is a hard chined Chesapeake Bay work boat with horizontal side planks and a cross planked bottom. Some original boats had side planks as wide as 22". I don't have that luxury, but do have some nice 11" Douglas fir stock for the side planks.

    I would appreciate some advice on lining off the sides for the planks. I've made an attempt at it based on the following thoughts:
    _______________________________________

    Some background:

    The plank stock is 3/4" x 11" x 22', recycled Douglas fir.

    At the stern, the width to be planked is about 18".

    At the bow, the planking totals about 36".

    Our thoughts are to use as much of a full width plank as we can get away with at the chine. If we leave the "shear" edge of the plank straight, it goes from about 10 1/2" at the bow to 8" or so amidships, back to 10 1/2" at the stern. The width puts the first side seam about 4" above the waterline. At normal loads, there will no side seams under water.

    The second plank (the one above the chine plank) would start at about 8" wide at the stern (station 20') run out of it's 11" width at about station 11'. At station 11', we'd start the first stealer plank by nibbing in a 4" end for the first stealer. (would 3" work?) Stealer # 1 and chine + 1 would then both swell back to about 9" at the bow.

    Then, Stealer # 2 would start at station 4 1/2', nibbed about 4" into stealer # 1, and again swell to about 9" at the bow.

    As best I can tell, this arrangement makes the best use of the available stock. I assume that's the way the old folks would have approached the problem. Will this approach work? Have I crossed any horrible aesthetic boundaries in the process of lining off?
    _________________________________

    Here's a picture of a plank roughly in position of the second plank. (minus the stealer) The lower edge of the plywood spiling batten on top defines the shear (upper) edge of my proposed first plank.



    And here's a rough sketch of the proposed plank layout:



    All comments and suggestions gratefully accepted.

    Grigg
    Last edited by Draketail; 02-07-2013 at 09:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Today was spent installing the shear strakes and chine logs for good. After fit up, the pieces were removed and red leaded as appropriate. Then the contact surfaces were coated with dolphinite. Finally, the pieces were refitted, working from the middle, fore and aft, one frame at a time, to keep the clamping strains even on the building jig.

    This also means that the draketail stern is now permanantly attached to the rest of the boat. At the end of the afternoon, we couldn't stand it and had to start beveling the planking surfaces on the underside of the stern.

    Below is a picture of the snaggle tooth stern that we've been looking at for the last year, waiting for permanent installation. (details of the stern construction are given in one of the earlier threads.



    Here's the stern after the bevels were trimmed using a power plane, slick, and rabbet plane. I used the power plane to get close and then refined the fit with a batten and the hand tools.



    And a shot from the side. The point of the stern is just about at the waterline if the boat floats as planned. (That's Bubba, the shop cat on the strongback)



    The process of cleaning up the bevels also exposed the fit between the various parts of the stern assembly. This picture shows the fit of the laminated white oak stern hoops, the heart pine chine log, the osage orange transition plank, and the vertical heart pine staving of the stern assembly. It was gratifying to see the fits as the planing exposed them. For scale, the slick is 3" wide.




    Tomorrow we continue with the chine log and keel bevels, working on toward the bow. We hope by the end of the week to have some of the side planking installed.

    Stay tuned....
    Last edited by Draketail; 02-07-2013 at 09:41 PM.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    You can see to the right of this picture that the keel and chine log bevels finally have been shaped. More importantly, after 18 months of living in fear of miss cutting the forefoot, I basically said "screw it, do something" and started. Clamped a sacrificial chine log in place and started timming...



    It seems that the Swedes are on to something with their carpenter's ax. It worked just fine to rough out the shape, to be followed with a hand plane.

    rough shaping



    After planing. Still some detail to finish.



    The front 2 1/2 feet or so of the forefoot is too twisty to plank, so it's being "chunk built" as per the old timers. First I rough shaped a sacrificial shunk to see how it would work. Then I used the test piece as the pattern for the two production chunks.

    Testing.....



    Production chunks



    The chunks were cut oversize so they could be glued in place and shaped to fit. I'll remove the red lead from the keel in the contact area and epoxy the chunks in place, backed with silicon bronze through bolts. My plan is to not attach the chunks until I have the sides planked. That way I can more easily fit the side plank that laps the chine and also better refine the contact between the chunks and the planks.
    Last edited by Draketail; 02-07-2013 at 09:44 PM.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    As for planking, I thought it would be better to make my mistakes in cheap plywood than in my planking stock. So, I scarfed together some plywood "planks" the width of the planking stock and long enough to cover. The real planking stock is long enough that there will be no butt joints in the side planks.

