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Thread: Lofting the Brewer catboat

  1. #6301
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    I went so far as procuring a piece of graphite large enough to slump (in a kiln) the glass to the curve. But I still could not cut the holes in the boat!

  2. #6302
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Jim, a couple of questions on bedding the cabin sides that you may have addressed but which I can’t find (easily - lazily ) - was there any specific reason for using 5200 rather than bedding the cabin sides with epoxy and did you need to seal the timber first or have you just laid the 5200 on bare wood? Also what screws did you screw them down with?

    Although I’ve used 5400 before I’ve not seen how well it holds bare wood and the Fixtech 190 that I’ve used require the timber to be sealed prior to gluing - it bonds brilliantly but not to bare wood. I gather 5200 doesn’t have the problem but ..... is that true ??????
    Last edited by Larks; 06-02-2021 at 09:29 PM.
    Larks

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  3. #6303
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    Jim, a couple of questions on bedding the cabin sides that you may have addressed but which I can’t find (easily - lazily ) - was there any specific reason for using 5200 rather than bedding the cabin sides with epoxy and did you need to seal the timber first or have you just laid the 5200 on bare wood? Also what screws did you screw them down with?

    Although I’ve used 5400 before I’ve not seen how well it holds bare wood and the Fixtech 190 that I’ve used require the timber to be sealed prior to gluing - it bonds brilliantly but not to bare wood. I gather 5200 doesn’t have the problem but ..... is that true ??????

    I sealed both mating surfaces with epoxy, Greg, in case the adhesive opened up in any spot, and also for adhesion. The bottom edge of the cabin sides were coved out slightly to allow for a thickness of 5200. Before the epoxy sealing the surface was deeply scratched with a sawzall blade for better adhesion. The sill got the same treatment. Two coats of epoxy, sanded between and after.

    In the cabin area the sides were held down with 4" # 18 bronze screws, applied liberally. In the cockpit area there is a backing piece against the inside of the coaming. Screws were driven horizontally into the coaming in this area. There will also be bedded trim pieces in the cabin to cover the deck edge.

    Jim

  4. #6304
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    There's nothing major to report, just a lot of incremental improvements and the tying up of many loose ends. And sanding, lotta sanding.

    Here's something to take note of the next time you look at a catboat...what is happening where the cabin top meets the sides and how does this line relate to the top of the cockpit coaming. To be more specific, does the line break at the bulkhead and become two separate lines, dropping lower around the cockpit, or does the line continue as one all the way?

    Most catboats fall into the former category but there are some that opt for the smooth sweep fore and aft and look the better for it. I have to admit it's an acquired taste and some boats pull it off better than others. Naturally, the cockpit sides are higher, which is not a bad thing at all, but there is more visual weight added aft.

    Don't get me wrong, the decision has been made, the only question is just how much to cut off and where. The eternal question.



  5. #6305
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Another consideration is the height of the seat back that the coaming provides.
    A coaming that’s too tall can be uncomfortable when the boat heels.

  6. #6306
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    I knew it was not traditional but on my catboat I reduced the coaming height in the cockpit to about 75% of the height of the cabin side. I just looked more pleasing to me. But then, one stormy day, on SF Bay, I wished that I had not made that reduction when I saw green water flow over the cap rail and into the cockpit. I believe there was a point to the traditional approach.

  7. #6307
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by JimConlin View Post
    Another consideration is the height of the seat back that the coaming provides.
    A coaming that’s too tall can be uncomfortable when the boat heels.

    Good point, this is definitely a part of the calculation, Jim, the seat back needs to be a comfortable height. A vertical seat back that's to low can also be quite uncomfortable when you're sitting upwind. This design features an inner lining that angles back behind the seats, which should provide some comfort over a straight back. The final height will need to be mocked up before any decisions are made. The coaming will be fitted with a caprail, which will intrude into the seat back. It's important that this feature be made in such a way not to be uncomfortable, such as digging into the shoulder blades.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Higgins.94301 View Post
    I knew it was not traditional but on my catboat I reduced the coaming height in the cockpit to about 75% of the height of the cabin side. I just looked more pleasing to me. But then, one stormy day, on SF Bay, I wished that I had not made that reduction when I saw green water flow over the cap rail and into the cockpit. I believe there was a point to the traditional approach.

    As I understand it, Mike, tradition goes both ways with regards to cockpit coaming height, you can see both a break at the bulkhead or an unbroken line in many examples from the past. Certainly if green water is involved an extra couple of inches of height might be missed. If you want to go full traditional, though, you can see many examples of working cats from the past with much less freeboard and a low coaming. These were probably concessions to the demands of hauling various bits of gear out of the water many times a day, coupled with a lack of any other power than that provided by the sails.

    But I take your point about the solid spray. One of the wonderful features of catboats is the feeling of being "in" the boat, as opposed to being on it. A high coaming should enhance this feeling, as well as to protect the occupants from wind and spray.