    A lot of time was spent draping the plywood planks on the boat to maximize the use of the real planking stock. My stock is 11" wide by 22 feet long. The 35' Sewell draketail at the Calvert Marine Museum has full length lower side planks that are 22" wide!

    I know it seems a bit odd to be planking from the shear to the chine. But, the bottom is cross planked and laps the side planks. This way I can plane the lower edge of the lower plank to the proper bevel before starting the bottom planking.

    False planks



    Scribing the first plank pattern to the shear strake



    Marked plywood pattern



    The pattern was rough cut with the saw and then block planed to the line.



    Two patterns in place.



    There will be a 12' or so stealer plank for the bow. I'll post that picture later....

    Since school is in session and I'm back to teaching, progress is slower. But, I hope to be hanging side planks by Thanksgiving. All for now...
    Last edited by Draketail; 02-07-2013 at 09:48 PM.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    "screw it--do something" I laughed when I read that, It's often my philosophy when I don't have a clear answer. It usually works out and sometimes it gets me in trouble. You look like your on the right track and wood forgives---usually

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Here are the (almost) finished plank patterns:

    A view from the side. There is a little extra width along the chine just behind the bow. I'll leave the extra for trimming to make sure the forefoot chunks fit well.



    A view from the bow:



    And a view at the start of the curved stern.



    Time to start cutting and fitting real planks.
    Last edited by Draketail; 02-07-2013 at 09:49 PM.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    So, its summer time again, graduation has happened and I've finally had time to get back to the boat. Seems like the spring semester had no spare time at all....

    As of Christmas break, I had worked out the patterns for the planks in cheap plywood and that's where it stood. Using the plywood patterns and a top bearing router made it very easy to get out the planks. Rough cut with the circular saw and then finish up with the router.









    The planks were primed with three coats of Zinser oil based primer on the inside.

    Before installing the planks, I also had to cut the caulking bevel. If you do the math on the usual recommendations of bevel width to plank thickness, it comes out to about 10 degrees. I found a 10 degree dovetail bit to fit in a laminate trimmer, made a fence from a block of wood, and greatly simplified cutting the bevels. A pass with the trimmer and a quick touch up with a block plane if needed; done.





    Last edited by Draketail; 02-07-2013 at 09:57 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Once the planks were cut, primed, and beveled, they were installed. It seemed easire to start at the draketail stern, register the plank on the transition board to the vertical staving and them clamp and screw the plank off moving forward. I did the planks in pairs to even out the strains on the strongback. Clamp and screw three frames on one side and then do the other side... The planks ran long at the stem to be trimmed flush and fitted with a false stem.

    There were some gyrations trying to pull the planks together at the stem. There was no easy way to get the clamps to stay put. Then I remembered a trick from Mr. Bass, my 7th grade shop teacher. He had taught me how to glue up a block to turn a casting pattern using newspaper at the centerline. Turn the blank, and the a quick nudge with a chisel separated the the pattern into two halfs. Seemed like I could use the same approach to glue clamping blocks to the planks at the bow. I got the appropriate angle for the blocks from the lofting and went to work.









    Then a quick stroke with a slick would remove the block. I actually removed the blocks in pieces, removing one clamp and sawing through the block so a small piece could be removed. The screws were then installed where the clamp had been. Repeat as necessary untill all screws are in place. The rest of the newspaper will disappear during the sanding and fairing process.



    And the results with all the planks in place...

    Last edited by Draketail; 02-07-2013 at 09:56 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Once the side planks were in place, it was time to bevel the chine logs and planks to receive the cross planked bottom. The chine had previously been pretty well beveled. This operation refined the bevels and matched the planks to the chine log. The initial beveling was done with a slick to get close, then followed up with a block plane and a try stick at the stations. Once the stations were at the right bevel, the job was finished between stations with a larger hand plane. The stick was moved between stations to check progress. Lumber crayon was used to mark high spots as needed.







    The process seemed to work fairly well....

    Last edited by Draketail; 02-08-2013 at 08:46 AM.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    In preparation for the bottom, a couple of other jobs were also done...

    Caulking around the stern post.



    And painting the inside of the draketail stern. Seemed like the job would be much easier with the boat upside down and the bottom off. Crawling under the slope to paint later didn't seem like it would be a lot of fun.

    Last edited by Draketail; 02-07-2013 at 10:01 PM.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    I often looked at the plans for the draketail in a book....cant remember which one...Sucher i think. Anyway, lovely job, but that planking looks huge! Cheers

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Skaraborgcraft,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    The lines and offsets for the 25' draketail came from Sucher's "Simplified Boatbuidling, The V-Bottom Boat", copyright 1974. Work on my boat started from the one page (p 336)of information in Sucher's book. Bill Platt, a naval architect helped fair the lines and make sure the boat was actually seaworthy. All I knew from the book was that the lines were from an existing 25' draketail. Whether the boat was good or bad, Sucher didn't say. We also widened the beam by 10% to a whopping 4' 7".

    As for the planking, as best I can tell, the original builders of these work boats went for acerage, not esthetics. I've been to the museums along the Chesapeake and crawled through three draketails and examined "as built" drawimgs for several more. All of them used wide planks on the sides. The 35' Sewel draketail at the Calvert Marine Museum was originally built with the lowest plank being a 20" wide full length Douglas fir plank.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    More progress....

    I've now finished planking the stern 5 feet of the bottom. The process was a bit of a wrangle as I wanted to leave the planks proud by about 1/2" to protect the fragile end grain of the vertical stern staving. The 1/2" was then diminished to fair with the sides as the hull approached full beam.

    The process was something like: Install plank with some overhang, trace stern with 1/2" offset, remove plank, bandsaw to shape, reinstall shaped plank, fit next plank, continue until all planks were fit. Then fair the curve of all the planks, tapering the overhang to zero at full (almost) beam. Remove all planks and use round over bit in the router to shape both the top and bottom edge. Renistall all planks for the last time....

    So, pictures to follow:

    All planks fit, shaped, and ready for installation:



    The bed for the first plank, coated with Dolfinite and with the string in place to seal against the side planking:



    The first plank, which sets the angle of the restof the planking. The kerf is to allow the plank to bend slightly. The kerf was primed with red led and packed with linseed oil soaked string before installation. The string compressed enough to allow the bend.



    And the result, the planked bottom from the outside:



    And from the inside:

    Last edited by Draketail; 02-07-2013 at 10:04 PM.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    And some details of the stern bottom planking:

    The lip of the bottom planking at the extreme stern:



    The planking transitioning to fair with the sides (right side of picture):



    And the general shape of the stern bottom:



    The rest of the bottom planking should go more quickly as it only has to be installed once. The plank can be screwed in place and then sawn off fair with the side planks. No fitting and re fitting and rounding...
    Last edited by Draketail; 02-07-2013 at 10:06 PM.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Congratulations , things are really coming together .I see from the profile drawing that the keel diverges from the chine moving forward of your current work .Can your planking take that twist ,or will you have to plane it into thicker stock ?
    Last edited by Bill Perkins; 08-09-2010 at 03:42 PM.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Bill,

    The 15 degree sweep of the planking makes it so very little twist is required to have the planks settle in. Also, so far I have been using 5" and 6" planks. I can get away with the 5" ones for a bit more, but will then step down to 4" planks. Not much twist required at all. I think the last 4 feet of bottom planking (or so) will have to be installed thicker and planed to shape.

    I also now understand your earlier discussion of taking a 2 degree taper in the forward planks to bring them perpendicular to the keel. Now that the hull is in the flesh, I see where the taper will become necessary towards the stem. Thanks for the earlier advice.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    You’ll get a little sharper entry if you do that .Sucher includes that critical area of the planking in the drawings for that reason . It determines the exact shape of the bow . The aft slanting plank yields a slightly convex surface as you get forward of the boat’s maximum beam . As the plank run is brought perpendicular to the keel this flattens out , forming a straight sided V bottom as shown in the body plan . Slanting the last 5 or 6 planks forward ,as shown in the drawing , will create a slight hollow at the entry . You should really plank this area as drawn . The offsets don’t give the true shape of these bows . That information is supplied by the planking layout shown in the profile drawing .