    Jim

  8. #6308
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    I sealed both mating surfaces with epoxy, Greg, in case the adhesive opened up in any spot, and also for adhesion. The bottom edge of the cabin sides were coved out slightly to allow for a thickness of 5200. Before the epoxy sealing the surface was deeply scratched with a sawzall blade for better adhesion. The sill got the same treatment. Two coats of epoxy, sanded between and after.

    In the cabin area the sides were held down with 4" # 18 bronze screws, applied liberally. In the cockpit area there is a backing piece against the inside of the coaming. Screws were driven horizontally into the coaming in this area. There will also be bedded trim pieces in the cabin to cover the deck edge.

    Jim
    I’m late in thanking you Jim, but thanks, that’s very helpful. My original cabin sides were bolted all the way through from the coaming with copper rods and I’m debating whether to do the same again - I don’t know if trust myself to be able to drill a clean straight line through a 15” to 19" x 1” thick plank of Huon Pine.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
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    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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  9. #6309
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    I’m late in thanking you Jim, but thanks, that’s very helpful. My original cabin sides were bolted all the way through from the coaming with copper rods and I’m debating whether to do the same again - I don’t know if trust myself to be able to drill a clean straight line through a 15” to 19" x 1” thick plank of Huon Pine.

    That would be quite a risky drilling operation, Greg. I think the drilled holes would weaken the thin cabin sides even if they were drilled successfully.


    While I have been steadily working on the boat there has been little of interesting photographic value, apart from what has been posted many times. The cabin side segment has been finished and the sides coated with a couple of coats of sealer to toughen them up.

    Now it's back to planking.



  10. #6310
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    The forefoot...





    ...and a garden trug, 'cause, why not?


    Last edited by Jim Ledger; 07-11-2021 at 08:01 AM.

  11. #6311
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    what's the displacement, looks like a ten zucchini?

  12. #6312
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Very very nice. Dovetail corners and the slats are mortised into the sides. Is the bow steam bent or laminated?

  13. #6313
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    what's the displacement, looks like a ten zucchini?
    Guy's seen a zucchini or two.

    Ten zucchini's the capacity on paper, Lee, but out in the field anything goes.

    You know how it is.


    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Palmer View Post
    Very very nice. Dovetail corners and the slats are mortised into the sides. Is the bow steam bent or laminated?

    Thanks, Brian. The handle is laminated Ash

  14. #6314
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Nicely done , as usual, Mister Ledger .

  15. #6315
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Girouard View Post
    Nicely done , as usual, Mister Ledger .

    Thanks, Paul. It's good to see you back here, it's just not the same while you're away at band camp.


    That's a nice looking house that you and your crew are building, maybe a little closer to the waters edge than might be prudent, but a super job all around.. Keep the photos coming!



    Jim

  16. #6316
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    nice on the trug!
    I almost built a small sea chest with tapered sides,… however my brain just got painfully lost in the idea of dovetails on tapered sides. I read about it, watched videos, and just didn’t get it. … went with straight sides. Nice work!

  17. #6317
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by nedL View Post
    nice on the trug!
    I almost built a small sea chest with tapered sides,… however my brain just got painfully lost in the idea of dovetails on tapered sides. I read about it, watched videos, and just didn’t get it. … went with straight sides. Nice work!


    Thanks, Ned. Charles Haywards "Woodwork Joints" has a fairly clear explanation of how it's done. I wish I could remember how it went. No matter, I have the book.


    Here's a trick I learned on how to plane a square edge on a plank, clamp a block onto the plane sole. Sometimes you can just hold the block in place, but here I have an entire edge to square so clamping makes sense. Pulling this rig often works bettwr than the traditional pushing technique, hold it low down with the fingers pressing the block against the plank.

    The skewed angle of the plan helps when the edge is slightly hollow along the length. There's always a lot of fiddling going on to get the plane to work properly and what works on one section often won't on another.



  18. #6318
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    What's the most common way to deal with plank edges on a caulked boat? Leave one edge square and bevel the edge on the next plank or bevel both edges? I've no idea and no opinion, just curious.
    That looks like a handy set-up on your plane.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  19. #6319
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    What's the most common way to deal with plank edges on a caulked boat? Leave one edge square and bevel the edge on the next plank or bevel both edges? I've no idea and no opinion, just curious.
    That looks like a handy set-up on your plane.
    I leave one edge square, Rich. It's the top edge on the bottom planks and the bottom edge on the top planks. Where they meet at the whiskey plank there will be two square edges, so the WP has to have the caulking bevel on both edges.

    I should note that there's a difference between the actual bevel, the angle planed in so that the edges meet, which varies according to the location on the boat, and the caulking bevel, which is the amount planed off to form the open seam on the outside.

    The subject is no doubt more complicated than this, but for a catboat with no reverse curves it's about all you need to know, bevel-wise.