    A detail I've liked on my boat (spec'd by the designer) is a keel scupper .This is just a good sized hole drilled through the keel athwartship ,the bottom of the hole tangent to the bearding line.I lined mine with hard 3/4 in. copper from the plumbing store . Yours would logically be placed at the lowest point on your keel . Then a single pump can drain all the bilge water . I still have two pumps for redundancy .
    Last edited by Bill Perkins; 08-05-2010 at 07:43 AM.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Nice work man. I appreciate the effort that all that fitting, scribing, etc takes. You are gettign some quality fits there man. Nice
    Chuck Thompson

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Hello, just saw this thread for the first time and wanted to say what a beautiful job you are doing. I own a 39' Hooper Island Draketail built in 1991 off lines taken from the Martha, a 1920's designed hull. I did not build her, and am a newbie to wooden boat construction, but if you have any questions I could tell you how it is on my boat. She was built by some old watermen using mostly traditional deadrise building techniques (but not traditional wood species, thank god). Keep up the good work, you are inspiring me to really fix mine up.


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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Ahhh, finally figured it out. Here she is...

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Nice work! What wood are you planking her with?

    oops never mind- reread and see its doug fir

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Bill,

    Thanks again for the further explanation on the bow planking. I went back to the Sucher drawing (plate 76) and do indeed see what you are talking about. I didn't understand the effect of the detail until you explained further.

    I think in an earlier discussion you had mentioned the keel scupper. I've got it marked on the keel, but am waiting to install the scupper until the planking gets close. That way I can drill through the keel and miss the screws holding the planks on.

    I appreciate you advice over the past couple of years. Long ago I downloaded your construction drawings to use as references.

    chuckt

    Thanks for the kind words. It is gratifying when things fit together well.

    ddqarch

    Beautiful boat! Martha was the boat that started me down this path long ago. The CBMM sells a set of drawings that I have used for reference. Also, they have been kind enough to let me crawl all over Martha.

    A 39 foot version seems like a delightful slightly smaller version of Martha. Tell us more about your boat, please. What sort of power, how do you use her, where is she, etc.?

    Black-Jack

    Again, thanks for the kind words. Actually, the side planks are Douglas fir and the bottom planks are heart pine.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Ah, I'm glad you know of the Martha. Given the level of work you are doing, you could probably teach them a few things at the CBMM. My boat was originally the John Gregory, named after one of the master boatwrights who built her, but she is now the ElsaBella, named after my youngest daughter. I found her rotting at the Living Classrooms Foundation in Baltimore. She had sunk and been raised but never repowered. I had her repowered at Tolchester Marina by Allan Bramble, who claims his ex-grandfather-in-law designed the first draketail. He says the design came from racing boats that his grandfather saw in New York and liked, and not from any of the other reasons tossed around out there (not getting knocked off line in a following sea, etc...). I repowered her with a 351 Crusader gas engine, which is really too large, but I thought was in keeping with the tradition of watermen putting the very largest engine they could fit in their boats. She glides along effortlessly at 12 knots with the engine loping at 2600rpm, and burns about 4 gallons an hour there. I use her as a family boat and keep her at my house on Sinepuxent Bay, behind Assateague Island. Two issues I have had with her that may or may not be helpful to you. One, at any speed over twelve knots her sharp bow and limited flair makes her very wet. She throws spray straight up in the air from the bow. 12 knots suits me fine, so its not a big issue. Second, she leaks like a sieve through the bottom planking to keel rabbit seam. I think she was built with a full keel, but the seat for the planking came from beveling the bottom of the keelson rather than notching or rabbiting the keel itself. This has been a constant problem I have yet to be able to resolve, even with the help of this forum. If I am reading your photos correctly, you are using a better method of shaping the planking seat out of the keel itself. Hope that information is helpful.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    ddqarch;

    Seems like a heck of a note that a boat built in 1991 was already abandoned and rotting. Glad you got a hold of her and set things right. I'm sure your family enjoys the boat.

    The crusdaer 351 seems fully in keeping with the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 V8 that is in Martha. The folks at CBMM do say that engine is a bit much also.

    Glad to hear 12 knots is possible. The drawing I'm working from quotes a speed of 12 knots from 10 to 15 HP. Seems like my whopping 66 cubic innch, 12 hp motor should be enough without being too much.

    What have you tried to stop the leaking between the keel and keelsons? Sounds like a difficult one to fix without major work. You are correct, I hope I won't have the problem of leaks between the keelson and keel. The planking rabbet in mine is made by cutting down the 4 1/2" wide keel blank by 1 1/4" on each side. No joint to leak.

    Pretty boat! Thanks for the additional information.
    Last edited by Draketail; 01-24-2011 at 07:26 PM. Reason: It's a V8 in Martha, not a V6....

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    OK, so having gotten past the fiddly stern bottom planking, things are speeding up a bit.

    Everything I have read says to clamp the planks tightly and/or drive in a tapered plank at intervals of about 3 or 4 feet. I didn't have a way to conveniently clamp the initial part of the stern planking. So, as soon as I got alongside the keel, I put in a set of tapered planks to a) wedge the stern planks tighter and b) leave an opening to clamp the planks as i move forward.

    Here's the two tapered planks and the opening left for clamping.



    The taper was a little less than 1 degree (about 3/8" in 24"). Easy enough to cut with a tapering jig on the table saw. Two planks on each side were cut with the same, but opposing tapers. That way, the angle of the planks to the keel remains the same, but the driving the tapered plank in will tighten things up.

    Here's the taper jig. This shot was staged after the fact with the saw turned off.



    And here's the plank put in by hand as far as it wants to go. If it won't drive home later, light passes on the jointer should allow for fine adjustment of the fit.



    A shot of installing additional bottom planks. I also made up a little shelf to slide along the keel to hold tools. I could set them on the planks at the relatively flat stern but that will be harder as the deadrise increases... And, now I don't have to carry tools from side to side as I plank.



    Each of the planks is left a bit long and then trimmed with a Japenese pull saw. There is enough flexibility in the saw that I can pretty well trim the planks to the final, fair, length. The saw is flattened against the side planking, which sets the bevel and curve nicely. Just don't get in a hurry.



    And, finally, some new bottom planks at the end of installation.



    Work will slow down for a bit now as I'm leaving this weekend to teach a rigging class for timber framers. More later, I hope.
    Last edited by Draketail; 02-07-2013 at 10:11 PM.

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    I chose to plank my boat glued double diagonal , because I planed to store her dry for long periods . So I don’t know anything about caulking . My reading did indicate that the seam between the bottom and chine was caulked in the traditional construction ; also the seam along the keel . This would require caulking bevels at those intersections of course. Do the existing boats in fact have these ?Culler spec'd a caulked seam at both those places on my filebottom.-Bill .

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Bill,

    Culler or Sucher (I forget which) lists 1) close fit 2) caulking bevel or 3) string between bottom and side plank as ways to provide a watertight joint between the side and bottom planks. I decided to go with the string as driven caulking fighting directly against the screws holding the bottom planks bothered me and I wasn't sure I could make close enough fits. You can just see the string in one of my photos where the tapered plank will be driven. Bedding compound to be added before setting the tapered plank.

    There is a caulking bevel between the plank ends and the keel. The caulking along the keel doesn't try to lift the planks so badly.

    There is also a caulking bevel between the planks. I don't know if this is the best solution for my intended use, but I understand the process and felt like I could accomplish a quality job. Does a good job with a less that perfect solution beat a poor job with a perfect solution? You can just see the plank bevels in the pictures. Time (and bilge pumps) will tell.....

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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Black-Jack,

    Heart pine was chosen mostly for rot resistance. The backbone of the boat is also mostly heart pine with some locust. The pine came from timbers from a fertilizer warehouse on Baltimore harbor. I've got a friend through timber framing who recycles old timber, so the stock was just a 'phone call away.

    If you go in the woods in the deep south (North Carolina and below) and kick an old downed pine log, the sap wood will fall off, leaving the indestructible heart wood. The resin in the wood seems to give termites and fungus a serious belly ache. Some of the wood has enough resin in it that it almost looks like plastic.

    Besids that, the heart pine is a joy to work, smells wonderful, and the scraps and shavings make excellent fire starters. Might as well enjoy the building process.

  29. #29
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    Atlanta
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    2,396

    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Now that you say that the string is plain as day in your last photo. I guess I took it to be the joint between the planking and the chine . I can smell that pine from here .

  30. #30
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    Sep 2007
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    Lexington, VA
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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Some more progress was made over the holidays. Basically on two fronts: 1) bottom planking and 2) making the false stem.

    Some further details on the bottom planking:

    About every three feet I taper two planks and leave a gap. That way I have some place to clamp the planks tight before screwing them down.