  20. #6320
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    I would only add that the inside 1/3 to 1/4 of the planks should be in tight contact. The caulking bevel should not go full depth to avoid the caulking being driven right through.,
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  21. #6321
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    I would only add that the inside 1/3 to 1/4 of the planks should be in tight contact. The caulking bevel should not go full depth to avoid the caulking being driven right through.,

    Thank you, Nick, I should have mentioned that. There have been occasions however, when I've stretched the definition of tight contact to include almost contact. Were I to place a lamp behind some of my seams there would most certainly be a depressing leakage of photons, especially after a few rainless weeks. I comfort myself with the knowledge that the eventual immersion will accomplish what my hands cannot. Even so, dreams of herniated loops of caulking inside the planking wake me in a muck sweat right before the dream boat slips beneath the waves.


    Stay tuned for my new foolproof method of planing that pesky caulking bevel.

  22. #6322
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Oooow.... I hate that dream
    Too be fair it usually ends with me standing up to my knees in water, holding a 5 gallon bucket with a weak handle and bailing until I just can't

  23. #6323
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    Thank you, Nick, I should have mentioned that. There have been occasions however, when I've stretched the definition of tight contact to include almost contact. Were I to place a lamp behind some of my seams there would most certainly be a depressing leakage of photons, especially after a few rainless weeks. I comfort myself with the knowledge that the eventual immersion will accomplish what my hands cannot. Even so, dreams of herniated loops of caulking inside the planking wake me in a muck sweat right before the dream boat slips beneath the waves.


    Stay tuned for my new foolproof method of planing that pesky caulking bevel.
    Two comments.
    One old school shipwright friend commented having visited the Ellesmere Port Boat Museum "excellent work, you could not get a cigarette paper between the planks" He rebuilt the family boat after a collision Cornish fashion without caulking seams, so he knew tight seams.
    The other was a retired shipwright from the Crossfield yards. He described driving the shutter (Whiskey) plank in with mauls to close up all the plank seams. I dare say that all of their planking will have been edge set to place with wedges before fastening.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  24. #6324
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Can you, yourself, do the cigarette paper thing, Nick, on a plank you hung?

    That's all I wanna know.

  25. #6325
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Simpler if you use EZ widers?

    Sorry - 'twas there.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  26. #6326
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    ...The other was a retired shipwright from the Crossfield yards. He described driving the shutter (Whiskey) plank.....
    An Irish tipple in Cumbria? One would have thought they'd have used Scotland's finest, being as it's just up the road.

  27. #6327
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Simpler if you use EZ widers?

    Sorry - 'twas there.

    Low hanging fruit, that, Garret.


    I've been using a feeler gauge to find the high spots on the plank edge that need planing off. After the plank is clamped on I run the gauge along the seam. Where it fetches up on a tight spot I put a dab of masking tape on the plank face. I follow it along until the gauge falls through and put on another dab of tape. Arrows drawn on the tape indicate the area to be planed. While you could do the same with pencil marks you would have to plane or sand the marks off after each adjustment, otherwise you can get confused as to which marks you need to follow. With the tape all you need to do is to peel it off and stick it elsewhere for reuse. It's working well.


    I have a plank clamped on now that's tight enough along it's length to ten thou. No edgeset other than a tap with a heavy hammer and block against the clamps. You can hear it go home, it sounds dead once it's there.


    Here's a thing about using a hammer to set something in place. Be careful once you get close, go easy. The piece can bounce off if hit too hard. Most of the time this isn't much of a problem, but say you're setting a hood end into a stem rabbet by tapping the aft end of the plank. Hit it too hard and it'll ride up the stem and open the seam. Backing it up usually involves loosening the clamps at least.


    Here's the ten thou gauge. Later in I'm going to see how much that is in rolling papers. Probably a lot.



  28. #6328
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    ^ I am not sure that I would recommend so much brute force on a steam timbered hull like yours Jim. The shipwrights that I quoted were working on sawn framed boats, although the close planked boat, Ruby was steam timbered.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  29. #6329
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    Were I to place a lamp behind some of my seams there would most certainly be a depressing leakage of photons, especially after a few rainless weeks.
    Particles or waves? Please consider this question in good (or bad) company with Garret's.

  30. #6330
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    ^ I am not sure that I would recommend so much brute force on a steam timbered hull like yours Jim. The shipwrights that I quoted were working on sawn framed boats, although the close planked boat, Ruby was steam timbered.
    As I remember, Jim laminated his frames using locust, not steam bent.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  31. #6331
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    ^ I am not sure that I would recommend so much brute force on a steam timbered hull like yours Jim. The shipwrights that I quoted were working on sawn framed boats, although the close planked boat, Ruby was steam timbered.

    I thought that's just what you were suggesting, Nick, with all the talk of hammering home shutter planks. Rest assured that the hammering I'm doing is within reasonable limits, just taps really, as can be delivered by an elderly gentleman on his back, measured and far between.

    Here's some real hammering for contrast, on an oak narrowboat shutter...



  32. #6332
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Steam chest, who needs one?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  33. #6333
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    Default Re: Lofting the Brewer catboat

    Jim, long time since I have opened this forum, life changed. Imagine my surprise to see this lovely boat continuing to progress. Wonderful pictures and documentation of the process. I have a few years and pages to sift though which I will do shortly.

    Just wanted to drop in and say hello and good work.
    LBPC member since page 14, wood flour tip, green cap, no chips....

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