    Both ends of the planks get bedded in Dolphinite spread with a notched putty knife. I filed the notches with a triangular file. All the contact surfaces, including the underside of the planks, are first primed with 3 coats of red lead.



    Setting the next tapered planks. I draw the inner plank back from the keel a bit and then screw down the outside tapered plank. When the next run of bottom planking is complete and the next pair of tapered planks and the next gap for clamping are ready, the previous tapered plank is driven home and screwed in place. So far, (4 tapered planks) no problems with getting the planks to go home and snug up.



    The next gap ready to continue on...



    And, enough bottom planking that it's starting to look like a boat...

    Last edited by Draketail; 02-07-2013 at 10:15 PM.

  31. #31
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    Sep 2007
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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    And some details on the flase stem. As noted earlier in my threads, I'm pretty much feeling my way with the front of the boat. I've given up trying to do the technical, engineer (who, me?) solution and am quite literally going by eye and feel.

    I had always planned on using a false stem, rather than a rabbet for the hood ends of the side planks. As planking continues toward the front, I knew I had to resolve the flase stem sometime. Rather than waste time, energy, and material on a first try with white oak stock, I decided to make a trial stem out of cheap SPF framing lumber. When the trial stem looked right, then I could go to the oak stock.

    On the left is the original shape I glued up and on the right is the blank with some additional pieces to fill in what finally needed carving.



    I set the straight blank up against the stem and then scribed the inner curve. After several iterations of chalk, plane, chalk, plane, etc, the fit was good enough. (Oops, later picture after trimming to width. But, the fit remains the same)



    Now then, to cut the blank to final width (I never have gotten "sided" and "molded" dimensions straight in my head) I set up this point fence on the bandsaw. Just be careful to keep the inner face of the blank at the contact point parallel to the blade.



    After some trimming and shaping, I finally got the SPF blank to look like an outer stem. At least close enough that I was ready to trace the pattern to the good white oak stock. Since I had enough oak, I made two blanks just in case I screwed une up later.



    Last edited by Draketail; 02-07-2013 at 10:18 PM.

  32. #32
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    Sep 2007
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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    I also had to decide where the through bolts for the stem would go. Once that was done, marked centerlines on both faces fo the stem and then drilled from both sides to be sure the holes remained true.



    The holes in the trial false stem then acted as drill guides to (for now) spot the holes in the inner stem. Furniture assembly dowels were handy to hold things in place while shaping the false stem. Later I will set the final oak stem and use the holes in the inner stem as drill guides.



    The same process described above was used to saw out the oak stem blanks. Again, with some judicious planing:



    The fit was refined to an acceptable level.



    I'm leaving the final shaping of the oak false stem until I get closer with the bottom planking. Until then, the progress to date is one less construction detail I have to worry about.
    Last edited by Draketail; 02-08-2013 at 08:47 AM.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
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    Ashburn ,VA
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    230

    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    What a great job. That is a wonderful boat. I just love them. Great work

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Richmond, VA
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    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    You, sir, are a patient and self-disciplined man.

    I just went back and read all of the prior threads leading up to where we are today.

    It appears you are crafting a piece of floating furniture, with the care and attention you are devoting to the joinery. But I am confident you will be glad for all of the painstaking care later, when you're out in the bay!

    I have to say - I'm wondering what possessed the boat builders of old to come up with such a construction - it seems so complicated, yet unnecessary - although absolutely aesthetically pleasing.
    - Bill T.

    "How many politically-correct people does it take to screw in a light-bulb?"

    "Look, I don't know, but that's not funny."

  35. #35
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    Sep 2007
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    Lexington, VA
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    989

    Default Re: 25 ft Hooper Island Draketail construction, Part 3, planking & onward

    Bill,

    You are correct. The draketail stern is purely esthetic. The story is that some old timer on Hooper Island saw a WWI era torpedo stern destroyer and thought "well, gee, that looks neat" and built himself a similar, but smaller boat. Other folks liked the look enough that more were built. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bainbridge_class_destroyer

    And the draketail stern is indeed unnecessary and complicated. It is not unheard of for the draketail stern to come loose at the transition from the vertical stern staving to the horizontal side planking. The usual fix was a box stern replacement. Then folks just bypassed the "fall off and fix" stage and went straight to the box stern.

    Still, dang but draketails are beautiful boats! I wouldn't be the first guy seduced by a shapely stern.
    Last edited by Draketail; 01-24-2011 at 10:09 PM.

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